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FBI Connects ‘Beltway Bank Bandit’ to Attempted Robbery of Columbia Pike Capital One Branch

Federal investigators now believe a serial bank robber dubbed the “Beltway Bank Bandit” was responsible for the attempted robbery of the Columbia Pike Capital One branch Monday.

The FBI’s Washington office is now offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the man’s capture, up from $5,000, and investigators believe he’s now been involved in 20 robberies across Virginia, Maryland and D.C. over the last year or so.

County police believe a man walked into the Capital One bank at 3532 Columbia Pike around 2:15 p.m. Monday, brandishing a gun and passing a teller a note demanding money. However, he fled the scene before he could get any cash.

Police released surveillance photos yesterday (Thursday) of the man wearing a mask and hard hat, which the FBI believes is consistent with the “Bank Bandit’s” previous robberies. Investigators say he’s passed a threatening note to tellers in each of his robberies, and has “worn different disguises such as a baseball cap, wig, gloves, hijab or hoodie to alter his appearance,” according to a news release.

The FBI believes the man has previously robbed banks in Alexandria, Falls Church and Centreville, but this is the first incident he’s been involved in Arlington.

Investigators describe him as a black man in 20s or 30s, standing between 5’7″ and 6’2″, weighing between 160 and 170 pounds.

The FBI is asking anyone with more information to call 202-278-2000 or submit a tip at tips.fbi.gov.

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Morning Notes

Good News for Ed Center Project — “It may not come with all the bells and whistles, but county school officials should be able to convert the Arlington Education Center building into classroom space without exceeding the $37 million budgeted for the project. Two estimates… came in slightly under budget to turn the former school-system headquarters into classroom space for 500 to 600 students.” [InsideNova]

Succession Question for Va.’s Leaders — Under fire for each of their own controversies, resignations by Virginia’s Democratic governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general could end up triggering a special election or even elevating a Republican state lawmaker into one of the top jobs. Meanwhile, the chaos in Richmond was the lead story on the national evening news this week — twice — and made the cover of this morning’s New York Post, with the headline “Virginia is for Losers.” [Politico, Twitter]

Amazon and Homelessness — “Along with the promise of 25,000 high-paying jobs will come more expensive housing, and possibly, more people priced out of homes, and some, falling through the cracks. Seattle, where Amazon is based, has a huge problem with homelessness. Will Seattle’s problems become ours?” [WUSA 9]

Possible Presidential Candidate Lives in Arlington — Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who is considering a run for president, reportedly rents a three-bedroom home in Arlington with her husband, for their time in the D.C. area. The current rent is estimated at $4,500 per month. [Heavy]

Merger of Banks with Local Branches — “BB&T will buy SunTrust Banks for about $28 billion in an all-stock deal, the companies said on Thursday, creating the sixth largest U.S. lender in the biggest bank deal since the 2007-2009 financial crisis.” [CNBC]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Capital One Bank Branch on Columbia Pike Set to Close

The Capital One bank branch along Columbia Pike now plans to shut its doors this spring.

The bank started notifying customers last week that the branch, located at 3532 Columbia Pike, will shut down on May 9, according to company spokeswoman Amanda Landers.

She told ARLnow that “there will be no changes to our customers’ accounts or their account numbers” associated with the branch’s closure.

“As always, customers can visit any Capital One branch and receive the same level of account access and high-quality service they’ve come to expect,” Landers wrote in an email. “We’re working hard to make this transition as smooth as possible. We also encourage our customers to give us a call or stop by the branch to ask us any questions before it closes, so that we could show them the available options to bank at any time with Capital One with tools such as online/mobile banking and bill pay.”

The bank branch has previously been in the news for twice being robbed in recent years, including one incident that attracted the FBI’s attention.

Capital One last closed another one of its Arlington branches along Lee Highway in September 2017.

The company still operates branches in Rosslyn, Ballston, Crystal City and another along Lee Highway.

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Chase Bank Branch Set to Open in Former Clarendon Walgreens Space Next Week

Arlington’s first Chase Bank branch is set to open in Clarendon next week.

Signs posted on the storefront at 2825 Wilson Blvd say that the new bank will open up this coming Tuesday (Dec. 18).

