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Franconia District Commander: No Groper Incident in Springfield Since Community Meeting

Captain Jim Baumstark spoke with members of the Citizen Advisory Committee at their monthly meeting Wednesday evening.

At Wednesday's Citizen Advisory Committee meeting, Captain Jim Baumstark — commander for the Franconia District Police Station — said there have been no reports of serial groper incidents in the greater Springfield area since the community meeting in March.

Baumstark said this does not include the incident that happened in Kingstowne in late March, which he emphasized once again is unlike the serial groper's M.O. in the Springfield incidents. Police are still actively looking for the suspect in the 24 incidents reported since early September.

Multiple patrol units are still focusing on the areas where incidents have occurred in Springfield. Baumstark said they are also still investigating the cases of a possible copycat in Lorton.

For similar incidents in different areas, including Arlington and D.C., Baumstark said officers with the Franconia District have traveled to those stations to ask questions only to find they're not related to the assaults committed in Springfield.

More Franconia District Crime and Information

In Franconia District officer news, Erica Webb recently became the new bike team lieutenant. With the weather warming up, residents should expect to see the bike team throughout the district more often.

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Officers with the Franconia District recently arrested suspects in multiple burglaries in the area. Earlier this week, kids broke into a residence in the Kingstowne area while the homeowner was present. The resident called the police and officers arrived while the kids were still in the home.

On Wednesday, the bike team stopped a man in the Springfield area to find he was in possession of expensive Coach bags. The suspect told police that he purchased the bags at Macy's. After officers warned the man that they can check surveillance cameras at the department store to verify his story, he admitted to taking the bags from a nearby residence.

The suspect directed officers to the residence where he took the bags, and upon their arrival, they found three more people breaking into the same residence. The owner of the home had recently died.

Baumstark said as the weather gets warmer, police may see an increase in motorcycle thefts. He said he couldn't express more how important it is to lock up all vehicles. Baumstark explained to the CAC members that about 80 percent of burglaries and larcenies are from unlocked cars.

MPO Jim Reid said sports bikes are the type of motorcycles most criminals target because Harley Davidson motorcycles are heavier and hard to lift into a van.

FCPD also mentioned that by leaving their cars unlocked, residents are inadvertantly increasing the drug issues in the area. Most of the time when criminals take GPS systems or other electronics from unlocked vehicles, they trade it for drugs, police say.

Burglaries at Radio Shack

FCPD has noticed multiple Radio Shack locations in the region have been robbed, including locations in Fairfax, Loudoun County and Maryland. Suspects are breaking into the stores and taking high-priced items.

Someone recently broke into the Radio Shack in Kingstowne, but police say the manager had high-priced items such as iPods and iPads, locked away and the suspect was unable to take any of the items before fleeing the scene.

Save the Date

FCPD will focus on its "Click it or Ticket" initiative from May 20 to June 2. Police advise drivers to buckle up, not only during this time period, but every time they get behind the wheel.

Also, DWI checkpoints will be set up in the Franconia District May 24 and July 27.

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