Two young Stafford men have been charged in connection with a series of thefts from vehicles last month in a subdivision in the northern part of the county, court records show.

Matthew James Estonina, 20, and Dylan Dakota Whetzel, 18, are both charged with conspiracy and multiple counts of grand larceny and tampering with vehicles.

According to an affidavit for a search filed this week in Stafford Circuit Court, at least 13 vehicles parked in the Woodstream subdivision were entered by thieves between March 17 and 28. Among the items stolen were a loaded Glock 9mm handgun, an Apple MacBook Pro, Dr. Dre Beats headphones, Apple earbuds, a vaping device, handcuffs and about $100, including assorted coins.

Stafford Master Detective M.E. Steininger wrote that two males were seen trying to break into a vehicle in front of 33 Rapidan Drive. They were wearing dark clothing and had their faces covered by hoods or masks.

According to the affidavit, a confidential informant recently told investigators that Estonina was overheard bragging about the thefts. The informant alleged that Estonina had been seen wearing the Beats headphones and had taken the coins to the Walmart on Garrisonville Road to exchange them for paper currency.

Steininger wrote that the informant also told investigators he had seen Whetzel holding a black handgun in social media postings. The informant told authorities that the gun and other stolen items were at 36 Anita Drive, where both suspects live.

Investigators searched the home Monday and arrested Estonina and Whetzel the same day. Both were still in the Rappahannock Regional Jail as of Friday.

Preliminary hearings for both men are scheduled for May 10 in Stafford General District Court.

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Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

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