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Police Working Leads in Deadly Robbery Case

by Katie Pyzyk — July 31, 2012 at 1:30 pm 3,141 50 Comments

(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) Arlington County Police are working leads to figure out who killed Tommy Kin Mo Wong during a deadly robbery at Capital Jewelers on Columbia Pike on Friday.

Authorities have responded to at least four calls over the past few days regarding men spotted around Arlington who fit the description of the suspect and were wearing yellow vests. One such report prompted police to detain and question a man yesterday, as seen in the courtesy photo on the left. It happened around the same time and vicinity as an SUV running into Bangkok 54 on Columbia Pike, but the two incidents were not related. Police determined the man was not the robbery suspect from Friday, and released him at the scene.

Meanwhile, there’s been some speculation by local TV stations that the Columbia Pike robbery may be linked to a similar armed robbery in the District last month. As seen in video run on NBC 4, the gunman in the surveillance video from the June 9 jewelry store robbery in Northwest D.C. is also seen wearing a reflective yellow vest. Police say the two departments are sharing information about the robberies.

“Our detectives have been interviewing the victim in the D.C. incident as well,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “We’re trying to see if there’s any possible connection between the two incidents.”

Anyone with information concerning the deadly robbery or the identity of the suspect is asked to contact Detective Richard Conigliaro at 703-228-4193 or investigations@arlingtonva.us. Information can also be reported anonymously by contacting the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).

Courtesy photos

  • Dumb Question

    It appears the perp is not wearing gloves in the photo. Hopefully they got some fingerprints off the doorknob. Someone willing to commit murder has probably committed other crimes and thus probably has his prints in the system.

    • Justice

      Given his age he could be an ex-con with good fingerprints and pictures in the system.

  • Elmer

    Please, please get this guy.
    He’ll kill again.

  • Willy

    Why would the criminal be walking around in a yellow vest in the vicinity of the scene in the daylight? Second, if you do a blow up of the picture and compare it to the video crime photo, it doesn’t look like the guy at all. Finally, whats with the questioned person kneeling on the ground, apparently handcuffed? Is that appropriate? Can the police do that to a person walking down the street?

    • drax

      Can the police handcuff a guy who matched the description of a murder suspect? Yeah.

    • Aaron

      No, they need a warrant issued by a judge before they can do that!

      Are you nuts? Of course the police can handcuff and throw anyone they want to the ground at will. Try not to look like a criminal and you’ll be fine.

      • ShirliMan

        Warning to all slim black men in Arlington: Do not wear a yellow reflective vest.

        • novasteve

          Yeah, but if they don’t wear a yellow reflective vest then they’ll be perfectly safe!

          • Swag

            Not from OSHA~

      • Jason S.

        They aren’t hired for their intelligence, they saw a black guy in a yellow vest so rather than treat him like a human, they chose to err on the side of drama.

        I hope somebody reports a murder by a slightly overweight balding white guy in brown flip flops, but I don’t think they’ll cuff anybody with that description quite as quickly. =(

        • novasteve

          So do you think they should be searching elderly grandmothers like they do at airports so that nobody gets offended?

          • drax

            They search elderly grandmothers at airports because terrorists can disguise themselves as elderly grandmothers or hide bombs with elderly grandmothers without their knowledge, steve.

          • novasteve

            Right. So why don’t they do that in Israel? I didn’t even get my carryon xrayed.

          • Vision Quest

            Because Israel is smarter than we are. At least in how they screen terrorists. Liberals and conservatives can agree on that.

            TSA is a hulking joke. I’ve dealth a few times with them on several contracts and, based on that limited experience and from many observations at airports, they are somewhat of a mess. CBP is run much better.

          • Screen Name

            I know people who work in counterterorrism for the US government who have been pulled out for more screening by TSA. They clearly do racial profiling. If you’re anything but obviously white or obviously black, get ready for frisking.

            F–k you, TSA. Bunch of complete morons. Shut them down!

          • Josh S

            You’re kidding, right?

        • Curious George

          Well if the guy matched a description of what the police know which, hopefully, is more than they released then yes they could detain an individual. Especially if the suspect was belligerent.

          Maybe the guy has had bad experiences with the police before but if he seems like he may become a threat then I think it is pretty standard to handcuff him.

          Or the police could have screwed up. We don’t know the context of the picture.

          Also the picture may have absolutely nothing to do with the recent murder.

          • Curious George

            OK I need to read guder. So it sounds like the picture was of a potential suspect.

