February 23, 2006
Albemarle County police are investigating a rash of burglaries in the Keswick area and police said it’s the items stolen Tuesday that have them most concerned. Eight guns were stolen from one home in Keswick, and police fear that those weapons may be in the wrong hands.
Police said in the last few weeks, burglars have hit four homes and one construction site in the normally quiet area of Keswick.
"Of all the years that we've been here, we see no crime in this area," said Keswick resident Roosevelt Holman.
They've made off with electronic equipment and various items, but its five rifles and three shotguns stolen from one home on Tuesday that has police most concerned.
"I'm just concerned that these people might be trying to sell them on the street or they might get in the hands of the wrong people [and] it's a major safety concern for us," said Albemarle County Police Corporal Chris Beck.
All the crimes happened during the day and within miles of each other. The locations include Keswick Rd., Black Cat Rd., and Huckstep Branch Lane. In each case the criminals broke a window to get inside.
"When you are dealing with forced entry you can lock your doors and lock your windows, but that doesn't always prevent people from getting into your home," warned Beck.
Police have stepped up patrols in the area, but say the best prevention is neighbors looking out for neighbors.
"I just had one of our customers come in and explain that [his home] had been broken into and he asked if we could talk to our carriers about keeping an eye out for any suspicious activity in the area," said Keswick Postal clerk Shelly Daus.
Police say three suspicious teens were seen walking along Keswick Rd. They are described as two white males and one white female with bleach blonde hair.
Right now that's the only lead police have to go on and they are hoping concerned residents will see something and help them crack this case.
If anyone sees anything out of the ordinary, no matter how trivial, police say the best thing to do is call 911 immediately.