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A robbery attempt in the Penrose neighborhood did not go as planned, after the would-be victim reportedly grabbed and broke a suspect’s replica handgun.

That’s according to scanner traffic and an Arlington County Police Department crime report today.

The incident happened Sunday afternoon on the 2800 block of 8th Street S., two blocks north of the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive.

“At approximately 2:35 p.m. on March 5, police were dispatched to the report of an attempted robbery,” said the crime report. “Upon arrival, it was determined the male victim and two unknown suspects arrived at this location for the prearranged sale of a computer. The suspects showed the victim the computer before brandishing what was later determined to be an air soft gun and demanding the victim’s money.”

“The victim handed the suspects cash and took control of the air soft gun,” the crime report continued. “The suspects then fled the scene on foot, dropping the money in the process. No injuries were reported.”

Scanner traffic at the time suggested that the black handgun, which looked like a Glock, broke when the victim snatched it away from the young suspect.

The suspects — described as in their teens or early 20s — showed up to the sale wearing hoodies and masks, according to ACPD. The computer in question was described as a Mac in a police dispatch.

“The investigation is ongoing,” police said.

Hat tip to Alan Henney

Arlington police car at night (file photo courtesy Kevin Wolf)

A pair of suspects, armed with a knife and a gun, robbed a man along Columbia Pike early Sunday, prompting an aerial search.

The robbery was reported just after 2:30 a.m. on the 3700 block of Columbia Pike.

“Upon arrival, it was determined the victim was exiting his parked vehicle when two unknown male suspects approached him, brandished a firearm and a knife, and demanded his personal property,” Arlington County police said today in a crime report. “The suspects then stole the victim’s wallet and jewelry and assaulted him before fleeing the scene on foot. Officers canvassed the area and an aerial search was conducted with the assistance of a police helicopter which yielded negative results.”

No injuries were reported, ACPD said.

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Crime doesn’t pay, the saying goes, and that is particularly true if you get punched during a failed robbery attempt.

According to Arlington County police, that’s what happened early this morning in the Buckingham neighborhood.

Around 12:30 a.m., a man armed with a knife tried to rob another man of money along the 200 block of N. Glebe Road — the same block as the CVS and the post office. It did not go as planned for the would-be robber.

From an ACPD crime report:

ROBBERY, 2022-12070004, 200 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 12:32 a.m. on December 7, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined the victim was walking in the area when he was approached by the unknown male suspect who asked him for money. When the victim declined, the suspect allegedly displayed a knife and attempted to grab the victim. The victim then struck the suspect and ran from the area. The suspect fled the scene on foot prior to the arrival of police. Responding officers canvassed the area for the suspect yielding negative results. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male with a skinny build, 5’11, wearing a red hat, red shirt, black pants and white shoes. The investigation is ongoing.

Also in today’s crime report, someone fired several gunshots into a residential building along the 2000 block of Columbia Pike around 4 a.m. That’s the same block as the Dorchester Towers and Dorchester Apartments complexes, east of Penrose Square.

So far, there is no indication that anyone was actually shot, but a door was damaged.

SHOTS FIRED, 2022-12070025, 2000 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 4:08 a.m. on December 7, police were dispatched to the report of shots heard. Upon arrival, officers recovered evidence outside a residential building confirming multiple shots had been fired and located property damage to a door within the building. No injuries were reported. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

U.S. Park Police helicopter over the Potomac (file photo)

Arlington police got an assist from their Park Service counterparts on an armed robbery Monday morning.

The incident happened in the Crystal City area around 7:15 a.m. According to a crime report, a man with a gun stole cash from an unnamed business, then fled on foot.

The U.S. Park Police helicopter was called in and the suspect was located across the river in East Potomac Park, where he was arrested. He was armed with a BB gun, police determined.

More from ACPD:

ROBBERY, 2022-11280044, 2400 block of Richmond Highway. At approximately 7:16 a.m. on November 28, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined the male suspect entered the business, approached the counter, brandished a weapon, and demanded money from the employee. The suspect then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash. A perimeter was established and the area was searched with the assistance of the U.S. Park Police Helicopter. The suspect was located near East Potomac Park in Washington D.C. and taken into custody without incident. During a search of his person incident to arrest, a BB gun was recovered. [The suspect], 31, of Washington D.C. was arrested and charged in Arlington County with Armed Robbery, Possession of a Firearm in Commission of a Felony, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Possession of a Firearm while Active Subject of a Protective Order. He is being held by U.S. Park Police on separate charges.

Police car speeding to a call at night (staff photo)

(Updated on 11/30/22) The carjacking and pursuit we reported yesterday was far from the only car theft in Arlington over the long Thanksgiving holiday.

