There is just too much bad stuff happening around Prince William County recently.  We have a mother on trial for killing her adopted, handicapped daughter and a man on death row for killing and raping a teenage girl.  We also have had a home invasion that resulted in a mother and son’s death.  We have had drive-by shootings and car jackings.  This is all serious crime.  While there have always been horrendous crimes in PWC and the cities, at least while I have lived here, they were few and far between back in the good old days.

Recent events in the past couple of days are very troubling and could touch each and every one of us.   A man in a van has attempted to grab and abduct 2 different teenage girls.  Both of the girls were blonde.  No one really knows if that is a common denominator or not but the residents of Wellington are understandably upset and nervous.   His sketch is in News and Messenger.



The other end of the county is also plagued with crime.  A Lake Ridge man and his girlfriend were walking their dog when they were accosted, roughed up, held at gunpoint and robbed  by 3 men wearing ski masks.  It was 9:30 at night!  That is barely dark.  Lake Ridge!   Residents have responded to both incidents very vocally.  One letter in the comments section of News and Messenter was especially pointed.  It was written by a teenager.

Here is knuxlight’s contribution:

Hearing this honestly drops a large rock into my stomach. I’ve lived in lake ridge all but 2 years of my life, and those 2 years it was in Dale City (so you can see the obvious comparison) Lake Ridge use to be a quiet innocent place, people always friendly, neighborhood parties and BBQ’s and now look at it. It’s turning into a slum where people have to walk their dogs and jog carrying pistols! I may be still a teen, but still, this is the place where our kids are possibly going to grow up one say. To the man and the woman held up, my prayers go out to you all.

What ever happened to the neighborhood watch? We see those signs out everywhere, but a sign can only do so much. It takes acting upon such things that keep people safe and prevent people from being harmed. We only seem to care about this sort of thing when it happens, all concerned about the situation, and always coming up with idea’s to fix the problem, but then weeks later the problem is forgotten about, and people go about their merry way until it happens again. Then we are all back to square one. We need to start establishing neighborhood watches and seriously doing something about this. It’s not just about the now, it’s about now and the future. Please people, don’t just blame the economy and the illegals with this, because it’s not all their faults, we’ve let our guard down around here, and we’re beginning to suffer for it. Time to turn Lake Ridge around again.


It seems to me that it is time to turn Prince William County and the cities around again. Good for Knuxlight for stepping up to the plate. More young people should get involved. Here is a person trying to help the problem rather than trying to add to the problem.

Is there a great deal more serious crime now than there was even 2 or 3 years ago? How do we take back our county from those who seem to want to turn it into the place of urban crime? How do we add police officers with our current economic situation? What can we as individuals do to help get this crime rate down in the county and the city?

20 Thoughts to “Too Much Crime”

  1. Last Best Hope

    I should think we should begin by insisting on a new relationship of mutual respect between our BOCS and the PWC Police Department. The BOCS should give our law enforcement professionals what they need in order to keep this county safe; they should NOT give them unnecessary burdens that undermine community policing. The BOCS should look a law enforcement as a public safety initiative; NOT a political campaign initiative. Law enforcement should not be corrupted whenever politicians need to win elections. Public safety should not be compromised whenever a small group of people in one or two neighborhoods have fixations on a contentious social issues like immigration or the county’s ethnic breakdown. The relationship between government and police work should never be ruled by politics.

  2. Emma

    Funny, I don’t recall that PWC police were required to get involved in “contentious social issues like immigration.” I thought they were charged with keeping the county safe from lawbreakers. Illegal immigrants are, by definition, lawbreakers. So when they choose to commit other illegal activity, such as driving without a license, engaging in identity theft or other more serious crime, do you just expect the police to turn a blind eye because it’s too “political?” It’s bad enough that the federal government has failed its citizens by refusing to curb illegal immigration. When localities decide to ignore it too, the citizens are doubly screwed. Deport every one of them, the elitists who use the race card to try to guilt us into accepting this lawbreaking so they can line their own pockets be d@mned.

  3. Moon-howler

    Actually, the police department did get caught in the crossfire of the immigration debate. They were bashed on blogs and Chief Deane was the object of ridicule and even called a traitor. Now when your leader or boss is under attack, what does that do for job moral?

