Citizen response to police alert nets robbery suspect in Luray
Page News and CourierLURAY — An alert citizen responding to a “Code Red Alert” in December led Luray police to a suspect they believe may be responsible for more than two dozen vehicle break-ins and thefts, including an armed robbery at the Cardinal Inn in late November.
According to Luray Police Chief Page Campbell, Shaun Michael Schweigert, 21, of 101 Madison Lane, Luray, was arrested on Dec. 3, 2012, after a High Street resident called at 11:15 a.m. to report a suspicious person around his neighbor’s vehicle. In a press release, Campbell stated that the Schweigert was located “at an apartment building a short time later” and allegedly admitted to a theft from the vehicle.
Campbell said the suspect also allegedly admitted to “numerous other previous vehicle entries and thefts” that occurred in November.
It was those thefts that prompted 1,052 “Code Red Alert” calls to be sent out on Nov. 21 to residents and businesses throughout Luray to report anyone behaving suspiciously around parked vehicles.
Schweigert was initially arrested on a probation violation and a court capias, and held without bond pending the investigation of the break-ins. He has since been charged with “approximately two dozen felony and misdemeanor charges relating to break-ins, thefts and property damages,” Campbell said in the press release.
Schwiegert is also the prime suspect in an armed robbery that occurred on Nov. 24 at the Cardinal Inn, although he has not yet been charged in that incident. But Campbell said the results of DNA evidence collected at the scene allegedly ties the suspect to that robbery.
Campbell said he is conferring with the Commonwealth’s Attorney to determine whether Schweigert will be charged now or when the grand jury meets later this month to consider indictments.
According to Campbell’s press release, a lone gunman entered the lobby of the Cardinal Inn at about 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 24, pointed a “small frame handgun” at the desk clerk and demanded money. After receiving and undisclosed amount of cash, the gunman left the business on foot.
Campbell said the handgun allegedly used in the robbery has been recovered.