Fairfax County police said yesterday they have arrested two men and are seeking a third suspect in connection with an investigation into approximately 250 residential burglaries in Northern Virginia.
The men were linked by police to many of the burglaries after the first suspect arrested, Todd Crist, 19, of Springfield, drove with police around several neighborhoods and pinpointed houses he said he or his accomplices burglarized, said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jack Robbins.
Police Chief Carroll D. Buracker credited the initial lead in the case to the county's two-year-old precious-metals ordinance, which requires pawnbrokers and other dealers to report all precious metals and gem purchases to police.
Crist was first identified as a suspect in early March when he sold silver flatware, allegedly taken in a Fairfax County burglary, to a precious-metals dealer in the county. Although Crist allegedly sold the items under an assumed name, police said they eventually identified him and traced him to his girlfriend's home in Florida.
He was arrested by sheriff's deputies in Florida while pawning several items in a shop, police said.
Police said they believe the men allegedly burglarized Northern Virginia homes on an almost daily basis during a five-month period ending in April. According to police, the suspect told them the men burglarized as many as eight different houses on one day in April. About $100,000 in stolen property has been recovered from several of the burglaries, police said.
"They took a little bit of everything," said investigator Oscar Butler. "From piggy banks to sterling silver."
According to court records, Crist has been charged with six counts of burglary.
Sung Wook Kim, 19, also from the Springfield area, has been charged with seven counts of burglary and one count of possession of cocaine, police said.
Crist was returned to Fairfax County on April 23 and Kim was taken into custody two weeks later, police said.
Announcement of the arrests was delayed until yesterday while the investigation was continuing, police said.
Police said they have been unable to locate the third suspect, a 25-year-old Rhode Island man. That man, whom police have not identified publicly, has been charged with three counts of burglary, three counts of grand larceny and one federal charge of unlawful interstate flight to avoid prosecution, police said.
Investigators said they believe the three men are allegedly responsible for 103 burglaries in Fairfax, based on the information from the suspect and from identification of items that had been reported stolen. Most of those break ins occurred in the Mason and Franconia areas, police said.
Police are still investigating 100 to 150 additional break ins in other Northern Virginia areas including Arlington and Loudoun counties, Dale City, Alexandria and Fairfax City.
Crist's attorney, Mark Yeager, said he believes police have overestimated the number of burglaries in which Crist may be implicated.
A lawyer for Kim could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Police said most of the stolen property allegedly was sold in Rhode Island, New York and Florida.