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Theft of $4 from car results in 2-year term

RELATED: See more crime news from the Fredericksburg region

Don’t take the bait.

That’s what a Culpeper man learned in court this week.

In February, 25-year-old Daniel Jarrells took $4 from a “bait” car’s cup holder and would up with a long jail sentence in return.

In April, Judge J. Howe Brown found Jarrells guilty of larceny, his third conviction of such a crime.

Wednesday, Brown sentenced Jarrells to five years in prison, or one year for each $1.25 he stole. The long prison sentence came as a result of the third-conviction rule.

The judge, however, suspended three years of the sentence, leaving Jarrells with two years to serve for the $4 theft.

The baited car, which was made available to the Culpeper town police by the Virginia State Police, was parked behind Food Lion in the Culpeper Town Square shopping center.

Evidence presented in court showed that Jarrells entered the car and took the four marked $1 bills. That set off silent alarms and brought police to the scene where the suspect, in possession of the money, was arrested.

“This case is a great reminder to our citizens that although Culpeper is a very nice and safe community, it is always a good idea to be vigilant in doing the little things to keep ourselves and our property safe, such as not leaving valuables visible in the car and locking the doors,” said Culpeper Commonwealth’s Attorney Megan Frederick.

“This is great work done by local law enforcement and my team. I give much thanks to Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney David Barredo for his impeccable court presence and for fighting to protect our citizens from such larceny.”

The sting operation was part of the Virginia State Police’s Help Eliminate Auto Theft (HEAT) program.

Donnie Johnston:


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