Vandals plague car lots

A rash of car break-ins has left Manassas commuters with broken windows, and in some cases missing property, said Sgt. Marc Woolverton, Manassas police spokesman, on Friday.

The string of break-ins has occurred along the Virginia Railway Express lines running through the city. The latest break-in on Wednesday left six cars with smashed windows in the 9000 block of Prince William Street. A cell phone was taken from one. Manassas police said the break-ins occurred between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. and the cars sustained more than $4,600 in damage.

“We’re taking proactive measures to try to apprehend the person or persons doing this,” Woolverton said.

According to Woolverton, there have been several incidents in the last three weeks. The thief or thieves have been breaking into cars with items on the seats or the dashboard that are in plain view.

“Since May 13, we have identified 22 reported break-ins. Some of them with thefts, some without,” Woolverton said. We are using a heightened presence [in the area].”

Items taken include: stereos, women’s clothing, headphones, fishing flies, a tackle box, a bass plate from a stereo, an electric tire compressor, DVD player, stereo speakers, an AM/FM radio, a cell phone, and a backpack. Woolverton said the thief or thieves will go after “anything that’s easy to take.” Manassas police do not consider the culprit to be criminally sophisticated, Woolverton said. He would not comment on whether or not police were investigating any specific suspects or leads.

Woolverton said residents should always be to sure to lock their vehicles and roll up the windows. Nothing of value should be left in the open.

“Any valuables in the car should be secured in the trunk,” Woolverton said. “If that isn’t possible, don’t leave them in the vehicle. Report to the police any suspicious person immediately they [residents] might see in or around parked vehicles. The vast majority of the crimes of this nature that we do solve is because citizens have called the police to report activity.”

Manassas City Crime Solvers are offering up to $1,000 for information to leading to arrest or recovery of the stolen property. The confidential tip line is (703) 330-0330. Tips can be posted online at

Staff writer Daniel Drew can be reached at (703) 878-8065.

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