Police arrested a Farmville man for a Jan. 25 burglary attempt on Halfway Road in Fauquier County, but his accomplice – and the area’s serial burglars, which could include Loudoun County – remain at large.
Richmond police arrested Damian Scott Francis Falero, 29, of Farmville, Jan. 27 after Fauquier deputies issued a warrant for his arrest after the burglary attempt.
At 2:30 p.m. Jan. 25, a resident in the 1700 block of Halfway Road noticed an unfamiliar, green Ford Taurus in his driveway, said Lt. James Hartman, public information officer for the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office.
As the resident approached the Taurus, a man in a tan jacket and carrying a backpack came out of the front door of the resident’s home.
The resident tried to stop the man, but the man jumped into the driver’s seat and took off south on Halfway Road, headed in the direction of The Plains, Hartman said.
The resident called 9-1-1. While he was on the phone with a dispatcher, he saw another man come around behind his house, then run across the yard in the direction of Boxwood Winery.
Fauquier and Loudoun sheriff’s deputies, Virginia state troopers and Middleburg police, who have all saturated the region in response to a rash of recent burglaries, answered the call.
Authorities tracked both fleeing men with bloodhounds, Hartman said.
One bloodhound crossed Halfway Road, leading to a barn in which police found several men matching the description of one of the suspects.
The multiple scents confused the bloodhound, Hartman said. Police detained the workers, but released them after it became apparent they were not involved in the burglary attempt.
Police soon found the Taurus, abandoned behind a building on Sullivans Mill Road.
The other bloodhound’s scent led police to Middleburg. A Loudoun detective stationed on Federal Street in the southern part of the town saw Falero, but he eluded the detective.
At some point, Hartman said, either Falero or his accomplice stole a 2011 Chrysler van from Boxwood Winery and drove out of the area.
Deputies entered the van’s tags in the stolen vehicle database of the National Crime Information Center, Hartman said. Police dispatchers throughout the nation can access the NCIC database.
On Jan. 27, Hartman said, Richmond police answered a call for service at a motel in Richmond. While they were on scene, they started running the license plates of vehicles parked in the lot.
One of those vehicles was the Chrysler van.
Richmond police found and arrested Falero in the motel. He is currently in custody in the city’s jail, Hartman said, and Fauquier deputies have traveled to Richmond to continue their investigation.
“It appears that Falero and his accomplice have no [personal] connection to northern Fauquier, Loudoun or Middleburg,” Hartman said.
Investigators know why Falero and his accomplice came to the area, but do not want to release those details early into the investigation, Hartman said.
Over the weekend, sheriff’s deputies used Fauquier County’s CodeRED system,, an opt-in emergency alert service, to put out a description of Falero, warning residents to treat him as armed and dangerous.
They used the phone alerts a second time, letting CodeRED users know when Falero was safely in custody.
CodeRED saw use this summer mainly for storm warnings and alerts about road closures. Authorities used it to send out Falero because of the concern in the northern Fauquier community about the burglaries – and because Falero was considered armed, Hartman said.
Authorities are still investigating the burglary and searching for Falero’s accomplice. Hartman urged northern Fauquier residents to keep their doors locked, to turn on their security systems when they leave, and to report suspicious activity immediately to the sheriff’s office.
“Now that this seems to be coming to a close, don’t let your guard down,” Hartman said.
Loudoun County investigators are trying to determine if Falero is connected to a series of burglaries that started in November in western Loudoun, according to Liz Mills, spokesperson for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
Since November there have been five burglaries that detectives believe are connected that netted the thieves thousands in cash, jewelry and silver, according to Mills.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has scheduled a meeting for residents to discuss the burglaries and burglary prevention for 7 p.m. Jan. 31 Banneker Elementary School in Middleburg.
– Loudoun Times-Mirror Staff Writer Crystal Owens contributed to this report.
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