JPMorgan Chase has been hard at work at converting the former Walgreens Pharmacy into a new branch since earning construction permits late this summer. The building has sat empty since Walgreens closed last February.

The bank bought the space, designated by the county as a historic building, for $25 million back in January. That historic protection means that the county prohibited the bank from doing any work on the building’s exterior, but interior renovations were permitted.

The new Clarendon location is one of four new branches the bank is opening around the D.C. region in the coming months.

JPMorgan Chase kicked off a new round of expansion earlier this year, adding two new branches in D.C. and one in Bethesda alongside others in Boston and Philadelphia.

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SunTrust Bank Branch in Cherrydale Will Close in February

SunTrust Bank will close its branch in the Safeway at 3713 Lee Hwy on Feb. 5 — its second branch closure in Arlington on that day.

The bank told clients earlier in November that their accounts will be transferred to the Lee-Old Dominion branch at 4710 Lee Highway, unless clients specify a different location, Hugh Suhr, a spokesman for SunTrust, told ARLnow.

The branch at 249 N. Glebe Road is also set to close on that day.

Clients’ accounts at the branch on Glebe Road will be transferred to either the Arlington Gateway branch at 901 N. Glebe Road or the South Arlington branch at 3108 Columbia Pike, unless clients indicate a different location, Suhr said.

In May, SunTrust, which is based in Atlanta, was hit with a massive data breach that compromised 1.5 million customer accounts.

Photo via Google Maps

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New Wells Fargo Branch Set to Open in Courthouse Office Building

A new Wells Fargo bank is set to open soon in Courthouse.

Signs posted at a space at the base of an office building at 2319 Wilson Blvd advertise that the new branch is “coming soon.”

The location would be the bank’s ninth branch in Arlington, and second in Courthouse alone. Wells Fargo operates a branch just up the road from the new space, just near the county government center at 2200 Clarendon Blvd.

The lot at 2319 Wilson Blvd was once home to a variety of smaller businesses, including the hookah lounge and bar Adam’s Corner, but those were replaced by an eight-story office building.

The retail space in the base of the building has largely sat empty since then, but The Merit School is also planning to open a new daycare center in the building in the coming months.

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SunTrust Branch on Glebe Road Set to Close Early Next Year

SunTrust Bank will close its branch at 249 N. Glebe Road on Feb. 5.

“The decision to close a branch is made after careful study and analysis,” Hugh Suhr, a spokesman for SunTrust, told ARLnow, adding that market growth, real estate arrangements and transaction volumes are some of the factors considered.

The bank began notifying clients last week, and their accounts will be transferred to either the Arlington Gateway branch at 901 N. Glebe Road or the South Arlington branch at 3108 Columbia Pike, unless clients specify a different location, Suhr said.

“SunTrust, like all banking companies, must constantly refine its branch network to meet the changing needs and transaction patterns of clients, as well as taking into account their increasing usage of newer delivery channels such as internet banking and mobile banking,” Suhr said.

In May, SunTrust, which is based in Atlanta, was hit with a massive data breach that compromised 1.5 million customer accounts.

A Subway sandwich shop next door at 243 N. Glebe Road closed earlier this year. The owner decided to shut it down in April in order to focus on another Subway location nearby that is still open, a spokesperson for the restaurant told ARLnow.

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Navy Federal Credit Union Opens New Branch in Williamsburg

Navy Federal Credit Union has now opened its fourth branch in Arlington.

The bank held a grand opening for the new branch, located at 6402 Williamsburg Blvd, on Monday.

The new location is situated in the Williamsburg Shopping Center, near the intersection of N. Sycamore Street and Williamsburg Blvd., which is also home to a CVS and newly rebranded frozen yogurt shop.

Navy Federal primarily caters to active-duty service members, veterans and their families. Other locations around Arlington include one on the grounds of the Pentagon itself, one in Ballston and one in Crystal City.

