Police: Burglary Suspect Impersonated Farmville Police Officer
Amherst, VA - Investigators have arrested an Amherst man suspected in a string of home break-ins across Central Virginia.
Kevin Burchardt, 32, was arrested New Year's Eve in the Wintergreen parking lot. He's charged with 12 felonies in Fluvanna County.
Law enforcement officers from Appomattox, Prince Edward, Nottoway, Buckingham and Albemarle Counties met last month after a series of home break-ins all involving a green SUV.
Amherst police officers were back at Kevin Burchardt's home Wednesday, where they executed a search warrant and two others at storage units belonging to him.
It's where investigators say they discovered stolen guns, jewelry and electronics - so many items they say it could be several weeks before they're done cataloging it all.
Law enforcement officers say eyewitnesses described Burchardt's green jeep, similar clothing and his memorable appearance: He's 6'8"tall.
All of it helped police link him to thefts in as many as six different counties, including one on November 21, 2012 near the Appomattox-Prince Edward County line.
Jeremy Smith says after Burchardt stopped at his Aunt's house, he broke into his own home on Wheelers Spring Road and stole a 12-gauge shotgun and jewelry worth an estimated $10,000.
Sheriff Barry Letterman says he is a suspect in that case, but not yet charged.
The Smiths have added a deadbolt to their basement door and waited for his arrest which finally came.
"It was a little bit of a relief. We're hoping that we'll be able to get our stuff back," said Smith.
The Farmville police chief said he's also aware Burchardt may have been posing as a Farmville police officer and be in possession of a police badge, but he doesn't know how he got it. He says Burchardt was never employed by his department and no badges have been reported missing in the last three years.
Anyone looking to claim stolen items connected to this case should call their local law enforcement agency directly.