A Starbucks customer foiled a would-be armed robber — twice — over the weekend.
According to an Arlington County Police crime report, a man walked into a business on the 3100 block of Lee Highway just after 5 a.m. Sunday morning, brandished a firearm and ordered everyone to the back of the store. A customer with a venti-sized dose of audacity then intervened.
“A patron physically challenged the suspect causing the suspect to exit the business,” said the crime report. “The suspect immediately re-entered the business brandishing the firearm. Once confronted again by the patron, the suspect fled the scene on foot.”
“Arriving officers canvased the area and a K9 track yielded negative results,” the crime report continued. “No injuries were reported. The suspect is described as a black male, 20-30 years old, approximately 6’0, wearing a black winter jacket with a fur hood. The investigation is ongoing.”
Though police did not specify a business, a tipster said the robbery took place at the Starbucks in the Lyon Village Shopping Center, along Spout Run Parkway.
Asked about a possible surveillance image of the suspect, ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the department has “nothing for release at this time.”
Citizen tipsters were rewarded with $650 for helping the Arlington County Police Department track down two men suspected of armed robbery in 2016.
Police arrested Jorgito Cruz, 37, of Alexandria and Alexander Ruiz, 21, of Puerto Rico for trying to rob Sacramento Jewelers on the 2700 block of Washington Blvd in Lyon Park just before 5:45 pm. on December 7, 2016.
The pair were armed with guns, and tried to hold an employee hostage before fleeing the scene.
Police were led to the men after tipsters spotted a suspicious vehicle stopped on the Washington Blvd exit of I-395 shortly after the robbery. The tipsters reported seeing a man removing tape from the license plate and throwing something away.
Noting the large police presence in the area, the tipsters copied down the license plate number and contacted police. They were arrested in Fairfax County, south of Alexandria, just before midnight that night.
The tipsters were given the cash reward by Arlington County Crime Solvers, a community program that sponsors a 24-hour confidential tip line — 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) — for individuals to anonymously report potential leads or information. Callers who provide information leading to arrest, the recovery of drugs or stolen property, are eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.
“During the commission of their crimes, Jorgito Cruz and Alexander Serpa Ruiz endangered the lives of innocent and hardworking citizens,” said Police Chief Jay Farr said in a statement. “Thanks to the assistance of the witnesses and the diligent investigative work of detectives, two violent offenders have been removed from our streets and will no longer be in a position to cause harm in our community. This case highlights how police and the public can work together to maintain the safety and security of Arlington County.”
In June 2017, Cruz pled guilty to two counts of attempted armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, two counts of abduction and use of a firearm during the commission of a robbery. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison and 20 years of probation upon release.
Ruiz pled guilty to three counts of robbery and use of a firearm during the commission of a robbery. He was sentenced to six years in prison and 10 years of probation upon release.
ARLnow’s Eighth Birthday — Today is the eighth anniversary of the founding of ARLnow.com. Here is our first post ever.
Sexual Harassment FOIA Folo — In a follow-up to our FOIA request seeking any records of sexual harassment or assault allegations against senior Arlington officials since 2000 — no such records were found — we asked about any such cases, against any county employee, that were handled by the County Attorney’s office over the past decade. The response from the county’s FOIA officer: “There are no records responsive to your request because no such cases exist.” The last publicly reported case was that against an Arlington police officer in 2007.
Vihstadt Launches Re-election Bid — Arlington County Board member John Vihstadt made it official last night: he is running for re-election. Vihstadt, who is running as an independent, has picked up at least one Democratic challenger so far. However, he again has the backing of a number of prominent Democrats, including fellow Board member Libby Garvey, Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos and Treasurer Carla de la Pava. [InsideNova]
County Accepts Millions in Grant Funds — “The Arlington County Board today accepted $17.85 million in grant funding from three transportation entities that will be used for transit, bridge renovation and transportation capital projects in the County.” Among the projects is a new west entrance for the Ballston Metro station. [Arlington County]
County Board Accepts Immigration Donation — “The Arlington County Board today accepted a resident’s anonymous donation for a Citizenship Scholarship to help Arlingtonians pay the $725 federal application fee charged to those seeking to become U.S. citizens.” [Arlington County]
Man Convicted of 7-Eleven Robberies — A man arrested last year for a string of robberies has been convicted by a federal jury of three armed robberies and an armed carjacking. Among the crimes were two armed robberies of 7-Eleven stores in Arlington. [Alexandria News]
Arlington Lauded for Solar Program — The U.S. Department of Energy has named Arlington County a “SolSmart” community “for making it faster, easier and more affordable for Arlington homes and businesses to go solar.” [Twitter, Arlington County]
Flickr photo by John Sonderman
The alleged crimes happened over the weekend.
