Wall gave the station’s semi-annual “state of crime in the district” report to the Reston Association Board at its regular meeting on Thursday.
“We are very happy to have crime numbers down this year,” he said.
Some of the highlights, according to Wall:
- Robberies down 53 percent in 2014, “which is huge,” he said. There have been 15 reported so far in 2014. There were 32 at this time last year, he said.
- Larceny and theft are down 19 percent: 825 compared with 1,023 at this point in 2013.
- Burglaries are down 27 percent: 69 compared to 97.
- Destruction of property is down 19 percent, with reports of 465 compared to 574.
“The reduction is a result of proactive patrols, arrests being made, and sometimes blind luck,” said Wall. “You never know how many crimes you prevented, but we are happy to see numbers trending downward.”
One area in which numbers are rising are DUI arrests, said Wall. The Captain said DUI arrests are up 27 percent from this time in 2013. There have been 210 this year compared with 150 through October 2013.
“DUIs are always a double-edged sword,” he said. ” We are glad to see that many arrests, but sad to see that many drunks on the road and wondering how many we are missing that are out there.”
In other crime trends, Wall said the department has worked on several projects to deter crime.
Hunters Woods Village Center — Police are working on improving the perception of crime and safety issues at the retail center, where crime is down by more than 50 percent from a year ago, Wall said.
Wall said a bike and foot patrol teams are working there more often, and that increased visibility has helped deter loitering. The police, shopping center merchants and Reston Association are working on better lighting of nearby pathways, he added. The department is considering a similar effort at Lake Anne Plaza, he said.
ATM Skimming — There have been two cases in Reston and there have been two apprehensions, said Wall. Skimming is when perpetrators affix a fake ATM device to an existing machine; the device steals card numbers. He added that two weeks ago, another case was deterred when a criminal patrol officer pulled over a car on Reston Parkway. In the car, driven by a “crew from New York,” police found 141 forged credit cards and two skimming devices.
Metro’s Silver Line — Wall said there has not been an influx of crime with the opening of Metro in Reston in July.
“Thus far, Metro has not created that much more work for us,” he said.
New Reston District Station — the new facility is nearly open and will likely open in late November or earlier December, he said. The current facility will then be torn down.
Crashes on Wiehle Avenue — At the request of citizens, officers are looking into whether there is a problem in Wiehle Avenue, where there have been several serious crashes since last spring. In May, a teenager on a mini-bike at Wiehle and Reston Parkway died after he was hit by a car; in September, a cyclist at Wiehle and Center Harbor rode into the path of a car. She was injured but is expected to recover. And a jogger was recently hit after she was hit after the light turned yellow. She is expected to make a full recovery, Wall said.
The three incidents happened at different points on Wiehle.
“I will tell you people speed on Wiehle,” he said. “I don’t know if that is a concern. We will have a good look at that corridor and see if there is anything we can do. It is strange. None were at the same location and all seem to be caused by different things.”