Arlington, VA

(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) A group of armed robbery suspects managed to flee into D.C., eluding a phalanx of Arlington police cruisers after being chased across the county.

The incident started around 7:30 this morning. Officers were dispatched to the 1200 block of S. Ross Street, near The Wellington apartments and Columbia Pike, for a report of a person robbed at gunpoint and assaulted by four people he knew.

The victim suffered non-life threatening injuries and was brought to a local hospital. The suspects fled before officers arrived, but were later spotted in the area, according to Arlington County Police.

While Arlington officers typically will not give chase if a suspect in a vehicle flees from a run-of-the-mill traffic stop or minor crime, per department policy, in this case a pursuit was apparently authorized.

The suspects — described as “two Black males and two Black females in their early 20s” — drove down Columbia Pike, S. Glebe Road, Route 50 and I-395, trailed by a growing line of police vehicles. Video shows one officer unsuccessfully trying to disable the vehicle with a Stop Stick, a device for deflating tires.

Undeterred, the suspects kept going and crossed over the 14th Street Bridge into Southeast D.C., where the chase was called off. The pursuit lasted 13 minutes, according to Dave Statter, who produced a video (below) showing the chase as it progressed through Arlington.

Police say the robbery was “not a random attack” and are asking anyone with tips to call 703-228-4180.

The full police press release is below.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating an armed robbery that led to a vehicle pursuit on the morning of October 16, 2020.

At approximately 7:31 a.m. on October 16, police were dispatched to the 1200 block of S. Ross Street for the report of a burglary just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was robbed at gunpoint and assaulted by four acquaintances inside of his residence. The suspects stole his property and fled the residence prior to police arrival. The victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to an area hospital.

Officers canvassing the area located the suspects in a vehicle and a pursuit was initiated, which was ultimately terminated in Southeast Washington, D.C. The suspects are described as two Black males and two Black females in their early 20’s.

The preliminary investigation indicates this is not a random attack. This remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

File photo

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Arlington County Police are investigating a robbery and an attempted robbery that happened along the Columbia Pike corridor over the weekend.

In both incidents, the victims were pushed to the ground while walking, by a man who then tried to steal their belongings.

The first incident happened just before 8 p.m. on Saturday, north of the Pike in the Arlington Mill neighborhood. The suspect was armed with a gun and ran off with the victim’s phone.

From an ACPD crime report:

ROBBERY, 2020-10100188, 800 block of S. Frederick Street. At approximately 7:50 p.m. on October 10, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was walking in the area when he was approached by the male suspect from behind. The suspect grabbed the victim, pulling him down, and demanded money. When the victim declined, the suspect produced a firearm, assaulted the victim and stole his phone, then fled on foot. The victim sustained minor injuries. The suspect is described as a Black male, 5’10”, thin build, wearing black clothing and a black mask. The investigation is ongoing.

The second incident was an attempted robbery in Barcroft Park, south of the Pike. It happened at almost exactly the same time as the first incident, but a day later.

ATTEMPTED ROBBERY, 2020-10110170, 4200 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 7:51 p.m. on October 11, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was walking on a path through the park when the suspect approached her from behind, pushed her to the ground, and attempted to steal her backpack unsuccessfully. The suspect fled prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a male, approximately 5’8″, wearing a black hoodie with the hood up and dark jeans. The investigation is ongoing.

Also over the weekend, two police officers were injured in two separate incidents involving unruly suspects Saturday morning.

From ACPD:

VEHICLE TAMPERING/RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE (significant), 2020-10100028, 2400 block of S. Oakland Street. At approximately 1:22 a.m. on October 10, police were dispatched to the report of a tampering with auto. Arriving officers observed three suspects inside of a vehicle matching the description previously provided in a lookout. The suspects allegedly exited the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot when police approached them. Suspect One was stopped as they exited the vehicle. Suspect Two was located in the area by additional arriving officers, and, while attempting to place her in handcuffs, she actively resisted and a brief struggle ensued, during which she bit an officer. The officer sustained minor injury. While taking Suspect Two into custody, Suspect Three was observed by officers in the area and taken into custody without incident. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the vehicle the suspects fled from was previously reported stolen out of Fairfax County. A petition for Assault and Battery on Police was obtained for juvenile Suspect Two. Additional petitions will be sought for all three juvenile suspects.

ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2020-10100104, 4700 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 9:34 a.m. on October 10, police were dispatched to the report of an assault just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that a verbal dispute between the suspect and victim escalated, at which point the suspect allegedly pushed the victim and threw an object at the victim’s vehicle. As the victim attempted to move his vehicle away from the scene while calling police, the suspect chased after the car and threw a cup at it. Arriving officers located the suspect and took him into custody without incident. The victim was not injured. While officers were attempting to place the suspect into a transport vehicle, he actively resisted and became aggressive, then kicked the door of the vehicle, causing it to strike an officer in the head. The officer sustained minor injury. John Hemphill, 52, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Assault and Battery on Police, Assault and Battery, Obstruction of Justice and Destruction of Property. He was held on no bond.

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A 29-year-old D.C. man is behind bars after police say he pulled a gun on a tow truck driver early this morning.

The incident happened just before 3:30 a.m., near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive. Police say a tow truck driver was about to tow a car when the suspect approached, brandishing a gun and demanding the car be released. He then drove off.

The suspect and his car were later spotted a few blocks away, in Alcova Heights. Police say he took off on foot, tossed the gun and tried to scale a fence, but was tased by officers and taken into custody.

The suspect is now facing a battery of charges, including robbery, reckless driving and weapons violations.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ARMED ROBBERY, 2020-08280038, S. Walter Reed Drive at Columbia Pike. At approximately 3:21 a.m. on August 28, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim had finished securing the suspect’s vehicle prior to towing it when he was approached by the suspect, who allegedly brandished a firearm, threatened the victim and demanded the release of the vehicle and items of value. The victim complied and the suspect fled in his vehicle. Arriving officers located the suspect vehicle parked and unoccupied in the area of 9th Street S. and S. Monroe Street and observed the suspect walking in the area. As additional officers arrived on scene, the suspect fled on foot and a brief foot pursuit ensued, during which the suspect discarded the firearm he was carrying. The suspect ignored lawful commands of officers and attempted to flee over a fence. An officer successfully deployed their taser and he was taken into custody without further incident. Drake Anthony, Jr., 29, of Washington, D.C., was arrested and charged with charged with Robbery, Brandishing a Firearm, Reckless Handling of a Firearm, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, Obstruction of Justice, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, and Reckless Driving, and held on no bond.

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Arlington County Police are investigating an armed robbery in the Virginia Square area last night.

The incident happened last night at 9:30 p.m., at or near the 7-Eleven store at 3510 Wilson Blvd. Police say two suspects, including one armed with a knife, slashed a bag the victim was holding and stole items from inside, including cash.

Police swarmed the area afterward but the suspects fled on foot and remain at large.

“There are a huge number of police vehicles and officers on Jackson Street, Lincoln Street, the 7-Eleven parking lot, Monroe and Nelson on Wilson,” one local resident told ARLnow last night around 10 p.m.

More from an ACPD crime report:

ARMED ROBBERY, 2020-08260196, 800 block of N. Lincoln Street. At approximately 9:30 p.m. on August 26, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that a verbal dispute ensued between the suspects and victim inside of a business, during which the suspects threatened the victim. Upon exiting the business, the suspects approached the victim in the parking lot. Suspect One brandished a knife, cut the bag the victim was holding, and stole items from the bag and an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspects then fled on foot prior to police arrival. Suspect One is described as a light skinned male, approximately 5’8″, 160 lbs., with facial hair on his chin, wearing a baseball hat, grey t-shirt, grey sweat pants and light grey running shoes. Suspect Two is described as a tan skinned male, approximately 5’8″, 240 lbs., wearing glasses, a blue surgical mask, pink button down shirt, khaki shorts and white shoes. The investigation is ongoing.

Separately, police are currently investigating a theft in Rosslyn that occurred this morning. Initial reports suggest that a suspect stole items from a store along Wilson Blvd, then ran from police aftering being spotted on N. Lynn Street.

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Morning Notes

No Citations for Mass Gatherings in Arlington — “Gov. Ralph Northam is limiting social gatherings to 50% of event space capacity, or 250 people, whichever number is smaller. A spokesperson for Arlington County says ‘there have been no reports of social gatherings of this size’ in the locality. Arlington County’s police department has not issued any citations for mass gatherings, and has not levied any fines for people who flout rules regarding mask-wearing.” [DCist]

Prosecutor Explains Fight With Judges — “Taking the court to court to preserve the discretion of this office is the only way I know to protect the will of the voters who elected me. This is how we weave the quilt of criminal justice reform: each locality using its voice to demand change and put its values into elected offices. Town by town, county by county, we must fight to shape the communities in which we want to live.” [Washington Post]

Wardian, District Taco Donate to School — “Ultramarathoner Mike Wardian, who recently ran a 62-mile run to all 12 DMV-area District Taco locations, asked District Taco to donate the proceeds of the run to Barrett students and families in need. District Taco employees made and delivered 200 burritos to over 100 Barrett families.” [Press Release]

