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More Car Break-Ins at Pentagon City Mall

by ARLnow.com — November 27, 2012 at 10:20 am 4,556 22 Comments

Thieves struck again at the Pentagon City mall parking garage yesterday.

About 15 vehicles in the garage were broken in to Monday afternoon, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The cars each had their door lock “punched,” allowing a thief to gain access to the inside of the vehicle. Valuables like wallets, purses, credit cards, cash, phones and GPS units were taken.

Sternbeck said the suspect or suspects moved from car to car, sometimes leaving items stolen from one vehicle in another vehicle. The thefts all took place between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m., Sternbeck said.

Thefts are fairly common in the Pentagon City mall parking garage, though a large series of thefts such as this doesn’t happen very often. In July, thieves struck at least 10 vehicles, including two police vehicles, in one afternoon.

“That’s one of the known hot spots for thieves due the the number of vehicles,” Sternbeck said of the parking garage. “[The mall is] typically a place where you leave valuables inside your vehicle. It’s easy pickins for these criminals.”

Police advise shoppers to keep valuables out of plain sight — perhaps locked in a trunk or a glove compartment — when parking one’s car in a public area.

  • MrMeow

    Given these thieves are sociopaths and provide zero benefit to society, why not just set up a camera operated ma deuce and take them out when they attempt this?

    • JamesE

      ED-209

    • drax

      Thanks for your input, Gramps.

  • mjw703

    Are there no cameras in the parking garage? It would seem that when they layed off their parking garage staff to have an automated parking garage, they could have at least used some money to install security cameras. Or perhaps they’re trying to go down the path of Springfield Mall, and become the mall no one wants to shop at because you’re going to get your car broken into.

  • JohnB2

    Who the heck leaves wallets/cards/money and phones in their cars? Sheesh!

    • 1RLI

      I thought the same thing.

    • VIBRANT Village Idiot

      Whenvever I go shopping I leave ALL of the above in my vehicle. I never need any of those items to complete a purchase.

    • mc

      Right? I learned that lesson 20 years ago when I lost a $600 leather jacket.

      • drax

        Did you learn the lesson of not spending $600 on a friggin’ jacket?

        • B22201

          Had extra money left over since he got in on that affordable housing action.

        • Captain_Obvious

          did you ever learn the lesson that people can buy what they want ?

          • drax

            Sure. And they can leave whatever they want in their car too.

  • ArLater

    Who parks in those lots anyway? Just park in the lots across Army Navy Drive… for free.

    • Quoth the Raven

      If you mean the Pentagon lots, you’ll be booted if you park over there. Signage isn’t great, but it’s there, and they mean it. Sadly, I know this from personal experience.

      But on the plus side, they’re pretty quick about taking the boot off, once you pay….

      • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

        Do they boot you on weekends? I seem to see plenty of folks parking there and going to the mall.

      • Zack

        Weekends and after 6(?) are free.

        Or, just park at Pentagon Row. Hit that magic button on the meter to get an hour for free. If you think you’re going to be a bit longer in the mall, put a few quarters in.

        Until they get better security, I see no good reason to park/pay in that parking garage.

      • ArLater

        Weekends and weekday nights the gates are up and noone is there to collect money. I have parked their multiple times with no issue. When did you get booted?

        • Zack

          Right. The gates are up and no one is there because the “signage” clearly says weekends and after 6 are free. I’m guessing booting happens during the other times?

          • Quoth the Raven

            Yes, it does. Ouch. The gates are always up, though, and there is never anyone in the little booth. So you might think it’s free all the time. If you’re an idiot, I suppose, like I was.

  • Arlinghood

    I’m shopping at Ballston Mall. Pentagon Mall has too much crime.

  • dd

    There was a whole squad of guys in green jackets there Saturday waiting to criticize me when I deigned to pay them cash (“Don’t you have a credit card?,” one shouts as I’m leaving). Nice of them to criticize customers on the way out.

    Anywho, they seem to have a lot of time on their hands so maybe they could, like, walk around and protect the property.

    I don’t understand why it’s such a difficult problem to solve, given that it’s well-known and the garage isn’t that large.

  • Philliam

    Did Sternbeck grin and chomp his cigar before or after saying “easy pickins”?

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