FNCASTLE – Botetourt investigators have arrested three Bedford County males in connection with a series of 13 jewelry-specific thefts that began in March, according to Sheriff Ronnie Sprinkle.
Ronnie Dean Richardson, 42, of Moneta; William Earl Jarman, 43, of Bedford, and his son, Caleb Justin Jarman, 20, of Thaxton are the three men.
“Richardson has been charged with possession of heroin, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and possession of marijuana, and tentative charges of grand larceny and breaking and entering have been filed on all three, with multiple indictments anticipated following grand jury action,” the sheriff said. All of them are being held without bond in the Botetourt-Craig Jail in Fincastle and are expected to be arraigned later this week.
A requested Bedford County search warrant executed August 9 at the home of William Jarman, recovered a large quantity of jewelry boxes and jewelry, and a requested Roanoke County search warrant executed August 10 on El Dorado Jewelry on Williamson Road .
Investigators recovered numerous readily identifiable specific articles, including engraved and uniquely designed items, reported stolen in Botetourt County break-ins, Sprinkle said.
Sheriff Sprinkle said that the crimes were tied together early on by the selective nature of the thefts, in which electronic items and other high-value, easily transported items were by-passed and only jewelry boxes and jewelry were taken.
The series of thefts stopped after three months, in June, and resumed with a surge of six incidents in the first six days of August with a change in focus to heavier gold pieces, Sprinkle said.
Two reports by alert Botetourt County citizens, regarding a strange vehicle cruising their neighborhoods, led to identification of a red Jeep Cherokee belonging to Richardson and later located at his residence in Bedford, the sheriff stated.
Sheriff Sprinkle described a close collaborative operation August 8 involving the investigative team and patrol units, coordinated by Lt. John Mandeville, the lead investigator, and Sgt. Jeff Boone, the patrol shift supervisor at the time.
The sheriff said that all arterial road entries to the county were being watched when Richardson’s vehicle was spotted on US 220 by Deputy Kim Wyrick and later stopped on I-81 by Deputy Jody Edwards when it was moving to leave the county. A quantity of jewelry, some documents traceable to one of the break-ins, and the illicit substances were found in the vehicle, Sprinkle said.
The sheriff said that Lt. Mandeville and his investigative team, David Dillow and David Moyer, “are confident that these arrests will clear unsolved break-in cases in several other jurisdictions in the area.”