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Police Looking for Would-Be Bank Robbers

by Katie Pyzyk | December 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm | 5,902 views | 18 Comments

Police are on the lookout for three individuals who looked ready to perform a robbery this morning but, according to a bank teller, may have reconsidered at the last minute.

Around 11:00 a.m. a teller at the BB&T Bank on the 2900 block of S. Glebe Road spotted two men dressed all in black approaching the bank, police say. The teller reported that the men both had their faces covered and one had a gun, although police cannot yet confirm there was a weapon. The teller told police that just after the men walked into the first set of glass doors for the bank, they turned around and returned to a vehicle where another man was apparently waiting.

Police are currently on the lookout for the vehicle, which is described only as a silver sedan, so they can speak to the individuals. Should police catch up with the individuals and arrest them, the primary charge would be brandishing a firearm, we’re told. The individuals likely could not be charged with attempted bank robbery unless police found hard evidence of a robbery plan.

Police stress that this is an ongoing situation and they are in the very early stages of their investigation, so details may change as more information comes in. Police are also looking into a possible connection between these men and a bank robbery in Alexandria this past weekend.

This BB&T location was robbed two years ago, prompting the locking down of nearby schools.

File photo

BREAKING NEWS — Bank Robbery in Ballston

by ARLnow.com | May 30, 2012 at 9:55 am | 7,082 views | 49 Comments

(Updated at 11:00 a.m.) A man has been arrested after a robbery at a PNC Bank branch in Ballston.

The PNC Bank at the corner of Wilson Boulevard and N. Glebe Road was reportedly robbed around 9:45 a.m. According to police, a black male in his early to mid 20s — who was wearing a purple and red wig, a yellow shirt and sunglasses — entered the bank and passed a note to a teller demanding money and claiming to have a gun.

With the money in a zebra-striped Harris Teeter shopping bag, the suspect fled into an alley and was seen changing his clothes by a witness, who immediately called police. A dye pack embedded in the stolen cash exploded and the suspect — seeing a witness following him — then started running to the nearby Ballston Metro station, leaving the money behind, according to police.

The suspect was arrested without incident by an Arlington patrol officer at 9:51 a.m., just outside the Metro station, only five minutes after the witness first called police, according to department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The suspect had only $6 on him at the time of his arrest.

Sternbeck hailed the arrest as an example of police “working with the citizens of Arlington County” to quickly solve a crime. He noted that police don’t necessarily encourage witnesses to follow criminals, but said that the witness in this case “maintained a safe distance” between himself and the perpetrator and alerted police immediately.

Update at 3:00 p.m. — Police have identified the suspect as 26-year-old Nathaniel Rush of College Park, Maryland

EXCLUSIVE: Police Impersonation Home Invasion Has Bank Robbery Tie

by ARLnow.com | February 28, 2012 at 10:32 am | 3,909 views | 31 Comments

A home invasion armed robbery in South Arlington last week has a connection to a series of bank robberies late last year, ARLnow.com has learned exclusively.

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.

Police Identify Arrested Bank Robbery Suspect

by ARLnow.com | December 23, 2011 at 10:45 am | 4,035 views | 44 Comments

Arlington County Police have released the identity of the man arrested yesterday following a bank robbery in Clarendon.

Police say 23-year-old Rafi Khan of Arlington has been charged with two counts of bank robbery — one for yesterday’s robbery of the PNC Bank at 2601 Clarendon Blvd and one for last week’s robbery of a Bank of America at 3401 Columbia Pike.

“The investigation is ongoing, and other charges may be pending,” police said.

According to public records, Khan’s listed address is a $500,000 home on S. Fillmore Street in Penrose. Khan is currently being held in the Arlington County Detention Center.

Photo courtesy ACPD

Arrest Made in Clarendon Bank Robbery

by ARLnow.com | December 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm | 3,408 views | 35 Comments

Arlington County Police have made an arrest following this morning’s bank robbery in the Clarendon/Courthouse area.

A suspect has been arrested in connection with the robbery of the PNC Bank at 2601 Clarendon Boulevard, police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal confirmed this afternoon. In an earlier press release, police said the suspect entered the bank around 9:50 a.m., implied that he had a weapon and demanded money. He then fled on foot after receiving cash. Police released surveillance images taken from the bank, above.

The suspect’s identity is not being released at this time, but detectives are investigating whether he may have also been responsible for other bank robberies in Arlington.

The description of the suspect released by police today — “white Middle Eastern male in his early 20’s, 5’7” to 5’8” with a medium build” — is similar to that of the suspect in last week’s robbery of a Bank of America on Columbia Pike.

Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department

Robbery Reported at PNC Bank in Clarendon

by ARLnow.com | December 22, 2011 at 10:00 am | 3,124 views | 70 Comments

Police are on the scene of a reported bank robbery at the Courthouse/Clarendon PNC Bank branch at 2601 Clarendon Boulevard.

Initial reports suggest that a man entered the bank, implied a weapon and demanded cash. He fled after taking the money and was last seen heading in the direction of the Clarendon Metro.

Police are currently searching for the man and interviewing witnesses at the bank.

Update at 2:45 p.m. — Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the robbery.

Photos of Pike Bank Robbery Suspect Released

by ARLnow.com | December 16, 2011 at 10:15 am | 3,580 views | 32 Comments

Police have released surveillance photos of the man they say robbed a bank on Columbia Pike yesterday afternoon.

Police say the man walked into the Bank of America branch on the 3400 block of Columbia Pike at about 3:20 p.m., implied he had a weapon and demanded money. He fled on foot after receiving cash.

“The suspect is described as a white Hispanic male in his early 20’s, 5’7” to 5’8” with a medium build,” Arlington County Police said in a press release. “At the time of the robbery he wore a black hooded jacket and dark pants.”

“Anyone who has information about this robbery or the identity of the suspect is asked to call the Arlington County Police Department Tip Line at 703 228-4242, or Detective John Donaggio at (703) 228-4167,” the press release continued. “Det. Donaggio can also be reached by email at jdonag@arlingtonva.us.”

UPDATED — Bank Robbery on Columbia Pike

by Katie Pyzyk | December 15, 2011 at 3:24 pm | 2,503 views | 19 Comments

(Updated at 6:40 p.m.) Police responded to reports of a robbery at the Bank of America at 3401 Columbia Pike this afternoon. The bank is closed and both main entrances are blocked off as the police conduct their investigation.

The suspect is described as a male around 20 years old, wearing a black ski mask, black jacket and black pants. However, initial reports suggest he may have been taking off articles of clothing as he left. He implied he had a weapon and took off on foot.

Police officers and police dogs have been searching the area for the suspect.

Police Release Image of Rosslyn Bank Robber

by ARLnow.com | December 12, 2011 at 10:31 am | 2,549 views | 30 Comments

Arlington County Police have released a surveillance image of a man accused of robbing a bank in Rosslyn .

Police say the man walked into the Presidential Bank at 1700 N. Moore Street on Friday afternoon and demanded money from a teller. After receiving the cash, he fled on foot toward the Rosslyn Metro station. Officers arrived within a minute or two; they searched the station and the surrounding area but were unable to find the suspect.

The police department is now asking for the public’s help in identifying the man in the photo.

“The suspect is described as in his mid 20’s, White or Hispanic male, 5’5” to 5’6” with a thin build,” police said in a press release. “At the time of the robbery he wore a black hooded sweatshirt with red and white lettering, tan pants and light colored shoes.”

Anyone who has information about the suspect or the case is asked to call the police department at 703-558-2222 or Det. Gary Skeens at 703-228-4166.

Bank Robbery in Rosslyn

by ARLnow.com | December 9, 2011 at 1:58 pm | 3,545 views | 25 Comments

(Updated at 2:35 p.m.) A bank robbery has been reported in Rosslyn.

Initial reports suggest a man robbed the Presidential Bank branch at 1700 N. Moore Street, near the Rosslyn Metro station. No weapons were displayed or implied during the robbery, according to police radio traffic.

This is the third reported robbery of Presidential Bank’s two Arlington branches so far this year.

Bank Robbery Near Ballston Metro

by ARLnow.com | November 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm | 3,888 views | 34 Comments

(Updated at 1:05 p.m.) A bank robbery has been reported in Ballston.

Initial reports suggest a man with a gun held up the Presidential Bank at 901 N. Stuart Street. The bank is less than a block from the Ballston Metro station and a block and a half from Ballston Common Mall.

Police are now looking for the suspect, who fled the bank after the robbery. Per normal police procedure, Arlington County detectives are on the scene and the FBI has been notified.

This is the second reported bank robbery at this particular branch this year. The bank was also robbed in July.

BREAKING NEWS — Arlington PD Arrests Suspected Bank Robber

by ARLnow.com | August 22, 2011 at 9:40 am | 5,813 views | 76 Comments

(Updated at 10:20 a.m.) Arlington County Police have arrested a man suspected of robbing up to six banks in Arlington this summer.

