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James Sylvester Caroline Charged With Murder

by ARLnow.com | August 3, 2012 at 4:45 pm | 3,874 views | 33 Comments

The suspect in the death of Columbia Pike jewelry store owner Tommy Wong has been formally charged with murder.

Washington D.C. resident James Sylvester Caroline, 53, is being held without bond at the Arlington County jail on the murder charge and on a separate probation violation charge. He was arrested on the Arlington/Alexandria line during a traffic stop on Wednesday afternoon. Police say the arrest was the result of dogged police work and inter-agency cooperation.

“Through round the clock police work, this individual was located and taken into custody in a timely manner,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, who was unable to reveal any other details about the crime or the investigation.

Wong was killed during an armed robbery at his store — Capital Jewelers at 3219 Columbia Pike — on the afternoon of Friday, July 27. At a candlelight vigil on Wednesday, friends and family members described Wong as a kind and gentle man who worked hard to serve customers and provide for his family.

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  • South 9th Street

    Sad thing is if Tommy Wong had killed his attacker, the criminal would be dead and this story would be over.

    • b

      what kind of comment is that?

      • Mary-Austin

        a trashy and unnecessary one.

    • Jason S.

      No, we’d have people complaining about fatcat vigilantes killing people over money.

    • Eric

      No. If Tommy Wong had defended his store and his life and in the course taken the life of the attacker, Al Sharpton would be leading mobs against genocidal Arlington Asians, and perhaps torching te store and the whole block.

    • Harry

      Your right, if only Virginia didn’t have such strict gun laws!

      Oh, wait…

    • Mel

      Huh? He should have been anticipating this attacker and been ready to whip out his pistol on anyone that came through the door? Ok armchair Dirty Harry….

  • Arlingtonian

    I’m glad to see that they (apparently) caught the right guy. Keep this guy off the streets permanently, whether it’s life in prison with no possibility of parole or the death penalty.

  • Faintly Progressive

    Sad things is, if Caroline’s life had been different since childhood, perhaps due to society being more just and compassionate, they might both be alive.

    • BoredHouseWife

      maybe.

    • DCBuff

      Right. Criminals with guns don’t kill people, society does. Bozo.

    • Sarcasm

      You maybe Faintly Progressive, but you’re Extremely Stupid

    • Jason S.

      I’m think that if Wong wasn’t murdered, they might both be alive.

    • Elmer

      Good grief. Blame it on society.
      I thought that kind of naive thinking went out in the late ’60s.
      What a throw back.
      Call me: “Been there heard that”.

  • http://twitter.com/jennrubenstein jenn

    thank goodness.

  • Good job ACPD

    I’m just shocked the killer is from Southeast, just shocked.

  • JimPB

    Delighted that an arrest was made, and that the prospects appear good for a conviction. Otherwise, the event is a very sad one for all involved — Mr. Wong, who had his life taken; Mr. Wong’s family, who have lost an apparently valued member; Mr. Caroline, who, if he pleas guilty or is convicted, deservedly should conclude his life in prison; and citizens, who have lost the contributions of Mr. Wong to the community and who have the burden of cost of bringing Mr. Caroline to judgement and very likely the cost of his incarceration until his death.

    Prevention is so much better: Mr. Wong eventually retiring from his business and dying of natural causes, and Mr. Caroline pursuing a career of positive contributions in the community until his death of natural causes. How wonderful if they had intersected and collaborated on positive things.

    • Elmer

      Dear Mr. JimPB,
      Mr. Caroline made his choice to take another’s life for something he had no right to. Unfortuantley for the world, Mr. Hong’s family, and the rest of us, he made that final and fatal decision for Mr. Hong also. Rationalize it anyway you want-its still wrong.
      There’s no sympathy or empathy from me for Mr. Caroline.

      • Elmer

        I am sorry. I meant Mr. Wong.(and apologies to Mr. Wong’s family).

  • Just Me

    I sure hope he gets the death penalty. He did this on camera so it should be a fast trial.

  • Snarkgasm

    I would just love to smack that face until all of the
    hate comes out.

    This pic says it all — I think it says “fry me”.

  • HayyDiosMio

    arlington sheet, I wonder what his DC sheet looks like..

    Case # Defendant Hearing Date Hearing Time Charge Action
    GC05004161-00 CAROLINE, JAMES SYLVESTER 11/16/2005 11:30 AM CREDIT CARD FRAUD-MISDM Mark For Payment
    PAST DUE
    GC05004162-00 CAROLINE, JAMES SYLVESTER 11/16/2005 12:00 AM CREDIT CARD FORGERY
    GC05004163-00 CAROLINE, JAMES SYLVESTER 11/16/2005 12:00 AM CREDIT CARD THEFT
    GC98003914-00 CAROLINE, JAMES SYLVESTER 05/29/2003 12:00 AM HABITUAL PETIT LARCENY
    GC98003914-01 CAROLINE, JAMES SYLVESTER 05/29/2003 09:30 AM FAIL TO APPEAR Mark For Payment
    PAST DUE
    GC98003914-02 CAROLINE, JAMES SYLVESTER 05/29/2003 12:00 AM FAIL TO APPEAR
    GT12033724-00 CAROLINE, JAMES SYLVESTER; JR 09/24/2012 09:00 AM FAIL TO OBEY TRAFFIC SIGNAL Mark For Payment

