Ex-CIA Worker Admits Theft Of Items Pricey and Peculiar
Thursday, November 30, 2006
George C. Dalmas III, a CIA employee for almost 20 years, yesterday admitted to breaking into 10 homes in the McLean area about a year ago and taking valuables and curiosities.
The loot from his daylight burglaries included Camp David cuff links, a Daughters of the American Revolution pin, a gold Phi Beta Kappa necklace, Cartier hoop earrings, a Tiffany gold scarab ring, a sapphire-diamond necklace, rhinestone bracelets, a Rolex watch and even a Fauquier High School ring. He also helped himself to several antique clocks and old radios -- all treasures he told his wife he had picked up at yard sales.
Dalmas did not explain why he did what he did, and the format in Fairfax County Circuit Court for accepting his guilty plea did not really allow for it. Neither his attorney nor the prosecutor mentioned the most intriguing object of Dalmas's criminal treasure-hunting expeditions: women's panties.
Search warrants list 1,074 pairs of women's undergarments that he stole, many of which were stuffed in shopping bags inside a filing cabinet at his Fulton Avenue home in Falls Church.
"I don't profess to be that knowledgeable about ladies' undergarments," Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Ian M. Rodway said afterward when asked to describe the evidence. "They ran the gamut from frilly things to mundane things."
Police believe Dalmas kept the undies as trophies. In fact, they believe Dalmas squirreled away everything he took. Court documents say he never tried to pawn or sell any of the jewelry or other valuable goods. Rodway described Dalmas as a packrat.
"He's as strange as you're going to find," Rodway said.
Dalmas, 48, pleaded guilty to 10 burglaries that each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Dalmas, who has no prior criminal record, was fired from his mid-level administrative post at the CIA. Mark Mansfield, a CIA spokesman, said Dalmas joined the agency in November 1986. He was suspended without pay in February and terminated in August.
Wearing wire-rim glasses and a fastidious beard, Dalmas looked like a kindly high school science teacher when he entered the courtroom, except for the county jail jumpsuit that hung loosely on his slight frame. Dalmas kept his hands folded in front of him and addressed the judge in a thin, almost timid voice. An immaculate swept-back wing of silver hair bobbed in response to questions.
Dalmas admitted breaking into the homes beginning in October 2005. He was arrested after a McLean homeowner surprised him in her house Jan. 24, pursued his vehicle and obtained a license plate number that was tracked to him. It was the second time a resident came upon Dalmas during a break-in, the prosecutor said.
But Dalmas's attorney said he would "never harm a flea."
"He's a bright, articulate guy. He's the nicest, most gentle guy," defense attorney Gary Moliken said after the hearing.
Dalmas was driven to take things for reasons that could not be easily fathomed, especially because he grabbed many things of little value, Moliken said.
"He doesn't really touch a lot of valuable things, which I think is demonstrable that mental health issues are involved," Moliken said. "This was not driven by a need for financial gain."
Dalmas's wife and two young children have moved to the Midwest, but she remains loyal to him, Moliken said.
"She is supporting him and standing by him, and hopefully they'll get through this and resume a normal life," Moliken said. He said his client's predicament has left him depressed and at times confused.
Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Robert W. Wooldridge Jr. set sentencing for Feb. 9.
Theoretically, Dalmas faces up to 200 years in prison, but the prosecutor and the defense attorney said he is likely to receive less, though the plea agreement did not set a recommended range of penalties.