Case against burglary suspect continues
An omnibus hearing will take place next Thursday for a 28-year-old Alexandria man who is charged with committing a string of residential burglaries.
Cody Eugene Pedersen faces 20 counts involving burglary, criminal damage to property, child endangerment and contributing to the delinquency of a child.
The charges stem from five burglaries that were reported in the North Darling and Scenic Heights area in northeast Alexandria on March 1 and February 17.
The child endangerment charges stem from the accusation that Pedersen brought his girlfriend's 10-year-old son along with him while he broke into the homes.
Here are more details about the case, according to the criminal complaint:
The first incident was reported at the site of a home that was being built on Cherry Lane Court NE, Alexandria on February 17.
A burglar gained entry into the almost-finished home by breaking a basement window.
Extensive damage was reported. Black paint was sprayed onto a window and walls, several cabinet doors were ripped off their hinges, holes were found in walls, along with other damage.
The damage was estimated at $5,500.
Officers investigated the outside of the home and located two sets of shoe prints. One was smaller and looked like it had been made by a child.
On March 1, police officers were called to a residential burglary on South Darling Drive NW, Alexandria at about 8:20 p.m.
They found items from a refrigerator on the floor, a dishwater door that had been damaged, items strewn all over the living room and other damage exceeding $1,000.
Officers discovered a window had been pried open. They also found a broken jewelry box in a bedroom that appeared to have been gone through.
While investigating the scene, officers found two sets of footprints in the freshly fallen snow. One of the prints appeared to belong to a child.
Several homeowners in the area reported seeing a man and a child walking through yards shortly before officers arrived.
Officers followed the footprints, which wound through different residential areas, until they led to Brown's Point Road, where they could not be followed any further.
Because officers had set up a perimeter around the area and no suspects were seen leaving the area, police suspected that the suspects lived somewhere on Browns Point Road.
While following the footprints, officers learned that two other homes on Darling Drive had been burglarized.
At one of the homes, the suspect broke a window and cut through a screen. A dishwasher, more windows and light bulbs were damaged and laundry detergent was dumped on the basement floor. A bottle of vodka was found on the kitchen floor with a trace amount of liquid inside.
At the other home, a door was pushed in and several items were damaged - a pair of eyeglasses, mattress, lamp, curio cabinet, water glasses, stereo speaker, coffee pot and a door lock.
An attempted break-in was reported at another home. The suspect tried to use some sort of object to pry into a doorway. Other damage was discovered on the outside of the home but no entry was gained.
The following day, officers returned to the South Darling Drive area and found a small boy's shoe along the trail of footprints.
Two days after the South Darling Drive burglaries, police received information that Pedersen was responsible for the break-ins.
Pedersen allegedly told family members that he had messed up and also made suicidal comments.
In an interview with police, the mother of the 10-year-old said she had just found out that Pedersen, whom she was living with on Brown's Point Road, took her son with him on the burglaries. She said her son was upset about it because Pedersen told him they were going for a walk and then would end up breaking into homes.
The mother confirmed that the shoe found along the trail belonged to her son, according to the complaint. Police also matched Pedersen's shoes to the footprints found in the snow.
Pedersen was taken into custody on March 9. His bail, with conditions, was set at $600,000 bond or $60,000 in cash. He remains in custody at the Douglas County Jail.