Surry, IOW burglaries could be related

Published 9:27 am Friday, January 14, 2011

SURRY—The daytime burglaries plaguing Isle of Wight County have stopped for now, but neighboring Surry County is dealing with its share of break-ins.

And the same things are being stolen — guns, jewelry and electronics.

Surry County Sheriff Alvin Clayton said he suspects the thieves could be the same people involved with the Isle of Wight break-ins. Between the end of October and early December, 18 burglaries were reported in that county. Items valued at more $10,000 have been stolen, said Capt. Paul Phelps with the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office.

“We’ve had quite a few, 16 or 17,” Clayton said. “The majority have been in the daytime. I would go out on a limb and guess that these folks are connected. They’ve been hit hard and we’ve been hit hard.”

Phelps said he also believes the burglaries in both counties may be connected.

“We haven’t sat down and talked to them (Surry officials) yet,” Phelps said. “The lead investigator will take care of that. Surry County is a very rural area. With the law enforcement, we have few far and between.”

The burglaries were concentrated in the middle section of Isle of Wight County, around Windsor, Ivor and Zuni, he said.

The thieves knocked on doors where it appeared no one was home, Phelps said. If no one answered, they broke in. If someone did answer, the suspects asked the resident a strange question, like directions.

He said he believes there are at least two males involved.

“Some of our victims have seen more than one (person) trying to break into a few of the houses,” Phelps said.

The suspects may be driving a dark-colored, four-door car with tinted windows and a rear spoiler. They also may be driving a sport utility vehicle, he said.

In Surry County, the burglaries have been for the most part in the eastern and northern end of the county, Clayton said.

“A few weeks ago, on the west end of the county, we had somebody at 4 or 5 in the morning, banging on the door,” he said. “When he (the resident) got up, the folks ran. Whether that is connected or someone broke down, I don’t know.”