  • HayyDiosMio

    And here we go, his entire DC career:

    1978 FEL 000577 Felony CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 02/07/1978
    1978 CMD 001828 Misdemeanor CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 03/07/1978
    1979 FEL 004426 Felony CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 08/10/1979
    1981 FEL 007648 Felony CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 12/31/1981
    1982 FEL 004462 Felony CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 08/10/1982
    1982 CMD 015928 Misdemeanor CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 12/22/1982
    1983 CMD 012052 Misdemeanor CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 09/08/1983
    1983 FEL 005476 Felony CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 09/22/1983
    1984 FEL 000309 Felony CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 01/13/1984
    1985 CMD 004488 Misdemeanor CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 03/14/1985
    1985 FEL 002616 Felony CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 04/06/1985
    1985 FEL 008929 Felony CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 11/19/1985
    986 CMD 000316 Misdemeanor CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 01/09/1986
    1986 FEL 001995 Felony CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 03/14/1986
    1994 CMD 015866 Misdemeanor CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 12/03/1994
    1998 CMD 010142 Misdemeanor CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 07/14/1998
    1998 CMD 015779 Misdemeanor CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 10/28/1998
    1999 FUG 000931 Fugitive CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 04/01/1999
    1999 CMD 003676 Misdemeanor CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 04/01/1999
    1999 FUG 001919 Fugitive CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 07/06/1999
    1999 FUG 002070 Fugitive CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 07/21/1999
    1999 FEL 005145 Felony CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 07/21/1999
    2000 CSP 000462 Spec Proc CAROLINE, JAMES S Petitioner Closed 02/23/2000
    2000 CSP 000674 Spec Proc CAROLINE JR., JAMES Petitioner Closed 03/13/2000
    2004 CTF 004457 Traffic CAROLINE, JAMES S Defendant (Criminal) Closed 08/14/2004
    2005 LTB 038030 Landlord & Tenant Branch CAROLINE, JAMES Defendant Closed 11/01/2005
    2011 LTB 036326 Landlord & Tenant Branch CAROLINE, JAMES Defendant Closed 12/22/2011
    2012 LTB 006762 Landlord & Tenant Branch CAROLINE, JAMES Defendant Closed 03/15/2012

    • Ben

      Got to love all his felonies. DC is so tough on crime…..

      Had he been locked up like he should have been – this would have never happened.

      • Tabby_TwoTone

        Thank Ronald Reagan and his Mandatory Minimum Sentencing laws for non-violent, drug-related crimes. I know people who were caught with too much marijuana, no priors, who spent five years in prison.

        There’s no room at the inn, so violent, repeat offenders like this get paroled. Plenty of convicted rapists get released early, while JoeBob College Kid with intent to distribute rots behind bars and on our dime.

        Disgraceful.

        • Elmer

          So yesterday, it was society’s fault. Today, its Ronald Reagon’s fault.
          What’s next, the the full moon theory?
          Blame anyone and anything but the perpetrator.

          • drax

            So the perp is to blame for the perp not going to prison for felonies?

            Get your knee-jerk reactions straight, Elmer.

        • Tumblebum

          It’s Ronald Reagan’s fault. Bwahahahaha..

        • Elmer

          Dear Tabby, etc.:
          Those people you know who were caught with drugs and spent some time in the Hotel For Stupids never learned the meaning of NO. Remember what Mrs. Reagan said? Just say NO to drugs.
          That’s a hard lesson to have to learn when you reach adulthood and you’ve never been told no. Now who’s fault is that?
          BTW, I assume your “JoeBob College Kid” is age 18 or older? Ergo, an adult-not a kid- with adult responsibilties and adult consequences for his actions!

        • Rob

          That’s nothing I knew a guy about to graduate from Harvard got caught fishing without a license, he got prison time and they had to let out this guy named Bane who went on to terrorize Gotham city… All because of Reagan

    • Just Me

      Why the hell wasn’t he in prison? If he was Mr Wong would be working in his store today.

  • HayyDiosMio

    Dude was a serious career criminal, sheet starts at a young 19 years of age. Could mean he was locked up as a juvi up to and passed 18 or had just gotten out.

    Three strike rule, anyone?

  • JimPB

    Yes — Undertake comprehensive investigations, apprehension, prosecution, convictions for crimes, and then, for ALL violent, serious (large financial theft) and repeat offenders, long- and hard-time incarceration.

    The self-report criminology data and credible reports of white collar crime, which costs us vastly more financially than street crime does, would bring fairness to the criminal just system, and would result, if the “people” had the same resources for investigating and prosecuting as those with money have their often successful “defenses,” in a meaningful part of the white middle and upper class behind bars.

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