Old Town office building blitzed by burglaries

Old Town office building blitzed by burglaries

Police believe a string of burglaries, including the theft of a Confederate coin collection, at the 300 block of North Washington Street in mid-August are connected.

Though the thefts, which occurred August 15-16, remain under investigation, authorities have not made any arrests and do not have any suspect information, said Jody Donaldson, spokesman for the city police department. The department is asking anyone with information to come forward, he said.

Officials have not yet put a dollar sign on the haul, but the plunder included a 40-inch high-definition television, a Hitachi video Camera and a Blackberry phone. Several other offices in the building were targeted, but nothing was stolen, according to authorities.

These types of thefts are routine in Alexandria, Donaldson said, describing the rash of burglaries as crimes of opportunity. The thieves were able to break into several offices after gaining entry to one building, he said.

But building tenants said the rash of burglaries were unusual for the neighborhood. Kelly Andrews, office manager at Exquisite Dental Care, couldnt recall similar crimes happening in the past. 

Its very unusual, Andrews said. [We were] a little upset, surprised and thats it. They didnt get into our suite, but its our concern because its our office building.

The crimes may be atypical, but the neighborhood remains safe, said fellow tenant John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org. Pike moved to Alexandria three years ago after basing operations on Capitol Hill the previous two decades. Its not easy to compare the two, he said.

No one and no place is absolutely safe, but I would say that this is as safe as it comes, Pike said. [On Capitol Hill] you quickly came to be able to tell the difference between fire crackers and gunfire, small caliber or large caliber [weapons]. I havent heard a gunshot since moving here This is as safe as it gets.

Still, authorities recommend commercial and residential tenants ensure all alarms and camera security systems work properly. Always lock windows and doors, especially on the first floor, Donaldson said.