Parking Blocked Off For Clarendon Bar Lines — A number of nightlife hotspots in Clarendon have been working with the county’s Arlington Restaurant Initiative to better space out patrons waiting in line. This past weekend, the county blocked off portions of lanes and some parking spots around bars to allow more physical distancing around the lines. [Twitter, Twitter]

Thousands Left Behind at DCA Security Lines — “A new… Transportation Security Administration report gives the amount of coins and bills left behind at security checkpoints at airports around the country, including Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport. The amount unclaimed at checkpoints at National in the last fiscal year was $13,207.46.” [Washington Post]

Armed Robbery Near Courthouse — “The victim was sitting inside his parked vehicle when the suspect vehicle, which was occupied four times, pulled alongside him. Suspect One approached the victim, displayed a firearm and commanded the victim to exit his vehicle, lay on the ground and empty his pockets. Suspect Two then stole the victim’s personal belongings. Suspect One entered the victim’s vehicle and rummaged through items. The suspects fled the scene after an unrelated vehicle drove by the incident.” [Arlington County]

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(Updated at 11:35 a.m.) A man armed with a gun reportedly robbed the Sunoco at the corner of Washington Blvd and N. Glebe Road this morning.

The broad daylight robbery happened just before 9:45 a.m. Police are on scene and are currently searching for the suspect, who fled on foot.

No injuries have been reported.

Around 10:45 a.m., Arlington County police were notified of a robbery that just occurred at a gas station on the 6300 block of Leesburg Pike in Seven Corners, by a gun-wielding man with a similar description to that of the suspect in the Sunoco robbery.

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Arlington County police are investigating an early morning armed robbery in Crystal City.

The incident happened just before 4 a.m. Monday, on the 1500 block of Crystal Drive. Police say a woman walked up behind another woman, who was on her phone, and “bear hugged” her while demanding the phone.

The robbery attempt escalated as the victim refused to give up the phone.

“The suspect produced a firearm and again demanded the phone unsuccessfully,” ACPD said in a crime report this morning. “A second suspect appeared and began to yell, while a brief struggle ensued between the victim and Suspect One. During the struggle, the victim was dragged briefly as Suspect One stole her bag.”

“The suspects then fled on foot prior to police arrival. The victim was not injured,” the crime report says. “Suspect One is described as a Black female, 20-25 years old, 5’4″-5’6″, 140-150 lbs., with black hair in a bun, a black face mask, dark hoodie, and long pants. Suspect Two is described as a Black male, age 20-25, 5’10”-6’0″, 160-170 lbs., with short, black, curly hair, a black face mask, dark hoodie, and long pants. The investigation is ongoing.”

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Morning Notes

Arlington Gets Federal Arts Grant — “Arlington Cultural Affairs will receive a $35,000 Art Works award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)… [Arlington] will use the grant to support a multi-cultural artist residency project serving the Columbia Hills and Columbia Grove affordable housing communities.” [Arlington County]

Justin Trawick to Play ‘Secret’ Show — “We just got approval from Arlington County to present ‘Common Good on The Block’ benefiting the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Join ‘Justin Trawick and The Common Good’ for a secret street show with the full band on August 1st. This will be a socially distanced event and there are only 60 tickets available.” [Twitter]

Armed Robbery Near Ballston — “At approximately 11:45 p.m. on July 7, the victim was outside his residence when he was approached by two male suspects, one of whom was displaying a firearm. The suspects forced the victim back inside of his apartment, assaulted him, and demanded money. The victim was forced into the bathroom while the suspects ransacked the residence, then stole the victim’s vehicle, a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox with Virginia tags, and other items of value.” [Arlington County]

APS Superintendent to Hold Virtual Town Hall — “Dr. Durán will be hosting a community virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, July 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., to address the family selection process for choosing an instructional model for students. The Superintendent will address questions already received and take questions during the live event using Microsoft Teams or Facebook Live. The event will provide simultaneous interpretation in 5 languages (more details to come), including ASL, and closed captions in the streamed video.” [Arlington Public Schools]

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Morning Notes

Juneteenth Rally in Courthouse Today — “Please join the Arlington Black Employees Council for a 2020 Juneteenth Peace Rally on Friday, 11a-12p, outside at the Bozman Gov’t Center. The event will include a George Floyd tribute and recognition of victims of violence.” [Twitter]

Police Investigating Columbia Pike Robbery — “At approximately 1:24 a.m. on June 17, an officer was flagged down by the victim stating they had just been robbed. The investigation determined that the victim had exited a business when two unknown suspects approached him. One of the suspects struck the victim with an object appearing to be a firearm, causing him to fall to the ground. The suspects searched the victim’s person and fled the scene without taking anything from the victim.” [Arlington County]

