Personal property theft from vehicles rose significantly in July in Mount Vernon area
The number of larcenies from vehicles reported in the Mount Vernon Police District in July 2022 was double the number reported in the same month last year, according to data from the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD).
Last month, Mount Vernon District Police received reports of 63 cases of personal property theft from vehicles versus 30 cases in July 2021. The July 2022 figure also represented a notable increase over June 2022 when there were 49 reports of larcenies from vehicles.
Within just the past few weeks, numerous residents of the Riverside Estates, Mount Vernon Manor and Ferry Landing neighborhoods in Mount Vernon posted reports on Nextdoor about middle-of-the-night vehicle break-ins. Police were successful in apprehending two juvenile suspects from Alexandria in the early morning hours of July 27; however, more vehicle tampering occurred the following night in a different location. Some neighborhood security cameras reportedly captured footage of a white vehicle that stopped intermittently, so occupants could jump out to check accessibility to cars in driveways.
Theft from motor vehicles is often a crime of opportunity, said FCPD officials. Besides locking vehicles, residents are encouraged to remove or conceal valuables, and to call the police if they observe suspicious activity.
Earlier last month, Mount Vernon District Station Community Liaison Officer Katie Watts had informed community members about an increase in the theft of motor vehicle parts — specifically airbags — with a total of 40 airbags having been stolen in a single night.
“Airbags are highly sought after by criminals due to their easy resale value, and the theft of them can happen in a matter of minutes,” said Watts in a video message. “In the incidents we are investigating, a vast majority of the cars whose airbags were stolen were Honda Accords and Honda Civics.”
Watts said that in a lot of the cases, the affected cars were parked in parking garages or lots, and had their driver’s side window broken to gain entry. Officers from FCPD’s Criminal Investigations Division were handling the investigation, she said, and officers were increasing patrols throughout the district.
Some community members have talked about increasing Neighborhood Watch activity in response to the recent thefts. Trainings for these crime prevention programs are provided by Mount Vernon District Station Crime Prevention Officer MPO Marvin Goodley who can be reached at Marvin.Goodley@fairfaxcounty.gov.
Local residents attending National Night Out events the evening of Aug. 2 also have the opportunity to discuss concerns and questions about recent incidents with law enforcement.