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Four Suspects Charged in Series of Larcenies from Vehicles | Crime

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Four Suspects Charged in Series of Larcenies from Vehicles
Crime, News

From Loudoun Sheriff:

Loudoun County, VA:  The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has identified two adults and two juveniles involved in a series of larcenies in the Lowes Island/Great Falls area of Loudoun County.   
Last week the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office released a picture of a possible suspect in the larcenies through the Alert Loudoun system. After receiving several tips from the community, four suspects, Omar C. Cortez-Ayala, 24, Melvin V. Cortez, 18, a 15-year-old female and a 16-year-old male were identified by Loudoun Sheriff’s Investigators as being involved in the thefts.    
Omar C. Cortez-Ayala was charged with grand larceny, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and two counts of receiving stolen property. Melvin V. Cortez was charged with petit larceny, grand larceny and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The 16-year-old male is facing charges of two counts of petit larceny, three counts of grand larceny and distribution of stolen property. The 15-year-old female is facing charges of two counts of petit larceny and two counts of grand larceny. The names of the 15-year-old and 16-year-old cannot be released due to the fact that they are juveniles. Omar C. Cortez-Ayala is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on a $6,000 bond.   
All four suspects are from the Sterling, VA area.   
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office issued a release through Alert Loudoun after discovering a photograph of a possible suspect from a recovered stolen camera. The suspects were involved in a series of larcenies from vehicles that occurred between August 14, 2011 and August 18, 2011. Numerous items were reported taken including electronics and personal items. Vehicles were entered in the area of Tappahannock Place, Swan Creek Court, Banbury Square, and Woolcott Square. Most of the vehicles entered were left unlocked.   
Larcenies from automobiles, or ‘car hopping’, involves suspects seeking out unlocked vehicles within a small area in order to get in and steal any valuables located inside.  While there are some vehicles entered by force, such as breaking a window, many more are entered through unlocked doors.  The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office takes multiple car hopping reports from throughout the county on a daily basis.  Many victims report that their vehicles were unlocked.  Thieves typically target items like GPS’s, small electronics like mp3 players, tools, sunglasses, wallets and loose change.  Most of these items are left in plain view.    
As part of an ongoing initiative called Operation Inventory,  the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging citizens to properly document  information about their valuable personal property.   
Operation Inventory is designed to encourage citizens to carefully document their property on the provided forms. This information should then be stored in a safe location so it can be provided to law enforcement in the event a loss takes place. This information is crucial in the recovery and return of stolen property.   
Operation Inventory is also a valuable prevention tool. When citizens have accurate and critical information about their belongings it increases the chances that a thief will be caught and prosecuted. This creates a high risk environment for criminals that may make them think twice about committing a theft here in Loudoun County.  
An Operation Inventory brochure and property form can be downloaded at www.loudoun.gov/operationinventory.   
Residents are encouraged to lock their vehicles and remove or hide any high dollar items.

Crime, News