Arlington County Police have released surveillance video from the botched armed robbery of the 7-Eleven store near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive.
The robbery attempt happened at about 3:25 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19.
The video shows an approximately 5’8″ tall white male enter the store wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a bandana over his face, while pointing a handgun at the store clerk. A second suspect, a 5’7″ tall black male in a white v-neck t-shirt, then enters the store behind the first suspect and appears to throw some sort of firecracker.
The fireworks made a loud bang and startled the suspects, the clerk later told police, and the two men ran from the scene empty-handed. Arlington police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects.
“Anyone with information on the identities of these individuals is asked to contact Detective John Donaggio at 703.228.4167 or email@example.com,” a police press release said. “To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”
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.
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Information can also be reported anonymously by contacting the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).
Police have released surveillance video they hope will help lead to the arrests of suspects from last week’s check cashing store robbery in the 4700 block of Columbia Pike.
According to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, the two men confronted an employee as she was approaching the store to begin her shift last Wednesday (July 25). One held a gun to her head, the other a knife to her neck. They forced her to open the safe and made off with its contents, which was nearly $40,000.
The suspects are both described as Hispanic men between 5’8″ and 5’10″ with medium builds.
Anyone who has information about the suspects or the crime is asked to contact Detective Robert Wright at 703-228-4197 or email@example.com. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).
Police are investigating an armed robbery at a check cashing store on Columbia Pike.
According to police, an employee had been walking up to the door of the store in the 4700 block of Columbia Pike around 9:00 this morning to begin her shift. Two men approached her and forced her to unlock the door. According to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, one of the suspects held a knife to the woman’s neck, and the other held a gun to her head.
Once inside, the suspects reportedly forced the woman to take them to a back room and emptied the safe. They fled on foot with $40,000 in cash.
Police were unsuccessful in their attempts to track the men with K9 units. They are currently working to see if there is surveillance video of the incident.
The suspect descriptions are vague, but police are describing both as Hispanic men between 5’8″ and 5’10″. One was wearing a white shirt and the other was wearing a black shirt.
The store employee was not injured during the incident, and is continuing to assist police with their investigation.
In the latest Arlington County crime report, a routine traffic stop turned into something more serious when the driver reportedly claimed to be a police officer. According to police, the man was in fact not an officer, and the “bullet proof vest” he was wearing was anything but.
IMPERSONATING A POLICE OFFICER, 07/06/12, 1700 block of S. Arlington Boulevard. At 2:15 am on July 6, a subject was stopped for a traffic infraction and indicated he was a police officer and was wearing a bullet proof vest. Upon investigation, it was learned he was not an officer and was wearing a baseball catchers vest under his clothing. Stephen Clark Robinson, 37, of Washington, DC, was arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer, possession of a altered driver’s license, no operator’s license, and failure to ID.
Also from this week’s crime report — which includes items from the past two week, due to the July 4 holiday — a woman was robbed at gunpoint, on the Fourth of July, in the normally safe Pentagon City area.
ARMED ROBBERY, 07/04/12, 1300 block of S. Eads Street. At 5:25 am on July 4, a female victim was robbed at gunpoint for the tote bag she was carrying that had cash, credit cards and a phone. The suspect fled the scene in a beige minivan. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 6’0” tall and 150 lbs. He was wearing dark clothing and had a black bandana around his face at the time of the incident.
Finally, police are looking for a man who stood on a toilet in the ladies’ room of the Ballston-area Harris Teeter, watching the ladies do their business.
PEEPING TOM, 07/07/12, 600 block of N. Glebe Road. Between 5:35 and 6:32 pm on July 7, an unknown male subject entered the female restroom in a grocery store and was seen standing on the toilet watching females use the restroom. The suspect fled the scene after being confronted by the store manager. The suspect is described as a white male, 30s, 5’7”-8” tall and 200 lbs. He had long curly brown hair and was wearing a long sleeve green t-shirt and jeans at the time of the incident.
