CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – A suspected serial burglar is now behind bars. 33-year-old Richard Jenkins is accused of breaking into multiple homes and stealing items totaling nearly half a million dollars.
Jenkins is suspected of committing more than 25 burglaries in Chesterfield. He's also believed to be linked to several burglaries in Henrico and Richmond. During some the break-ins, the homeowners were at home.
Police say Jenkins burglarized at least six homes in Chesterfield -- all located in the northern end of the county -- including several homes in Brandermill. It's where Mary Ann Brunner and her daughter Kellie live.
"It really shocked us - I mean really shocked us," said Mary Ann.
The crimes happened in broad daylight and span from January through March. Police say Jenkins broke into each home by forcing his way through the back door. He'd use his shoulders to push the door open, if that didn't work he'd kick-in the door.
Jenkins was well dressed while committing the crimes, say investigators.
"Nothing like this has happened so close to home -- it's like unreal," said Kellie Brunner.
Once inside the homes, police say Jenkins would take watches, rings, and necklaces.
"And we believe that was because it was easy to conceal -- something he could take out -- not like a 46 inch TV, he would walk out of homes, walk down streets and wouldn't stand out," said Lt. Thomas McCullough, with Chesterfield County Police.
Jenkins was caught in the Brandermill neighborhood on Shadow Ridge Road.
"He was walking and there were plain clothed cops and they saw him and started chasing him," said Kellie. "There are all these cop cars. They went up on a bike path -- that's how it went down. They were taking jewelry out of his pockets."
Neighbors like Dan Colpo are relieved.
"I'm just glad they got him," said Colpo.
Losses from the thefts in Chesterfield total $400,000. Police say Jenkins would pawn the stolen items. Jenkins is behind bars tonight he's scheduled to appear in court in May.