2017-03-20 / Front Page

4 Blacksburg teens arrested

By TIM GULLA
Ledger Staff Writer

A Blacksburg Police Department stakeout conducted Thursday evening to help solve a rash of vehicle burglaries paid big dividends, police reported.

Now, four teenagers find themselves in hot water.

Blacksburg Police Chief Jamie Ham said his department began receiving reports of vehicle burglaries starting on Tuesday and said there were at least 14 vehicles targeted overall, though there may be others that haven’t been noticed or reported yet.

Admittedly, Ham agreed, a stakeout can sometimes be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. But officers set out nonetheless in the hopes of catching a break. “We felt like we had to catch them in the act because we had few items taken from the vehicles other than money,” Ham said.

On Thursday evening, Ham said, police on stakeout noticed four males, all of them dressed in black and wearing tobbogans and gloves.

“Anybody who was out walking was a potential suspect,” he noted.

After starting to keep watch on the group of four males, Ham said, “It wasn’t within three blocks of where we initially made contact they started going under carports and started opening cars and going into cars.”

Ham, along with Blacksburg Police officers Todd Campbell, Tracy Fowler and Holden Parker, took three of the four males into custody Thursday night. The Cherokee County Sheriff ’s Office helped Blacksburg police search for the fourth suspect but the fourth suspect wasn’t located until Friday morning.

Ham said he was out until about 3 a.m. Friday, while other officers worked on the case throughout the early morning.

He said police obtained statements from all of the teens, who allegedly admitted to the vehicle burglaries they were involved in. One of the teens apparently wasn’t with the group the other nights.

Three of the teens are juveniles and were released to their parents. Any charges against them will be handled by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Incident reports show the vehicle burglaries occurred in the 400 block of South Chester Street, 400 block of North Rutherford Street, 100 block of West Clairborne Street, 200 block of West Pine Street, West Lime Street, 200 block of West Carolina Street, 100 block of South York Street, 100 block of East Lime Street, and 400 block of West Lime Street.

Ham said police caught the teens on West Lime Street.

All of the vehicles involved were unlocked.

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