Suffolk man charged in burglary

Published 10:05 pm Monday, July 29, 2013

A Suffolk man was arrested in Portsmouth this weekend following the burglary of a church in the 900 block of Cherokee Road.

John Fitzgerald Smith, 49, was charged with burglary and grand larceny after “detectives found evidence linking Mr. Smith to the crime,” according to a press release from the Portsmouth Police Department.

John F. Smith

John F. Smith

A citizen had reported suspicious activity at West Park Church of Christ at 11:07 p.m. Saturday, and two male suspects were seen loading lawn equipment onto a truck.


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Police officers responding to the scene found Smith hiding in the area and later learned the second suspect had left the area in a vehicle before they had arrived, according to police reports.

Several items, including a riding lawn mower, a gas-powered string trimmer and two gas-powered leaf blowers, valued at more than $500, were missing from the church.

Detectives are asking anyone who may have information on the items taken from the church, or about the other suspect, to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP. You may also text “Portsmouth,” plus your tip, to 274637. Your information could lead to a cash reward of up to $1,000.