Teen burglary ring in Manassas identified

By Mary Pat Flaherty
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 30, 2009; 4:29 PM

A ring of busy teenage burglars responsible for an estimated 17 break-ins over the past month was identified over the weekend, according to Manassas police.

The alleged burglars range in age from 13 to 17, with most being 15 and 16, said Sgt. Tim Neumann, a police spokesman. The 13-year-old is the sibling of an older suspect, Neumann said.

Two suspects questioned Friday gave information about the others, police said.

Police said they found more than 80 stolen items in searches of the teens' bedrooms. Three suspects have been arrested and three more identified in the burglaries, which netted mainly electronics such as gaming systems and cameras small enough to fit into backpacks, Neumann said, although a few televisions also were recovered.

Police had warned homeowners about burglars who knocked on front doors and, if they received no answer, quickly went to the backs of home and cut through screens or broke glass to enter. "They moved fast enough that some people said before they had time to come downstairs, the burglars already were breaking in and were scared off when they realized someone was home," Neumann said.

The value of the stolen goods has not been tallied. One suspect was released to his parents, and two others are being held in juvenile detention in Prince William County.

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