It was a busy few days for police, who handled a half dozen other vehicle thefts, as well as a pair of attempted carjackings in the Colonial Village area. One series of thefts claimed five vehicles in parts of residential North Arlington between Thanksgiving afternoon and the morning of Black Friday.

More from the latest ACPD crime report:

GRAND LARCENY AUTO, 2022-11230126/2022-11230160, 2800 block of Washington Boulevard/N. Jackson Street at Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 2:55 p.m. on November 23, police were dispatched to the report of an attempted larceny from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined the victim witnessed the unknown male suspect rummaging through his vehicle. When the victim approached, the suspect began to flee the scene on foot. The victim followed the suspect during which the suspect brandished a knife and fled the area. At approximately 3:20 p.m., police were dispatched to an additional call in the 2800 block of Washington Boulevard for a suspect matching the description of the previous incident who had stolen a running, unoccupied vehicle. The vehicle was later located unoccupied in the 2200 block of 19th Court N. The suspect is described as a Black male, approximately 30 years old, 5’6-5’7, with long curly hair, wearing a black jacket, white t-shirt, dark colored pants and a dark colored baseball hat. The investigation is ongoing.

GRAND LARCENY AUTO/LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2022-11250027/2022-11250029/2022-11250035/2022-11250043/2022-11260096, 5300 block of 27th Street N., 5000 block of 36th Street N., 2300 block of N. Nottingham Street, 6000 block of 27th Street N., 6000 block of 28th Street N. At approximately 7:54 a.m. on November 25, police were dispatched to the late report of a grand larceny auto. During the course of the investigation, it was determined between approximately 2:30 p.m. on November 24 and 7:45 a.m. on November 25, five vehicles were reported stolen from the area. The stolen vehicles are described as a 2017 Toyota Rav4, Gray, MA License Plate: 50DC38, 2020 Kia Telluride, Gray, VA License Plate: VXY4222, 2017 Honda Odyssey, Black, VA License Plate: 1265SC, 2021 Range Rover Sport, Blue, VA License Plate: UGF2051. Additionally, one vehicle in the area was rummaged through and cash and sunglasses were stolen. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

ATTEMPTED CARJACKING, 2022-11260179, 1700 block of N. Uhle Street. At approximately 6:37 p.m. on November 26, police were dispatched to the report of an attempted carjacking. Upon arrival, it was determined Victim One was inside her parked vehicle when the suspect approached, opened the door and ordered her to exit. Victim One exited the vehicle and the suspect entered but Victim One still had the keys. The suspect then fled the scene and approached Victim Two who had just parked in the 2100 block of Key Boulevard. The suspect grabbed the victim’s arm and demanded her keys. When she refused, he fled the scene on foot. No injuries were reported and no items were reported stolen. The suspect is described as a Black male, approximately 5’6, 30 years old, skinny build, wearing a knit cap, black jacket and black/gray jeans. The investigation is ongoing.

Also in the crime report were some gun crimes, including an apparent road rage gun brandishing on I-395 and an armed robbery north of Columbia Pike.

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A man with a gun robbed the Apple Store in Clarendon around lunchtime today.

The robbery happened at the store at 2700 Clarendon Blvd just before 12:30 p.m. Initial reports suggest that a suspect in his 20s pulled out a gold-and-black gun with an extended magazine and demanded laptops, before fleeing with four bags of items.

“At approximately 12:27 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “Upon arrival, it was determined the suspect was inside a business when he brandished a firearm and demanded merchandise. The suspect fled the scene in a vehicle with the stolen merchandise. The suspect is described as a Black male in his 20s. Police remain on scene investigating.”

The man fled east on Clarendon Blvd in an older model gold Cadillac sedan with Maryland tags, according to scanner traffic. The vehicle, the gun and the suspect seem to match a robbery at the Bethesda Row Apple Store on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 22.

Montgomery County police could be heard today discussing providing additional security for Apple Store locations there following the Clarendon robbery.

Hat tip to Alan Henney

Scene from a Fairfax County police chase through Arlington County (via Dave Statter/Twitter)

A number of police chases initiated outside the county have careened through Arlington this month.

An armed robbery last Tuesday at the Home Depot in Seven Corners resulted in a police chase up I-395 before the driver got stuck in traffic approaching the 14th Street Bridge and tried to escape on foot at the exit for the GW Parkway.

In another chase last week, Fairfax County police initiated a chase after a cruiser was struck in Lincolnia.

Two weeks ago, the Alexandria police department followed a car into Arlington and Virginia State Police joined the pursuit — until the driver escaped across the river into D.C. and the chase was called off.

Public safety watchdog Dave Statter keeps records of most these chases from his perch in Pentagon City. While there has been a recent mini-rash of Fairfax County-initiated pursuits, he tells ARLnow this is a less common phenomenon compared to VSP chases.