ACPD Helps the Homeless During Pandemic — “In April, Arlington launched a homeless outreach coalition to help identify unsheltered individuals at high risk for COVID-19 and connect them with available resources and services. The coalition is comprised of stakeholders from the Police Department, Department of Human Services, and Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN). ” [Instagram]

Coronavirus Signage in Rosslyn — “The Rosslyn Business Improvement District decked out the neighborhood with a variety of light-hearted messages as part of an awareness campaign launched this week to encourage social distancing as the region loosens stay-at-home restrictions imposed to fight the spread of Covid-19. Through the messages — which are stamped to the sides of trash cans, in the windows of office buildings and on public benches — the BID hopes to remind people not to let their guard down.” [Washington Business Journal]

Backyard Blues Fest on Saturday — “CPRO is planning an alternative Backyard Blues Festival on June 20 from 5-7 p.m. Arlington community radio station WERA 96.7 FM will play a curated selection of blues while various local restaurants will offer special discounts on food and drinks, which can then be enjoyed in one’s backyard or patio with the radio cranked up.” [ARLnow]

Nearby: Falls Church Closes for Juneteenth — “In keeping with Governor Northam’s declaration designating Juneteenth as a state holiday, the City of Falls Church will also observe the holiday. City of Falls Church Government administrative offices will be closed. Employees who staff essential programs and services will work as scheduled.” [City of Falls Church]

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Morning Notes

Confusion Over Governor’s Mask Order — “At a briefing this afternoon, Gov. Ralph Northam emphasized that Virginia’s new indoor mask requirements weren’t intended to be criminally enforced. But the text of the order (released ~3 hours later) defines a violation as Class 1 misdemeanor.” [Virginia Mercury, Twitter]

Virus Hits Latino Communities Hard — “Fredys Medina, a diabetic construction worker from Arlington County, waved off his wife’s suggestion that he had the virus after he developed a cough and fever in late April, and he continued to work. Two weeks later, he collapsed on the living room floor. By the time paramedics arrived, Medina, 56, was gone. His wife, Leonor Medina, an unemployed hotel housekeeper, was left with an $8,000 funeral bill.” [Washington Post]

Clement Questions County Board Actions — “An independent candidate for the Nov. 3 Arlington County Board race contends that current board members are overstepping their bounds in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Audrey Clement says that the board’s May 19 vote continuing emergency operations gives the government far too much power for too long.” [InsideNova]

Volunteer Award Winners Announced — “Volunteer Arlington, a program of Leadership Center for Excellence, is honored to announce the recipients of the 2020 community volunteer awards which will be presented virtually at Arlington Cares on July 14.” [Volunteer Arlington]

Alleged Armed Robbery in Crystal City — “At approximately 2:56 p.m. on May 23, police were dispatched to the late report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 9:30 p.m. on May 15, the victim was in the area of 18th Street S. and S. Bell Street when he was allegedly approached by seven suspects. One suspect displayed a firearm and threatened the victim. The suspects stole the victim’s phone and wallet then fled.” [Arlington County]

Man Rescued from Potomac Near Chain Bridge — “A man is in the hospital in serious condition this morning after being pulled from the Potomac River [early Tuesday morning] in a daring rescue operation. The incident occurred just north of the Chain Bridge in an area that is extremely difficult to access from land.” [WJLA]

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A business along Lee Highway was robbed by a trio of gun-toting robbers last night, according to Arlington County Police.

Police say two suspects entered a business on the 4500 block of Lee Highway shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday. One of the men pulled out a gun while the other grabbed cash from the register, police said, then the pair ran out and jumped in a getaway vehicle driven by a third man.

Police did not name the business, but the block is home to a 7-Eleven store and the Lee Heights Shops. As of Monday morning, the suspects were still at large.

“The investigation is ongoing,” police said of the case.

More from an ACPD crime report:

ARMED ROBBERY, 2020-03290155, 4500 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 11:15 p.m. on March 29, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that two suspects entered a business and demanded the employee open the cash register. One suspect went behind the counter and brandished a firearm at the victim, while the second suspect began removing cash from the register. The suspects then exited the business with an undisclosed amount of cash and fled in a light colored sedan, driven by a third suspect, prior to police arrival. Suspect One is described as a white male, approximately 5’2″, wearing a black and gray hoodie, khaki shorts and white socks. Suspect Two is described as a black male, wearing a black sweater, black shorts, white socks and slip on shoes. Suspect Three is described as a black male. The investigation is ongoing.

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