The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.
(Updated at 3:20 p.m.) Two men have been sentenced for the Christmas Day armed robbery of a South Arlington gas station.
Arlington residents Earl Brown, 28, and Liban Jama, 24, were convicted of a brazen daytime hold-up at a gas station convenience store on the 4100 block of Four Mile Run Drive. The crime took place around 12:15 p.m. on December 25, 2011.
According to a police report, Jama entered the store, brandished a handgun, and demanded money and cigarettes from the cashier. With the stolen goods in hand, he then hopped into a getaway car driven by Brown.
The pair started to drive away but were pulled over and arrested three blocks away, thanks to a witness who called police while watching them flee.
“The midday robbery occurred just after noon on Christmas Day and drew numerous police officers to the area with guns drawn in an effort to arrest the two as they tried to flee the scene,” said Theo Stamos, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington County.
An Arlington jury sentenced Brown to 11 years in the penitentiary on an armed robbery charge and 3 years on a weapons charge. Jama was sentenced to 7 years for armed robbery and 3 years on a weapons charge.
The case was prosecuted by Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Molly Newton and Assistant Commonwealth’s attorney D. Scott Porter over the course of a three day jury trial. The court is expected to hold a final sentencing hearing for the case on August 24.
(Updated at 12:50 p.m.) Fairfax and Arlington County police are investigating an attempted armed robbery that took place within the past hour on the 3100 block of S. Manchester Street, on the Fairfax/Arlington border.
A man reportedly attempted to rob a small store while displaying some sort of a weapon, initially said to be a gun but possibly a pipe.
The search for the suspect has now been called off. Earlier, Fairfax County police were using a police dog and a helicopter to try to track the suspect. Arlington police, meanwhile, searched the area around nearby Kenmore Middle School and Carlin Springs Elementary School.
During the search the schools locked all external doors and were not allowing anybody to go outside, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Police say 48-year-old Alexandria resident Albert Murray, an employee at the hopsital’s cafeteria, tried to rob his own employer over the weekend.
According to police, Murray took a taxi to the hospital around 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. While the cab waited outside, Murray allegedly went to the food service office in the cafeteria, confronted his manager with a knife, and demanded the combination to the safe. When the manager insisted she didn’t know the combination, police say, Murray bound her hands and feet with electrical cord, placed the safe on an office chair, and wheeled the chair out to the waiting cab.
The taxi driver became suspicious as Murray was loading the safe into the trunk and jumped out of the cab, according to police. At that point, hospital security ran outside. Murray is then accused of getting into the driver’s seat of the cab and trying to drive away. The cab driver, however, somehow managed to jump into the passenger seat of the hybrid taxi and kill the ignition with the press of a button.
Police say Murray then fled on foot. Officers quickly located him and, after a brief foot pursuit, Murray was taken into custody without further incident, according to police.
Murray was charged with abduction, grand larceny, two counts of robbery, and possession of PCP, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Two men impersonating police officers with a search warrant forced their way into a home on the 300 block of S. Fillmore Street around 11:20 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, according to Arlington County police. One of the suspects held the residents — a woman and two children — at knifepoint in the living room while the second suspect, armed with a handgun, ransacked the house. In the end, the suspects made off with nearly $13,000 in cash and jewelry.
A police source has confirmed to ARLnow.com that the house targeted by the two armed robbers was that of Rafi Khan, 23, who was arrested in December and charged with two counts of bank robbery. Both robberies both took place in Arlington over the course of a week.
Khan’s trial is currently scheduled for May. The exact connection between Khan and the home invasion is unclear, but police have indicated that they believe his home was specifically targeted, telling news outlets that the crime was likely an “isolated incident” and that “there’s no reason to believe that this is an ongoing occurrence.”
In a crime report last week, police issued the following descriptions of the suspects.
