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Man charged with felony vandalism
Culpeper charges shoplifting suspect with vandalizing recycling business as well

Date published: 1/5/2013

BY DONNIE JOHNSTON

A shoplifting arrest also led to charges being filed in a New Year's Eve vandalism case in Culpeper.

Thursday night, town police charged 36-year-old Christopher Wayne Johnson with felony vandalism, misdemeanor trespassing and petty larceny in two incidents at Wise Services and Recycling in the 700 block of Commerce Street.

According to town public information officer Wally Bunker, Johnson is accused of shoplifting items from a North Main Street 7-Eleven store on each of the first three days of the new year.

Bunker said when officers arrived at his apartment about 3 a.m. on Thursday morning with a search warrant, Johnson barricaded himself inside and was Tasered after he refused to drop several knives.

Following the arrest, which was aided by sheriff's deputies, town police Investigator Richard Brooking noticed several items in Johnson's apartment that led to the vandalism charges, Bunker said.

Twice on New Year's Eve, someone cut holes in a chain-link fence and entered the reclamation yard near Mountain Run. The first time, around 1 a.m., the intruder cut numerous telephone, electric and security wires and cables, causing thousands of dollars in damage, according to company owner Jesse Wise.

Around 10 p.m. the same night, someone cut another hole in the fence, but Wise was waiting. The owner alerted police, but the suspect fled before officers arrived.

Wise said damage to computers and scales was so extensive that he could not open Wednesday.

In addition to the charges in the reclamation yard case, Johnson is also charged with three misdemeanor counts of shoplifting in the 7-Eleven case and with resisting arrest at his apartment.

Donnie Johnston:
Email: djohnston@freelancestar.com