D.C. resident Peter Cifala, 57, was arrested on Friday and charged with one count of bank robbery.

“Though the suspect is charged with one robbery at this time, the robbery is believed to be related to a series of five other bank robberies that occurred over the past three months in Arlington County,” police said in a statement.

Authorities say Cifala was nabbed thanks to tips and increasingly detailed surveillance images.

“The pictures got progressively better,” police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal said. “The investigation was greatly assisted by citizens who called the police department with tips, and a tip from the Arlington County Sheriff’s Department”

“We’re happy,” Nosal added. “[The arrest] is going to be reassuring for bank employees and people who go into banks.”

Cifala was apprehended with the help of the Northern Virginia Violent Crimes Task Force, police said. He’s currently being held in the Arlington County Detention Center.

Cifala has a long rap sheet that includes more than 20 criminal convictions in Virginia, including nine separate grand larceny, attempted larceny and petit larceny charges in Arlington between 1991 and 2002.

Update at 1:45 p.m. — We’re told that a sheriff’s deputy in the Arlington County Detention Center’s booking room recognized the most recent surveillance photo of Cifala.

MoCo Serial Bank Robber’s Hit List Includes Arlington

by ARLnow.com | August 19, 2011 at 10:01 am | 2,093 views | 27 Comments

While Arlington police remain on the lookout for our own serial bank robbery suspect, police in Montgomery County, Md. are looking for a serial bank robber who has also hit banks in Arlington and Alexandria.

The suspect, seen here in a surveillance photo, has hit eight banks in Montgomery County, two banks in Alexandria and one bank in Arlington.

The Arlington robbery occurred on Dec. 14, at the BB&T Bank at 2947 S. Glebe Road. The suspect passed a note to a teller implying he had a gun, but no weapon was seen.

The suspect’s most recent reported robbery was on July 21, at a SunTrust Bank in Potomac, Md.

“Detectives are asking anyone with information about the bank robberies and/or the suspect to call the Montgomery County Police – Robbery Section at 240-773-5100,” police said in a press release. “Those who wish to remain anonymous should call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or at 240-773-TIPS (8477).  Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information provided to them that leads to the arrest and/or indictment of the person responsible for these bank robberies.  Anonymous tips can also be provided by typing ‘MCPD’ plus the tip on a cell phone or PDA and texting it to 274637 (CRIMES).”

Clearest Photos Yet of Serial Bank Robbery Suspect

by ARLnow.com | August 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm | 5,883 views | 64 Comments

The guy suspected of six separate bank robberies in Arlington this summer might be getting a bit sloppy.

Arlington Police have released new surveillance images of the man, whose face can — for the first time — clearly be seen despite a low-slung cap and a pair of stylish sunglasses resting on the bridge of his nose.

The images were taken during a robbery yesterday afternoon at the BB&T Bank at 3001 N. Washington Boulevard in Clarendon. It’s the second time the man is suspected of robbing that particular branch, and the fourth time he’s suspected of robbing a BB&T location.

Here’s what police had to say about the crime, in a press release.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is seeking the public’s help to identify a man who robbed an Arlington bank yesterday afternoon. This suspect related to five other bank robberies that have occurred in the past three months in Arlington County.

The suspect entered the BB&T Bank in the 3000 block of Washington Blvd at approximately 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, August 17, 2011. He announced a bank robbery and demanded money. After receiving cash, the suspect fled on foot.

The suspect is described as a white male with brown hair, approximately 50 years old and 5’9” with a thin build. At the time of the robbery he wore a gray t-shirt, khaki pants, brown belt, a light colored hat and sunglasses.

Anyone who has information about this robbery or the identity of the suspect is asked to call the Arlington County Police Department Tip Line at 703 228-4242, or Detective Donald Fortunato at (703) 228-4197. Det. Fortunato can also be reached by email at dfortunato@arlingtonva.us.

BB&T Bank Robbed in Clarendon

by ARLnow.com | August 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm | 4,534 views | 61 Comments

(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Police are investigating yet another bank robbery in Arlington.

The BB&T Bank branch at 3001 N. Washington Blvd in Clarendon was robbed this afternoon by a man described as an older white male. The suspect fled on foot after the robbery.

The man is thought to be the same serial bank robber who’s suspected in four other bank robberies in Arlington this summer, including a robbery of the same Clarendon BB&T bank branch in June.

This is the eighth bank robbery in Arlington this summer. The last robbery happened on Aug. 9 on Lee Highway.

Update on 8/17/11 – See surveillance images of the suspect here.

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