“From my experience, those two recent chases by Fairfax County Police into Arlington are more of the exception that the rule,” said Statter. “In fact, they are so infrequent I had to put in a new folder in my police video file for FCPD.”

The same night as the Lincolnia chase, Statter said state police troopers were pursuing someone, too.

“Just a few minutes earlier, VSP chased and stopped someone on I-395 N near Washington Blvd,” Statter wrote. “VSP was still working that one when the FCPD chase went by. They had a little warning from the dispatcher and a couple of troopers joined in.”

Other VSP chases through Arlington happened on Saturday and in the early hours this morning. In the early Wednesday morning chase, VSP was following a car in connection to catalytic converter thefts in Fairfax County. On Saturday, VSP was chasing a possibly stolen car.

Recent chases involving or started by VSP that went through Arlington — including those this month — concluded with the cars escaping across the Potomac River and into D.C. Often, state police abandons pursuit once the person being chased reaches the jurisdictional line.

The reason for this is that VSP has relatively loose restrictions for starting a chase, but they tighten when troopers reach state lines.

“Sworn employees may initiate a pursuit when a driver fails to stop after the sworn employee has given a lawful order to stop by activating emergency lights and/or siren,” according to Virginia State Police policy.

Anyone under pursuit for a possible misdemeanor or traffic violation is almost always in the clear if they can cross the 14th Street Bridge.

Meanwhile, Fairfax’s back-to-back chases come 13 months after the police department rolled out new, more restrictive guidance for when officers can chase suspects.

Effective September 2021, Fairfax County eliminated pursuits for misdemeanors, traffic violations and nonviolent felonies. Now, police conduct chases within Fairfax County and within Virginia for violent felonies, serious crimes with the threat or use of a firearm or explosive device, and at the authorization of a commander.

Fairfax officers join chases when they meet the department’s criteria, and officers can only pursue a car into D.C. or Maryland if the driver or passenger has attempted or is wanted for a felony crime.

Prior to the decision, Fairfax had one of the most liberal chase policies in the D.C. area, according to a police presentation from spring 2021. At the time, officials said the updated guidelines would bring the county in line with chase policies throughout the region.

“FCPD updated several pertinent policies in 2021 to further align the department with national best practices; improve officer and community safety and ensure our commitment to transparency,” according to the department’s annual crime summary for 2021. “The most significant revision included a modification to the traffic pursuit policy, which now focuses on apprehending offenders who pose the greatest risk to our community and doing so with an eye on safety.”

A comparison of police chase policies in the D.C. region (via Fairfax County)

Arlington has similar police chase policies: those wanted for relatively minor crimes are usually allowed to flee an attempted traffic stop without a chase, while violent criminals may be pursued, as happened earlier this month after an armed suspect firing shots at police was chased from Arlington to Fairfax County. Arlington’s policy follows a lawsuit nearly 40 years ago by a man who lost his legs when struck in D.C. by bank robbery suspects being chased at high speed by an ACPD officer.

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The Barnes & Noble store in Clarendon (via Google Maps)

The Barnes & Noble store in Clarendon was the scene of an alleged armed robbery today.

Police responded around noon to the bookstore at 2800 Clarendon Blvd, in The Crossing Clarendon shopping center, after a caller reported a crime that happened earlier that morning.

“At approximately 12:06 p.m. on September 29, police were dispatched to the late report of an armed robbery inside a business,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 10:50 a.m., the unknown male suspect began to conceal merchandise inside a bag. When employees confronted the suspect, he displayed a pocket knife before exiting the business with the stolen merchandise.”

“No injuries were reported,” Savage added. “The suspect is described as a Black male in his 40’s or 50’s, 5’10” tall, 240lbs with black hair. He was wearing a cream colored sweater, tan khaki pants, brown boots and black rimmed glasses. The investigation is ongoing.”

Photo via Google Maps

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(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) A pair of incidents involving local businesses and armed suspects were reported in today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

One happened on the 2000 block of Clarendon Blvd in Courthouse around 8:40 a.m. Wednesday morning.

“The female victim was standing outside a business when the suspect walked by and she greeted her,” according to police. “The suspect then allegedly made threatening statements, brandished a knife and held it towards the victim before fleeing the scene on foot.”

Initial reports suggest that the victim was an employee of the Ace hardware store on the block and that the suspect held the knife up to her throat. It’s not clear what, if anything, prompted the alleged attack.

“During the course of the investigation, officers identified the suspect, located her and took her into custody without incident at her residence,” said ACPD. “No injuries were reported.”

A 33-year-old Arlington woman was arrested and charged with Assault and Battery and Abduction, police said. She was held in jail without bond.

