POWHATAN, Va. -- Deputies say it's still a good idea to lock your doors, but Powhatan residents can rest a little more easily knowing a man that police say was just walking in to people's homes has been captured.
Out in the open, along a stretch of Anderson Highway in Powhatan County, deputies said a man was checking doors. If the door was unlocked, he'd walk inside looking to steal prescription drugs and money, police said.
"I don't really pay attention to who's driving around and stuff because we all basically know each other,” said a woman living in one home nearby. She said the man came inside their home Sunday and asked if they had "medical marijuana."
She said once he saw their shotgun, he quickly made an exit.
"I think it's bad news showing up in people’s houses,” she said. “He's gonna’ come in to the wrong person’s house and it's not going to be good results."
Deputies said they stopped him before he struck again. Monday night investigators caught up with the suspect who was driving a white Ford Explorer.
Jarett Cottle, 19, was arrested and charged with eight felonies, including breaking and entering, larceny and possession of a dangerous drug.
Deputies said he hit three houses on Anderson Highway and another on Jude’s Ferry in the Chestnut Oak neighborhood. They said three homes were occupied at the time of the crimes, including one where a child spotted an intruder.
Jeriann Douglas said it's time for residents to go back to the basics. "It’s pretty crazy,” said Douglas. “I mean, obviously lock your doors because anyone can walk in."
Powhatan deputies said they would release Cottle’s mug shot Tuesday morning.
He has five previous charges dating back to last April and June, according to online records.
He was previously charged with petit larceny, obtaining money through false pretenses, and stolen property with intent to sell.