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Crime Around Hunters Woods Has Citizens Concerned

by Karen Goff — May 13, 2015 at 9:20 am 3,319 25 Comments

Bank robbery at Sun Trust inside Hunters Woods Safeway/Credit: Tim BooneResidents of the Hunters Square neighborhood near Hunters Woods Village Center are concerned about crime nearby.

That’s why they are hosting a community block party Thursday night. The neighborhood wants to band together to show unity against the rash of car break-ins in the neighborhood, as well as several more violent crimes that have recently occurred at the village center, says Hunters Square cluster president Jasmine Tounni.

Tounni says she is going to take her concerns further.

“I’m also planning to contact Supervisor Hudgins, in order to request that the County allocate funding to the Reston [District Station], in order to provide additional patrol officers for our area, and possibly use a vacant space at the Hunters Woods shopping center for a police satellite office,” she said in an email. “I think this would deter a lot of crime.”

Concerns at Hunters Woods are not new. The Fairfax County Police held community meetings with neighbors in the spring of 2013 and 2014, and another one is planned for May 28 (6:30 p.m., Reston Community Center Hunters Woods).

Reston District Station Crime Prevention Officer Katy Defoe says the upcoming meeting will be focused on the car break-ins. Many of them are in cars with unlocked doors, she said.

“Along Glade Drive, there has been a noticeable increase in thefts from vehicles in the past several months,” Defoe said.

Last May, the focus of two community meetings was encouraging residents to speak up — if you feel unsafe or accosted, and needless to say, if you are the victim of a crime.

Defoe says the Reston District Station has seen impact in the number of calls made to the station.

“We get calls about groups of people hanging out, especially by the tunnel in back of Hunters Woods,” she said. “We get calls when it is happening, instead of after the fact.”

The Hunters Woods patrol area (area 530) has somewhat higher crime than other neighborhoods in Reston, FCPD statistics show. But it does not rank the highest. The Reston Town Center/Reston Hospital patrol area (area 510) had more property crimes and crimes against society in 2014.

Hunters Woods had 442 property crimes (robbery, larceny, burglary, etc.) and 83 crimes against society (drugs, weapons, prostitution) in 2014. Area 530 had 572 property crimes and 142 crimes against society.

In 2013, Hunters Woods had 432 property crimes and 87 crimes against society. It also had a homicide, when the owner of the Hunters Woods Dunkin’ Donuts was killed by an employee in a fight.

Cumulative stats for 2015 are not yet available, Defoe said.

However, two recent robberies at the village center have some people on edge. On April 15, a woman was the victim of attempted robbery at knifepoint in daylight. On May 2, there was a robbery and assault at 8:30 p.m.

In December, the SunTrust bank inside the Hunters Woods Safeway was robbed — part of a string of county robberies in which the suspect has since been arrested.

Defoe says each of Reston’s eight patrol areas has eight officers on every shift. Officers won’t be added to the Hunters Woods patrol, but there will be a higher-profile presence with officers on bikes and on foot, she said.

She said that officers from other patrol areas can be called to an area if the situation warrants.

Defoe added that the FCPD is unlikely to open a substation at Hunters Woods.

“We don’t operate out of substations,” she said. “We work out of our cars, in the area assigned. Our car is our office.”

Photo: Bank robbery at Hunters Woods Safeway/file photo

  • Greg

    Crime around Hunters Woods? Naw.

  • June Smith

    Nearly ALL the thefts from vehicles in my community are with unlocked cars. I can’t remember one time that a car was actually broken into to steal items inside.

    If people lock their cars, thefts from vehicles will be reduced dramatically

    • MaggieSays

      In our neighborhood, they all seem to be from locked cars.

      • June Smith

        My community may be further away from Hunters Woods Center … I’m sure the communities across from and next to the Center are hit harder

    • visionary 902

      It happened to us only about a month ago. Both cars in the driveway were locked and broken into. Also was the 2nd attempted home invasion while we were home.

      • Ming the Merciless

        kid selling candy bars door-to-door = “attempted home invasion”

        • Visionary 902

          I wouldn’t consider a kid selling a candy bar a home invasion. I would however consider a kid coming into my cars, garage and then entering my home and stealing an iPad a home invasions. Which is exactly what happened while I was home.

          • Ming the Merciless

            Do you not keep the door locked when you are home?

          • Visionary 902

            Of course I do. This was what we call a “break in”. You know where they break your doors, windows, garage to gain access to your home. Ignorance is bliss though buddy, keep telling yourself its all good in the restonhood.

