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UPDATED: Police Arrest Suspect in Pike Homicide

Arlington Police have arrested a suspect in the murder of Columbia Pike jewelry shop owner Tommy Wong.

Police say the suspect, 53-year-old Southeast D.C. resident James Sylvester Caroline, was arrested yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. He’s being held at the Arlington County jail for a probation violation, but charges are expected to be filed against him in Wong’s death.

(Update on 8/3/12: Caroline has been formally charged with murder.)

Wong was killed during a robbery at the Capital Jewelers store at 3219 Columbia Pike on the afternoon of Friday, July 27. Friends, family and residents held a candlelight vigil for Wong last night.

A law enforcement source tells ARLnow.com that Caroline was arrested during a traffic stop on the 4300 block of King Street, on the Arlington/Alexandria line. The arrest, we’re told, was the result of “round the clock” work by numerous Arlington detectives and police officers.

Caroline’s long criminal record in Virginia includes charges of grand larceny and probation violation in 1994, failure to appear in court in 1998 and 1999, and credit card theft and fraud in 2005. Caroline is also currently being investigated for a jewelry store robbery in D.C., in which the suspect was caught on surveillance video wearing the same yellow vest as the suspect in the Columbia Pike homicide.

Police issued the following press release about Caroline’s arrest:

Charges are expected to be brought forward on a 52 year-old DC man for his role in a recent jewelry store homicide in Arlington County.

Wednesday afternoon, the Arlington County Police Department arrested James Sylvester Caroline, 52, of Washington, D.C. for probation violation. He is currently being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility. Additional charges are expected to be brought forward on Caroline in relation to the July 27, 2012 jewelry store homicide that resulted in the death of 52 year-old Tommy Wong.

Details on the arrest and the investigation will not be released at this time.

The Arlington County Police Department would like to recognize the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Metropolitan Police Department for their assistance that led to capture of Caroline. Additionally, Arlington County Police want to extend an appreciation to the community for their support and efforts by providing numerous tips over the past several days.

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