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Crime Prevention News and Information

This section contains news from our police liaison or local news regarding crime prevention in the Sully district.

The dates on each news item listing is the date that information was posted or became available. Follow the link for details of each event.

Click here to see an archive of older items.


October is Crime Prevention Month

Please see the news release attached below. During this month, please pick an area of security that you feel you are lacking in, and try to improve upon it. It could be something as simple as replacing a burnt out exterior bulb, or maybe upgrading your deadbolt locks on your exterior doors.

As time and funds permit, pick another area that needs improvement. Nothing says you have to do everything at once. Anything you can do will help the overall security of your home or business.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns relating to the safety of your home, business or your personal well being.

Take care,

Crime Prevention Officer MPO W. M. BROCK

News Release - October is Crime Prevention Month; Officers Highlight Weekly Themes

Larcenies from Vehicles are the first issue to be addressed by Fairfax County Police Department Crime Prevention Officers during Crime Prevention Month. Officers encourage the public to be part of their Write to Fight! campaign and record the make, model and serial numbers of their electronics and valuables. If those items are stolen, police will be more likely to track the items, arrest the culprits and return the property to owners.

Throughout October, officers will highlight a series of issues that need greater public awareness in Fairfax County and each week and will focus their efforts and attention on those issues. Following Larcenies, the second week will address Personal and Senior Safety. The third week will focus on Home Security, and the final week, Pedestrian and Halloween Safety.

In 1984, October was designated as Crime Prevention Month by the National Crime Prevention Council. The month-long commemoration urges citizens to get involved and reminds them that they play a vital role in helping to keep communities safe. Crime Prevention Officers will lead a series of community activities that highlight prevention information and reach out to educate and empower communities across Fairfax County.

Highlights for Crime Prevention Month include: October 8, officers will partner with Inova Health Systems to address employees about their personal safety. October 27, a Crime Prevention Awareness Event at LynBrook Elementary School, 5801 Backlick Road, Springfield aimed at individuals who speak primarily Spanish (as all events and activities will be in Spanish). On Halloween night, October 31, school crossing guards in the West Springfield Police District will be deployed to busy intersections and to assist costumed trick-or-treaters cross Fairfax County roadways. Residents are welcome to contact their local Crime Prevention Officer at any time to request a personal home security check or for information about crime in their neighborhood.

Crime Prevention Month will culminate in a countywide event November 6th, featuring an opportunity for the public to have VIN-etching applied to their vehicles. Forthcoming details will be posted on www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police.

Reported by MPO W. M. BROCK
Crime Prevention Officer
Fairfax County Police
Sully District Station
4900 Stonecroft Blvd.
Chantilly, VA 20151
Office: 703-814-7048
Fax: 703-814-7013
Email


Increasing Tool Larcenies in Sully District

Recently in the Sully District, we have experienced a rising number of tool thefts from work vans and service trucks parked in residential areas. Please pass this along to anyone that you know who may have one.

If you or someone you know has a work van, here are a few tips to help prevent them from being targeted:

  • Lock the vehicle!
  • Use quality locks to secure side and rear doors.
  • Consider installing a barrier shield between the driver/passenger compartment and the rear.
  • Consider installing a barrier shield between the driver/passenger compartment and the rear.
  • Park in a well-lit area.
  • Have vehicle equipped with an alarm system.
  • Limit visibility of the tools.
  • Have locking compartments inside of vehicle.
  • Install tool boxes that you can bolt in place to vehicle.
  • Make sure the tool boxes that you have can be secured with a lock.

Please contact the police should you observe any suspicious activity, persons or vehicles. Call especially if you see someone trying car door handles or peering into vehicles.

Reported by MPO W. M. BROCK
Crime Prevention Officer
Fairfax County Police
Sully District Station
4900 Stonecroft Blvd.
Chantilly, VA 20151
Office: 703-814-7048
Fax: 703-814-7013
Email


Composite of Suspect in Attempted Abduction Released

Please take a look at the following composite sketch, released of the suspect in the attempted abduction case. Please notify the police immediately if you have seen this individual or know his identity.

Suspect Composite drawing

Sketch of suspect

Fair Oaks Police District, released 09-14-09 - A composite sketch has been released for the attempted abduction that occurred in the 12100 block of Penderview Terrace on September 6. This description is also similar to the abduction report in the 12100 block of Polo Drive on September 9. However, in that case, the suspect was described as having his hair slicked back

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Solvers:

Phone: 1-866-411-TIPS/8477
E-mail (anonymous via web): https://www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=187
Web: www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org
Text: Text "TIP187" plus your message to CRIMES/274637
Alternate Phone: Or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131

Reported by MPO W. M. BROCK
Crime Prevention Officer
Fairfax County Police
Sully District Station
4900 Stonecroft Blvd.
Chantilly, VA 20151
Office: 703-814-7048
Fax: 703-814-7013
Email


Sex Assault Reported in Franklin Farms Area

Fair Oaks Police District, released / posted 09-10-09 - A 17-year-old female tells police she was sexually assaulted along Route 7100 in the Franklin Farms area on Wednesday, September 9. Around 7:20 p.m. The victim was jogging on a path along Route 7100, when she reportedly was grabbed from behind by a man, dragged into nearby woods, threatened, and sexually assaulted. The suspect then fled and the victim sought help at a nearby residence.

