(Updated at 9:20 p.m.) Roads have reopened around a bank in Clarendon after a reported robbery and possible hostage situation.
The Wells Fargo at 3140 Washington Blvd was robbed shortly after 3 p.m. and the suspect — reported to be a man in his 20s — was still in the bank when officers arrived. Police surrounded the bank and shut down traffic in the area.
Five employees and customers, including a small child, were held in the bank with the suspect during the hour-long incident, according to an update from police.
The suspect implied that he had a weapon, according to police, but it’s unclear whether he was actually armed. A negotiator and SWAT team members responded to the scene, while firefighters and medics staged nearby.
Witness video published by WUSA 9 showed people lying face down on the bank floor during the incident.
Shortly after 4 p.m., a group of heavily armed officers could be seen approaching the bank and, in English and Spanish, commanding those inside to come out with their hands up. The scene was captured on video by ARLnow staff photographer Jay Westcott.
Shortly after that, a man could be seen being led out with handcuffs. The people being held then came out and were asked to provide statements to police.
Police confirmed shortly after 4:30 p.m. that the suspect was in custody and an investigation is underway. No injuries were reported.
Several drivers who were caught up in the robbery response and had to abandon their vehicles on Washington Blvd, in front of the bank, were allowed to return to their vehicles and drive off around 5 p.m.
Later Tuesday night, Arlington County police released the following press release about the robbery and arrest, identifying the suspect as a 30-year-old North Carolina man. No gun was found at the scene.
The Arlington County Police Department has arrested a suspect following a bank robbery in the Clarendon neighborhood. Oscar Gonzalez Allarenja, 30, of Durham, NC, has been charged with Bank Robbery and Abduction. He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.
At approximately 3:09 p.m. on April 11, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery in the 3100 block of Washington Boulevard. The preliminary investigation indicates the suspect entered the bank, grabbed an employee, indicated he had a firearm and demanded cash before walking behind the counter. Responding officers established a perimeter and worked to safely resolve the incident as the suspect remained barricaded inside the bank with employees and patrons. During the course of the incident, members of the Emergency Response Team approached the bank, gave the suspect commands which he complied with and took him into custody without incident. The patrons and employees, four adults and one child, then safely exited the bank. All were evaluated on scene by medics as a precaution and no injuries were reported.
No cash was reported stolen and no weapon was located on scene. This incident remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact police 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.
— Eric Sutton (@EricMSutton) April 11, 2023
Watch: This was the moment around 4 pm that @ArlingtonVaPD pulled the suspect in the Wells Fargo bank robbery through the front door & made the arrest. Then the 5 people inside the bank were able to safely leave. #police @ARLnowDOTcom @RealTimeNews10 @SafetyVid @HCBright10 https://t.co/5Rrdmv2ZSh pic.twitter.com/1u3Nys4DWI
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) April 11, 2023
A 27-year-old Maryland man has been arrested and charged with yesterday’s robbery of the Bank of America on Columbia Pike.
Police say Jaquan Royal passed the teller a note and implied that he had a weapon, then fled with cash. No one was physically hurt.
From an Arlington County police press release:
The Arlington County Police Department has charged a suspect for his involvement in a bank robbery in the 3400 block of Columbia Pike. Jaquan Deandre Malik Royal, 27, of Prince George’s County, Md., was taken into custody in Fairfax County. Charges in Arlington County are for Bank Robbery and Armed Robbery.
At approximately 10:29 a.m. on April 4, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery in the 3400 block of Columbia Pike. Upon arrival, it was determined the suspect entered the bank and allegedly passed a note to the teller demanding money and implying he had a weapon. He then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash. No weapon was seen or displayed, and no injuries were reported.
This incident remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact police 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.
Royal has a past arrest record in Arlington and Fairfax counties.
In the summer of 2022 he was arrested and charged with robbing a Wells Fargo Bank on Richmond Highway. The ultimate disposition of that case is not immediately clear, as ARLnow does not subscribe to Fairfax County’s paid circuit court records service.