Around 9:15 p.m. Saturday, police say 54-year-old Arlington resident Donnell Cook held up a store on the 5500 block of Columbia Pike by implying to the clerk that he had a gun, before fleeing on foot. The store was not named in the police report.
The next day, just before midnight, police say they responded to the 1800 block of N. Quinn Street, in western Rosslyn, for a report of a man tampering with a vehicle. They say they found Cook inside a car that had “extensive damage,” and identified him as the previous night’s robbery suspect.
Cook is now facing a litany of charges, including robbery, attempted grand larceny auto, destruction of property and providing false identification to law enforcement. Earlier this year Cook was arrested and charged with public intoxication.
More from the Arlington County Police Department crime reports:
ROBBERY, 2017-12020258, 5500 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 9:15 p.m. on December 2, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect entered a business and approached an employee behind the counter, implying he had a gun. The suspect forced his way behind the counter and stole money from the cash register, before fleeing on foot. Units set up a perimeter and a K-9 track yielded negative results. During the course of the investigation, officers developed a suspect identification and obtained an arrest warrant. Upon hearing the broadcast suspect lookout in the below attempted grand larceny auto (2017-12030251) case, officers responded and confirmed he was wanted on the outstanding robbery warrant. Donnell Cook, 54, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with Robbery and Providing False ID to Law Enforcement to Avoid Arrest.
ATTEMPTED GRAND LARCENY WITH APPREHENSION, 2017-12030251, 1800 block of N. Quinn Street. At approximately 11:57 p.m. on December 3, police were dispatched to the report of a suspect tampering with a vehicle. Upon arrival, a suspect was located inside of the vehicle, which had extensive damage. Arriving officers identified the suspect as being wanted in a robbery case that occurred on December 2. Donnell Cook, 54, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with Destruction of Property, Possession of Burglarous Tools and Attempted Grand Larceny Auto.
The incident was reported around 1:15 p.m., on the 4500 block of Lee Highway. Police say a man pulled a knife on two women who were getting into a car in front of the Chipotle.
“The victims were able to safely leave the location and the suspect fled the area on foot,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “No injuries were reported.”
“Police have established a perimeter and a K9 track will be attempted,” Savage continued. “The suspect is described as a black male with a full beard wearing a dark hoodie. Expect police activity in the area.”
As of 2:05 p.m., police had a possible suspect in custody, according to scanner traffic. The suspect was later positively identified by witnesses and charges are pending, said Savage.
Before the arrest, schools in the area were notified of the attempted robbery as police searched for the suspect.
POLICE ACTIVITY: ACPD Investigating an attempted armed robbery in the 4500 block of Lee Highway. Suspect displayed a knife and fled area on foot. No injuries reported. Police remain on scene investigating.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 4, 2017
(Updated at 10:20 a.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating an armed robbery that happened Saturday morning at the Shell station in Cherrydale.
Police say a man with a gun demanded cash from the store clerk and fled on foot.
More from an ACPD crime report:
ROBBERY, 2017-11110100, 3300 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 7:13 a.m. on November 11, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that a male suspect entered a business, brandished a firearm and demanded that an employee give him money. The suspect stole cash, forced the employee outside of the business and fled on foot before departing the area in a vehicle. The suspect is described as a thin, black male, approximately 6’0, wearing dark colored clothing. The vehicle is described as a light tan or cream colored late-model sedan. The investigation is ongoing.
Also from today’s crime reports, ACPD says officers had to use a police dog to peacefully resolve a home break-in.
According to the crime report, a man broke into a home on the 300 block of N. Glebe Road and went to sleep in a bedroom. He refused police commands to leave the home, prompting “the deployment of a police K-9.”
UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 2017-11090246, 300 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 5:47 p.m. on November 9, police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious person. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim arrived at his residence and observed that an unknown male suspect had gained entry to the residence and was sleeping in a bedroom. Arriving officers established a perimeter and made verbal commands but the suspect refused to comply and would not exit the residence. Following the deployment of a police K9, the suspect was taken into custody. Earl Chaptman, 64, was arrested and charged with Unlawful Entry.
Photo via Google Maps
A man tried and failed to rob a local pharmacy, and the resulting police response led to an arrest but not of the suspect.
ARLnow reported on the robbery and the subsequent police search for the suspect as it happened this past Thursday.
