CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)– A robbery suspect has “fallen on hard times” after he tumbled off a small cliff and into a ravine running away from law enforcement after stealing catalytic converters, according to the Chesterfield Police Department.
The department said the man they caught was L. Branch. Police said there is another suspect, who remains unnamed but has been identified.
The two were stealing catalytic converters from vehicles in the Boulders area of Midlothian at 10:30 p.m. on Sunday. The departments said this is located in the Falling Creek Division.
The department said that their own Captain Tim Kehoe, who is a corporately sponsored Ironman triathlete, was working at his off-duty job in the area.
“Yeah, you can probably see where this is headed. South. Fast. Anyway,” CPD said in its Facebook post.
Kehoe noticed a suspicious car in the parking lot and decided to check it out when he heard the sound of an electric saw, according to police. The off-duty officer knows that tool is often used to steal catalytic converters, as there have been a lot stolen in the county this year.
“Tim’s ‘spidey senses’ began to tingle and he called for back-up. Backup came. A lot of it,” the department said.
They said this interrupted the two suspects’ “business plan.”
“The free-market is a dog-eat-dog world and successful entrepreneurs must be able to navigate a shifting operational environment,” CPD said. “Hat the game, not the players, folks. Sorry…back to the story…”
Police said they noticed the two suspects running to a wood line near Chippenham Parkway. It was then that Officer Krant and his K9, Samson, started to search for the dubious duo.
While looking for the two, they found Branch at the bottom of a deep ravine that was about a 30-foot drop. The other suspect successfully ran away, leaving Branch behind.
“Has he no shame? No sense of loyalty? Loyalty is a two-way street, right?” the Facebook post said.
The Chesterfield County Fire and EMS’ technical rescue unit responded to the scene showed up to help recover Branch from the ravine.
Police said Branch got some superficial injures from the fall and was treated at a local hospital. The department said after he was medically cleared, Branch was housed at “Uncle Karl’s Bed & Breakfast,” referring to Chesterfield Sheriff Karl Leonard’s jail.
Branch is currently being held without bond. He has been charged with tampering with a vehicle, obstruction of justice, possession of burglary tools and grand larceny.
CPD warned potential criminals that they will likely catch them, and every member of the department is a crime fighter.
They also had a message for the suspect who escaped.
“Consider securing legal counsel and turn yourself in on your timetable if, say, you have left your partner behind and you know it’s only a matter of time before we snatch you up on our terms,” the department said. “Convenience matters despite your poor life choices.”