Police: 143 Vehicle Thefts Reported in Franconia District in 2012

Preliminary statistics show 812 vehicles were reported stolen last year in Fairfax County, a decline from 2011 and 2010.

A preliminary police report shows that a grand total of 812 vehicles were reported stolen in 2012 in Fairfax County —143 of which were reported in the Franconia Police District. FCPD saw a decline in vehicle thefts compared to 2011 and 2010 when 881 and 963 vehicles were reported stolen in the county respectively.

Of the 963 vehicle thefts in 2010, 161 were reported in the Franconia Police District, according to previous FCPD reports.

According to Auto Theft Info, vehicle thefts have declined nationwide since the 1990s but is still the most expensive property crime in the United States. According to the FBI, $4.5 billion was lost nationwide to motor vehicle thefts in 2010. The FBI reports that a vehicle theft occurred every 42.8 seconds in 2010.

Vehicles that are commonly targeted include Honda Accords and Civics, Toyota Camrys and Chevy pickups.

FCPD's Auto Theft Unit currently has a recovery rate of about 80 percent, according to FCPD. About 54 percent of vehicles recovered are found outside of Fairfax County, according to the Public Information Office.

The biggest issue the Auto Theft Unit deals with is people leaving their keys in their cars. Just last winter, about a dozen cars were stolen in one neighborhood in the Lorton area because people were warming up their cars in the morning.

Fairfax County police are also seeing an increase in motorcycle thefts. FCPD detectives urge people not to leave spare keys in their vehicles and suggest owners should take steps to prevent vehicle theft by having good locks and also parking vehicles or motorcycles in enclosed areas if possible.

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