If Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman John F. Herrity opposed letting burglars do community work instead of go to jail when he discussed the idea Monday afternoon, he was even more against it Tuesday morning -- after he found his Annandale insurance agency had been burglarized overnight.
"This is the first time I've been burglarized," said Herrity, who had told the board he opposed relaxed rules about who is accepted in the county's state-sponsored Community Diversion Incentive Program, a work-release plan some argue is too restrictive.
" . . . There's no way I'm going to allow the Community Diversion Program to let burglars and robbers out in the street. After being robbed, I feel even stronger about it now."
Nothing was taken from Herrity's second-floor office at the Heritage Building on 7617 Little River Turnpike, but Herrity's wooden office door was broken, his desk and file cabinets rifled and about $1,000 in damage was done. About $3,000 was stolen from 13 other burglarized offices in the building. Police have no suspects.
The burglary took place hours after supervisors discussed the work-release program, which permits judges to assign offenders to community jobs rather than jail. Under citizen pressure, the board had made those convicted of larceny, burglary, attempted burglary, breaking and entering and possession of stolen goods ineligible. Herrity and some board members Monday favored only allowing those convicted of larceny -- the taking of property without force or the threat of force -- into the program.
Fairfax County police say they are still investigating the Annandale burglary, which they estimated took place sometime between 10 p.m. Monday when the cleaning crew left and 7 a.m. when the morning maintenance worker arrived at the 11-story building.