A ritzy suburb with a George Soros-backed prosecutor has seen a surge in shoplifting cases, according to Thursday reports.
Fairfax County, Virginia has experienced more than 1,000 shoplifting incidents this year, a 41.7% increase since 2022, according to ABC 7.
Footage circulating around Facebook showed four people running down an escalator after allegedly stealing $150,000 worth of items from the Tysons Galleria mall. Authorities are still investigating the incident, according to ABC 7. (RELATED TO: REPORT: A Third Of NYC Shoplifting Committed By The Same 347 People)
New: Fairfax County has seen a 41.7% increase in shoplifting so far this year compared to this time last year.
This video shows four people storming down an escalator at Tysons Galleria. The Fairfax County Police Department says the suspects allegedly stole items worth $150,000… pic.twitter.com/U3YXLxVv1S
— Nick Minock (@NickMinock) July 5, 2023
Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity told ABC 7 grocery price increases are partially a result of the shoplifting epidemic.
“I think the bigger impact is the cost to your groceries,” Herrity told ABC 7, “You are talking about millions of dollars being stolen. And the stores have to recover that cost and that goes right into the cost of merchandise. You are going to have some places where the store closes down.”
The Giant Foods supermarket chain in Northern Virginia has responded to the theft increase by limiting store hours, limiting the amount of items in self-checkout and eliminating access to certain entrance and exit points, the outlet noted. The food retailer has hinted at the possibility of store closures if the shoplifting problem continues.
“Giant has served the DMV community since 1936 and we have every intention of continuing to do so,” Giant Foods said in a statement sent to ABC 7. “Closing stores is the absolute last thing we want to do, but the increased theft and violence we’re experiencing across our footprint puts every retailer in a position of weighing that option. Therefore, we work diligently to balance the measures we must take to create a safe shopping environment and operate profitability.”
Herrity told ABC 7 the unwillingness to prosecute thefts under $1500 as felonies and an officer shortage may be contributing to the shoplifting surge.
“It used to be we had a reputation here you didn’t want to commit crime in Fairfax County,” Herrity said. “Because you got caught and you got punished. And I think being 200 officers down and having a Commonwealth’s Attorney who doesn’t want to prosecute theft up to $1,500 as a felony is having an impact. This is all the whole criminal justice reform without limit.”
Fairfax prosecutor Steve T. Descano announced in April 2021 his office would not prosecute misdemeanor charges, according to The Washington Post. Descano cited staffing shortages and a heavier focus on heavier crimes, per the outlet.
Descano received over $627,000 from the George Soros funded Justice and Public Safety PAC, according to VPAP. Twelve Soros-backed prosecutors have left office within the last year, according to The Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF).