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Police use social media to bust ‘teenage burglary ring’

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SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. — Seven teenagers, who range in age from 14 to 16, were arrested and charged in connection to a string of home and car break-ins, Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office Captain Jeffery Pearce said. The crimes spanned from January 2014 to February 2015.

“The burglary suspects were spacing out their time tables and were hitting at different times of the day and night, thus making it appear that the crimes were unrelated,” Spotsylvania Sheriff Roger Harris noted.

Investigators used social media to corroborate evidence and connect the dots that linked the suspects to one another. Police would not say which social media platforms they used in the investigation.

“After months of investigative work, which included 11 search warrants at suspect homes, obtaining evidence from lap top computers, cell phones and developing matches to suspect fingerprints found at some of the scenes, detectives developed the seven suspects,” Pearce said.

The teenagers are accused of breaking into more than 20 cars and homes and stealing cash, credit cards, cellphones, laptop computers, electronic games, clothing and firearms. Several other burglaries, which may be attributable to the teen suspects, are still under active investigation, Pearce said.

Anyone with information about these crimes can call the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-928-5822 or 1-540-582-5822