The serial burglary spree in Northern Virginia may be growing again. A possible case popped up Friday morning in Loudoun County.
Since late August, there have been nearly 90 incidents in Fairfax County. Just this week, 14 similar incidents occurred in Prince William County. Now police are investigating the Loudoun case to see if there's a connection to the others.
Long, winding roads flanked by tall trees and open fields are the signature of Loudoun County's Waterford area. Friday morning, that tranquility was shattered on Waterfordway Lane. A burglar walked into a home while the owners were asleep.
"The dogs began barking and alerted them that something may be going on. At that time [the owners] discovered electronics and a purse had been taken from the house," said Loudoun County sheriff Stephen Simpson.
Simpson said the burglar got in through an unlocked door, zeroed in on the goods and was gone in a flash. He says this M.O. is not typical of house burglars. "When a person goes into a house knowing that there's people home, knowing there could be a confrontation -- [the concern is,] are they armed and willing to defend themselves?" said Simpson.
Loudoun has reached out to detectives in Fairfax and Prince William counties. "The fact that the house was unlocked and the residents were home... in the wee hours of morning when someone got in, it's characteristic of the cases in the other jurisdictions," said Simpson.
Since late August, Fairfax has had 87 incidents -- burglaries, attempted break-ins and thefts from cars.
Friday afternoon, the Fairfax police chief talked to citizens in an online chat. "The public is very concerned... about someone coming into their house... especially when they're home and their kids are home, and they're sleeping in the middle of the night," said Colonel David Rohrer, Fairfax County Police Chief.
The Fairfax crime spree has become a top priority, said Rohrer, with detectives across the county working on the cases. But even as he addressed citizens' questions online, Rohrer admitted there's no suspect -- and no certainty when or where the burglar or burglars could strike again.
"We suspect this person this person is comfortable with the area... They're probably on foot or on a bicycle... sitting listening, watching for police cruisers, whatever it may be," said Rohrer.
Police encourage residents who have any information or who see anything suspicious to call them immediately.
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