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3 plead in theft of state stickers
Three plead guilty in Stafford inspection sticker heist

Date published: 2/7/2013

BY KEITH EPPS

THE FREE LANCE-STAR

Three Richmond men who were caught shortly after they stole numerous state inspection stickers from a Stafford County business pleaded guilty Wednesday to multiple charges.

The three broke into Herman's Automotive off U.S. 1 near Stafford Courthouse late Aug. 26 and took money and the stickers, according to the evidence presented by Commonwealth's Attorney Eric Olsen. They were arrested minutes later at a convenience store on U.S. 17 in southern Stafford.

An alert neighbor heard noise and saw two men running from the business carrying a box, Olsen said. The neighbor was aware of an earlier burglary in the area. She called the Sheriff's Office and gave police a description of the getaway vehicle and a partial license number. Deputy Mark Coffman spotted the vehicle heading south on U.S. 1 and deputies pulled in behind it when it stopped at the 7-Eleven gas pumps near Arby's on U.S. 17.

The inspection stickers were found in the trunk of the car; stolen money was also recovered.

Jay Quentin Wood Jr., 22, Curtis Lee Brown Jr., 21, and Corey Benjamin Jones, 24, were all convicted of burglary and grand larceny. Several other charges were dropped. All three will be sentenced April 17 in Stafford Circuit Court.

Brown, the only one of the three who was released on bond after the arrests, was convicted in Henrico County Tuesday for breaking into a gas station there and stealing inspection stickers. That burglary occurred Sept. 17, less than two weeks after Brown was bonded out of Rappahannock Regional Jail on the Stafford charges.

Jones, the getaway driver, was already free on bond at the time of the Stafford break-in. He had been arrested in Richmond on charges of possession of heroin with the intent to distribute and violating probation. He pleaded guilty to those charges in December and was supposed to be sentenced in Richmond today, court records state.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404
Email: kepps@freelancestar.com