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Rash of Car Break-Ins Reported in Clarendon

by ARLnow.com October 11, 2012 at 11:30 am 5,687 46 Comments

Clarendon residents are being warned to lock their cars and hide any valuables after a series of vehicle break-ins at local parking garages.

Residents and business owners at the Market Common Clarendon shopping center/apartment complex were told in an email last week that management was increasing security patrols in response to a rash of break-ins.

“Over the past few weeks the parking garage experienced a number of vehicle break ins, and we want you to know that we share in your concern and frustration over these events,” property managers wrote. “Unfortunately, as the Arlington County Police have informed us, our garage is not the only area that has been affected — the entire County has seen an increase in vehicle break-ins.”

Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck could not confirm whether there has, in fact, been a noticeable increase in break-ins, but an email sent yesterday by management at the Residences at Station Square Condo (1201 N. Garfield Street) does point to the break-ins not being isolated to just one parking garage. The email, sent to building residents, confirms reports of thefts in the garage.

“We have had a rash of vehicle break ins in the garage,” the email says. “This has been happening throughout the Clarendon and Arlington area. The cars have been damaged during the break in, and small items have been stolen from the vehicle. To prevent this from happening in the future please remove all items from sight. Please remove any and all items in your parking space. Please use extra caution until the individual or individuals are apprehended.”

Last week police were dispatched to the garage for reports of incidents where a car window was busted in and loose change was taken, and where a convertible roof was cut open and a GPS navigation system taken.

Residents of both Clarendon buildings were sent an Arlington Police flyer (pictured) that advises them to always lock car doors, keep windows rolled up, and lock valuables in the trunk. Sternbeck reiterated that message in a discussion with ARLnow.com.

“It’s the responsibility of residents and visitors to lock their vehicle and not leave valuables in plain sight,” said Sternbeck, who also noted that “larceny from auto” is a common crime that occurs every day in Arlington County.

Management at the Residences at Station Square said they were “taking preventative measures from this happening in the future.” Among the actions being taken at Market Common Clarendon were expanded private security patrols, a private duty Arlington County police officer on patrol during overnight hours, and coordination with ACPD beat officers and crime prevention specialists.

  • Joe

    Richer people brings more hoodlums too.

  • Lee-n-Glebe

    Bait car(s).

  • Sherriff Gonna Getcha


  • YTK

    “a car window was busted in” – great example of professional writing.

    • ballsteve

      Then stop reading.

    • Grace

      It’s not professional writing. These types of pages are maintained by “citizen journalists.”

  • JimPB

    “A rash” — specifics, please. When and where were each of the recent car break-ins in ArlCo, and how was each break-in accomplished and what was apparently taken.

    • Hal9000_PB

      Policy Bot – A*C*T*I*V*A*T*E*D

    • Glebe Roader

      JimPB, this is basically a blog, not a university research project.

    • Dr_Klahn

      The stolen items consisted of a box of 2,000 plastic combs, a giant stuffed banana, a pair of leaky waders, a broken squash racquet, a 32 oz can of baked beans, a yoga mat, a cast iron skillet, and a banjo. The break-ins were accomplished by thieves who have trained a squad of kangaroos to put on boxing gloves, punch the driver, and grab the first thing they see. All break-ins have occurred along the Donaldson Run Thru-Way during rush hour when traffic is stopped. Hope that helps with your automated data collection efforts.

      • Sam’s Corner Auction

        Left-overs from Sam’s Corner…….

  • Arl for Now

    I lived for years in DC and used to leave my old car unlocked so as not to get a broken window. Arlington is still way better. I’ve only had my car broken into 4 or 5 times in 8 years, nothing ever taken.

  • John Fontain

    Since it’s not on the list, is it still safe for me to leave my pile of gold bars in my car?

    • Mike Hunt

      only if it is hipster gold

      • bum

        I gotta get me some of that hipster gold!

    • drax


      Also, it’s a good idea to let me keep an eye on them, you know, so nobody takes them. Where will you be parked exactly?

      • John Fontain

        Right next to my other car which contains the 17th century rare paintings.

        • drax

          Hold on, I think I found it!

    • bobco85

      Did you get those from the special vending machine? (I’m not kidding, there really is a vending machine for gold bars!)

  • JohnB2

    I also recommend that if you plan on ‘hiding’ items in your trunk, you do so before you arrive at your parking destination. Parking then getting out and putting your briefcase in the trunk, for example, is certain to attract unwanted attention.