    Additionally, the police had to collectively change direction serveral times while the BOCS rethought their directives. This topic was not the intent of my post, but since it is here, it probably needs to be dealt with.

    Emma, I don’t disagree with some of what you have said. No, the police should not ‘turn a blind eye’ to crime, regardless of who commits it. Individuals who engage in identity theft, driving without a license, murder, robber, assault should all have to pay for their crimes.

    I do not feel that our local law enforcement should go rounding up illegal immigrants who have not commited any crime other than being here illegally. Why should county tax payers pay to be part of the revolving door federal catch and release program?

    You and I both know that it is impossible to deport every illegal alien and that to do so would require us becoming a police state. I don’t want to live in a police state. Deporting serious criminals is not a good idea. They are right back here commiting evil acts. Our jail superintendant has told us that many returned who were picked up and processed through the 287g program.

  4. ShellyB

    Emma, “by definition” an expired visa is a civil infraction and a federal one at that. Not a state or county law. People who drive 72 mph on I-66 are “by definition” lawbreakers. So are people who find tricky ways to pay less income tax. The are only so many things our police officers can spend their time on. The immigration distraction forced them to go through all this training. Then they scrapped the probable cause thing, so the training was for nothing. Bye bye $14,000,000. Bye bye a lot of time that could have been spent keeping us safe. I agree with LBH, you are hurting public safety when you distract the police with things that are about politics and prejudice.

    As for the feds, you’re right. They should be solving it. But they aren’t. So we got to pay taxes twice. For the feds not to solve it. And for our county government to spend $14,000,000 on something that soiled our reputation, hurt our economy, and made it A HECK OF A LOT HARDER for police officers to keep us safe. Why? Because minorities no longer want to talk to them. To report crimes or be witnesses. It was a bad deal for everyone. Time will tell how severe the price will be in terms of public safety. All I know is that a 10 year trend of crime rates going down WAS REVERSED last year. Crime went up slightly in 2008. As M-H seems to be fearing, it doesn’t seem to be going back down again either.

  5. Rick Bentley

    “What can we as individuals do to help get this crime rate down in the county and the city?”

    No-brainer. Provide disincentive for illegal immigrants to live here, by deporting them whenever possible and denying them any social services. It’ll be much safer when we at least know the REAL NAMES and PAST CRINMINAL RECORDS of those around us. Common sense.

  6. ShellyB

    But Rick, we did that already. We sent a big loud message that certain groups are not welcome, knowing that some in those groups are illegal. But crime went up. Maybe we should try focusing on the act, rather on the people we in our minds ASSume are more likely to commit the act.

  7. Moon-howler

    Rick, what about those criminals who are not illegal immigrants? Most of our serious crime in Prince William and surrounding areas has not been committed by illegal aliens.

  8. Last Best Hope

    M-H and Rick, this is a question of philosophy, is it not?

    What is the best way to fight crime? Do we target certain demographics who might be perceived as committing more crime? Is this effective? If so, should we use public perception or statistics? We often perceive that certain demographics are more likely to commit crimes. But statistics belie this assumption. Statistics bear out the fact that level of education and level of poverty are the more accurate indicators. If we went by statistics, one might assume the best way to fight crime is to fight poverty, or decrease the high school drop out rate.

    Not very sexy, is it? Certainly not in an election year, which is EVERY year in Virginia sadly enough.

    Thus, we turn back to public perception. Many might perceive people of European descent to be less prone to crime, and people of non-European descent to be more prone to crime. This is one way to go. It has been a part of law enforcement since Reconstruction if not before. But there are many reasons why in modern times, the law enforcement officials who are actually responsible for keeping us safe prefer NOT to use race as an indicator. But, politicians can sometimes be blinded by an unfortunate yearly phenomena we call elections.

  9. Moon-howler

    Mine wasn’t a question of philosophy. I cannot speak for Rick.

    Short of throwing on a superman cape and learning to fly, many things can be done to curtail crime rates. Actually, PWCPD was doing just that before they became caught in political crossfire.

    PWCPD showed more of a presence in areas were robberies were known to be more frequent. Taxpayers can insist that their tax dollars go towards a beefed up police force. Residents can form neighborhood watch groups and other types of citizens groups.

  10. JustinT

    I think of it as a question of priorities.

