US Marshals seek Hopewell suspect on multiple charges

By Curt Autry - bio | email

It's Fugitive Friday in the Call 12 center and officers are standing by to take your information about Central Virginia's most dangerous fugitives until 7 p.m.  Call 345-1212.

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - Tonight's featured fugitive Stephone Dedrick Blanding is wanted by the US Marshals fugitive task force for armed robbery, burglary, and possession of a firearm.

Back in 2005, police say Blanding attempted to rob multiple homes in the Dupont Gardens neighborhood of Hopewell. The first offense happened on the 1800 block of Warren Street.

"The resident there came home to find Mr. Blanding inside of his home. When they confronted each other Mr. Blanding fled the area. Nothing was taken from the home at that time," said detective Richard Wade of the Hopewell Police Department.

Police say Blanding struck that same home again one month later.

"This time he was armed with a handgun and again confronted the resident there. An altercation did take place, fortunately no one was injured, and again Mr. Blanding fled from the area," Wade said.

A couple of months later police believe Blanding struck again. This time entering a young lady's house on Glendale Street.

"Confronted the young woman demanded money from her, she did comply, handed over money to him. He did flee the area without any injuries again thankfully," he said.

Blanding has been keeping a low profile for the last five years making it difficult for authorities to find him. But recently the US Marshals Service has joined the hunt.

"They have come up with information that he is still in the area and we're getting close," Wade said.

Police believe Blanding is in the Petersburg area and are looking for any information that will help bring him to justice.

"He is out and about somewhere. Someone sees him, someone knows him and if they even think it might be him we can certainly take that information, follow that lead up and either eliminate it or make an arrest," Wade said.