RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Richmond Police believe one person could be responsible for a spike in home larcenies on the South side and now that person is behind bars. David White faces three felony charges including grand larceny, destruction of private property and possession of burglary tools, along with one count of misdemeanor trespassing, after police say they caught him fleeing a crime scene.
Right now, White is only facing charges for the theft of one home. Police are investigating whether or not he's connected to other incidents. One thing they know for sure is that since White's arrest, it's been quiet on Dinwiddie Avenue.
Police said that new found calm is thanks to a concerned neighbor. The man, who didn't want to reveal his identity was walking past a yard where he witnessed some odd sights and sounds.
"He was working on the unit," he explained. "I couldn't tell whether he was repairing it or tearing it apart."
It didn't feel right so he called police. He says Officers Smith, Gail and Wade arrived in five minutes.
"Percy went that way," Officer Chloe Gail described. "I went around to the rear and we were waiting."
Officer Percy Smith said, "He (White) had nowhere to go."
Police said suspect David White was carrying pliers and metal shears. When they returned to the backyard crime scene, they found a mangled mess of metal that used to be an air conditioning unit.
Police think White was removing the copper. Everything in the unit would probably get him about $50 on the street but the damage goes far beyond that. The new unit the owners had to purchase cost them about $5200.
Smith looks at the crimes as if they were happening to him.
"Both of us grew up in the city so our obligations to the city are very deep," Smith said. "So anytime stuff like this happens it affects us personally."
Gail said White told her he did it because he was a couple dollars short and wanted to buy a six pack and a pint of liquor.
With the spike seemingly over, the Good Samaritan can't help but be thankful.
"It was discouraging because you know, it could have been me," he said.
There is a scrap metal shop up the road. Police suspect White was going to sell the copper there.