Natatia Bledsoe is the public information officer for the Fredericksburg Police Department.
Two suspects arrested for recent burglaries
For those commuters who witnessed an unusual amount of police activity near Rt3 and I95 this morning, this is what happened:
An officer patrolling near the Handy Mart at 3054 Plank Road around 1:30 am this morning observed a male subject behaving in a suspicious manner around the building. The store was not open for business at the time, and the male appeared to be trying to hide as traffic passed by.
Because of the recent history of a burglary at this location on March 16, Officer Joe Young took up a concealed position and watched the store and the suspicious subject for approximately 90 minutes. Officer Young observed the subject attempt to pry into the window that had been boarded up just after the recent burglary; he then observed the subject throwing a piece of cinderblock through a window on the southern side of the building. Shortly afterwards, the male subject left the immediate vicinity of the business and he was taken into custody within minutes near the Michael’s store in Spotsylvania County. Law enforcement from both the county and the City had set up a perimeter around the Handy Mart in anticipation of the suspect’s retreat. Following further investigation, Brian Blake, 22, of Spotsylvania was charged in connection with both burglaries at the Handy Mart, for a current total against Blake of two counts of burglary with the intent to commit larceny and one count of grand larceny.
Information obtained during the burglary investigation also led to the search of a homeless camp located in the wooded area of the cloverleaf at Interstate 95 and Route 3 at approximately 7:00 am this morning. While this follow-up investigation was being conducted, several police vehicles and personnel from Fredericksburg and the Virginia State Police were staged on the roadways. At one camp site, two male subjects and one female were identified and checked, and one of the male subjects was taken into custody for further inquiry. Christopher Buchanan, 25, of no fixed address was subsequently charged with one count of burglary in connection to the March 16 crime at the Handy Mart. Both Blake and Buchanan are incarcerated at the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond.
During the search of the camp site, a large number of cultivated marijuana plants were also found and seized. The investigation is ongoing.