The massive uptick of shoplifting and other misdemeanors in Fairfax County, Virginia can be directly attributed to new policies by the George Soros funded district attorney Steve Descano, who announced his office would no longer prosecute any misdemeanor charges, according to the Washington Post.
This change was justified as a response to staffing shortages and the necessity to focus on more severe crimes. Descano’s decision has been controversial, particularly given that his campaign received over $627,000 from George Soros’ Justice and Public Safety PAC.
In Fairfax County, over 1,000 incidents of shoplifting have already been reported this year – a rise of 41.7% from 2022. The news is filled with accounts of thefts, such as a recent incident at Tysons Galleria mall, where individuals allegedly stole $150,000 worth of merchandise. According to county authorities, the investigations are ongoing.
This surge has had significant consequences on local businesses, not to mention the cost of groceries and other goods. Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity shared, “I think the bigger impact is the cost to your groceries… 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.”
Local retailers such as Giant Foods, a popular supermarket chain in Northern Virginia, have taken stringent measures to curb the thefts. These include limiting store hours and access points, restricting the quantity of items in self-checkout, and considering store closures if the problem persists. Giant Foods expressed its predicament, stating, “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.”
Herrity believes two factors are contributing to this surge in shoplifting – the shortage of officers and the lax prosecution of thefts. “It used to be we had a reputation here you didn’t want to commit crime in Fairfax County. Because you got caught and you got punished,” Herrity said.