Police Arrest Cousins in Rash of County Burglaries

By: Jummy Olabanji Email
By: Jummy Olabanji Email

Sept 12, 2007

Albemarle County Police have made two arrests in long list of burglaries that date all the way back to 2006.

The investigation was a joint effort between both the county and the Charlottesville police departments.

Police arrested 29-year-old Shawnita Nicole Graves, of Charlottesville, and her cousin, Dean Elliott Graves, of Gordonsville, in this rash of local burglaries.

The investigations involved burglaries all over the county.

They say the pair did many of their crimes during broad daylight.

"Most of the time it was during the day when most people are out working hard trying to pay their bills and their taxes etc, and Mr. and Ms. graves were breaking into their homes while people were working," said Lieutenant John Teixeira.

Detectives followed leads that led them to a house on Montrose Avenue in Charlottesville, where they found a large amount of stolen goods; including weapons, jewelry, clothing, electronics and even cleaning supplies

Police believe the Graves' were re-selling many of the items that they stole.

"People usually know when they are buying something and they are getting a really good deal. Normally its something that's a third or a quarter of the regular price. Why do most people think they are getting such a good price? Because its hot, its stolen," said Teixeira.

Police are urging local residents to take every effort to verify anything bought of the street, because many times it belongs to someone else.

Teixeira, "They are being rewarded by selling it at a discount price to other people on the street; so you are just rewarding negative and illegal behavior."

Each is charged with three counts of breaking and entering and grand larceny and Shawnita has an additional charge of arson.

Police also say there are up to sixteen additional cases pending in the county that they are investigating, so more charges and arrests could be on the way

Anyone with information concerning the couple or their crimes to call Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000

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