Serial burglar used police scanner

Published 9:57 am Saturday, September 11, 2010

WINDSOR—It’s believed a suspected serial burglar used a portable police scanner to stay one step ahead of the cops.

Police, who knew a scanner was stolen during one of the burglaries, changed their course of action. They resorted to using their cell phones while investigating suspicious activity related to a possible burglary instead of the public airwaves, which helped lead to the arrest of Brandon J. Pearson Jr., 19, formerly of Franklin.

“Once we realized a police scanner was one of the stolen items, we relied on our cell phones,” said Windsor Interim Police Chief A.V. Reynolds. “He got comfortable (because he heard nothing on the scanner) in what he was doing.”

Pearson, who over the past year has lived at different locations in Windsor, is believed to have burglarized at least six homes in Windsor and one in Isle of Wight County over the last month, Reynolds said. The chief added that on the night of his arrest, he had tools on him to commit another.

Pearson and three young adult accomplices are believed to have stolen goods and damaged property in Windsor valued at more than $40,000, Reynolds said. The accomplices, who will be named once they are charged, also live in Windsor.

“It’s been a rough month, but we seem to be right on track and wrapping things up,” Reynolds said. “These guys (police officers) have literally been working double-time to ensure (the burglaries were solved).”

Police were led to Pearson on Aug. 28, when they responded to Windsor Court Apartments for shots fired. When police arrived, suspects fled and Pearson was arrested for having a stolen gun from one of the burglaries and other items, Reynolds said.

Pearson is also believed to have fired the shots that prompted police to respond.

The investigation, which has been assisted by the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office, led to the recovery of jewelry valued at more than $50,000 from Goldman Jewelers in the Newmarket Square Shopping Center, Newport News. Some of that jewelry was stolen from homes in Windsor, Reynolds said.

“It matches what we know was stolen,” Reynolds said.

The owner of the jewelry store had no receipts or sales tickets for the jewelry so police seized the items, he said.

Pearson was charged with possessing stolen property, discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, burglary, grand larceny, destruction of private property, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, carrying a concealed weapon, receiving stolen goods, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and underage possession of alcohol.

Windsor police also worked with authorities in Franklin, Newport News and Smithfield, and with the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office.

“This is a big case, regardless of jurisdiction,” Reynolds said. “This shows we are fully capable of things that arise in our jurisdiction, and we will not let up and will make sure crimes are properly investigated.”