Hey, remember that time a group of burglars targeting Indian families for their gold wreaked havoc for a few months last year, then got busted, then had their cases thrown out of court?
Yeah, that was awesome. In any case, police are trying to make the charges stick.
The string of nearly 30 gold burglaries in Northern Virginia stopped cold after seven New Yorkers were arrested on suspicion of taking part in what police called a well-organized crime ring.The entire story is spelled out in the "news-paper" article linked above, but a key mistake was a break in the "chain of custody" of some key evidence.
The ring had zeroed in on gold that had been handed down through generations of families, and the victims were hopeful that some of the more than $1 million in valuables might be recovered after last year's arrests.
But when the cases went to court, they died.
Of the seven people arrested, six have been released and a seventh will be freed soon. Of the 58 felony charges filed, 55 were dismissed and one was reduced to a misdemeanor. One man was convicted in one burglary -- a case in which nothing was taken -- and one misdemeanor plea was obtained from another suspect, for a penalty of $72 in court costs.
Everyone else walked away. The case imploded through a combination of bad luck, smart criminals and savvy defense lawyers.
But authorities aren't giving up. Fairfax County police have resumed their investigation.
Last month, a group led by Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh, Loudoun Commonwealth's Attorney James E. Plowman and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II met with U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride to see whether his office would take up the case. Federal prosecutors can use grand juries as an investigative tool, subpoenaing witnesses and documents, in a way state prosecutors cannot.
Meanwhile, a fun Friday night on the town led to multiple charges filed against a 45-year-old Reston man.
Police responded to the 1200 block of Wild Hawthorn Way for an investigation around 4:25 a.m. on Friday, June 11. While there, a man allegedly refused to obey officers’ commands when they attempted to arrest him. Once in custody, the suspect reportedly kicked out a window in a police vehicle. [The suspect of] Bowman Towne Drive in Reston, was taken to jail and charged with destruction of property, drunk in public and resisting arrest.Kicking out a police car window = justifiably unsympathetic police officers.
But the most intriguing bit of crime of late was shared without comment on the police department's weekly incident summary:
1900 block of Crescent Park Drive Chihuahua stolen from residenceA dognapping? ¡Ay caramba! Yo queria el McTacoHut?