Grand jury indicts teen on gun theft, gang charges

Kenyatta Chase Chandler

FRONT ROYAL – A grand jury recently indicted an area teenager on charges of participating in a street gang, breaking into a Warren County home and stealing two guns in May 2017.

Kenyatta Chase Chandler, 18, remains in custody at the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail while he awaits his next court appearance scheduled for April 2 in Warren County Circuit Court.

A Warren County grand jury indicted Chandler last week on charges of breaking and entering into a house at night with the intent to commit larceny, participating as a member of the “Looney Gang” criminal street gang while committing a breaking and entering for the benefit of the gang, both of which occurred May 7. The grand jury indicted Chandler on charges of receiving a stolen firearm, possessing a gun while a convicted felon and carrying a concealed pistol, all of which occurred on May 22; and conspiring as a member of the “Looney Gang” to commit abduction.

A judge in the General District Court dismissed Chandler’s charges of reckless handling of a firearm, shooting a weapon across the street, possession of burglary tools and grand larceny at the prosecutor’s request on Feb. 7 and 8.

Court records list Chandler as from Front Royal and Stephens City.

A criminal complaint filed in General District Court on May 23 states that the arresting officer, M.R. Ramey, of the Front Royal Police Department, discovered two firearms in Chandler’s vehicle during a traffic stop. Chandler admitted to the officer that he stole a book bag the night before from a residence on Blue Ridge Avenue, the complaint states. The book bag, discovered in the vehicle, contained the two firearms. Chandler told the officer he knew the bag contained the guns. The bag also contained Chander’s other belongings, the complaint states.

A criminal complaint filed in August noted that a Warren County resident reported his residence was broken into and a safe belonging to his son was stolen May 7. Warren County Sheriff’s Officer investigator B.W. Pugh interviewed Chandler, who admitted to breaking into the victim’s residence and stealing the safe, the complaint states. Chandler provided details of the crime only a person or people present would know, Pugh notes in the complaint. Chandler took the officer to the location of the remains of the safe and provided details about the contents of the safe only the owner knew, the complaint states.

The complaint goes on to state that Chandler and two other people, including a juvenile, talked about going to the residence to “hit a lick” before committing the offense. The three people drove to the residence, committed the burglary and then went to another location where they forced open the safe and kept the contents, the complaint states.

A checklist used by a magistrate to determine bail indicates that Chandler’s prior criminal history includes felony convictions for robbery, credit card fraud and theft, grand larceny, money laundering, burglary and assault on a law enforcement officer.

Authorities also charged Thornton Elwood Glenn Jr., of Inwood, West Virginia, in the case. A grand jury indicted Glenn on charges of burglary and grand larceny, the latter of which the court dismissed at a prosecutor’s request Jan. 16. A judge in the General District Court dismissed Glenn’s charge of conspiracy to commit grand larceny at a prosecutor’s request on Dec. 14.