In 2020, Royal was arrested and later convicted of petty larceny in Fairfax County, according to Fairfax County General District Court records.
Royal was arrested twice in Arlington last year and accused of a Nov. 26, 2020 armed carjacking in Crystal City and a Dec. 23, 2022 shooting. In both instances, charges were later dropped.
In February of this year he was arrested on grand larceny and other charges in Fairfax County, stemming from a December incident. He was released on his own recognizance in early March 2023, ahead of a preliminary hearing scheduled for May.
(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) A middle-aged man robbed a bank in the Courthouse area Friday afternoon.
The robbery happened on the 2500 block of Wilson Blvd, near the border of the Courthouse and Clarendon neighborhoods, around 3:15 p.m.
From an Arlington County police crime report:
BANK ROBBERY, 2022-09160150, 2500 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 3:20 p.m. on September 16, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the unknown male suspect entered the bank, approached a teller, implied he had a weapon and demanded money. The suspect then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash. No weapon was seen or displayed and no injuries were reported. The suspect is described as a light-skin Black male, approximately 40-60 years old, 5’04”, 180 pounds, wearing a black and white hat, black glasses, black face mask, light-gray long sleeve button-up shirt, black pants, and dark shoes, carrying a grocery bag. The investigation is ongoing.
ACPD typically does not reveal the name of a business that has been the victim of a crime. There are two banks on the 2500 block of Wilson Blvd: FVCbank and National Capital Bank.
The last reported bank robbery in Arlington was back in May, when three banks in the Ballston area were robbed in the span of about a week. The suspect in two of those robberies was also described as a short, middle-aged Black man who ran off while carrying a plastic bag.
“This is an ongoing investigation and detectives will work to determine if it is linked to the incidents reported in May,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage, in response to an inquiry from ARLnow.
Image via Google Maps
(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) Expect significant police activity in the Ballston area following a pair of bank robberies.
The Citizens Bank at 4075 Wilson Blvd was the scene of an attempted robbery shortly after 2 p.m. The suspect ran off without cash after hopping the counter, per initial reports.
About 10-15 minutes later, a suspect matching the same description as the first successfully robbed the Bank of America directly in front of the Ballston Metro station.
The suspect remains at large and police are actively searching for him. Metro train traffic may also be disrupted as a result of the investigation.
So far no injuries have been reported. The man reportedly implied a weapon but none was seen.
The suspect is described as a short, middle aged Black male wearing a gray sweatsuit and carrying a plastic bag. The description differs from that of the taller, still-at-large suspect accused of robbing the Truist bank in Ballston last week.
Officers reportedly detained at least one or two people in the area matching the description of today’s robbery suspect, though it’s unclear whether either was determined to be the suspect.
Prior to last week, the last reported bank robbery in Arlington was in 2019.
POLICE ACTIVITY: No injuries have been reported. Preliminary investigation indicates a weapon was implied but not seen or displayed. Expect continued police presence in the area as the investigation continues.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) May 9, 2022
Arlington County police have released photos of the man they say robbed a bank in Ballston last week.
The photos show a man wearing a surgical mask and a hoodie, inside the Truist bank at 920 N. Taylor Street. Police say he passed a note to a teller implying that he had a weapon, then made off with cash.
No one was hurt.
Police are now hoping that the public can help them identify and find the suspect, who successfully fled the scene after the robbery.
More from an ACPD press release, below.
The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is seeking the public’s assistance identifying a bank robbery suspect captured on surveillance footage.
At approximately 1:58 p.m. on May 2, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery by force in the 900 block of N. Taylor Street. Upon arrival, it was determined the suspect entered a bank and passed a note to the teller demanding money and implying he had a weapon. He then fled the scene on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. No weapon was seen or displayed and no injuries were reported.
The suspect is described as a Black male, approximately 6’02” tall with a heavy set. He was wearing a black hoodie, dark pants, black hat and sunglasses at the time of the incident.
Anyone with information that may assist with the investigation or who can identify the suspect is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) Police are investigating a bank robbery in Ballston.
