Portsmouth man accused of breaking into homes in Churchland

Posted at 11:47 PM, Mar 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-26 23:47:51-04

Portsmouth, Va. - A man is accused of breaking into at least two Portsmouth homes earlier this year and taking off with jewelry and electronics.

Police have identified him as 26-year-old Donta Copeland.

The burglaries happened in the Churchland section of the city on Gateway Drive in February.

There have been more than a dozen in that area since December.

Police say they were able to connect Copeland to two of those cases after finding some of the items that were stolen in area pawn shops.

“The things that were taken from the home were jewelry and electronics, which were easy for us to pinpoint when we went to the pawn shops because the victims had serial numbers and they had photographs and they knew what their jewelry looked like,” says Detective Misty Holley with the Portsmouth Police Department.

Police have obtained eight felony warrants for Copeland including burglary, grand larceny, obtaining money under false pretenses and larceny with the intent to sell.

He's also wanted for a probation violation on an unrelated case.

They're having a hard time finding him though.

And police say until then, there's a chance he could strike again.

“Anytime someone breaks into a house or is involved in any type of activity such as a burglary, as long as they are not picked up and under lock and key with our sheriff’s department, absolutely there is the possibility he could break into another house,” says Holley.

Police say Copeland lives on Douglas Avenue and is often seen in the Truxton area of the city on Thorne Avenue.

If you see him, police ask that you call the CrimeLine at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP immediately so they can get officers there right away.