Three men who were wearing ski masks and pointing guns entered the credit union, located a block from Ballston Common Mall, just before 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
They shouted threats and forced the 13 customers in the business to lie on the ground. The men made off with several bags full of cash — an undisclosed but substantial sum of money — and were whisked from the scene of the crime by a getaway driver who was waiting outside, Sternbeck told ARLnow.com.
The suspects threw the bags (minus the cash) out of the car window as they made their escape to D.C. via I-66, Sternbeck said, but they were apparently unaware that the cash contained a GPS transceiver. Metropolitan Police used the GPS signal to track the cash to a residence in Southeast D.C., where all four men were arrested.
The FBI is investigating and the men may face federal charges, Sternbeck said.
Arlington County Police and the FBI have released surveillance video of Tuesday’s robbery of the Bank of America branch at 3600 S. Glebe Road.
The video shows a man wearing a black jacket, cap, sunglasses and gloves entering the bank and passing a note to the teller. The teller then hands the man a stack of cash, which the man inspects before quickly fleeing on foot.
ACPD and the FBI are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the man.
“He is described as black male, between 5’10 and 5’11” and weighing approximately 165 pounds,” police said in a press release. “He was wearing a black jacket, a knit hat and scarf. He also wore mirrored sunglasses, black gloves, dark pants and tennis shoes.”
“Anyone with information on the identity or whereabouts of this individual is asked to contact the FBI’s Washington Field Office at 202-278-2000 or Detective Gary Skeens with the Arlington County Police Department at 703.228.4166 or email@example.com,” police said. “To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”
(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) Police are on scene at the Bank of America on the 3600 block of S. Glebe Road, for reports of a bank robbery.
Police scanner traffic indicates a note was passed to a teller and a weapon was implied, but there is no confirmation that a weapon was actually seen. Police are searching the area and interviewing witnesses as part of their investigation.
Initial reports said the suspect escaped in a silver sedan. According to scanner traffic, the suspect is described as a black male between 5’10″ and 6’0″, who was wearing black pants, a knit hat, black gloves and had a dark brown or black scarf wrapped around his face.
Earlier today, police were called to a nearby BB&T Bank (2947 S. Glebe Road) when a teller told police two men dressed all in black and holding a gun had entered the first set of bank doors, but then turned around and left. They reportedly left with one other man in a silver sedan.
Also today, an armored car guard was shot during a robbery attempt in Oxon Hill, MD. The Washington Post reports that the incident occurred around 1:00 p.m. and three or four suspects were seen leaving in a silver, four-door car.
No connection has been confirmed among any of today’s incidents involving silver, four-door vehicles.
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.
(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
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 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
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.”
(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.
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.
(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.
(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.
(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.