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County board honors police unit that cracked down on Lorton car thefts

A Fairfax County police car parked outside the Franconia District station (via Google Maps)

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently honored a local police district that help crack down on a string of car thefts earlier this year.

At a meeting last week, the Board of Supervisors recognized the Franconia District Police Station and the Fairfax County Police Department’s Auto Crimes Enforcement Team.

Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck said Lorton has seen a rash of vehicle thefts this year.

“Car thefts are on the rise around the region including an apparent coordinated effort around Lorton in January targeting Kia and Hyundai vehicles,” Storck said. “In January alone, 33 vehicles were stolen in Fairfax County.”

Lorton in particular had nine vehicles stolen, Storck said. In response, police increased their presence in the neighborhoods and were able to make two significant arrests in January.

“The Lorton community had a significant number of autos being stolen and the community was very frustrated,” Storck said. “They were teenagers regrettably but fortunately they were then stopped.”

Beyond just the issue of vehicles being stolen, Storck said there were concerns about the stolen vehicles being used in other crimes.

Chairman Jeff McKay said his own car had been stolen years ago and shared the sense of frustration and unease that can bring.

“As someone who had their own car broken into many years ago, I can tell you, the victims of that…feel personal violation,” McKay said. “I don’t think anyone understands what it feels like to have your car stolen. It’s not the same as other crimes committed against persons, but that particular crime against property is a personal intrusion that not only has an effect on people, but has the potential to give the wrong impression about the safety of a community.”

Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity said his hope is not only that community members feel safe, but that the crackdown instills a wariness in criminals.

“This is just another example of the quality of our force,” Herrity said. “When we see an issue, we go out and get in front of it and solve it. I think it sends a message we need to send not just to our community… but the message it sends to the bad guys: if you come to Fairfax County, we’re going to get this solved.”

Image via Google Maps