          • Ming the Merciless

            It was not clear from your previous posts that the “home invasion” involved a break-in. Home invasions often happen through unlocked doors or when the homeowner answers the doorbell.

  • RAmember2

    “The Hunters Woods patrol area (area 530) has somewhat higher crime than other neighborhoods in Reston, FCPD statistics show. But it does not rank the highest. The Reston Town Center/Reston Hospital patrol area (area 510) had more property crimes and crimes against society in 2014.”

    Given that the patrol area around the Reston District Police station has the highest property/societal crime rate in Reston, I’m not sure adding a satellite office at HW shopping center would change anything–just cost more.

    And, as someone else has already said, LOCK YOUR CAR DOORS! Come on people, we live in Reston, not Nirvana.

    • Greg

      It’s always best to lock everything all the time. No matter where one lives. I have a locked mailbox, locked gas cap, and pay for a security service on my house. Concealed carry permitted as well.

      Raw crime stats have to be analyzed. RTC is far denser with a much wider array of businesses, residences, activities than anywhere else in Reston. And, the number of visits in and out of RTC is higher than everywhere else in Reston combined. There is a homeless shelter and a social housing development in RTC. There’s also a gaggle of county social-services offices, including a health and dental clinic, there as well as the library and the hospital. All the shops, most of which are fully occupied.

      So, on a per capita or per residence or per business basis is a better way to measure crime. Obviously proximity to a police station is not helpful — and the new police station is more a fortress from the community than a welcoming facility.

      • Ming the Merciless

        Police stations are supposed to be “welcoming facilities”? Huh.

        I remain curious how much of that “Reston Town Center crime” is happening inside the homeless shelter and the other do-gooder projects. I certainly don’t get any sense of imminent danger when I’m in RTC.

  • meh

    Will the block party include a piñata, pin the tail on the burro, mariachi band, and Ken Plum handing out voter registration forms?

  • visionary 902
  • Chuck Morningwood

    I’m going to ask my cluster HoA to get George Zimmerman to assist with our Neighborhood Watch program.

    • UStifosi .

      I would just buy some “I am George Zimmerman” t-shirts for everyone. That ought to do the trick.

      • Mike M

        Open carry works wonders when spiced up with a Zimmerman type event now and then.
        Hey! Correct me if I am wrong, but weren’t there people in here a few months ago calling anyone who said Hunters Woods had a crime problem racist? Wasn’t there a whole lot of denial going on? Didn’t a police spokesman claim the stats did NOT show significant crime in the area?
        Was I dreaming?

  • Mike M

    Hands Up! Self defense matters!

  • Coleslaw

    What a shock that this community has increased crime. I wonder why?

  • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

    My purse was stolen from the trunk of my car. Off Fairway Drive. I may have left the car unlocked, but that would have been unusual for me. They opened the trunk from the inside of the car I presume. Some kids found my purse and wallet in the creek that runs along the path between Orchard Green and Waterview Cluster. What is scary is that even if I left the car unlocked, these thugs are going around late at night and checking car doors. They are probably doing this often, just hoping some people will not lock their cars every once in a while. They must have just been looking for cash because my credit cards and ID were still in the wallet and had not been used. So its not just in Hunters Woods. The Lake Anne neighborhoods have a growing problem as well.

    • mapchick

      I do believe they are checking cars often around HW. On two occasions my spouse, in a fluster to get both our kids out of the car and into the house, neglected to lock the car. Both times, the next day, we could tell someone had been inside the car looking for something to steal. Fortunately we keep nothing of value in our vehicles and luckily they didn’t attempt to steal the vehicle itself. If this happened twice in a 6 month period when we accidentally left the car unlocked, how many times are they coming up our driveway and checking the car doors total? Pretty regularly I would think. And we keep our outside lights on all night. it doesn’t deter them. We are more careful now but I am considering putting cameras under our carport.

  • jmnv

    If you enter the search word crime on the Reston now search engine here you will find that the crime is not unique to hunters woods area. It is all over. Crime stats show crime higher in 20190 than in 20191. That said better lighting and fines for loitering on the paths and by the tunnel along with the police on bike patrol along the paths would be welcome.

    • WhoIsJohnGalt

      That is the result of diversity. Love it, learn it, live it

      • JesseLivermore

        It must suck to be so intellectually inferior. I wish I could relate to sympathize, but unfortunately am unable stoop to your level. I take it that you’ve never worked in the business world?

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