After a week of staking out four northwest Washington schools, District of Columbia police have charged a northwest Washington area man with 13 counts of burglary, police said.

Second District Police Sgt. William Rollins said the suspect, Mario Lewis, 20, of 217 P St. NW, was arrested last Wednesday inside the Hearst Elementary School on Tilden Street.

Rollins said both public and private schools in th northwest sector of the city have been plagued by more than 40 burglaries since the first of the year.

"The mode of operation was always pretty much the same," Rollins said. "Usually a window was broken for access and burned matches were strewn about the school floors", Rollins said.

"Sometimes food would be cooked in the cafeteria, or popcorn popped," Rollins said. He also said some of the schools have been ransacked.

The burglaries have been confined to cash in various offices and some vending machines, Rollins said.

"Since Christmas we were having one or two burglaries a week, sometimes three," Rollins said.

The burglaries "didn't" have anything to do with the teachers' strike," which ended last week, he said.

Rollins said Lewis, who said he was unemployed, is being held through Monday without bond at the request of the career criminal office of the D.C. police department, which is handling this case.