Police say a man entered the Arlington Pharmacy on Wilson Blvd in Bluemont just after 2:15 p.m. He “displayed a note demanding prescription drugs and implied he had a weapon,” but ended up leaving without any drugs.
Officers quickly began searching the area for the suspect — described as “a tall, thin, white male, clean shaven, approximately 5’10 to 6′ tall, in his 20’s, wearing a black baseball hat” — and an officer driving along George Mason Drive spotted a man who matched the description riding a bike down the street.
The man refused orders to stop and was ultimately tackled by an officer after nearly running the officer down with his bike, according to police. It was later determined that he was not the pharmacy robbery suspect but was wanted on a warrant from Fairfax County.
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report, below.
ATTEMPTED ARMED ROBBERY, 2017-11020165, 5500 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 2:19 p.m. on November 2, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery that had just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that a male suspect entered a pharmacy, displayed a note demanding prescription drugs and implied he had a weapon. The suspect fled the scene on foot without any items. Officers canvased the area and a K-9 track was initiated with negative results. The suspect is described as a tall, thin, white male, clean shaven, approximately 5’10 to 6′ tall, in his 20’s, wearing a black baseball hat, black sunglasses, light colored sweatpants, a black sweatshirt and dark shoes. The investigation is ongoing.
ASSAULT ON POLICE, 2017-11020166, S. George Mason Drive at S. Buchanan Street. At approximately 2:30 p.m. on November 2, while canvasing the area, police attempted to stop a subject matching the description of a suspect wanted for attempted armed robbery. The suspect, who was traveling on bicycle, failed to stop, ignored the officer’s commands and continued riding away from the officer. Another officer in the area attempted to stop the suspect on foot but the suspect continued traveling in the direction of the officer. The officer was able to move out of the way and take control of the suspect. The suspect was non-compliant during the course of the arrest. Show-ups were conducted and the suspect was determined not to be related to the armed robbery, however, the suspect was determined to be wanted out of Fairfax County. Aaron Johnson, 28, of Oakton, VA, was arrested and charged with Assault on Law Enforcement, Resisting Arrest and the outstanding warrant.
Photo courtesy Zachary L.
Arlington County Police are on scene of a reported armed robbery at a business in the Bluemont neighborhood.
Initial reports suggest the Arlington Pharmacy at 5513 Wilson Blvd was robbed around 2:15 p.m., by a man implying that he had a weapon. The man was described as a six-foot tall white male wearing a black hat and black sunglasses.
Police have responded to the pharmacy and are currently taking a bike-riding suspect matching the description into custody along George Mason Drive.
Photo via Google Maps
A man was robbed at knifepoint along the row of restaurants and shops on 23rd Street S. in Crystal City.
The robbery was reported early Monday morning, after the restaurants had closed.
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ROBBERY, 2017-10090029, 500 block of 23rd Street S. At approximately 2:43 a.m. on October 9, police responded to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that a male victim was walking in the area when he was approached by a suspect with a knife. The suspect stole the victim’s personal belongings and fled on foot. The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 6’2, 225 pounds, clean shaven, wearing a blue and white striped shirt and white shorts. The investigation is ongoing.
The robbery happened on the 1800 block of Key Blvd, in the Colonial Village neighborhood near Rosslyn. Police say a man with a gun and two others robbed a couple in a car of their belongings.
More from an ACPD crime report:
ROBBERY, 2017-09050034, 1800 block of Key Boulevard. At approximately 5:19 p.m. on September 5, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that three male suspects approached a male and female victim at their parked vehicle. One male suspect brandished a firearm and demanded the victims’ personal belongings. The three male suspects then fled the scene on foot with the victims’ possessions. The victims were not injured. Officers canvassed the area with negative results. The male suspect that brandished the firearm is described as a 20-30 year old black male, 5’11-6′ tall, approximately 180-220 pounds with an average build, wearing a dark colored sweatshirt. The second male suspect is described as a 20-30 years old, approximately 5’11-6′ tall, weighing 180-220 pounds with an average build, wearing a dark colored sweatshirt with his face covered by the hood. There is no description of the third suspect. The investigation is ongoing.
The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, after the jump.
The crime happened around 1:30 a.m. in the North Highlands neighborhood.
The suspect reportedly fled on foot after robbing the victim of his or her belongings.
More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ARMED ROBBERY, 2017-08130022, 2100 block of N. Scott Street. At approximately 1:30 a.m. on August 13, police responded to the report of a robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined an unknown suspect approached a delivery person from behind, produced a handgun and demanded the victim’s belongings. The suspect then fled the scene on foot. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 6’2″ with an average build. The suspect was wearing a black sweatshirt with the hood covering his face at the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.
