Two men pleaded guilty Monday to their roles in a rash of burglaries on and around the University of Lynchburg campus.
Matthew Lucas Creasy, 20, of Madison Heights, and Shyheim Monte Hamlett, 21, of Lynchburg, were arrested Feb. 14 on a list of burglary, larceny and other related charges.
Hamlett was the passenger in a stolen vehicle pulled over by officers with the Lynchburg Police Department after a chase along U.S. 460 into Campbell County, according to a news release from LPD at the time. Shawn Rose, 19, of Lynchburg, was driving the car; he faces similar charges.
Hamlett was sentenced Monday, but Creasy will be sentenced later after a report on him has been completed. Rose has a hearing scheduled in Lynchburg General District Court next week.
Reports of stolen items in the University of Lynchburg area started Feb. 2, when a Ford Explorer was reported missing from the Oakley Avenue area, according to a proffer of evidence Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison read at both men’s hearings Monday. Officers found that vehicle abandoned on Westover Boulevard on Feb. 13.
The following day, multiple people reported a laptop, camera or other electronic items were missing from cars on the University of Lynchburg campus and homes around the university on Vernon Street, Harrison said. One person reported their car keys and car had been stolen.
An officer saw Creasy — who was a trespassing suspect — near the campus later that day, Harrison said. He was wearing a backpack that matched the description of one that recently had been stolen, and when the officer searched the backpack, he found multiple items that had been reported stolen.
Creasy told officers he was the lookout while Hamlett and Rose broke into houses, and that the three had stolen items out of cars, according to Harrison. He also said the three stole a Subaru — one that Hamlett and Rose still were driving around.
After officers spotted the Subaru on Feb. 14 and chased it down, Harrison said Hamlett admitted to the break-ins, as well as stealing the Ford Escape earlier that month.
In exchange for Creasy and Hamlett’s guilty pleas, Harrison dropped about half of each man’s charges. Hamlett was sentenced to five years in prison between his six remaining charges, plus another year for violating probation.
Creasy pleaded guilty to four charges: two counts of burglary, one count of grand larceny, and one count of grand theft auto. The defendants will need to pay more than $2,000 in restitution between them, Harrison said.
Creasy is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 2. All three defendants are being held in Blue Ridge Regional Jail facilities.
Rachel Mahoney covers courts for The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5554.