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Alert neighbors foil would-be Grinch

RELATED: See more crime news from the Fredericksburg region

MORE: Read more Stafford County news

BY SCOTT SHENK

THE FREE LANCE–STAR

There are three words that best describe an attempted daytime Christmas Eve burglary in Stafford County:

Stink.

Stank.

Stunk.

This was not, however, a very good rendition of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

In this case, the Grinch won’t be singing carols with his neighbors on Christmas. Instead, he’ll be spending it in jail.

According to the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, a Stafford man broke into a neighbor’s home in the Woodlawn subdivision Tuesday afternoon. But other alert neighbors foiled the attempted burglary.

At about 1 p.m., Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy said, a resident on Horseshoe Circle saw a man in a neighbor’s backyard, and then watched him move to the front of the home and climb in through a window.

The witness called a neighbor, who in turn called 911.

While deputies were responding, a woman who lives in the home returned and pulled her car into the garage.

But, Kennedy said, the neighbor stopped the woman from going inside.

Deputies soon arrived and searched the house, but couldn’t find the man, Kennedy said.

That’s when Deputy Scott Myers sent in his tracking dog, Khaos.

The dog soon found the suspect, hiding between boxes under a table.

“The dog took him into custody,” said Kennedy.

Franklin Delano Hess, 20, was charged with breaking and entering and grand larceny. He was incarcerated at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

Kennedy praised the neighbors for helping foil the attempted burglary and for keeping the homeowner out of harm’s way.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

sshenk@freelancestar.com

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