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BY KEITH EPPS
A Spotsylvania County teenager who repeatedly broke into businesses not far from where he lived pleaded guilty to seven charges Thursday.
Floyd H.F. Sutton, 18, was convicted in Spotsylvania Circuit Court of seven counts of burglary. As part of a plea agreement, seven counts of grand larceny and another burglary charged were dropped.
Sutton will be sentenced Feb. 15 by Judge David Beck.
According to Commonwealth's Attorney Bill Neely, Sutton broke into at least seven businesses in the Courtland Commons and Hilltop area between April 7 and July 12. Convenience stores, pizza and Chinese restaurants and a nail salon were among those hit in the nighttime burglaries, and cigarettes and a total of about $1,000 was taken.
There was also considerable damage done to the businesses, Neely said.
Various bits of surveillance footage showed a young man riding a bicycle wearing a red cap with a bandanna over his face. Sutton was a suspect because he lived in the area and had previously stolen a child's bicycle.
On July 18 after midnight, detectives spotted Sutton riding a child's bicycle wearing a red cap and a bandanna. He was stopped and questioned by Detective Leonard Short and others.
According to the plea agreement, after detectives bluffed Sutton into believing they were able to identify him from surveillance pictures, he waived his Miranda rights and admitted to the burglaries. He also told police he used an orange-handled screwdriver to pry open cash registers.
That screwdriver and other items linking Sutton to the crimes were later recovered from his home.
Sutton also implicated another young man in the thefts, according to the evidence. But court records show that the investigation proved that the other young man, who was on electronic monitoring at the time, was not at any of the burglaries.
Sutton could have accepted a 42-month prison sentence as part of his plea agreement, but instead chose to let Beck decide the sentence. Burglary carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Sutton is represented by attorney Robert Deaderick.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404