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Car Break-Ins a Regular Occurrence in Arlington

by ARLnow.com March 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm 1,739 6 Comments

A common theme has emerged from the Arlington Police Department’s daily crime reports. Thieves have been targeting parked cars in Arlington, breaking into multiple vehicles on the same block with surprising regularity.

The location of the crimes has varied, as has the type of items taken from the vehicles. Wheels, GPS navigation units, even coins have been reported stolen.

Yesterday alone the police department reported a total of eight auto break-ins.

At least 23 “larcenies from auto” have been reported since the first of the month, according to public figures. The police department only reports instances in which multiple cars were broken into by the same suspect or suspects, leaving the possibility that the actual number of auto break-ins is significantly higher.

However, police tell us the rate of break-ins is “pretty normal.”

It’s worth noting that 12 cars and motorcycles were reported stolen during the same period.

  • It’s a good idea to try to hide or remove valuable items in one’s car to lessen the temptation by thieves. Most thieves look for an obvious easy to grab item before they break in to the car. Take your GPS, iPod, even your car radio face if you can and keep them either on your person or out of site. Try to park somewhere with bright lighting and don’t leave your vehicle unattended for too long.

  • MB

    I wonder if ACPD could standardize the way in which it provides the addresses of these break-ins so that a data-scraper could automatically plot them on a map. Could be useful public information.

  • All of the crimes reported online are available for viewing on a weekly map that posted online.

  • MB

    Thanks for responding, Det. Nosal. It took me a good while to find what you were talking about. For anyone else who is interested, you go to http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/Police/PoliceMain.aspx, scroll to the bottom, look under the “Crime” section in Topics, and then click the “Crime Reports Map”. That will get you a PDF copy of a map for the most recent report. (Note that if you click on the “Crime” tab on the right, you will never find this map on the pages that follow.)

    I can’t find an archive of these maps, which would be helpful in identifying trends and clusters. If ACPD would post the data feed that creates these maps (I presume that they are not handmade every week), I bet an enterprising citizens or news organization could create a much more user-friendly map at no cost to ACPD.

  • MLG

    I wonder how many of these “break-ins” actually involve a literal breaking. Reports of these incidents pop up frequently on my neighborhood listserve, generally followed by the car owner(s) sheepishly (and sometimes not) admitting that they’d failed to lock their car. The fact that people in this day and age still leave cars unlocked in an urban area boggles my mind. No one deserves to be robbed, but being just moderately careful about your car and belongings will go a long way.

  • roquer

    Very few car entries actually have a true breakage, like smashing a glass……at least where most of them are happening at. For whatever reason most folks living in the ‘hi-dollar’ areas of Arlington seem to believe they live in Idaho, not next to near the crime capital of the world! So they don’t lock their car doors. At the same time, these same folks blithely leave their GPS’, laptops, cellphones and other neat to own valuables out in the open. The police, in many cases, cannot enter secured parking lots so they can’t check the lots for suspicious subjects, or criminals. Best thing to do is remove valuable items and lock the vehicle doors, with windows rolled up.


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