Six Month Investigation Nets Several Suspects


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
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News Release: 13/130/0080/LHC(7)
May 10, 2013

Six Month Investigation Nets Several Suspects

 

            West Springfield Police District – As a result of numerous ongoing investigations, after following up on helpful tips from the public and tracking down a myriad of leads, police have arrested six individuals, to date, in connection with a series of thefts from vehicles parked at parks and recreation centers.

            Police noted a substantial increase in cases where credit cards were stolen from purses and wallets from vehicles where owners would likely be away for predictable time periods. Typically, the victims were either running, walking, or exercising. Parking lots at South Run, Audrey Moore Rec-Centers and Burke Lake were targeted; in particular

            Station detectives worked closely with the agency’s Financial Crimes Unit to track down locations where stolen credit cards were being used to fraudulently purchase items (stores such as Best Buy, the Apple Store, even gas stations). Suspects were charged with numerous offenses, such as larceny, fraud, credit card theft and drug charges.

            Following the series of arrests in recent weeks, the criminal activity has reduced; however police urge exercisers to continue vigilance with their valuables. The investigations are still ongoing and there are likely other thieves looking for opportunities to steal.

            With the warmer weather of Spring and Summer and park usage on the rise, police warn car owners to securely stow items out of sight or leave them at home if they are not needed.

 

 

12/14/12 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 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 www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.



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