People, people, people – is it really that hard to take common-sense steps to avoid vehicle thefts?
Fairfax County police detectives are investigating 27 stolen-vehicle reports that have occurred since the beginning of June. These vehicles primarily have been stolen overnight and it appears the suspects mainly entered unlocked vehicles with keys inside, police said.
Detectives also have determined that the suspects have used garage-door openers or forced entry to gain access to at least three homes. In these incidents, the suspects entered the homes and stole personal belongings as well as vehicle keys. The suspects then proceeded to steal one or more vehicles from home, police said.
The suspects in these cases typically have traveled in groups of two or three. In several instances, the suspects have been described as black men, ranging from their teens to 30 years old. Detectives believe the suspects may be armed, police said.
McLean District has logged 15 of the cases, by far the most. Cases in other county police districts include four in Franconia, three in Mount Vernon, two each in Reston and West Springfield, and one in Fair Oaks.
Detectives have discovered commonalities with these vehicle thefts and are looking into the possibility of other related incidents. Some of these vehicles have been recovered in surrounding jurisdictions.
For those who need a primer on common-sense tips to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim, police urged the public to:
• Keep vehicles locked at all times.
• Remove keys and garage-door openers from vehicles.
• Lock the doors to attached garages.
• Keep all home doors and windows locked.
• Keep home perimeters well-lighted.
• Keep vehicle keys out of view.
• Be on the lookout for suspicious people, cars and noises, and call the department’s non-emergency number, (703) 691-2131, to report suspicious activity (or 911 for emergencies).
The Vienna Police Department also issued a similar notice involving vehicle thefts and break-ins. Vienna residents who see suspicious activities or people should call the department at (703) 255-6366 or, in case of an emergency, 911.