Three suspected burglars got an unpleasant surprise overnight when they allegedly tried breaking into a string of vehicles in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood. The problem? One of the vehicles was an undercover police car with an officer inside.
Due to a number of recent complaints about thefts from cars, the Arlington County Police Department sent a plain clothes surveillance team to the neighborhood. Around 1:30 a.m., officers saw three subjects acting suspiciously in the 1800 block of S. 28th Street. Police say they saw the suspects trying to open car doors and entering unlocked vehicles to steal items.
The three men then reportedly attempted to enter an unlocked, unmarked police car and were startled by an undercover officer in the back seat. Tactical units immediately moved in and arrested 22-year-old Hilary Edmond of Arlington and 18-year-old Robert Holt of Alexandria. With the assistance of a K-9 unit, police later arrested 23-year-old Enrique Vanterpool of Alexandria, who was found hiding under some brush. Vanterpool sustained a dog bite to the arm from the K-9 and was treated at the scene by medics.
Police believe the three men may have been involved in more than a dozen recent thefts from cars. Charges against the suspects continue to be compiled in this active case as the men are tied to more of the reported thefts.
An ACPD spokesman notes that so far it does not appear the suspects forcibly entered any of the vehicles they allegedly stole from; all the car doors were unlocked.
“People have to be aware if they are going to keep valuables in their vehicles that they should lock their vehicles and keep valuables out of sight,” said Lt. Mike Watson. “But people really shouldn’t even keep valuables in their vehicles.”