WASHINGTON - Two men and a woman arrested for four McLean, Va., burglaries may be responsible for 26 break-ins where thousands of dollars of electronics, jewelry, silverware, handbags and cash were stolen, Fairfax County police say.
"We caught them directly because of citizen tips," says Fairfax County police spokesman Bud Walker.
Police on Monday arrested Craig Hopta, 29, Michael Lewis, 29 and Diana Seaborn, 34, all of Maryland. They are each charged with four counts of burglary, two counts of grand larceny, two counts of larceny for resale and possession of burglary tools.
Police say they are responsible for burglaries Monday in the McLean area on Daleview Drive, Laurelwood Drive, Virginia Lane and Alvord Street.
"When we put out the word to neighbors to keep their eyes open and to call in suspicious people, they responded," Walker says.
Several neighbors called police to report an unfamiliar silver Ford Explorer. Police then set up surveillance.
Hopta, Lewis and Seaborn were arrested as they returned to the Explorer, Walker says.
Police say detectives have linked Hopta, Lewis and Seaborn to 14 burglaries in McLean and at least 12 more in Vienna and Falls Church. Ten of the burglaries occurred during the day in McLean on May 3, police say.
"They were known to law enforcement in the area," Walker said of the suspects.
Detectives worked with information from the Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland, as well as detectives in Vienna and Falls church to identify the suspects.
Police say the trio may be tied to other burglaries in the region.
Detectives have returned some the recovered stolen items to their owners and hope to return more.
Anyone with more information in these cases can call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477, text "TIP187" plus a message to CRIMES/274637 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.
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