The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
Robbery Foiled By Lack of Cash — An attempted armed robbery in Arlington’s Columbia Heights neighborhood was foiled when the would-be victims told the knife-wielding robber that they did not have any money. “When the victims advised they did not have any cash, the suspect fled the scene,” said a crime report. [Arlington County]
Average Home Price Exceeds $1 Million — The average sale price of a single-family home in Arlington in June rose 2.7 percent to $1,007,044. Condo and townhouse prices, however, fell. [InsideNova]
Texas Lawmaker Wants Flight from DCA — A Texas Congressman has proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would permit direct flights from Reagan National Airport to San Antonio, which is outside DCA’s federally-set perimeter. [Washington Post]
Arlington Hosting Youth Baseball Tourney — Arlington will host the Babe Ruth state baseball tournament for 13-year-olds this weekend, at Barcroft Park and Wakefield High School, and a local team is in the tournament. Reports the Sun Gazette: “The opening ceremony will take place just before the host Arlington All-Stars take the field against Augusta at 7 p.m. on July 13 at Barcroft Park.” [InsideNova]
That’s according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.
Police set up a perimeter and used a K-9 to try to track the suspects but they remain at large. More from ACPD:
ARMED ROBBERY, 2017-06200273, 1400 block of S. Queen Street. At approximately 9:14 p.m. on June 20, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim and the two unknown male suspects were connected through an online classified and had arranged to meet for a cash transaction. During the transaction, one suspect brandished a firearm and stole the victim’s cash. The suspects then fled the scene on foot. The first suspect is described as a black male, wearing a white tank top and shorts. The second suspect is described as a black male. The investigation is ongoing.
Also on Tuesday, police arrested two Falls Church men for a series of car break-ins in the Madison Manor neighborhood, near the East Falls Church Metro station.
LARCENY FROM AUTO(Series), 2017-06200005, 1100 block of N. Powhatan Street. At approximately 12:25 a.m. on June 20, officers responded to the report of a tampering. Upon arrival, it was determined two suspects entered at least four vehicles and stole items of value. Officers located and apprehended both suspects in the area shortly after. Louis Earl Blount Jr., 18, of Falls Church VA, and David Evans-Herring, 20, of Falls Church VA, were arrested and charged with petit larceny and tampering with auto. Both suspects are being held without bond.
The rest of the past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
The incident happened around 11:30 a.m. on Friday. Police say the suspects stole items, and one threatened an employee with a knife, before they all fled in a waiting car.
The crime occurred at the Zara store in the mall.
More from today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ROBBERY, 2017-06160141, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 11:27 a.m. on June 16, officers responded to the report of a larceny in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined four male suspects had stolen merchandise and fled the scene in a nearby vehicle. One suspect brandished a knife and threatened employees. Following further investigation, one suspect, Kendall Charlie Mobley-Reid, 20, of Washington D.C, was arrested and charged with robbery. The investigation into the identity of the three remaining suspects is ongoing. The first suspect is described as a black male in his mid-twenties, approximately 6’1″-6’2″ tall with a skinny build. He was wearing dark shorts, a white tank top, and red sneakers. The second suspect is described as a black male in his late teens-early twenties, approximately 5’2″-5’4″ tall. He was wearing a white tank top, jeans, and red sneakers. The third suspect is described as a black male in his mid-twenties, approximately 5’8″ tall with an average build. He was wearing black pants, a “mustard colored” jacket, and gold sneakers.
(Updated at 12:15 p.m.) Swanson Middle School, McKinley Elementary and Ashlawn Elementary were placed in “secure the school” mode Friday morning due to an armed robbery in Fairfax County.
The robbery happened just before 10:30 a.m. in the Willston Center, on the 6100 block of Arlington Blvd. While each are about a mile or more away from the robbery scene, the schools were nonetheless secured as a precaution.
More from Arlington Public Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Harris:
At approximately 10:30 a.m., Swanson, McKinley and Ashlawn enacted our “Secure the School” protocol due to nearby police activity. Students and staff remained safely inside our school buildings for approximately 45 minutes. There was never any danger within the school buildings. A “Secure the School” exercise is not a “Lockdown” protocol. This exercise was in response to police activity within the outside community.
No one was hurt in the robbery, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
Robbery reported 10:22am at a store in the 6100blk of Arlington Blvd. Suspect described: Hispanic, 20s, 5'6", dark clothing. No one hurt. pic.twitter.com/4uRhUqwvIT
— Fairfax Co. Police (@fairfaxpolice) June 16, 2017