The suspect was described as white, in his 30s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, and wearing all black.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Solvers:

Phone: 1-866-411-TIPS/8477
E-mail (anonymous via web): https://www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=187
Web: www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org
Text: Text "TIP187" plus your message to CRIMES/274637
Alternate Phone: Or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131

Reported by MPO W. M. BROCK
Crime Prevention Officer
Fairfax County Police
Sully District Station
4900 Stonecroft Blvd.
Chantilly, VA 20151
Office: 703-814-7048
Fax: 703-814-7013
Email


Second Abduction in Fair Oaks Area

Fair Oaks Police District, released / posted 09-10-09 - An 18-year-old woman was assaulted and abducted from the 12100 block of Polo Drive on Wednesday, September 9. The victim was walking outside an apartment complex around 10 p.m. when a man approached her and attempted to engage her in conversation. She ignored him and continued walking but he grabbed her and threatened her with a small knife. The victim struggled with the suspect and was able to break free. The suspect fled on foot toward Monument Drive. The victim did not require medical attention.

The suspect was described as Hispanic, in his mid to late 20s. He was about 5 feet 3 inches tall with a thin build. He had brown eyes and short, slicked back, black hair. He wore a white T-shirt and work out shorts.

Detectives believe this case is related to another abduction that occurred on Sunday, September 6 in the 12100 block of Penderview Terrace.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Solvers:

Phone: 1-866-411-TIPS/8477
E-mail (anonymous via web): https://www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=187
Web: www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org
Text: Text "TIP187" plus your message to CRIMES/274637
Alternate Phone: Or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131

Reported by MPO W. M. BROCK
Crime Prevention Officer
Fairfax County Police
Sully District Station
4900 Stonecroft Blvd.
Chantilly, VA 20151
Office: 703-814-7048
Fax: 703-814-7013
Email


Home Invasion robbery in the Herndon Area

Fair Oaks Police District - Police responded to a home in the 3000 block of Leefield Drive for the report of a burglary of an occupied dwelling. Officers met with a man who said he was sleeping in his second floor bedroom when he was awakened by three men; one displaying a handgun. They demanded money and other property. They kicked the victim in the face and upper body and then searched the home. At one point, the suspects left the victim alone so he jumped out of a second story window and ran to a neighbor's home to call police. The suspects fled prior to the officers' arrival. The victim was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital with minor injuries.

The suspects were all described as black, in their late teens to twenties. They were all about 5 feet 8 inches tall and were wearing blue jeans. One had a black bandana covering his face, while two wore ball caps.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Solvers:

Phone: 1-866-411-TIPS/8477
E-mail (anonymous via web): https://www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=187
Web: www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org
Text: Text "TIP187" plus your message to CRIMES/274637
Alternate Phone: Or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131

Reported by MPO W. M. BROCK
Crime Prevention Officer
Fairfax County Police
Sully District Station
4900 Stonecroft Blvd.
Chantilly, VA 20151
Office: 703-814-7048
Fax: 703-814-7013
Email


SALT meeting for persons 60+

The next SALT meeting is Wednesday, September 9th at 11:00 AM

Location: Sully Government Center, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd
RSVP: MPO W.M. Brock (703-814-7048), PFC P.B. Katinsky (703-814-7018), or Carol Burton at 703-378-4614, or email Bcarken@aol.com.

What is SALT? SALT is an acronym for Seniors And Law Enforcement Together. SALT is a nationwide organization that is part of Triad -- which in turn is comprised of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriffs' Association, AARP and the general senior population.

Currently Triad/SALT is in at least 40 states. In Virginia it is overseen by the Attorney General's office and the Fairfax County Police Chief has mandated each substation must have a SALT council.

It is for all persons over the age of 60.

Reasons to attend include the fact that the senior population in Fairfax County has grown by almost 80% since the year 2000 and will continue to do so. Seniors are considered among the most vulnerable populations to criminals, often with fewer resources or resiliency with which to fight back.

The more information that is shared, the better able seniors are to confront the criminal element and to function in a fear free environment.

Please come and attend and spread the word!

MPO W. M. BROCK
Crime Prevention Officer
Fairfax County Police
Sully District Station
4900 Stonecroft Blvd.
Chantilly, VA 20151
Office: 703-814-7048
Fax: 703-814-7013
Email


How You Can Prevent Crime

The following crime prevention discussion was provided to us by Officer Brock of the Sully Police Department. Also see this crime prevention flyer in PDF format.

