Rash of Break-ins in Crozet

From a reader:

I thought you may want to drop a line in your blog that we had some vehicle break-ins in the Grayrock area the night of 12/1. Mostly electronics (cell phones/iPods) were stolen. Folks should make sure to lock their car doors (mine were not.)

Just a reminder to lock your doors and look out for your neighbors. I don’t live in Grayrock, and our neighborhood was visited by some vehicle break-ins a few weeks ago. I called the police, they dusted for prints, etc. Here’s hoping they get caught soon.

Update 3 December 2010:

Someone emailed me and said that they are offering a $500 reward for information/tip/whatever that leads to the discovery & conviction of the person(s) responsible for these thefts. I’ve never offered a reward, but if anyone’s caught and you can prove it was you who caused the catching, let me know.

Also, I’ve updated the headline from “Break-ins in Grayrock” to “Rash of Break-ins in Crozet”

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19 Replies to “Rash of Break-ins in Crozet”

  1. St. George Ave has hit – we had a bike and a another item stolen off our front porch on 2 separate occassions in the past 5 days.

  2. Western Ridge was hit pretty hard too. Unlocked cars, mostly electronics. Most of the neighbors who had items stolen have contacted the police.

  3. We’ve had it in Old Trail too. I don’t know how recent the last incidents have been but I know we had them in the Fall.

  4. We need to be diligent about locking our cars and putting things out of sight. Parkside subdivision had the “gentle thief” who came back several nights later and was more thorough in their job. Did that thief ever get caught?

    Sadly, this is very attractive bait for our middle and high school students–cash, i-pods, electronics, etc. in unlocked cars. They can take your expensive items to school and sell them for $5 – 10 to a student who would not be able to afford these items otherwise. It is a win-win situation for them both. The thief is not dealing in high crime (or so they think!) so they go unnoticed and there is such a great market for the items they bring.

    Parents cannot be encouraged enough to be aware of where their preteens and teens are at night, especially during sleepovers. One person can keep watch while another does the work.

    Yes, it could be an adult, but without being a detective, I would guess if it an adult, it is someone in their late teens or early twenties.

  5. Maybe you people need to look in YOUR OWN neighborhood for the thiefs.
    I don’t live in a subdivision and leave my cars unlocked all the time with electronics in them and NOT ONCE has anything been taken.
    Seriously, look in your neighborhood, your kids aren’t the perfect angels you think they may be.

    1. Look, “Look” – no one is pointing fingers or accusing anyone other than the thieves.

      I’m no statistical analyst, but I’d wager that the odds of there being a thief or thieves in each of these neighborhoods – 4 mentioned in this post – , stealing at the same time as the others, is quite small.

      And thank you for the suggestion to look within our own neighborhoods; I suspect that is happening as well.

      1. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was someone from the neighborhoods. I doubt seriously that they are coming in from elsewhere. It is not that I think subdivision kids are worse than country folks. However, if you think about it, where are they more likely to find an unlocked car? I would think most likely in a subdivision just for sheer numbers. If three cars in a row are locked, try the fourth. In addition, most likely they are on foot rather than driving around in a car which would have headlights. But we also know that on occasions, there are serious thieves who steal lawnmowers and other power tools out of barns and garages. I haven’t heard of any such activity recently, but this does happen from time to time. Those types are generally adults that drive a truck for their pick ups.

  6. While I would hope police are keeping this in the back’s of their minds, I wouldn’t expect them to be wasting patrol resources actively perusing the perp(s). Instead they should be (only possible if people contact police) compiling a list of items stolen (with all identifying properties including product numbers) and comparing these looking for markets where these items are bought and sold (pawn shops, craigslist.org, etc.) and building a database of fingerprints taken from vehicle windows, doors, etc. However, I would expect the perp(s) to be wearing gloves (this time of the year it won’t look suspicious).

    While it is possible that these are youth committing these crimes, unless they are stockpiling the stolen items in their parent’s homes, I’d doubt it. If they are selling these in the schools someone will eventually overhear or see what is going on. If they are stockpiling, I would expect their parents to be finding out very soon. I doubt youth could move what seems to be a number of items without someone noticing unless they have some adult assistance.

    The person is probably on foot, or at least scouting/marking the area on foot looking for items to take. If he/she/they find something larger they might come back later with a vehicle; however, that would be risky given they’ve already hit the area and people would potentially be more vigilant.

    Subdivisions are being hit because they are (in the Crozet area) middle to upper middle class, easily accessible, have lots of people coming and going, and the residents don’t have big dogs. Subdivisions are perfect for small time break-ins. For all the opposite reason individual residences aren’t being hit. They are not easily accessible (gates, off the road), don’t have a lot of people coming and going (not easy to blend in), and have big dogs. Individual residences are probably more likely to be cleaned out in a big break-in though. At the same time, neighborhoods should have plenty of neighbors looking out for one another!

    Given the numerous occurrences of the crimes, I would expect someone local or at least familiar with the area committing the crimes and moving the items outside of the area (at a minimum to Charlottesville or the Valley) to sell. It could be a small time operation or it could be connected to a ring.

    And to conclude, lock your doors. Neighborhoods are great places for this type of crime. These are crimes of opportunity, by locking your door you’re making the perp(s) do more work than they care to/can accomplish given the situation.

  7. Cory Farm (on 250 across from Harris Teeter) was hit last night, 10 Dec. Several unlocked cars were rifled through and items like iPods an portable gaming systems were taken. No break-ins, just unlocked cars in the driveways. One of our neighbors filed an online police report. Hope we can put a stop to this.

  8. watch where your teens are at night. the same vandals who spray painted cars and streets in Parkside Village spray painted the same symbols on the pool building. We see teens hanging out at night in the park (trespassing) and wandering around at night down Hill Top Street. ANd just so you know…I still consider Crozet to be one of the safest, friendliest places in America. I hope we can build community through this problem.

  9. January 23, 2011 – My sister was visiting us (Cory Farm) and forgot to lock her car last night. Someone went through the glove box and took her GPS. We filed an online report with the police after we discovered it this morning.

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