    Let’s just say for instance that at 8:43 PM a Mexican lady is driving home from night school English classes with a broken tail light.

    And at 9:12 PM there will be a robbery on the same street.

    And at 9:30 PM there will be a rape two streets over.

    And at 10:14 PM someone’s house will be broken into.

    If our county government’s priority is to find illegal aliens of any type, and not people who commit crimes of any type, well then the cop is required by law to spend two hours with the person with broken tail light, running the immigration status check, bringing them in to the station, always careful to write it up in a way that doesn’t give the Justice Department a case for racial profiling just in case it comes back the person was legal.

    Meanwhile, the cop who is involved in this whole routine is not available to chase down the robber, the rapist, or the burglar. But we have two teenage kids without a mom for 3 months until she gets release by ICE because she is not as much as a threat as most people they are holding.

    Is the community safer? I vote no.

  11. You Wish

    I think apathy plays into this – not apathy on the part of the police, but apathy on the part of neighborhoods. A co-worker of mine lives off of Paxton Street in Lake Ridge (off of Colby Drive, behind Tackett’s Mill). He’s stated that there was an active neighborhood watch, but it fell by the wayside – the members felt that they couldn’t do anything about the crime in their neighborhood. They disbanded because nobody wanted to commit to the watch. He’s also lived there for nearly 15 years and he’s one of the few (if only) people that’s lived there for that length of time.

    I’ve lived in my townhouse for 12 years and can say that there is a high level of movement in and out (probably because I’m close to Quantico). There’s probably a handful of us that have lived here since the subdivision was built. This area in general is pretty transient because of the military aspect (Quantico/Pentagon/Ft. Belvoir) and the proximity to DC.

    I guess in my convoluted way (my 9 month old is teething and I’m not getting much sleep because of it) is that the neighborhoods are changing. People don’t live in the same house for 15 – 20 years anymore – they stay for 5 or maybe 10 and then move on. There’s no investment in the neighborhoods. People don’t want to form a neighborhood watch as prevention – they wait until there is a problem and then form one.

    I guess I’m also in a good place because there are 2 PWC cops, a state trooper and a homeland security cop who live in our subdivision. We had some issues with drug sales (low level stuff – mostly pot dealers) and suddenly there was a PWC cruiser in our turnabout every night. THAT was a HUGE deterrent. I don’t know if our HOA paid for it or if it was done because of the police that live in our neighborhood.

    I’m also for letting the cops take home a cruiser to park in their driveway – another good deterrent.

  12. Moon-howler

    Having police officers living in the neighborhood is a huge deterrent. Prince William has had a fairly long history of allowing officers who live in the county to take their duty cars home with them. Free parking and free cop advertisement.

    The PWCPD has also had substations in its more ‘active’ communities. Some years ago, housing for cops was provided at some of the county parks. Again, good use of community resources.

    It sounds like I need to do some more research. These plans have low budget impact on communities and again were implemented under Chief Deane.

    I agree with you, You Wish, about the apathy. Until ‘something happens,’ most of us are fairly complacent.

  13. Lafayette

    hahaha!! The “more active communities”. WestGate Apartment’s substation is still in operation. Thank goodness, we have excellent response time as result. I for one am very thankful for that.

    Complacancy is a huge problem. We can not be complacent until something happens. We must all be aware of our surroundings and activity happening in our neighborhoods. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call the police if you see something suspicious. Anyone can and should do this, and you don’t have to member of a neighborhood watch either.

    The county agencies can’t be everywhere and see everything all the time, and we have an obligation to our community to be proactive. This means reporting unusual activity, zoning violations, suspect child neglect/abuse, etc.. Follow up is key too. Just think how things for Lexie Glover could’ve turned out differently had there been follow-up and futher investigation into alegations.

  14. Lucky Duck

    When the economy goes down, its tradition that crime rates go up – particulary those crimes like robbery and burglary in which the suspects obtain immediate financial gain.

    Unfortunately, that same economy also affects the County resources used to address these increases in crime. In PWCPD’s case, the staffing plan to add a specific number of officers per year was eliminated. There was no December 2008 Academy class as it was eliminated. The July class won’t graduate until December of 2009 and the recruits won’t be available for solo service until May, 2010. So that will be a time span of 17 months for new replacements. This is happening as crime rates for some of offenses were spiking. The BOCS was directly responsible for this action. Don’t let anyone tell you different or spin the numbers, patrol squads in PWCPD are smaller today than they were a year ago.

