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County man charged with felonies while serving suspended sentence

A man arrested and accused of an eight-day crime spree of burglaries, arson and attempted armed robbery was free while serving a suspended sentence for three felony convictions in Albemarle County Circuit Court, records show.

Joseph Daniel Key, 24, of Albemarle County, is currently in Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail on charges related to the Sept. 4 burglary, larceny and arson of Summers Market at the corner of West Rio Road and Earlysville Road.

He is also charged with the Sept. 9 burglaries of Kirt’s Homemade Ice Cream and Chung’s Barber Shop in Albemarle Square Shopping Center and the Sept. 11 armed robbery of a gas station in Charlottesville.

Key was convicted on Feb. 27 of obtaining money under false pretenses and two counts of grand theft auto from a July 12, 2019 incident, according to Albemarle County Circuit Court records. He was sentenced on June 24 to two years with both years suspended.

He was also convicted Feb. 27 of credit card larceny but no sentence has been recorded in the court records.

All of the convictions are felonies.

Albemarle County police said in a release that it was the gas station robbery, thwarted by a citizen’s arrest, that led to the charges against Key.

“An investigation was conducted by the Charlottesville Police Department after an attempted robbery with a knife occurred, in which a citizen detained the suspected robber,” county police officials said in a prepared statement.

“A continued joint investigation confirmed that [the man was a suspect in several felonies, including the incident at Summers Market, in which [someone] broke into the store and stole multiple items before setting a fire in the building,” county police said.

Key is charged with breaking and entering, grand larceny and arson in connection with the Summers Market incident; breaking and entering and destruction of property in the Kirk’s Homemade Ice Cream incident; breaking and entering, larceny and destruction of property in the Chung’s Barber Shop incident; and armed robbery in Charlottesville.


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