To all:

As we continue through the year, one thing that keeps staring me in the face each time I look at the weekly crime stats are thefts from vehicles. The sad thing is that most of these could be avoided by doing two simple things:

  1. Locking your vehicle
  2. Removing items of value from your vehicle.

If you do these two things each and every time you park your vehicle, most likely you will not have any problems. If you chose not to follow this advice, you are taking a chance each and every time you park your vehicle. Take enough chances, keep thinking, "It will not happen to me," and I am sure I will be seeing your theft report pass in front of me for review in the near future.

Keep in mind that theft is a crime of opportunity. If no opportunity exists, then a crime can not take place. DON'T BECOME A VICTIM!

Enough said!

Take care,

MPO W. M. BROCK
Crime Prevention Officer
Fairfax County Police
Sully District Station
4900 Stonecroft Blvd.
Chantilly, VA 20151
Office: 703-814-7048
Fax: 703-814-7013
Email


Washington Post article: Helping Hand on Home Security

The following article was sent to us by Officer Brock, and is copyright © 2009 by the Washington Post, printed Saturday, July 18, 2009:

Home Security by By Gabe Goldberg, Special to The Washington Post, Saturday, July 18, 2009

As a first-time homeowner, Brandon Durflinger requested a security visit from Fairfax County police to ensure that he was doing everything possible to protect his home in the Falls Church area.

The officer's recommendations were simple: Durflinger was advised to enhance the lighting, especially near entries, and to use motion sensors that turn on the lights if an intruder approaches. He should put double-key deadbolt locks on any doors that have glass. He should use long wood screws to reinforce deadbolts where the strike plate attaches to the door frame. And police advised him to install latches on windows that allow them to be opened only partway, enough to allow air in, but to keep people out.

"In general, time is on your side," Durflinger said. "The longer it takes for someone to enter your home, the safer you are."

Nationwide, burglaries were the only type of property crime that increased in 2008 compared with 2007, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Burglaries were up 1.3 percent, the FBI reported last month.

All Washington area jurisdictions provide free security inspections and fire-safety checks, or at least checklists of simple and low-cost improvements that residents can make.

Upon request, the Fairfax County Police Department will send an officer to inspect a home and make recommendations. Courtney Thibault, a county police officer, said, "Risks stem from combinations of factors, such as homeowners not realizing how criminals seek to gain access, coupled with poor locks, or even leaving windows or doors open or unlocked." She said security goals should include keeping uninvited people off of one's property and making a break-in as time-consuming and visible as possible.

She also suggested alerting neighbors about travel plans, letting them know about pet sitters or caretakers, and placing an emergency contact list on the refrigerator for reference by police or firefighters.

Heather Hurlock, a crime prevention specialist with the Arlington County Police Department, typically includes a discussion of local crime trends in her visits.

If the homeowner has already reported a crime at the home, Hurlock said, she tailors her approach because a victim probably feels violated and needs reassurance. If there was a break-in, for example, Hurlock addresses the specifics of securing and protecting the area against another entry. If there was a car theft, she determines what was in the vehicle, how burglars gained entry and whether the burglar got access to house keys, which could lead to a break-in.

Hurlock said she checks to see that any weapons in a home are secured. And she advises gun owners on ways to protect children, caregivers or elderly residents from their misuse.

When she encounters something she considers ill-advised -- such as window security bars that could block escape -- she advises homeowners of possible consequences. But she said she cannot insist on their removal from a private residence. If it's a rental or condo apartment, building codes could require their removal.

Some jurisdictions offer programs that help residents take inventory of their valuables, noting the brand, model and serial number. Some will help residents engrave belongings with their names or other identifying information.

Most local fire departments offer similar home visits. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Dan Schmidt said firefighters start by asking about particular homeowner concerns and then address issues such as working alarms, smoke hazards and escape routes.

Families should plan and rehearse escape routes together, he said, adding that it's especially important to involve children in these rehearsals. Residents should pay special attention to more complicated escapes from second stories or lower levels, he said.

Fire department officials regularly recommend that residents install detectors that can alert them to fire, smoke, explosive gas and carbon monoxide.

They said the most reliable ones are powered by the house's electrical current with a battery backup, and that all batteries should be replaced when people reset their clocks in the fall and spring. Some units communicate with each other over electrical wiring, sounding all alarms if one detects a hazard, which is important in large houses or when heating systems are far from bedrooms.

In Prince George's County, fire-prevention experts aren't waiting for an invitation. Lt. Col. Carla D. Blue of the county's fire and EMS department pointed to the Proactive Residential Information Distribution Effort, or PRIDE. Their goal, Blue said, is to "knock on the door of every single-family dwelling over a four-year period to check on fire alarms."