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Morning Notes

Another Chase Branch Coming to Arlington — Following its purchase of the former Walgreens in Clarendon, JPMorgan Chase is now planning a second bank branch in Arlington. The new branch will reportedly be located at the northwest corner of N. Randolph Street and Wilson Boulevard in Ballston. [Washington Business Journal]

Preservationists Eye Local Log Cabin — “A retired florist, Cal Marcey is worried over possible destruction of one of Arlington’s remaining log cabins, to which his ancestors have ties. A new owner has purchased the early-19th century Birchwood cabin at N. Wakefield and 26th sts., and the plans — renovation versus teardown — are unclear.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Record Round for Arlington Startup — “Arlington safety and security startup LiveSafe Inc. has raised $11.1 million in fresh funding, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. It’s the company’s largest round so far and puts its total funding at about $25 million, according to a review of previous SEC filings. LiveSafe did not respond to requests for comment.” [Washington Business Journal]

Business Group Wants Better Bus Service — “A group of chief executives from the greater Washington region says deficiencies in bus service are holding back growth in the region. The region’s bus network possesses valuable assets, including more than 3,800 buses and a growing system of limited-stop service and bus rapid transit lines, but the region hasn’t fully leveraged the potential of the network to help solve its transportation challenges.” [Washington Post, Greater Greater Washington]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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Permits Issued But No Construction Yet at Former Clarendon Walgreens

It has stood empty and unused for a year and a half, but there are signs that interior construction could be starting soon at the former Walgreens in Clarendon.

The final plan for the historically-designated building to be converted into a JPMorgan Chase Bank was approved by Arlington inspectors last week, according to county permitting records.

The branch is one of four planned for the D.C. area as part of an expansion of the financial giant’s consumer banking arm. The company purchased the property at 2825 Wilson Blvd for $25 million, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Asked for additional details, including an expected opening date, a JPMorgan Chase spokesman said the company has “no further information to provide at this time.”

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The National Capital Bank of Washington is Now Open in Arlington

The National Capital Bank of Washington (NCB) has opened its new branch and business office in Arlington, Virginia.

Located at 2505 Wilson Boulevard, this office will serve the financial needs of businesses and residents in the Courthouse neighborhood. The branch is managed by seasoned Northern Virginia banker, Tamara M. Zamberlan.

Zamberlan joins the Bank as Vice President and Branch Manager of NCB’s Courthouse branch.

With almost two decades of retail banking experience and involvement with area businesses, Zamberlan brings exceptional experience in sales management, client relations and community engagement, most recently from WashingtonFirst Bank, where she served in a similar role.

A graduate of University of Southern Mississippi, Zamberlan is an active member of several community organizations including the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and has served as a board and committee member of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club of Alexandria and the Rotary Club of McLean.

“We are excited by this opportunity to bring NCB’s unique brand of five generations of neighborhood banking to Arlington. This marks the first new branch we have opened in more than twenty years. With many economic and demographic characteristics similar to where our roots are on Capitol Hill, Arlington was a natural next step,” said Randy Anderson, President and CEO of National Capital Bank. “Tamara is an outstanding banker and with her industry knowledge, market experience and commitment exceptional service, she will lead her team to success.”

Adjacent to the branch, on Wilson Boulevard, the business office will serve as a regional location for the Company’s other financial services offerings to include commercial and residential mortgage lending, wealth management and business banking.

The branch opened its doors on March 29 and held a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 8.

The National Capital Bank of Washington was founded in 1889 and is Washington’s Oldest Bank.

NCB is headquartered on Capitol Hill with offices in the Friendship Heights community in Northwest D.C., and most recently the Courthouse/Clarendon community in Arlington.

NCB also operates residential mortgage and commercial lending offices and a wealth management services division. NCB product and service offerings include personal and business deposit accounts, robust online and mobile banking, sophisticated treasury management solutions, remote deposit capture and merchant processing – all delivered with top-rated personal service.

NCB is well-positioned to serve all the banking needs of those in our community. For more information about NCB, visit www.nationalcapitalbank.com. The Bank trades under the symbol NACB.

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National Capital Bank Branch Opens on Wilson Blvd

(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) A new branch of National Capital Bank opened this morning (March 29) roughly between Clarendon and Courthouse, marking the bank’s first branch in Virginia.

National Capital Bank bills itself as “Washington’s Oldest Bank,” and has been open since 1889, according to its website.

The bank is at 2505 Wilson Boulevard, which is at the intersection with Franklin Road and N. Barton Street.

The bank takes over the once-vacant former location of another bank, Cardinal Bank, which was bought out by United Bank about a year ago.

