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Rash of Car Break-Ins in Bluemont, Arlington Forest

by ARLnow.com December 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm 3,751 35 Comments

About a dozen residents of the Bluemont and Arlington Forest neighborhoods woke up Tuesday morning only to find that their vehicles were broken in to overnight.

According to police, an unknown suspect broke in to at least 12 unlocked vehicles on the 100 block of N. Columbus Street, the 500 block of N. Jefferson Street, and the 5600 blocks of N. 5th and N. 7th Streets. All four streets are within easy walking distance of the Bluemont and W&OD trails.

The suspect stole various items like change and GPS units, according to police.

One vehicle was also stolen during the break-in spree, according to Arlington County Police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal. NBC4 is reporting that stolen vehicle was a van belong to the charity Treats 4 Our Troops. The van was filled with candy and care packages for wounded and deployed military servicemembers, the station reported.

Police say they don’t have any suspects at this time.

  • James

    You don’t ‘break into’ an unlocked car…

    For the life of me, people leaving their cars unlocked is just mind boggling.

    • BoredHouseWife

      doesn’t matter. if you enter into a house or car uninvited it is a break in.

      not the vitctim’s fault.

      • charlie

        no, it is not their fault. True dat.
        BUT people need to take responsibility of their property and make sure it is safe and secure.

        • Maybe they leave it open so that a window won’t be broken when someone goes fishing around for spare change.

        • demonfafa

          Yes it is their fault. At least partially.

          If there is an understood possibility or likelihood of a car being broken into, especially in a densely populated area (as opposed to an area like Purcellville), then you should be expected to take precautions.

          The fact that it was entirely unlocked cars specifies that if people had been smart enough to lock their doors, they would have been just fine.

          • drax

            It is unwise to leave your car unlocked. It is not your “fault” that something was stolen, in the moral sense.

          • Burger

            I don’t lock my doors when I park my car at my house. If someone wants to get into my car bad enough and thinks there is something of value beyond drawings my kids do or some spare change feel free. A lock is a 10 second deterant for anyone with halfway decent lockpicking skills.

            I don’t keep anything of value in my car when parked at my house
            When I go out. I lock the doors and try to take everything with me.

      • James

        Most insurances won’t cover you for lost of possessions if you left your car unlocked. It’s called negligence on the part of the owner.

        • Josh S


          • Zoning Victim

            Yes, believe it or not. In fact, many companies won’t cover items in the car unless the car itself is stolen, and then all of them have a very low limit on what they will cover, like $200; check your policy. You can purchase insurance to cover items stolen from your car on an item-by-item basis with a stated value policy. Your auto or homeowners insurance can set you up with one if you typically have something of high value in your car.

          • Josh S

            Yeah, it seems that the question of whether your doors were locked is really moot in most cases since the auto insurance policy won’t cover the items either way. It sounds like your homeowners or renters insurance is more likely to cover those stolen items (although your deductible may be too high to cover something like a GPS or even a laptop).

  • Abe Froman

    This has happened more times than I can count in Ballston.

    • Sgt. Peterson

      You’re Abe Froman? The Sausage King of Chicago?

  • South Awwwlington

    Stealing a vehicle owned by a charity is reprehensible. Rot.

    • drax

      Stealing a vehicle is reprehensible.

    • R. Griffon

      I know that most stolen vehicles don’t warrant much of a search for the perps, but I think in this case they should make an exception and make a ful-court press. Sift for fingerprints, search the databases, the whole nine.

      Stealing charity from vets … seriously.

    • Burger

      Did they have a sign on the car that says it is a charity? Otherwise, how would the car thief know.

      Of course, this reminds me of the girl about a year ago that had her car stolen at 7/11 when she left the keys in the ignition.

  • Lou

    Judging by the weekly crime email that they just sent out, there were three other similar nights of auto break-ins.

  • Clizzledizzle

    Ah, the part of NoArl that we don’t talk about.

    • drax

      Right, the part where the homes are only worth $500k – $1 million instead of $800k – $1.2 million. Total ghetto.

  • law abiding arlingtonian

    Go figure, a debit card in the stolen van was used at stores in Bowie. If only we could wall off PG County crime in the surrounding jurisdicions would drop considerably. Then again, its not the scumbag criminal’s fault…it is Arlingtonians faults for being successful, having nice possessions and leaving a van full of care packages for our wounded troops and those fighting aborad as such a temptation that those who are criminals can’t resist.

    • Don’t hate on PG. They are just doing their Christmas shopping.

    • PerpWalk


  • Suspect(TED)

    Many cars hit in Douglas Park Civic Association too.

  • trail leader bob

    Why was it relevant to the article that the neighborhoods are near trails? Is there evidence that the thieves used the trails to escape with the goods, or is ARLnow just speculating? Many a trail has been opposed by NIMBYs based on fears like this which are usually exaggerated. Seems like it’d be a lot easier to get away in a car than to run down the trail loaded with loot in the middle of the night.

    • Teyo

      I had the same reaction when I read the article. If we’re going to mention the trails, maybe we should mention that the area is also equidistant from I-66 and Rt. 50. In other unrelated news, it’s also about the same distance away from the Seven Corners strip mall to the west and the Ballston mall to the east.

    • law abiding arlingtonian

      was wondering that myself since it seems obvious that they got away in the stolen van and probably whatever car that drove them here from PG County.

    • Barney Fife

      Maybe it is relevant because the group of thefts happened on opposite sides of the confluence of the trails, making it easy to quickly go from one side to the other without driving your car around to arouse suspicion.

      • trail leader bob

        It would take a half hour to walk between those locations vs. six minutes to drive


        • Barney Fife

          You Mad because they mentioned trails. We get it. Still does not prove they did not use the trails.

          Maybe you have some experience with how car thieves operate in neighborhoods. Care to share your expert experience?

          • trail leader bob

            heck if I know how car thieves operate Barney. Why don’t you ask Andy? This is more an exercise in figuring out the journalism than the crime. Maybe ArlNOw put it in there to provide context for the location. Maybe ArlNOW put it in there because it was a knee-jerk “trails-are-dangerous reaction. Maybe arlNow didn’t think about it. Is kind of interesting to think why thieves would walk down a bike path with stolen goods, esp. since the trails are technically closed after dark so they would be immediately subject to arrest just for being there.

  • charlie

    isn’t this also where the guy was taping his FedEx package getting stolen?

    • Nancy

      Yes, same neighborhood – people cut through to get to Carlin Springs via car so I’m not sure if the trails have anything to do with it. I live around the corner from all of it and find this unsettling. Locking my car, as always and hoping that karma catches up with whoever did this.

  • Dan

    Heard from a Friend that WTOP is reporting that the guy got busted due to a “find my iphone” type thing. Don’t have details and couldn’t find it on their website.

    • CA

      Good. Maybe I’ll get my IPOD back too…I live in this neighborhood and my locked car was broken into about two months ago.


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