The first suspect is described as a black male, 6’2” tall, with a medium build and was wearing a black ski mask, sunglasses, a black Northface winter coat and black gloves. The second suspect is described as a black male, 5’5” tall, with a heavy build and was wearing eyeglasses, black coat and black pants.
Chopper Called in for Suspect Search — The U.S. Park Police Eagle 2 helicopter hovered over the Claremont neighborhood — near Wakefield High School — for about half an hour last night while assisting Arlington County Police in a search for several armed robbery suspects. The chopper assisted police and K-9 units on the ground in the search for the suspects in a armed robbery on the 1000 block of S. Frederick Street, in the Columbia Forest neighborhood, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Police eventually arrested three men in connection with the crime, according to police radio traffic.
Board to Consider ‘Pipestem’ Lot — The County Board is expected to decide this weekend on a controversial development proposal in the Leeway Overlee neighborhood. A developer wants to build a large new home on a parcel of land set back from the street and only connected to the street via only a thin driveway strip known as a “pipestem.” Neighbors have been fighting the plan, but to some degree state law — which emphasizes the rights of property owners — prevents the Board from completely blocking development on the lot. [Sun Gazette]
Pregnant Inmate Shackling Bill Fails Again — Del. Patrick Hope tried again this year to pass legislation restricting the use of shackles on inmates while they’re giving birth. A House of Delegates subcommittee tabled the bill on Thursday, however, prompting Hope to pledge to introduce the bill again next year. Arlington County Sheriff Beth Arthur presented an alternative viewpoint when she told a reporter that legislation is not the proper way to deal with the issue — state regulatory changes are. [Associated Press]
Venus Stereos Closes — Venus Stereos, a quirky electronics/soccer jersey/music store at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive, has closed. A sign in the window say the storefront, directly adjacent to the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse, is available for lease. [Pike Spotter]
A female escort was held against her will and sexually assaulted in a Crystal City hotel room last week, according to the latest Arlington County crime report.
ABDUCTION WITH INTENT TO DEFILE / SEXUAL ASSAULT, 01/19/12, 2000 block of S. Jefferson Davis Highway. On January 19, around 8 pm, a female escort was held against her will in a hotel room while an unknown male sexually assaulted her. The suspect is a black male, 30-39, 170 lbs.
This is the third time in recent memory that a crime against an escort has been reported in Crystal City. A local man was arrested on Nov. 4, 2010, after allegedly forcing two prostitutes to perform sex acts at gunpoint. Then on Dec. 15, 2011, a female escort was robbed of cash at gunpoint on the 2000 block of Jefferson Davis Highway.
Also in Crystal City last week, several men are accused of going to a 23rd Street nail salon, then skipping out on the bill. One suspect even allegedly took $1,500 from an employee’s purse.
GRAND LARCENY, 01/18/12, 500 block of S. 23rd Street. On January 17 at 4 pm, five suspects entered a nail salon, received service and left without paying. While distracting salon staff, one of the subjects stole $1,500 cash from an employee’s purse. All suspects were black males, 25-30 years of age; however three were dressed in female clothes and wore wigs.
Finally, a young woman is accused of robbing a juvenile at gunpoint during a pot deal in the East Falls Church area.
ARMED ROBBERY, 01/24/12, 2600 block of N. Winchester Street. Shortly after 6 pm on January 24, an unknown female suspect brandished a handgun and robbed a juvenile for $100 cash during a marijuana deal. Immediately after, the female fled the scene in a green SUV driven by another party. The suspect is described as an Asian female, approximately 18 years old, 5’5”, 120lbs, with a dark mole under her left eye.
The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.
On Monday, two armed men robbed a jewelry store on Lee Highway, holding employees at gunpoint while snatching the store’s merchandise. One of the suspects was wearing a “one-piece burka with a hood,” according to this week’s Arlington County crime report.
