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

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