Accused porch thief arrested after at least 19 reported cases in Norfolk

Posted at 4:36 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-02 06:11:13-04

NORFOLK, Va. - A man accused of stealing items off porches in Norfolk has been arrested.

Anthony Strickland was arrested April 11 and is being held without bond.

Debra Grabow, another suspect related to the case was already in jail on drug charges. News 3 obtained search warrants saying the thefts are part of a scheme.

The thefts started in February and one was captured on surveillance video February 6 around 9:30 p.m.

It showed a couple, Strickland and Grabow, getting out of a white Nissan sedan and steal assorted lawn ornaments from Otzi's Tattoo Agency. Owners Athena and Sean spoke to News 3 about the thefts, sharing how a friend of theirs was able to get the license plate number for the Nissan.

According to a search warrant, Grabow admitted to stealing the lawn ornaments from Otzi's Tattoo Agency with Strickland and said he is known to steal and be a heroin addict. Grabow also said in the search warrant Strickland lives in Smithfield and she told him if he wanted to sell antiques, including flower pots, he should try selling them to her friend at Antique Design Center on 21st Street in Ghent.

Since February, there have been at least 19 reported cases where items have been stolen off porches during late hours of the night and early morning hours, according to the search warrant. Currently, investigators with Norfolk Police have two videos matching Strickland's description.

Search warrants said the detective investigating the case believes based on the patterns of outgoing and incoming calls, Strickland is calling locations to sell the items or communicate with a co-conspirator during the crime.