  15. Rick Bentley

    “we did that already. We sent a big loud message that certain groups are not welcome, knowing that some in those groups are illegal. But crime went up.”

    I don’t accept that premise. I think the police manipulate the statistics. I know that when my car was torn apart for parts 18 months ago, $3500 worth of damage including takiung air conditioner parts from under the hood and tearing out seat belts, in an open semi-lit public street one night, they classified it as “vandalism” rather than theft.

    How safe are we? Would anyone here care to wager on how many of the rapes committed in PWC this year or over the past few years were committed by illegal aliens? Or the murders? Or assaults?

  16. Witness Too

    I would like to thank Lucky Duck for his on-going insights and updates. He has been a great resource to this community. In this post, he has hit the nail on the head in response to M-H’s and LBH’s concerns, which are concerns that speak for everyone.

    Too often we see politicians trying to frighten the public with crime statistics as party of an electoral strategy. It’s an old game, and all too often, racial prejudice is at its core. In 2007 in our county, we had all that, but we also had something especially galling: Chairman Stewart was trying to frighten the public WITHOUT statistics or evidence to back up his claims. Looking back, we see his “Crackdown on Illegal Immigration” came during a period where crime had been going DOWN for many years, even as our minority population grew and grew.

    So, after a year toying with hate groups and bringing racial tension to a boiling point, Chairman Stewart has found himself trying to spin crime statistics that went up all of the sudden. He had the shameless audacity to lie to the public by cherrypicking the one statistic that did go down (robbery) and present this to us IN PLACE of the overall crime statistics. That was truly, truly slimy and low.

    But now this.

    We need to prepare us for another year with our crime rate going up. Possibly two. Lucky Duck is explaining why: (A) economic malaise leads to more crime, particularly property crime, and (B) the mismanagement and poor leadership of Corey Stewart and our BOCS has led to cuts to our public safety budget, which ensures our patrol squads will be understaffed until mid-year 2010.

    In 2007 we had Corey Stewart and Greg Letiecq trying to scare the public by insinuating there was a crime wave when there was not one. And now, the disastrous policies that resulted from this fear campaign are contributing to the creation of an actual crime wave!

    All the while, real lives are being affected. Our police officers are jeopardized and so is the public. This is all so sad, and so disappointing.

    My gosh, if the crime rate goes up again in 2009 and 2010, will Corey Stewart finally drop the whole crime stats fudging thing and just admit his tenure has been a disaster for public safety? Probably not, because 2011 is an election year for him, so he most likely continue to lie to us and assume we are too uninformed to know what he’s up to.

    @Lucky Duck

  17. ShellyB

    These top two threads are really about the same question. Politicization of police work is a bad idea when you begin. And it’s a bad idea when you tally up the results: damage to local economy, damage to local housing market, rising crime rate, weakened tax base, less money for public safety, bad relations between different ethnic communities, bad reputation. The list goes on. Why can’t these politicians just let the law enforcement professionals do their jobs? Our Chief was right and it looks like the St. Lake City Chief will be proven right also.

  18. Moon-howler

    Greg’s band of merry boys and girls also cannot resist taking a pot shot at Chief Deane. That’s really too bad. Anyone who doesn’t cow tow to Greg seems to be destined to have pot shots taken at them.

    Sheriff Joe might have a cult following but the rest of the world doesn’t operate that way.

    I am just beginning to think of it all as the amen chorus. Corey or Greg rattle the cages and the chorus sings.

  19. JustinT

    Right. But the chorus is shrinking. Six people can multiply themselves on the internet. But in real life, a meeting with six people does not a movement make.

  20. Moon-howler

    Excellent point, Justin. I just do not like movements that try to destroy decent people by calling them traitors. Saying you don’t like a policy is one thing. Trying to destroy the person is quite another. To me, a traitor is a very serious charge and should not be thrown around loosely. When I hear traitor I think of Benedict Arnold and the Rosenburgs.

    Interestingly enough, what Chief Deane talked about with the Latino community was county policy as drafted by the BOCS. Now how can that possibly be traitorous.

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