A bold string of tire thefts have stranded and unsettled frequent commuters utilizing the Horner Rd. park-and-ride in Woodbridge, VA.
As if your daily commute wasn’t enough, imagine what would happen if you got back to your commuter lot only to find your car on cinder blocks, stripped of all four wheels. This has been the case for at least ten victims in the Horner Rd. park-and ride located in Woodbridge, VA, with a concentration of such incidents over the last five months.
Stretching as far back as March of 2012, there is evidence of the coordinated theft of car rims and tires—thefts that leave commuter’s cars damaged and stranded on cinderblocks. With a recent flare up of criminal activity in May of this year, it has taken several victims with stripped cars to push law enforcement into taking action.
Hopes that the March 2015 tire thefts were an isolated incident were dashed when in September four more vehicles were stripped of their tires. Not only were the rims and tires completely missing, but the vehicles also suffered undercarriage and frame damage as well. Shortly after thieves struck again, stripping another two cars in early October.
The Horner Rd. commuter lot is maintained by VDOT and that organization is resistant to installing cameras to improve security. With no police force of its own, the commuter lot must rely on the local police presence for the security of commuters and their vehicles. Of course, without cameras the local police can only do so much, but in light of the rising number of victims the Prince William County police have taken action.
Officers from both the Prince William County police department and Virginia State Police officers will be stepping up patrols through the affected commuter lot. More eyes mean more chances of catching the thieves in the act, but the real deterrent is the temporary installation of a mobile security camera maintained by law enforcement should prove the single greatest barrier to what is at face value a string of coordinated thefts carried out by a team of more than one criminal.
One hopes that the publicity surrounding this series of thefts, due in part to the news reporting efforts of local NBC affiliate’s Julie Carey, coupled with the conspicuous security measures will make the tire thieves think twice before stranding another commuter.
|Surveillance camera at Horner Rd., parking lot|
Understandably commuters are concerned, but the PWC Police Dept. has encouraged people that frequent the Horner Rd. lot—and surrounding commuter lots in the area—to immediately report any suspicious activity to the police.