Car theft, rummaging reported in Sperryville

By word of mouth alone, there are residents of Rappahannock County who boast about not locking the doors to their homes, whether day or night. And if that’s the case why bother to lock the doors to cars and pickup trucks?

Now, given the bulletin issued this week by Rappahannock County Sheriff Connie Compton, Rappahannock residents, especially any who don’t keep and bear arms, might consider changing their routines.

“The Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office has taken a report of a motor vehicle theft that occurred in the Sperryville area overnight,” the sheriff confirmed following an inquiry from the Rappahannock News. “There have been reports of vehicles having been rummaged through as well. Citizens are asked to please keep their vehicles and any valuables secure.”

In a telephone interview Wednesday, Sheriff Compton, for investigative reasons, would not say where in the Sperryville area the reported incidents took place.

“We’re actively working this case right now,” she said.

Compton asked that anybody with information about the auto theft or other unlawful entries of vehicles to please contact sheriff’s Investigator Jim Jones at 540-675-5300..

Auto thefts in Rappahannock, unlike in bordering counties to the north and east, are extremely rare.

In 2017, after two Amissville men were arrested on numerous felony charges stemming from a seven-month long burglary investigation of house and auto break-ins, Sheriff Compton suggested that the carefree days of not locking house and car doors were over.

She urged citizens of the county “to take extra caution in securing both your residences and vehicles to protect your belongings.”

According to the FBI, more than 33 percent of all vehicle thefts occur near the car owner’s residence. Even in rural areas like Rappahannock, where a potential thief stands a good chance of staring down the the barrel of a gun, there are precautions residents can take.

For instance, don’t leave a spare key in or near a vehicle; never leave a vehicle windows open or cracked; install an audible alarm system and a visible anti-theft device; install a vehicle immobilizer system; consider installing a GPS tracking system; and don’t leave valuable personal property in your car.

About John McCaslin 418 Articles
John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at


  1. When I lived in Charlottesville my next door neighbor never locked her. car when it was parked at home, in her driiveway on the street. Why? Because she never left anything of value in it, and figured that the cost of repairing the damage if someone broke into it would be much more than any loose change or something a rummager might find. Makes perfect sense to me.
    Might add that a former coworker of mine had a window smashed in her locked car because something wanted to steal the Garfield figure attached to it. She said the figure was cheap.,but not the couple hundred dollars for replacing the window.
    Sometimes today’s paranoia about safety can have unintended consequences. i don’t however advise anyone whp does not lock doors to go around talking about. Mum’s the word a good idea

  2. “…any who don’t keep and bear arms, might consider changing their routines.”

    Lets keep the opinions in the Op-Ed section. Garbage scaremongering.

    How you gonna feel when you’ve shot your neighbors kid ‘cos he was stealing quarters from your ashtray tough guy?!

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