Initial reports suggest that a man robbed the Truist bank at 920 N. Taylor Street, a block from the Metro station, after implying that he had a gun. Police swarmed the area after the call came in around 2 p.m.
It was not immediately clear how much money the man stole. So far there are no reports of any injuries — nor any arrests — following the robbery.
The last bank robbery in Arlington, at least as reported by ARLnow, happened before the pandemic, on Dec. 30, 2019.
ACPD is investigating a bank robbery in the 900 block of N. Taylor Street. Suspect entered bank, passed a note implying a weapon and fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash. Expect continued police activity in the area. pic.twitter.com/LXbpNo7dot
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) May 2, 2022
A man who terrorized businesses in Arlington, Alexandria and elsewhere from 2018 to 2019 is going to prison.
Freddy Lee McRae, 35, pled guilty to a series of bank and retail robberies last year. On Tuesday McRae, dubbed the “Beltway Bank Bandit,” was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison.
“This case involved a chilling armed robbery spree during which innocent community members were threatened with serious injury or death if they did not comply with repeated demands for money,” Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a statement. “We are thankful to our law enforcement partners for their thorough investigation across multiple jurisdictions to bring the defendant to justice.”
As detailed in a press release, McRae’s crime spree included the attempted robbery of a Capital One branch on Columbia Pike, the armed robbery of Legend Kicks & Apparel on the Pike, and a subsequent police chase on the GW Parkway that ended with McRae crashing his car into the river and trying to swim to freedom.
On December 10, 2018, McRae robbed a Burke & Herbert bank branch located in Alexandria. McRae approached a teller, who asked if he wanted to make a deposit. McRae responded, “gimmie your money,” before lifting up his shirt and pulling a pistol from his waistband, which he pointed at the teller. As the teller gathered money, McRae racked the slide on the pistol and demanded all large bills. McRae fled with approximately $1,366 in cash.
On April 21, 2019, McRae robbed the Legend Kicks & Apparel store located in Arlington. McRae brandished a pistol and demanded that two store employees empty their pockets, which they did. McRae then ordered the employees to lie on the floor before taking approximately $2,160 in cash that belonged to the store. McRae fled the store on foot and the area by vehicle. When a law enforcement officer tried to pull over the vehicle, McRae stopped only briefly before leading law enforcement officers on a vehicle pursuit on the George Washington Memorial Parkway. McRae ultimately jumped out of his moving vehicle prior to it crashing and sinking into the Potomac River. McRae tried to flee law enforcement by jumping into the river, but officers pulled him out and placed him under arrest.
As part of his guilty plea, McRae also admitted to robbing a Bank of America branch in Springfield on October 27, 2018; a BB&T branch located in Alexandria on December 20, 2018; and a Capital One branch located in Bowie, Maryland, on January 2, 2019. McRae further admitted to attempting to rob a Capital One branch located in Arlington on February 11, 2019, and to obstructing justice following his apprehension.
“This case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Northern Virginia Violent Crime Safe Streets Task Force, which is composed of FBI Special Agents and Task Force Officers from northern Virginia law enforcement agencies,” the press release noted. “Significant investigative assistance in this case was provided by the Arlington County Police and the Fairfax County Police.”
A 34-year-old D.C. man dubbed the “Beltway Bank Bandit” has pleaded guilty to charges connected to his use of a gun in three robberies, including one in Arlington.
Federal prosecutors say Freddie Lee McRae brandished a firearm when robbing a Wells Fargo branch and a Burke & Herbert branch, both in Alexandria, in late 2018. He also brandished a pistol on April 21, 2019, when he robbed the Legend Kicks and Apparel store on Columbia Pike in Arlington, prosecutors say.
McRae’s getaway vehicle was spotted by police after that robbery, leading to a chase on the GW Parkway that ended up with the car in the Potomac River and McRae unsuccessfully trying to swim to freedom.
“McRae pleaded guilty to three counts of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence,” the U.S. Attorney’ Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said in a press release Tuesday evening. “He faces up to life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 21 years in prison when sentenced on Feb. 23, 2021.”
