Thieves Target Cars in Parks

Fairfax County Police Department
Public Information Office
4100 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, Va. 22030
703-246-2253. TTY 703-204-2264. Fax 703-246-4253
News Release:12/349/0080/LHC(7)
December 14, 2012


Thieves Target Cars in Parks


            West Springfield Police District – Detectives are investigating an apparent series of credit card thefts from vehicles parked at area parks. Many of the crimes have taken place at Burke Lake Park, but were others at Wakefield and South Run Recreation Center. Detectives from the West Springfield Police District Criminal Investigation Section are working collaboratively with the Financial Crimes Unit to apprehend suspects on over two dozen cases; with the most recent six taken place at Burke Lake Park since Thanksgiving.

            Police believe suspects are observing drivers as they prepare to exercise, then entering the vehicles (both unlocked and locked), and stealing cards from wallets that victims have “hidden” in the car’s console, under a seat, or elsewhere. Suspects then immediately take the cards to stores, particularly the Apple Store, Best Buy, WalMart, Target and others and fraudulently purchase thousands of dollars’ worth of electronics.

            In some cases, since only a card or two were taken from the wallets, people may not realize they’ve been victimized for several days.

            Police urge residents to either keep their valuables with them or leave them at home when they exercise. Police are working closely with Fairfax County Park Authority staff on the incidents. Staff have posted flyers to increase the public's awareness at several area parks.

            Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477, e-mail at or text “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.

Burke Lake Park Burke Lake 2

Possbile suspects connected to Burke Lake vehicle theft(s) shown in store using stolen credit card(s).

Suspect using card

Suspect shown using stolen credit card(s) at convenience store.

Best Busy

Suspect shown using stolen credit card at Best Buy in Springfield.



To request this information in an alternate format, call the Public Affairs Bureau at 703.246.2253. TTY 703-877-3715

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