Sheriff: Carjacking suspect armed with chain saw in Stafford Co. said he was doing landscaping work

A man who was armed with a gun, chain saw, hammer and brass knuckles broke into a home, tried to take another neighbor’s car and proceeded to approach several other homes in a Stafford County, Virginia, neighborhood before he was taken into custody hours later, authorities said Tuesday.

Devin Laws, 26, of Blackwater, Virginia, was tracked down after a manhunt spanning nearly three hours. He was found in the woods behind the Rappahannock Landing subdivision, where he told deputies he was doing landscaping work. Laws is charged with breaking and entering, attempted carjacking and a slew of other violations.

It all started before 7 a.m. Monday on Musselman Road, where a woman told deputies she was parked in her driveway when a stranger approached her with a chain saw in one hand and a hammer in the other. The man grabbed her door handle and brought the hammer up in a motion to swing it toward the car window, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office said.

The woman safely drove away, according to authorities.

As deputies searched the area, another resident flagged them down and told them he woke up to a noise in his home at 6:30 a.m. When he went to investigate the noise, he encountered the same individual in his home, who ran away upon seeing the homeowner, authorities said.

Other residents reported to the sheriff’s office that the suspect rang their doorbells. K-9s tracked the suspect toward Interstate 95, locating various pieces of clothing and the chain saw — which deputies said was stolen — along the way. Authorities also said they recovered a handgun during the search.

One resident reported that Laws tried to enter his home on Denison Street in the Celebrate Virginia development with that same handgun displayed. According to the sheriff’s office, Ring camera footage confirmed the resident’s report.

After nearly hours of searching with K-9s, deputies and a drone, the sheriff’s office said it found Laws and arrested him. Brass knuckles were found in Laws’ pocket, according to authorities.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2024 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up