Botetourt County Sheriff Ronnie Sprinkle has announced that his investigators have established that three male juveniles and one adult male were responsible for a string of thefts the night of December 29-30 from 11 unlocked vehicles scattered across four county neighborhoods from Blue Ridge to Fincastle.
The four are suspected of taking items, especially electronics, whose total value was more than $10,000. The sheriff emphasized that there was not a single instance of forced vehicle entry.
The thefts occurred in Tinkerview Gardens in Daleville, Sommersby on Country Club Road, Santillane near Fincastle and along Blue Ridge Springs Road in Blue Ridge, Sprinkle said. Some of the stolen items have been recovered, he said.
Nine charges of grand larceny and two charges of petit larceny involving two 17-year-old males and a 16-year-old male are being processed in juvenile court proceedings, and information concerning a cooperating 19-year-old male will be presented to the March grand jury of Circuit Court for Botetourt County, Sprinkle said.
The juveniles are not being identified because of their ages, and the adult has not been charged pending the grand jury proceedings.
The sheriff said that the thieves found electronics items including a laptop computer, purses with significant amounts of cash, and even a paycheck, all in vehicles that were not locked.
“On most of today’s vehicles, all it takes is the push of a button on the car door or on an electronic key to secure the vehicle. It’s a small effort that can prevent large. losses,” he said.