Investigators: Tip cracked 3-county crime spree

Posted at 6:06 PM, Oct 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-19 22:58:34-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va (WTVR) - Three men behind bars are each facing 21 felony charges and investigators say that number could triple.

The arrests come after more than 30 larcenies and home break-ins, mostly in Dinwiddie County. However, police said the crooks also hit homes and vehicles in Nottoway and Prince George.

Thomas Crowder of Colonial Heights, Matthew Magard of Chestefield and Bedford Forrest Randolph Jr. of Prince George County, remain behind bars.

The men each face 21 felony charges, but those charges stem from only four incidents. As a result, investigators believe evidence will link them to 20 more crimes, which could bring nearly 100 more charges against each of the men. [RELATED: Guns, booze and cash recovered following larceny-ring arrest]

Mike Demaline, one of the first victims in Dinwiddie County, when his Nikon Range Finder was stolen out of his fathers pick up truck.

"It was stolen last November and I never expected to see it again, I figured, you know it was gone," he said.

Investigator Kenny Droddy said the trio's loot included more than 30 guns, a half-dozen pistols, more than $10,000 in cash and thousands more in property. Items stolen include generators, extension cords, hunting supplies and other odds and ends.

"They weren't choosey, it was anything of value, anything from thousand dollar shotguns, to drop cords that were in the house," Droddy said.

Droddy also said the trio used Google maps to figure out the area they would target -- and even find a safe place to park.

The Dinwiddie cases were all within a half mile of Highway 460, where the group could hit two to four homes at one time.

Additionally, Droddy said a tip led deputies to a Colonial Heights home, where a raid revealed much of has been reported stolen.

Keith Andrews, who had several guns stolen this past May, said he had all his serial numbers written down, just in case the guns were found, so he could claim them.

Andrews is happy to have the items back, but said he still feels a loss.

"It really makes you feel very, very vulnerable, insecure and I guess that's human, I guess that's normal," he said.