FAIRFAX, Va. - Police in Fairfax have an important warning for people with garage door openers. They say thieves are finding them in unlocked cars and using them to get into homes.
There have been four reported cases so far on Valley Oaks Drive, Hunt Manor Court, Abington Hall Place and Edgemere Circle.
One man, who did not want to be identified out of fear for his own safety, told FOX 5 he awoke to someone walking around in his kitchen.
“I heard footsteps, like really a lot of footsteps,” he explained. “I said, ‘This is not good,’ so I went upstairs. I saw the lights were on – he turned on the lights. I said, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ and he quickly bolted.”
The thief got away with his wallet.
“It did stress me out a bit,” he added. “I couldn’t sleep after. But I am glad no one got hurt. Even him, I didn’t want him to get hurt either.”
The man FOX 5 spoke to believes this was a crime of opportunity and says the burglar was fairly young. Fairfax police dusted for shoe and fingerprints.
In three of the cases, including this man, the homeowners walked in on the suspect as he was stealing things, and the burglar immediately ran, getting away with their wallets.
In the fourth case, the homeowners woke to the sound of their garage door chime, but did not find anyone in their home. Police believe the thief could have been scared away by the alert.
A K-9 was able to track the suspect’s scent to a nearby wooded area, but it ended there. Police believe the suspect got into a waiting car and others are likely involved.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Fairfax police at 703-691-2131.