FCPD reports decline in shoplifting during June crackdown

Shoplifting incidents in Fairfax County for 2023 (via FCPD)

Thefts at retail businesses in Fairfax County dropped sharply in June after spiking this spring, local police say.

The Fairfax County Police Department reported on Thursday (July 6) that there were 573 shoplifting offenses last month, down from 642 offenses in May and 603 in April. The department attributes the decline to its increased focus on retail thefts as part of a 2023 summer crime prevention initiative.

Before that, shoplifting had dipped down to 577 incidents in March after over 600 were recorded in both January and February.

“The summer months, particularly June, are notoriously the highest for shoplifting crime in Fairfax County,” the FCPD said. “However, with our efforts this month, we were able to achieve a significant decrease in this crime across the county.”

For the summer initiative, the department says officers increased patrols and community engagement in areas where there are frequent calls for service related to shoplifting and retail theft. Police also met with affected busineseses “to discuss the crimes occurring and offered tips about how they can keep their businesses safe.”

Notable incidents included an arrest of two people who allegedly stole over $10,000 worth of merchandise from a retailer in Tysons and an arrest on July 1 at Springfield Town Center that led to the recovery of $37,000 of allegedly stolen merchandise.

An officer assigned to the Springfield mall recognized two men who were wanted on felony charges for a previous theft, according to the FCPD.

“Upon seeing officers converging on them, the two men fled on foot but were quickly taken into custody,” police said. “Officers completed search warrants on their vehicle and hotel room which resulted in the recovery of security tag removal devices and over 15 large bags of stolen merchandise.”

The merchandise came from incidents in both Fairfax County and a neighboring jurisdiction, according to police.

The summer crime prevention initiative is focusing on different issues each month based on data trends, the FCPD says. For July, teams of officers from each district station are working with the DUI squad to crack down on drivers who are under the influence or otherwise present a danger on the roads.

“Officers will be strictly enforcing traffic laws associated with impaired driving and educating the public about the importance of safe driving habits,” the FCPD announced on June 30.