Arlington Homeless Population Increases — Despite a decline of 2.4 percent across most of the region, Arlington’s homeless population rose by six percent between 2012 and 2013. The figures were gathered during the annual homeless census on January 30. The county’s new homeless count stands at 479 people, up from 451 the previous year. [Sun Gazette]
Streetcar Cost/Benefit Test — An article criticizing Libby Garvey’s op-ed in the Washington Post contends streetcars do indeed pass the cost/benefit test, contrary to Garvey’s thoughts. The author favors a streetcar to buses based on points such as the streetcar having a greater passenger capacity, faster rate of travel and bringing more development to the area. [Greater Greater Washington]
Raise the Roof Service Project — The Arlington Teen Network Board has teamed up with Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church for a service project called “Raise the Roof.” Tomorrow (April 27), volunteers will begin repairing the Borromeo Housing, Inc. group house, which is a transitional home for teen moms and their children. Volunteers are collecting money to continue with the next phase of the service project, which involves a facelift of the interior and exterior of the home. Those interested in contributing can do so through the project website.
Police Seek Tips in Two Theft Incidents — The Arlington County Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in finding suspects involved in two separate theft incidents. The first incident involved shoplifting at South Moon Under (2700 Clarendon Blvd) on March 1. Suspect descriptions are available online, along with contact information for reporting tips. The second case involves tracking down persons of interest in the theft of a victim’s wallet. The victim’s credit cards have since been used around the area. Suspect information and contact information for reporting tips for that crime can also be found on the police department website.
Police responded to the store, in the Pentagon City mall, around 5:45 p.m. after getting a call from Macy’s about two female shoplifters who were taken into custody by security officers. The women were accused of collectively trying to steal more than $600 worth of clothing.
When police arrived, both suspects claimed to have diplomatic immunity, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. After checking with the State Department, it was determined that one suspect, a 35-year-old woman, was indeed a diplomat from Jordan and had diplomatic immunity. She was released on a court summons, accused of trying to steal $205 worth of merchandise.
Sternbeck declined to release the name of the woman. The embassy of Jordan was contacted about the incident, he said.
The second suspect, identified as 48-year-old Entaser Alsmady, did not have diplomatic immunity and was charged with grand larceny, according to Sternbeck. Alsmady is accused of trying to steal $427 worth of merchandise. She is currently being held in the Arlington County jail, Sternbeck said.
Alleged crimes by individuals with diplomatic immunity are not unheard of in Arlington. Sternbeck said he could recall at least one other diplomat accused of a crime in the past year.