More details have been released on a string of 130 smash-and-grab burglaries at businesses in Alexandria and throughout the region.
A number of juveniles from around Alexandria have been arrested in connection to the incidents.
Last month, Alexandria Police said that one juvenile suspect was arrested.
In most cases, the suspects broke windows with rocks or bricks and drove away in stolen vehicles. During one three day stretch in February, there were approximately 35 incidents in Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax County and Fairfax City, according to a police search warrant affidavit.
At least three of the suspects were identified as members of the “Culmore City Gang,” which has ties to Fairfax County, police said.
One of the juvenile suspects, a D.C. resident, has been documented as a member of the gang for several years. He was identified on security camera footage from one of the incidents and was eventually tracked down in a stolen vehicle on March 18. Police said the suspect was arrested for probation violation but “fled from court-ordered custody at the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Facility.”
Numerous additional burglaries followed the juvenile’s escape. Hours after another incident on April 8, Arlington County Police tracked down the suspect who escaped with another juvenile (later issued a juvenile arrest warrant) in a stolen 2010 Ford Explorer.
The suspect who escaped custody was arrested after five separate incidents that occurred at businesses on S. Pickett Street in the West End on April 23. He was arrested the following day while allegedly fleeing a burglary incident at an Arlington pharmacy. On his phone police found photos and videos of the suspect and other juveniles holding large sums of money, drugs, firearms and ammunition — all while wearing clothing that was captured on security videos.
As of April, it is believed that the suspects “have stolen ignition keys from vehicles, utilized them in a burglary,” police said in the affidavit. “After utilizing the vehicle in the burglary, the suspect returns the vehicle to the owner, but keeps the ignition key, returning to the vehicle to commit more thefts.”
Police arrested another juvenile outside his home in Fairfax County on April 27, and he was allegedly was in possession of a stolen firearm.
On May 13, another juvenile suspect was arrested after a brief chase in Arlington. The driver was taken into custody, and inside the vehicle police found a stolen firearm and a blue canvas beg containing “approximately $10,000 of electronic cigarettes similar to ones reported stolen in ongoing regional burglaries.”