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Authorities Warn of Car Break-Ins

by ARLnow.com February 21, 2011 at 8:00 am 4,675 24 Comments

Officials are warning residents about a rash of car break-ins in Arlington.

Last week, according to the Ode Street Tribune, police told members of the Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights Civic Association that thieves have been smashing car windows in the Rosslyn area to steal GPS devices.

Yesterday, management of the Archstone Ballston Square apartments sent the following email to residents, suggesting that the number of break-ins is on the rise.

Dear Residents,

Within the past week, there has been an increase in reported thefts from cars garaged in the Ballston/Arlington area.  Recently, we have experienced several incidents where items have been reported taken from automobiles garaged at our community.  While we do not wish to alarm you, we did want to make you aware of the situation.  We share your concern regarding these incidents and are fully cooperating with local authorities.

We take great pride in providing you with a great living environment. To that end, it is important that we all understand that the protection of person and property is the sole responsibility of each resident.  As a reminder, and as specified in your Lease Agreement we encourage you to report any illegal or suspicious behavior. Please take a second look if something or someone appears out of place, or seems odd or curious. If you suspect troubling activity or suspicious individuals, call the concierge desk immediately or the Arlington County Police nonemergency number at 703.598.2222 703.558.2222. If there is clear and present danger, call 911. In addition, we ask you to be mindful of the following:

Please use safety measures when parking your car – lock all car doors and activate your car alarm if you have one

Do not allow unknown individuals to follow you into the community

Do not leave valuables such as laptops, GPS systems, cell phones, iPods, tools, etc in plain sight in your car

Report any suspicious or criminal activity immediately to the Arlington County Police Department (call 911)

Again, we certainly do not want to alarm you, but felt it was important to let you know of this activity.

There were 11 break-ins listed in the latest Arlington County crime report. The crime report typically only lists incidents in which more than one car was broken into.

  • Southeast Ben

    Interesting how sales of GPS have dramtically declined (thanks to SmartPhones), but theft of GPS and automobile break-ins has increased exponentially.

    • TryTheTacos

      I know right?! There was a time when I specifically would hide the GPS (and the holder) anytime I went somewhere. Now it’s not as often.

      • local

        A map costs $12.

  • Burger

    I’d say once a year someone comes along our street and breaks in. Or checks to see which cars are unlocked and tears through them to see if anything of value is in there.

    • AbeFroman

      Similar thing happens in my neighborhood, in Ballston. One of my neighbors told me a while back that he was up in the middle of the night and he saw some guy checking for unlocked cars. I bonked and left my car unlocked one night and in the morning, the glove box and center console had been tossed. My change from cup holder had been taken.

  • LyonSteve

    I wonder if there is any correlation in the location of break-ins and whether these are resident only garages or public/private garages. It seems that most of the older buildings are resident only for the garages, and while someone can follow in, its not as easy as the newer buildings which have shared garages.

    In the shared garages anyone can either drive or in many cases just walk right into the garage and the resident’s cars.

  • kw

    FYI…The non-emergency number for ECC included in the story is incorrect. The correct number is 703-558-2222.

  • libs

    Probably the arlington county parking lot inspectors trying to discourage people from having cars.

  • Hide your wife, Hide your kids

    “clear and present danger”, great flick. What about bi-curious people, do we call the cops on them?

  • Hide your wife, Hide your kids

    this is why we need more lanes on I-66

  • PCB

    This is what happened in my garage in Pentagon City not too long ago. Awesome!

    • LyonSteve

      That is inhuman.

      Question: Shared public/private garage?

      • PCB

        Public garage. Not my car either. I just happen to park near it and noticed. It actually happened the week between xmas and new years.

    • JamesE


    • LyonSteve

      Hopefully you had on your winter wheels/tires, and the wheels were no “thrills.”

      • JamesE

        Good summer tires alone are like $1600 on that car, from tire rack, not some shady dealer markup. I hope insurance covered it.

        • Ben

          Not to mention the body work needed because of the cinder blocks….

    • libs

      Not here, but in Garden City, NY I had my car stolen, a week or so later, the cops called me, said the car was found intact, and I was all happy and went to the queens lot it was at. Get there, it was completely stripped, every taken, EXCEPT the library books I had in it. Must have been some real scholars.

  • Homey D. Clown

    I’d have taken the car and left the tires!

  • CW

    Not the article I wanted to see exactly one week before moving from a building with a controlled, residents-only garage to one with a shared-use garage…

  • snot ville

    i wonder if this surge has anything to do with artisphere being open so late and attracting so many great folk.

    • snot ville

      or anything to do with artisphere in general.

  • LyonSteve

    Look at the daily crime report posted today on Arlington PD’s website. Lots of break-ins in Ballston…

  • Brian

    The letter is from a resident-only controlled access garage. Fully private by the community.


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