Safety reviews are not restricted to single-family homes. Thibault said Fairfax County police will inspect rental and condo apartments if the management approves the request. It isn't beneficial to make recommendations to a resident if the management company in charge of the building won't make the suggested changes, she said.

In particular, Hurlock suggests that apartment residents check the security of basement lockers and bicycle storage facilities. Prohibiting solicitations also can help.

Aside from providing greater peace of mind, following safety recommendations could have a cash payoff. Bob Noble, a State Farm agent in Springfield, said discounts on homeowners insurance ranging from 5 percent to 20 percent are available, depending on the type of alarm or system installed.


THE VERDICT: HANG UP - Don't Fall for Jury Duty Scam

The following article was sent to us by Officer Brock, and is copyright © 2006, 2009 from the FBI's web site.

The phone rings, you pick it up, and the caller identifies himself as an officer of the court. He says you failed to report for jury duty and that a warrant is out for your arrest. You say you never received a notice. To clear it up, the caller says he'll need some information for "verification purposes"-your birth date, social security number, maybe even a credit card number.

This is when you should hang up the phone. It's a scam.

Jury scams have been around for years, but have seen a resurgence in recent months. Communities in more than a dozen states have issued public warnings about cold calls from people claiming to be court officials seeking personal information. As a rule, court officers never ask for confidential information over the phone; they generally correspond with prospective jurors via mail.

The scam's bold simplicity may be what makes it so effective. Facing the unexpected threat of arrest, victims are caught off guard and may be quick to part with some information to defuse the situation.

"They get you scared first," says a special agent in the Minneapolis field office who has heard the complaints. "They get people saying, 'Oh my gosh! I'm not a criminal. What's going on?'" That's when the scammer dangles a solution-a fine, payable by credit card, that will clear up the problem.

With enough information, scammers can assume your identity and empty your bank accounts.

"It seems like a very simple scam," the agent adds. The trick is putting people on the defensive, then reeling them back in with the promise of a clean slate. "It's kind of ingenious. It's social engineering."

In recent months, communities in Florida, New York, Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, Oregon, California, Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Hampshire reported scams or posted warnings or press releases on their local websites. In August, the federal court system issued a warning on the scam and urged people to call their local District Court office if they receive suspicious calls. In September, the FBI issued a press release about jury scams and suggested victims also contact their local FBI field office.

In March, USA.gov, the federal governmentís information website, posted details about jury scams in their Frequently Asked Questions area. The site reported scores of queries on the subject from website visitors and callers seeking information.

The jury scam is a simple variation of the identity-theft ploys that have proliferated in recent years as personal information and good credit have become thieves' preferred prey, particularly on the Internet. Scammers might tap your information to make a purchase on your credit card, but could just as easily sell your information to the highest bidder on the Internet's black market.

Protecting yourself is the key: Never give out personal information when you receive an unsolicited phone call.

Resources:


Police Warn Seniors of "Phony" Callers

Several seniors across Fairfax County have been victimized by a phone scam in recent weeks. Thousands of dollars have been lost by these few individuals and many others have nearly lost money.

The scam begins with a phone call from a "grandchild." The caller tells the senior they have been involved in an accident or arrested for DWI. They plead with the senior to wire money and not tell "mom and dad." They also say the money cannot be sent directly to them because their wallet is in the car which was impounded. Instead, they ask for the money to be sent to a "friend" or "attorney." In some cases, another person posing as the "attorney" calls the senior a few minutes later and supports the claims made by the initial caller.

This technique, known as social engineering, is preying on the fact that most seniors will do anything to help a family member. Steps need to be taken to not fall victim of this attack.

If you get a call from anyone asking for immediate money, you need to:

  • Verify who the caller is by asking personal questions.
  • Be cautious; don't give personal information.
  • Call other family members before sending any money.
  • Call the location where the "family member" is being held or treated.
  • Remember, an unsolicited call does NOT guarantee verification.

2 Child Abduction Attempts in our Area

Please note:

This is the time to talk with your children about safety and strangers. Please be aware that two incidents have now taken place involving a man in a silver car claiming to be looking for his lost dog. You may have heard about an abudction attempt in the Hampton Chase neighborhood right near Stringfellow and Route 29 on March 10. Then on March 22 2009, a second grade teacher at Poplar Tree, Mrs. Hurd, indicated that her daughter and some friends were approached by a Hispanic man in a silver car right outside their house. He told the girls he had lost his dog and was hoping they would help him find his lost dog. The children ran to the nearest house to tell an adult, and the police were called and came. The police shared that there is a Hispanic male in a silver car with the same MO that is patrolling the Centreville, Chantilly, and Clifton area.

Please speak with your children about safety issues, warn them not to enter a stranger's car, and advise them to go to the nearest familiar neighbor's house for safety if they encounter suspicious behavior such as described above.