ARMED ROBBERY, 01/16/12, 5100 block of N Lee Highway. On January 16 at 7:42 pm, two unknown suspects entered a jewelry store, brandished a firearm and while one suspect held the employees at gunpoint, the other suspect took an unknown amount of jewelry. Suspect description is two black males; one age 35-45, 6’ 250 lbs wearing a black hoody and jeans and the other 5’8 155 lbs wearing a one-piece burka with a hood.
A somewhat similar armed robbery took place last week on Columbia Pike. Two armed men robbed a convenience store while holding a customer at gunpoint, according to police.
ARMED ROBBERY, 01/13/12, 5500 block of S Columbia Pike. On January 13 at 10:15 pm two unknown suspects entered a convenience store, brandished a firearm and while one suspect held a customer at gunpoint the other suspect had the cashier open the register taking approximately $300. Suspect description is two black males, both age 17-20, 6’, 150 lbs wearing ski masks and jeans.
Also last week, a man was arrested for malicious wounding for striking a victim with a “small wooden table.”
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 01/15/12, 200 block of N Thomas Street. On January 15 at 1:27 am, victim was struck with a small wooden table. William Henry, 50, of Arlington was arrested for malicious wounding and held with no bond.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
Among the incidents reported: a police cruiser window was smashed, a Courthouse area business was broken into and a gas station was robbed at gunpoint. All three incidents resulted in arrests.
From the ACPD daily crime report:
DOMESTIC ASSAULT AND BATTERY-ARREST, 12/25/11, 5600 block of S. 7th Rd. On December 25 at 1 am, a man assaulted his wife. He was extremely disorderly during arrest and kicked out the window of a police cruiser. Carlos Villatoro, 30, of Arlington, was charged with Felony Destruction of Property, Domestic Assault and Battery, Possession of Marijuana and Curse and Abuse. He was held without bond.
BURGLARY-ARREST, 12/25/11, 2300 block of Wilson Blvd. On December 25 at 7 am, two men were seen breaking into a business. They were apprehended at the scene by police. Mohamed Alim, 19, of Alexandria, and Adil Gour, 19, of Fairfax, were both charged with Burglary. They were held without bond.
ROBBERY-ARREST, 12/25/11, 4100 block of Four Mile Run Dr. On December 25 at 12:15 pm, a man entered a gas station and robbed the cashier of money an cigarettes while brandishing a handgun. The suspect then fled in a while that a second person was driving. Both suspects were apprehended by police. Liban Jama, 23, of Arlington, was charged with Armed Robbery and Use of Firearm in the Commission of a Felony. Earl Brown, 27, of Arlington, was charged with Armed Robbery. They were both held without bond.
Rosslyn Exxon Robbed at Gunpoint — The Exxon at 1824 Wilson Boulevard, in the Rosslyn area, was robbed early Wednesday morning. Police say two men robbed the gas station at gunpoint around 2:50 a.m. “The suspects were both African American men in their 30’s, around 5’10,” Arlington County Police said in the department’s daily crime report. “One subject was wearing a ski mask; the other had a medium complexion and a small mustache.”
Wag More Dogs Case Heading Back to Court — In a newspaper op-ed entitled “Arlington County Scrooges Need Bigger Hearts,” Wag More Dogs owner Kim Houghton says the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hear her case early next year. Houghton, with the assistance of the Arlington-based Institute for Justice, is suing Arlington County over a dog mural painted on the side of her Shirlington doggie daycare business. The county has deemed the mural an illegal sign, while Houghton argues that it’s a work of art. [Washington Times]
D.C. Area Cars Are Getting Older — The average age of vehicles on Washington area roadways continues to rise. The average age of a car in the D.C. area is now 9.25 years — a one year increase since 2005. “It is likely that the recession has had a strong influence on people’s interest in and ability to purchase new cars,” according to Arlington’s CommuterPage Blog. The blog also notes that the older car fleet has a “negative impact” on local air quality. [CommuterPage Blog]
Flickr pool photo by mj*laflaca