This Week in Crime: Construction Sites Targeted in Series of Thefts

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ThisWeekInCrimeIn the past week, James City County Police Department has asked the public’s help finding suspects in a string of thefts from construction sites; a Target employee has been charged with embezzlement; and Busch Gardens surveillance footage helped identify a suspect in thefts from unlocked lockers.

Check out all the crime stories that did not make the headlines this week and others you may have missed below.

James City County

Police Ask Public’s Help to Find Suspects in Thefts from Construction Sites

James City County Police are investigating a series of incidents at construction sites throughout the county.

Police believe multiple suspects – or one suspect who is spending “a lengthy amount of time” on site – are taking construction materials, both items already installed and not yet installed.

Items stolen include tools, copper wiring, copper tubing, surveying equipment and appliances.

Sites with several homes under construction seem to be targeted, and the thefts are likely occurring in the evening or late-night hours, according to a post on James City County’s Facebook page.

Investigators ask anyone who notices suspicious activity on a construction site to contact police at 757-253-1800. For those who might have information on the person or people involved in the thefts, call the Crime Line at 888-LOCK-U-UP to submit an anonymous tip.

If a caller’s information leads to an arrest, that person may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Target Employee Charged with Embezzlement

A man is accused of taking more than $755 from cash registers he manned as an employee of the Target on Monticello Avenue.

Matthew Durkin, 37, of Barhamsville, is charged with felony embezzlement after he admitted to James City County Police investigators he took money from the register.

Target management filed a report with the police July 10 after Durkin had several shortages from his register recently.

He is accused of taking more than $755 between June 26 and July 3.

Man Faces Strangulation Charge

A 23-year-old James City County man is charged with one count each of felony strangulation and misdemeanor domestic assault after engaging in a physical altercation with a woman he knows.

Dezmond D. Canaday is accused of assaulting a woman when she reached for his phone during a verbal argument on the 3800 block of Staffordshire Lane around 5:15 p.m. June 24.

The woman reported to police Canaday grabbed her arm and put it behind her back, then she scratched him and threw a glass at him. She said he followed her when she walked away, then pinned her against a wall and began choking her. He is also accused of attempting to push her out a window, which caused damage to the window’s screen.

The report indicates he also attempted to throw himself on the car hood of the woman’s friend, whom she called to pick her up at some point during the argument.

The woman had bruising to her arm, redness around her neck and a scratch to her face, according to the police report.

Arrest Made in Connection with Busch Gardens Larcenies

A man known to Busch Gardens security has been arrested for stealing items from unlocked lockers at the amusement park, according to a police report.

Jesse Doyle, a 20-year-old man from Hayes, has been charged with four counts of grand larceny and two counts of credit card theft – all felonies.

Three park guests reported June 21 that book bags with cell phones, credit cards and other items were stolen from unlocked lockers. Surveillance footage showed Doyle taking the items, along with the belongings of a fourth guest who had not reported a theft, the police report states.

Man Steals Checks from Acquaintance

A James City County man admitted to police he stole and forged two checks from an acquaintance, according to a police report.

Michael Aponte, 49, is charged with two counts of forgery, two counts of uttering and one count each of petit larceny and grand larceny – all felonies.

On June 29, a man reported to police he believed Aponte stole two checks, cashed one and attempted to cash the other.

Though one check for $3,000 had been cashed March 2, the man did not report the incident to police. He called police after his bank informed him of a second check for $3,000 that was attempted to be cashed June 28.

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