Hat tip to Sandra Alboum

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Crime Report: Man Frustrated by Drive-Thru ATM Wait Draws Gun

A dispute over a drive-thru ATM led a man in a Mercedes to draw a gun and make threats, police say.

The incident happened Monday afternoon, on the 3100 block of Columbia Pike, according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

A SunTrust bank is located on that block of the Pike.

Police say that the suspect “became verbally irate” while waiting in line to use the ATM. More from the crime report:

BRANDISHING, 2018-02260160, 3100 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 2:10 p.m. on February 26, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing of a firearm. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was using the drive thru ATM when another vehicle pulled up behind him. The driver of the approaching vehicle became verbally irate, threatened the victim and allegedly brandished a firearm. The suspect is described as a black male, bald, approximately 25-30 years old, wearing glasses and a black shirt, driving a black Mercedes. The investigation is ongoing.

The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, after the jump.

Photo via Google Maps

ROBBERY (late), 2018-02270237, 3800 block of 7th Street N. At approximately 5:57 p.m. on February 27, police were dispatched to the late report of a robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 8:00 p.m. on February 26, the victim was walking in the area when she was approached from behind by two unknown suspects. The suspects assaulted the victim before cutting her purse strap and fleeing the area with her personal belongings. Suspect One is described as a black male, 24-28 years old, approximately 5’6″, wearing a dark sweater. Suspect Two is described as a black male, 24-28 years old, approximately 5’6″, wearing a plaid shirt and brown pants. The investigation is ongoing.

ROBBERY, 2018-02230050, 3200 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 6:01 a.m. on February 23, police were dispatched the report of a possible robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that between approximately 7:30 p.m. on February 22 and 6:00 a.m. on February 23, the victim’s personal belongings were taken from the victim’s coat pocket. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

BURGLARY, 2018-02220048, 2500 block of Franklin Road. At approximately 7:54 a.m. on February 22, police were dispatched to the late report of a burglary. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect forced entry to a business and stole cash. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

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JPMorgan Chase Branch Coming to Clarendon

JPMorgan Chase plans to open a consumer banking branch in the former Walgreen’s space in Clarendon.

The financial giant recently bought the historic-designated property for $25 million, according to the Washington Business Journal.

S&P Global Market Intelligence is reporting today — and a filing with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency appears to confirm — that the Clarendon property is planned as one of six new JPMorgan Chase branches along the East Coast.

Four of the new branches are in the D.C. area, including two in the District and one in Bethesda.

Hat tip to @AndrewOnEnergy

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Morning Notes

Former Clarendon Walgreens Building Purchased — JPMorgan Chase has bought the building that housed the former Walgreens in Clarendon for $25 million, perhaps for a new bank branch. [Washington Business Journal]

Local Man Shot and Killed in Philly — An Arlington man who “appeared to be intentionally trying to run down people” with his car was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer in South Philadelphia. The shooting is under investigation. [WPVI]

More Details on Arlington Vehicle Decals — “The 2017-18 Arlington car-tax decal may come with a new feature: personalization. The county treasurer’s office is working on a plan that would add each vehicle’s year, make and model onto the new decals, which will start being distributed over the summer.” [InsideNova]

ACPD Launches Super Bowl Sobriety Campaign — “The Arlington County Police Department and law enforcement agencies across the country are huddling up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for a special Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk reminder to urge football fans across the nation not to drop the ball on this issue.” [Arlington County]

VHC Named Top Hospital for Nurses — Virginia Hospital Center is the top hospital for nurses in Virginia, according to new rankings from a nursing website. [Nurse.org]

Signs Up for Nestle in Rosslyn — A Nestle sign is now up on the company’s new headquarters at 1812 N. Moore Street in Rosslyn. [Twitter]

State Senate OKs Arlington Hotel Tax Bill — The Virginia state Senate has passed a bill to authorize Arlington to impose a 0.25 percent hotel tax surcharge, to fund tourism promotion. The county’s current authority to collect the surcharge expires July 1. [InsideNova]

Robert Parry Obituary — “Robert Parry, an investigative journalist who was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1985 for his Associated Press exclusives about the CIA’s production of an assassination manual for Nicaraguan rebels, died Jan. 27 in Arlington, Va. He was 68.” [Washington Post, Consortiumnews]

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