Fairfax County police officer restores a crime victim’s faith

You don’t read many stories, these days, about “good cops.”  Here’s one.

Officer Pleva

PFC Pleva
FCPD photo

The officer is PFC Matthew Pleva, who’s assigned to Fairfax County’s Mount Vernon police district. Last month PFC Pleva answered a call about the theft of a purse from a car in a shopping center on Richmond Highway.  A man had walked up to 69-year-old Sharon Cochraham’s car, pulled open the passenger door and stole the woman’s purse.  A routine investigation and report, right?

Yes, but one of the items that was in the stolen purse was Sharon Cochraham’s rosary. PFC Pleva remembered that and the following Saturday the police officer appeared at the victim’s front door.  In his hand was a new rosary for her. “You can’t go to Mass tomorrow without a rosary,” said the officer.

Said Cochraham, in a letter to PFC Pleva’s commander, “While the criminal action dampened my faith a bit Officer Pleva’s action restored it.”



About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at FairfaxNews. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years.  This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns.  He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. He has won two Ohio State Awards for his reporting and producing and he led coverage that won an Edward R. Murrow Award.