        • blueflipflops

          My guess is he ran his mouth which earned him the handcuffs. I could be wrong, but, I am just guessing.

          Jason S, since you’re clearly so intelligent, you probably read that a citizen called this guy in and not just an officer being over zealous.

    • BoredHouseWife

      1. to hide in plain sight. Arlington county transportation workers wear those vests. no one would consider anything suspicious, especially with all the construction and all the utility work going on.
      2. I bet it is a trend. or a conspiracy.
      3. maybe he he said something that made the officers suspect him.

  • drax

    Why are the police wasting their time when they could just round up the bums and solve our crime problem?

    (SARCASM).

    • malaka

      how is this “cime solving” helping them obtain more revenue for the pet projects of the county?

    • Craig

      some of those bums were a few of my old roommates. Good burn.

  • maybe i’m an idiot but

    5 days after the robbery police are detaining people because they are wearing a similar outfit to the one the robber wore on the off-chance that he hasn’t changed yet?

    • CW

      The perp probably made his escape while the police were distracted shaking down all the local road crews.

    • drax

      No, because it’s a work vest and maybe he works in the area while wearing it daily.

      • Josh S

        Hookay. Do we assume he is that dumb?

        Isn’t this like getting nervous about going to see Batman?

        The vest is not the key.

    • BoredHouseWife

      out driving I saw an Arlington county worker, writing a ticket or inspecting something on a residential road. The vest reminded me of the suspect’s vest.

      i.e.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfyP7cny4NY&feature=player_embedded#t=35s

  • AllenB

    Yeah, the guy would still be wearing that vest. Likely.

    • Jerry

      agreed.

    • Mr Brown

      No way, he’d switch to an orange one to throw the cops off the scent.

  • Jerry

    great title.

  • OldYeller

    If this were on CSI, it would go something like this….

    “Let’s have another look at that video. Roll from minute 2. Stop! Enhance! Can you zero in on his front pocket? Enhance. Enhance. Zoom once more, rotate, enhance. Great, I can read his driver’s license through the gaps in the threads. Case closed.”

  • Enough already

    Yea, lets all criticize the cops for trying to catch an armed murderer, while trying to keep themselves safe and trying to go home to their own families while you morons sit at your desks and hide behind your computer screens.

    • CW

      I think we all just really want to know why the police believe he hasn’t taken off the vest yet…

      • bob

        perhaps because they have information to believe that a) the suspect has committed other robberies wearing similar costumes, and/or b) the suspect might actually wear the costume for work in the area. Not every criminal is as perfect at their chosen profession as you would be if you didn’t waste your time blathering nonsensically with all these other morons online.

      • drax

        Sigh. If he works in the area, he probably wears it every day.

        Assuming he’s dumb enough to keep going to work while he’s wanted for murder, that is.

        • Jason S.

          Sounds like a great time to be a black construction worker in Arlington.

    • Tumblebum

      Well said, But now you will not be invited to the ARLnow commenter Jr prom.

  • speonjosh

    What is a “courtesy photo?”

    Has this phrase ever been used before?

    • drax

      It’s a photo someone gives away for free before they figure out they could have made a few bucks by charging for it.

      • Josh S

        Yeah, I figured that. Couldn’t there be a better moniker for that? “Courtesy photo” is just lame. It doesn’t mean anything.

        Isn’t it supposed to be: Photo courtesy of “XXXX”? And then, if the photographer didn’t want to give their name, you say “Anonymous?” Boom, done. With no cutesy game playing with the language?

  • Andy

    What’s a courtesy photo?

  • yequalsy

    I bet he drives a white van.

    • LEFant44

      With the Arl County seal on the doors.

  • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

    A welcome relief from those proactivity expectations I must say.

  • PikerGirl

    From lookiing at the video on the NBC 4 site, I noticed that the robbers for both jewelry store heists were wearing smilar white ball caps. However, the one in the DC robbery was wearing his backwards.

  • Joey

    I saw it go down, he was pulled over driving the suv in the pic cops got him out of the vehicle at gunpoint. Than release him about ten minutes later

  • R0bespierre

    With adequate suspicion that this person also robbed a store in DC, this should go to the FBI…how hard can it be for the FBI to ID the logo on the back of his vest? Unless it was completely randomly stolen, that might be a good lead.

    The baseball cap seems new and he probably only wears it for his costume, if you have ever worn a hat you can tell that it’s new when the straps are perfectly straight because it means that almost no tension has been applied to the hat, it hasn’t been worn much.

  • tumblebum

    And what exactly would give the FBI jurisdiction?

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