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Arrest made in car break-ins after onlookers yell, dial 911

RELATED: See more crime news from the Fredericksburg region

BY KEITH EPPS

A Fredericksburg man was charged with numerous offenses after he was seen breaking into vehicles early Monday evening, police said.

Stacey Branham, 23, is charged in connection with three incidents involving cars in the city. The investigation is continuing, city police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said.

According to Bledsoe, an officer went to the 500 block of George Street about 5 p.m. after two witnesses reported seeing a man looking into vehicles and pulling on door handles in a parking lot.

One of the witnesses yelled at the man after he took a rock from his pocket and threw it at the window of a parked Toyota Camry. The man ran, and nothing was taken from the Camry, though its window was damaged by the rock.

While the officer was taking that report, another call came in about a man who had just broken a window on a black Kia parked on Mary Ball Street and stolen a purse. The description matched the one given in the George Street incident, Bledsoe said.

The Kia owner told officers that the suspect ran toward the dog park on Kenmore Avenue.

A short time later, police saw Branham walking on nearby Maury Street. Branham was taken into custody in a backyard on Maury after a brief foot chase.

The stolen purse was found near the dog park, and the victim’s wallet was recovered along the canal path, according to police. Her credit cards and cell phone were in the suspect’s jacket, Bledsoe said.

During the ensuing investigation, Branham was tied to an earlier vehicle break-in in the 2200 block of Charles Street. A purse that was stolen in that incident was recovered from a storm drain on Elmhurst Avenue.

Branham is charged with two counts of felony destruction of property, tampering with a vehicle, two counts of grand larceny, three counts of possessing stolen credit cards, obstruction of justice and misdemeanor destruction of property.

He was placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2013/02/12/city-man-charged-with-breaking-into-cars/