Fairfax Co. police cracking down on illegal street takeovers

Police in Fairfax County, Virginia, are cracking down on street takeovers as part of a summer crime prevention initiative aimed at being proactive and keeping communities safe.

The first wave of the program, which started earlier this month, is focused on street takeovers and bars and restaurants with late hours. The campaign will run through August, with different focuses each month.

Part of the plan is targeting street takeovers, which Capt. James Curry said could become violent and result in property damage. In April, Police Chief Kevin Davis released video of one such street takeover in Springfield. Davis described the sequence as “utter chaos and disorder.”

A group of officers, which Curry said has been picked from eight district stations and will be led by a second lieutenant, will respond to the takeovers when they happen, investigate them and work to deter them whenever possible.

“Although they don’t occur every single day, and maybe not every single week, in Fairfax County I can say that, definitively, the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that we don’t have anything pop up is constant,” Curry said.

The street takeovers usually include cars revving their loud engines and doing doughnuts, Curry said. Sometimes, they include actions that rise to the level of a crime, such as damaging private property, like an industrial parking lot.

The street takeovers are different from the more traditional car meetups, Curry said. Those cases, which usually occur on the weekend in front of coffee shops or other restaurants, typically involve people gathering and looking at fancy, old or classic cars.

“With this nicer weather, it’s common sense to anticipate that you’ll have more of these meetings, later night gatherings,” Curry said.

In addition to the emphasis on takeovers, police will also increase their presence around bars and restaurants that are open late.

Sometimes, Curry said, they operate beyond the hours they’re supposed to. In those cases, police work with code compliance and the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority to figure out “how we can reduce the nuisances for those residents that live nearby that are kept up late at night with loud music or the chaos that can spill out.”

The first month of the Summer Crime Initiative will also focus on strengthening relationships with businesses and other community groups, Curry said.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2024 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Scott Gelman

Scott Gelman is a digital editor and writer for WTOP. A South Florida native, Scott graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019. During his time in College Park, he worked for The Diamondback, the school’s student newspaper.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up