In addition to the three robberies for which he pleaded guilty on Tuesday, McRae also admitted to several other bank robberies, as well as the attempted robbery of a Capital One Bank branch in February 2019, prosecutors say.
The full press release is below.
Bill Would Allow Open Containers in More Places — “A bill introduced in the Virginia General Assembly would let more shopping center developments offer open-container access under the state’s liquor laws. Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington, introduced the measure… The change could theoretically benefit at least a couple of developments in Favola’s backyard,” including the Village at Shirlington and Market Common Clarendon. [Washington Business Journal]
County Board Organizational Meeting Tonight — “The Arlington County Board will elect its 2020 County Board chair and vice-chair at its Organizational Meeting on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, at 6 p.m. in the County Board Room, Room 307 in the Ellen M. Bozman Government Center. The Board also will adopt procedures for 2020 and name Board members to represent Arlington on regional bodies.” [Arlington County]
Bank Robbery Suspect Also Faces Charges in Bethesda — “One of three suspects who stole $60,000 worth of jewelry from a Bethesda, Maryland, shop in mid December was arrested Monday after robbing a bank in Arlington, Virginia, police say. Derrick Lamont Graham, 42, walked into the BB&T bank at 2200 Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon on Friday and gave a note to an employee that implied he had a weapon, Arlington County police said.” [NBC 4, WTOP]
New Year’s Eve Problems — From a local Nextdoor user: “Hi everyone I lost the keys to my apartment last night somewhere in Clarendon. If anyone has found a key chain with 1 single key, a fob, and a white “tile,” please contact me!” [Twitter]
(Updated at 11:25 p.m.) Arlington County Police responded to a bank robbery in the Courthouse neighborhood, just blocks from police headquarters, Monday morning.
The robbery was reported around 11:15 a.m. at the BB&T Bank at 2200 Clarendon Blvd.
The suspect reportedly fled the bank with cash and ran west on Clarendon Blvd. Soon after arriving on scene, officers took suspect in custody at the Courthouse Metro station, according to scanner traffic.
FINAL: ACPD has arrested and charged Derrick Graham, 42, of No Fixed Address with Robbery.
Excellent work by ACPD officers to quickly bring this case to its resolution. pic.twitter.com/XlYqkij5oH
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 30, 2019
An Arlington man previously convicted of a pair of bank robberies in Alexandria is facing more jail time.
Budder Khan, now 29, pleaded guilty today to robbing two pawn shops in Falls Church, federal prosecutors announced. Khan could face decades in prison for the pawn shop robberies, which took place in 2014 and 2015.
Khan was dubbed the “Ball Cap Bandit” due to the hats he wore during a series of local bank robberies in 2016.
More from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia:
An Arlington man pleaded guilty today to robbing two Falls Church pawn shops of nearly $800,000 in jewelry and watches.
According to court documents, in July 2014, Budder Khan, 29, entered Route 50 Gold and Jewelry Exchange, forced the store’s employees to the ground using what appeared to be a real firearm, smashed the business’s glass display cases and took jewelry and watches worth over $650,000. Later, in April 2015, Khan entered Top Pawn, again used what appeared to be a real firearm to frighten the store’s employees, smashed the business’s glass display cases and stole jewelry and watches worth over $143,000.
Khan pleaded guilty to two counts of interference with commerce by robbery and faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison when sentenced on December 6. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This investigation was conducted by the FBI WFO’s Violent Crime Safe Streets Task Force which is composed of Special Agents of the FBI, along with Detectives from the Fairfax County Police, the Prince William County Police, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office, the Arlington County Police, the Alexandria City Police, the Leesburg Police, Vienna Police Department, Herndon Police Department, Fairfax City Police, Falls Church Police Department, the Washington Metropolitan Police Department and in partnership with the ATF, USMS, HSI, and other federal agencies. This task force focuses on investigating the most egregious and violent criminal enterprises and actors operating in the Capital Region.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, and Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, III accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander E. Blanchard is prosecuting the case.
Flickr photo by Joe Gratz