Police Alerts on Auto Thefts and Commercial Burglaries

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Provided by Prince William County Police

The Prince William County Police has issued alerts on auto thefts and commercial burglaries, particularly in the eastern part of the county.

Auto Thefts

There has been an increase in auto thefts in the Central and Eastern Districts: Lake Ridge, Dale City, Woodbridge and Dumfries areas. Some of the stolen vehicles were left unlocked with the keys inside the vehicle or the vehicle was left running unattended. Remember:

  • Always lock your vehicle, even if you are expecting to be away for only a few minutes.
  • Do not leave your keys in your vehicle.
  • Do not leave your car running unattended, to warm it up or for any other reason.
  • Park your vehicle in the driveway rather than the street.
  • Consider a car alarm for added protection.
  • Call 911 if you see any suspicious activity.
  • Be on the lookout for suspicious persons or activity during the day as well as during evening hours.

Commercial Burglaries

There has been a recent increase in commercial burglaries in the Central and Eastern Districts: Dale City and
Dumfries areas. Criminals gained access by breaking the glass on the front door, cash registers and cash
drawers were taken.

Burglary-resistant window treatments

  • Protective films are extremely effective at slowing down intruders to the point where they simply go
    somewhere else.
  • To penetrate glass with protective films requires repeated and attention-getting blows. The criminal won’t want to risk getting caught or noticed before they break in.
  • We recommend using Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-972 listed products.


  • Don’t keep cash in the register overnight.
  • Keep the register drawer open to reduce the likelihood of criminals breaking the register to gain access to the drawer.
  • Remove all money such as tip jars, donation jars, etc.

Use a monitored alarm system

  • Ensure everyone in your business is trained in using the alarm system AND it is activated when the business is closed.
  • Call the Police when you are notified by your alarm company of an activation.
  • Register your alarm system with the County. Call 703-792-7281 or 703-792-6687 or go to pwcgov.org/apps/crywolf/ for online registration.

Consider installing a surveillance system in the business

  • Video images can be very effective in a criminal investigation.
  • Verify all cameras (internal and external) are working and properly maintained.
  • Be trained in how to download images from your system to provide to detectives.
  • Maintain archives of surveillance images for no less than 31 days.

Do not hide cash in the business

  • Obtain a safe to store cash and other valuables.
  • Fire safes are not rated for loss by theft. Plate steel safes are built by welding solid sheets of steel together. Composite built safes offer both fire and theft protection, but cost more than single-purpose safes.
  • Ensure your safe has a UL rating (Underwriters Laboratories 687—Burglary Resistant). UL rates safes
    according to tool, torch and explosive resistance. UL rating labels are generally found on the door of the
    safe, and are permanently attached. We recommend a safe rated no less than TRTL 15×6.



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