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Police: DUIs Up, Crime Down in Reston

by Karen Goff October 27, 2014 at 11:00 am 4 Comments

Fairfax County Police Capt. Mike Wall, Commander of the Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station, said overall crime in Reston is down 14 percent when compared to this time last year.

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 SkimmingThere 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.”

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Capt. Wall, do you think you can do something about the hordes of idiots using their cellphones while driving? I swear, they are as bad as drunk drivers.

    • Capt. Wall

      Sir Morningwood,

      unless the person is under 18 you are free to use your cell phone. as for the herds of idiots we’ve been tracking that herd and we found them using smart phones. We’ve been unable to determine however whether members of the herd practised the illegal art of texting while driving or whether they were just surfing the internet.

      Our investigation continues.

      • Vina Hutchinson

        And here I just thought those drivers were staring at their crotches.

  • Leila Gordon

    Captain Wall and his team are invaluable partners in a neighborhood-wide coalition at Hunters Woods to address the various issues involved with how people feel about coming here. Since summer of 2013, a cross-section of County agencies, Cornerstones, RA, Christ the Servant Church, Fellowship House and our businesses have collaborated to tackle issues related to safety and well-being. Collectively we have gotten individuals into medical services (at least one life has been saved); moved from homelessness to housing; streamlined and shared Code of Conduct expectations and corrective procedures to eliminate unwanted and disrespectful behavior; supported local police efforts to reduce crime and public drunkenness; and pledged or made physical improvements to village center areas and surrounding pathways (as noted above.) County employees from RCC, the Office to End and Prevent Homelessness, Police, Community Services Board, Neighborhood and Community Services and Sup. Hudgins’ office as well as our non-County agency partners will be given a Team Excellence Award at the Government Center on Friday, November 7, recognizing the success of these efforts. It does indeed take a village to make a village center a place all will enjoy living, working or visiting.

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