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.