  • Jeremy

    There have been several break-ins at the Phoenix Condo as well. The developer had to agree to make the 1st level of parking available to the public at night and on the weekends in order to get the building approved. The result has been a wide open garage with no way to separate the “public” part of the garage from the residential garage floors. They are now attempting to rectify that by putting in a garage door between those floors. And they are using a garage door at the main garage entry. However, all you have to do is drive up to it and it opens. No security at all. No need to use a keycard, or other means. Literally drive up with ANY car, and the garage door opens. So worthless. Hope these thieves are on bike!

    • Neil

      I park in the Phoenix all the time on weekends when I go out in Clarendon. That door gave me about 1 second of pause on Saturday night. I pulled up for a second to think about other options, when magically, the door just opened. Pretty dumb.

    • Clarendon Cruiser

      I don’t see the logic of just garage doors at these places. I’m betting most of these robbers are on foot. On foot, I’m pretty sure if I try hard enough, I could get into any apartment / condo parking area. Climb over walls, cut through chain link fence, hell, just wait until a car exits and run in.

      As a result, I’m going to sleep in my parked car at night,…with one eye open.

    • james

      Thank Arlington County for that.

      More tax revenue for them by forcing all the apartment buildings (new ones) to have to make 1 or 2 levels (depending on size) available for public parking…therefore creating not only an unsecured parking garage but also unsecured building for residents.

      Even though the elevators only go up to the main, many people will say they forgot their FOB and someone else will buzz them up to the floor they want.

      There have been break ins and apartment break ins due to this in buildings.

  • novasteve

    No doubt this will encourage the car free diet.

    • mugger

      All that will do is ramp up the amount of muggings in the area.

    • ArlingtonWay

      Speaking of which, I was in Toby’s ice cream last night in Westover and they had a plaque on the wall congratulating them on being a “partner” in the Car Free Diet program. How an ice cream parlor is promoting car free-ness or where this silly nonsense came from is a mystery. I wonder if the award was deivered in person by that creepy neckbearded Car Free Matt.

      • bum

        I’m going to try to use neckbearded in a casual conversation today.

      • novasteve

        I wonder why they have no car free women on the show, and I am curious how these guys having gone car free impacts their dating here in arlington?

      • drax

        Someday when you can’t find a parking space you might get it.

        • novasteve

          Someday when you get rained on or hailed on while riding your bicycle instead of being in a car, you might get it. Or when you’re walking your 42 lb bag of kitty litter to home because you’re on the car free diet.

    • Clarenhood

      Or, you guessed it, a street car!

  • Mick

    “It’s the responsibility of residents and visitors to lock their vehicle and not leave valuables in plain sight,”

    Hmmm. Maybe the police need to step up patrols, perhaps cut back on ticketing commuters during rush hour. Oh, and some of those fat boys really should give up the motor cycle leathers.

    What crust.

    • taxman

      “Maybe the police need to step up patrols, perhaps cut back on ticketing commuters during rush hour.”

      So you want them to step up patrols and cut back on ticketing. And how much more of your paycheck are you looking to fork over to the County gov’t to cover the increased cost of more patrol and decreased revenue from less tickets?

      Also, fairly certain the vast majority of vehicle break-ins occur during the middle of the night, not rush hour.

      • james

        Lets play devil’s advocate.

        If the county is dependent on ticket revenue, what happens if say there are no ticket violations and the bring no revenue in at all?

        Ticket revenue should NEVER be part of the budget. It should be ‘extra’ for the next year depending on what they bring in. When it’s needed, then you have a ‘proactive’ force that will ticket.

  • Clarenhood

    I just now pulled up this thread. What’s this about crime in Clarendon? Unbelievable. Car break-ins happen in places like, well ya know, Ballston or Rosslyn.

  • jimPB

    If we knew days, times, places, modes operasndi and what was taken, a data based prevention/apprehension strategy could be formulated — much better than random patrols.

    • Greg

      The problem is that most police don’t really care about stolen cars. I’ve had 1 car stolen and 2 stripped. In each case, the officer acted as if I dropped a $5 dollar bill on the street and some stranger picked it up and walked off with it.

    • Glebe Roader

      I’ll get right on that, jim.

  • GF

    Set up a checkpoint outside the garage and frisk everyone
    coming in and coming out. And weight them too.

    Be sure to check their restaurant receipts just in case the
    went to a buffet – may be a key mitigator

  • garage door repair Arlington

    As m also living in Arlington and also wanted a good garage door services which service you want to suggest me tell me in reply

    • garage door

      Meet me at Phoenix weekend thank you

  • Mick

    Err, actually I was making a quip.

    But I am not amused to learn that ACPD may be dependent on ticket revenue…talk about a conflict of interest. Guess that explains their eagerness to impede rush-hour traffic.

  • ArlDon

    Glad I live in the south. *wipes brow*.


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