Vienna dance instructor busted for theft
"Born to Dance"? How about "Born to Steal"?
A dance instructor at the Vienna studio "Born to Dance" was arrested Thursday after allegedly taking a woman's wallet while she was dancing and using her credit cards to ring up $3,200 worth of quick purchases, including a large-screen TV and a Yorkshire-poodle puppy.
Police searched the man's home Thursday and seized the three-month-old puppy, Vienna, Sgt. Bill Murray said. The dog, alleged to be extremely cute, was being kept separate from other seized evidence, Murray said.
A woman who attended a class at Born to Dance, at 305 W. Maple Avenue, told police that her Louis Vuitton wallet was stolen on Sept. 8 while she was dancing, according to a search warrant affidavit by Detective Tina L. Elias. Records showed the cards were later used at the Fair Oaks Mall, a Wal-Mart in Fair Lakes and the Petland store in Fairfax City.
Among the purchases: A 42" TV from Wal-Mart, the Yorkie-poo puppy, plus puppy supplies from Petland, a tank of gas, numerous baseball hats, jeans and sneakers from Fair Oaks, plus cosmetics, perfume and more from the mall. Elias wrote that she watched surveillance videos of the purchases and identified Michael A. Stokes, 25, of Federalist Way in Fairfax, as the purchaser.
Elias found that Stokes lived in Fairfax with his fiancee, an instructor at Born to Dance, and that Stokes was driving his fiancee's car during the alleged buying spree.
Police searched the couple's apartment Thursday morning and recovered some of the property, including the puppy, Murray said. Stokes was charged with credit card theft, three counts of credit card fraud and two counts of credit card forgery.
The puppy's future had not been determined, Murray said.
-- Tom Jackman
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