Early this morning, meanwhile, police responded to the 3300 block of Langston Blvd in the Cherrydale neighborhood for another report of an armed suspect at a local business.

“At approximately 4:38 a.m. on September 8, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery [that] just occurred,” said today’s crime report. “Upon arrival, it was determined the employee was inside the lobby of the business when the unknown suspect entered and approached the counter. The suspect then brandished a firearm and demanded money. The suspect stole an undisclosed amount of cash before fleeing the scene.”

The name of the business was not given by police.

“No injuries were reported,” the crime report said. “The investigation is ongoing.”


An older man may have tried to abduct a boy who was riding his bike in the Ballston area yesterday (Tuesday) evening.

Police say the incident happened just before 7 p.m. on the 4100 block of 4th Street N., in the Buckingham neighborhood.

A man in his 50s or 60s struck up a conversation with a boy then tried to grab him, according to Arlington County police. The boy then confronted the suspect, who drove off.

From today’s ACPD crime report:

ATTEMPTED ABDUCTION, 2022-07190178, 4100 block of 4th Street N. At approximately 6:50 p.m. on July 19, police were dispatched to the report of an attempted abduction. Upon arrival, it was determined the juvenile male victim was riding his bicycle in the area when the unknown suspect attempted to make contact with him from inside a parked vehicle. The victim initially approached the vehicle believing he knew the suspect, at which time the suspect attempted to reach out towards the victim’s arm. The victim confronted the suspect and he fled the scene in the vehicle. The suspect is described as a white male, 50-60 years old with short white hair wearing a short-sleeve collared shirt and dark sunglasses. There is no description of the vehicle. The investigation is ongoing.

Also according to the crime report, a man was robbed of a laptop by a suspect armed with a gun during a “pre-arranged sale.” It happened yesterday afternoon along S. Glebe Road, in the Green Valley neighborhood.

The robbery suspect, like the abduction suspect, is still on the loose.

ROBBERY, 2022-07190142, 1900 block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 4:21 p.m. on July 19, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined the victim and suspect met for the prearranged sale of electronics. During the attempted sale, the suspect brandished a firearm, threatened the victim and fled the scene on foot with the stolen laptop. A lookout was broadcast for the suspect and officers canvassed the area which yielded negative results. The suspect is described as a Black male, 20-27 years old, approximately 5’8, approximately 170 lbs, wearing a black hoodie and black jeans. The investigation is ongoing.

Arlington police car at night (file photo courtesy Kevin Wolf)

(Updated at 4:10 p.m.) A man was attacked by two would-be robbers, including one with a gun, in the Courthouse neighborhood Friday night, police say.

The mugging happened around 10:30 p.m. in the area of Rocky Run Park.

The suspects threatened the victim with a gun after knocking him to the ground, but fled without stealing anything after he called out for help, according to police

From today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2022-07080245, N. Barton Street at Fairfax Drive. At approximately 10:27 p.m. on July 8, police were dispatched to the report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined the male victim was walking southbound on N. Barton Street when Suspect One struck him with an unknown object, knocking him to the ground. Suspect Two then brandished a firearm, threatened the victim and demanded his property. The victim yelled for help and the suspects fled the scene on foot without the victim’s property. A canvass of the area for the suspects yielded negative results. The victim sustained minor injuries and was treated on scene by medics. Suspect One is described as a Black male in his 20’s, slim build, approximately 5’7, with short black hair, light-colored shirt and jeans. Suspect Two is described as a Black male in his 20’s, slim build, approximately 6’0, with short black hair wearing a light colored shirt and jeans.  The investigation is ongoing.

The crime report also has details about an arrest made after an alleged road rage incident Friday afternoon.

Police say a 21-year-old Falls Church man was charged with brandishing a weapon after the incident — which started in Courthouse and ended with a dramatic, guns-drawn traffic stop along Route 50 — even though the weapon ended up being an airsoft gun.

The man is facing additional charges, police say, because two children were inside his car at the time.

From ACPD:

BRANDISHING, 2022-07080144, 1500 block of N. Veitch Street. At approximately 1 p.m. on July 8, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing. Arriving officers located the two involved vehicles and initiated a traffic stop in the area of Arlington Boulevard and N. Irving Street. The investigation determined the occupants of the vehicles had been traveling along Arlington Boulevard when they became involved in a traffic dispute, during which the passenger in the suspect vehicle allegedly displayed what was believed to be a handgun. During the traffic stop, officers recovered an airsoft gun inside the suspect vehicle. The suspect vehicle was also determined to have to juvenile occupants at the time of the incident. Manuel Rivas, 21, of Falls Church, VA was taken into custody without incident and charged with Brandishing and Contributing to Delinquency of a Minor (x2).


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