News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, November 6, 2009

Alphabet Soup: FBI Not Involved in Ongoing Jewelry Burglaries, But DOJ Might Be

Earlier suggestions to the contrary, the FBI has not gotten involved in the ongoing series of daytime burglaries targeting Indian families. But a shadowy figure from the Department of Justice attended last week's community meeting where Fairfax County Police Chief David M. Rohrer discussed the response to the thefts.

Despite potential national security concerns, Rohrer told the meeting attendees that the FBI was "not being brought in" since "burglaries are considered local crimes."

Nonetheless, a U.S. Department of Justice representative — who would not allow himself to be interviewed or photographed — attended Thursday's meeting. Knight Sor, of the Justice Department's Community Relations Service, spoke individually with victims and briefly addressed all the attendees, mentioning that the CRS division deals specifically with "hate crimes."

According to its Web site, CRS is the Justice Department's "peacemaker" for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color and national origin. Created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, CRS is a federal agency that assists state and local units of government, private and public organizations, and community groups with preventing and resolving racial and ethnic tensions, incidents, and civil disorders, and in restoring racial stability and harmony.

Sor's presence accented the underlying sentiment of many residents, who feel their ethnicity makes them vulnerable. "I have been a 10-year resident of Fairfax County, which has always been a safe community but now there is doubt," said Ajay Laheri, of the Fair Lakes area, addressing the group. "I feel targeted."
One question raised by meeting attendees: is the stolen gold being used to fund a terrorist organization? Probably not, but who knows?
Perpetrators have stolen gold, jewelry, family heirlooms, passports and other personal documents, so far exclusively targeting Indian and Middle Eastern homeowners across Northern Virginia. Break-ins have become more brazen and frequent over the last month.

Cindy McAllister, commander of the county's Sully District police station, assured everyone that "we'll throw all the resources we need at this until it is solved," but also said that "we're not dealing with someone just out for a little gold," after being asked by Elanchezhian Sivagan Anam if the culprits were attempting to fund a terrorist organization with all the stolen gold.

More than 200 residents listened as Fairfax Police Chief David M. Rohrer insisted that the string of burglaries was being taken very seriously. "I understand your anger and angst," Rohrer told the crowd. "I have to disavow the notion that we are taking this any less seriously than any other robberies .... Justice is colorblind in Fairfax County."


  1. Happy National Nachos Day, Restonian.

  2. If the perps are going for the gold, my hunch is that they are then turning right around and selling it at one of those "we buy gold" events you see advertised everywhere. Maybe those events are where local law enforcement should keep an eye out? Mount some hidden surveillance cameras? As for the racial aspect, I think the victims are targeted only because the perps have equated Asian Indian = lots of gold jewelry in the house. But I can understand how upset the victims must be, and I hope they burglars are caught sooner rather than later.

  3. I think you may be on to something. Somebody should pay very close attention to the feller who's running the gold buying operation at the Worldgate Marriott on Saturdays and Sundays.

    While you're at it, tell him to keep his trashy signs off of the median strips at busy intersections. They're eyesores, they distract drivers and they go to the landfill when they county cleanup/lawn mowing crews come through.

  4. Okay all you of the things that MOST of us really love about Reston is our multi-culturalism. We all have Indian/Middle Eastern neighbors. This is our chance to truly be neighbors. Mobilize the people in your neighborhood who are home during the day (even off and on is good). . .introduce them to the neighbors who fit the targeted population . . . and watch out for each other! No more driving in and not looking right or left before going inside your home. BE NEIGHBORS.

  5. The Convict in the GulagNovember 7, 2009 at 11:22 AM

    Right, SLM. I'm sure our neighbor's would be comforted if the community starts scrutinizing the comings and goings at the homes of our Indian and Middle Eastern neighbors.

    I can here it now. "Oh, never mind me, Mandeep. I'm with the neigborhood watch and we're watching your home more intensely because it seems that YOUR KIND tends to attract crime." Somehow I just don't think they're going to be comforted.

  6. Oh - I didn't realize how that sounded. No, I meant just try to be better neighbors in general getting to know each other better so that we recognize more quickly who isn't part of our neighborhood. These burglaries have targeted homes where there's no one home during the day, so the people who are around during the day are the best eyes and ears a neighborhood can have...that's all I meant. Badly expressed, sorry.


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