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

Just days after the last reported series of airbag thefts in Arlington, police are investigating another.

Arlington County police say a thief or thieves smashed windows on and stole airbags from three Honda vehicles on the 900 block of S. Rolfe Street, near Towers Park.

Dozens of similar thefts — mostly involving Hondas and Acuras — have been reported so far this year, including a series of four less than a week ago.

From ACPD:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (Late, Series), 2022-09050059, 900 block of S. Rolfe Street. At approximately 6:41 a.m. on September 5, police were dispatched to the report of a late larceny from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined between approximately 11:30 p.m. on September 4 and 6:41 a.m. on September 5 the unknown suspect(s) smashed the driver’s side windows of three vehicles and stole the airbags. All vehicles involved are Honda models. There is no suspect description at this time. The investigation is ongoing.

Also in the latest ACPD crime report, police say a man pulled out and loaded a gun inside a business along Columbia Pike — and then walked away without making any threats or demands.

The odd situation played out Friday night on the 2900 block of the Pike, which is home to a Domino’s Pizza and a CVS, among other businesses. Arlington police typically do not reveal the identities of people or entities that have been the victims of crimes.

More via ACPD:

BRANDISHING, 2022-09020220, 2600 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 8:49 p.m. on September 2, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 8:43 p.m., the unknown male suspect entered into the business, approached the counter, removed a firearm and magazine from his waistband and loaded it before fleeing the scene on foot. The suspect did not make any demands or threats. No injuries were reported and no items were reported stolen or damaged. Responding officers canvassed the area yielding negative results.

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A 54-year-old Alexandria man is in jail after police say he broke into and stole items from two cars and tampered with five others.

The arrest happened last night around midnight, in a pair of neighborhoods along Columbia Pike.

The man was caught, police say, after an alert off-duty officer spotted him trying to break in to several parked cars, then detained him until on-duty units arrived.

From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

VEHICLE TAMPERING (Series), 2022-08250293/08260015, 2500 block of 9th Road S./1100 block of S. Walter Reed Drive. At approximately 11:56 p.m. on August 25, police were dispatched to the report of a vehicle tampering. The investigation determined that an off-duty police officer observed the suspect attempting to enter into parked vehicles in the area before making contact with him and detaining him until the arrival of additional units. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspect allegedly entered into and tampered with seven victim vehicles and stole personal items from two of the vehicles. During a search of his person incident to arrest, drug paraphernalia was recovered. [The suspect], 54, of Alexandria, Va., was arrested and charged with Vehicle Tampering (x4), Petit Larceny from a Vehicle (x2), Grand Larceny from a Vehicle, Credit Card Theft, and Possession of Controlled Paraphernalia. He was held without bail.

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Arlington County police are investigating another series of airbag thefts.

The latest series was reported on the 1900 block of S. Eads Street in Crystal City just before 5:30 a.m. Thursday. A tipster tells us that thieves appeared to target Honda Civics parked at the Crystal House apartment complex.

More from an ACPD crime report:

LARCENY FROM AUTO, (Series), 2022-07280041, 1900 block of S. Eads Street. At approximately 5:21 a.m. on July 28, police were dispatched to the report of a destruction of property. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 8:00 p.m. on July 27 and 5:15 a.m. on July 28, the unknown suspect(s) smashed the windows to ten vehicles. Air bags were stolen from seven of the vehicles and tires were stolen from two of the vehicles. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

The seven airbag thefts reported yesterday are in addition to the nearly three dozen reported earlier this month in several Arlington neighborhoods, including Rosslyn and Pentagon City. Those thefts targeted Honda and Acura vehicles, police said.

On the same block of S. Eads Street yesterday morning, meanwhile, officers responded to another crime: an alleged break-in attempt at a business. A 57-year-old suspect was arrested and is being held without bond on charges of Unlawful Entry and Possession of Burglarious Tools, police say.

UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 2022-07280259, 1900 block of S. Eads Street. At approximately 10:57 a.m. on July 28, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary in progress. The investigation determined the suspect allegedly attempted to force entry into a business before fleeing the area on a bicycle when a witness confronted him. A lookout was broadcast and responding officers located the suspect in the area of the 2000 block of S. Fern Street and took him into custody without incident. During the course of the investigation, burglarious tools were located on the suspect’s person and within his property.

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

The spate of vehicle-related thefts and break-ins is continuing.

Arlington County police say a group of four kids under the age of 18 broke into about seven cars in the residential Gulf Branch neighborhood early Tuesday morning.

Police managed to detain a suspect after a brief chase on foot, but no damage or thefts were reported and the victims declined to press charges.

More from an ACPD crime report:

VEHICLE TAMPERING/LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2022-06070024/06070032/06070033/06070034/06070036/06070037, 3400 block of N. Thomas Street/4200 block of 35th Street N./3300 block of N. Randolph Street/4400 block of 35th Street N./4100 block of 34th Street N. At approximately 3:39 a.m. on June 7, police were dispatched to multiple reports of vehicle tamperings. Responding officers observed a group of four juvenile subjects in the area who took off running upon seeing them. A brief foot pursuit was initiated and officers located one subject and detained him without incident. The investigation determined that the subjects allegedly entered into and rummaged through approximately seven victim vehicles. No items were reported damaged or stolen and the victims did not wish to seek prosecution. The juvenile was released to his guardian. The investigation is ongoing.

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Arlington police car (file photo)

An Arlington man is facing charges after allegedly shoving and threatening a county parking aide.

The incident happened Thursday afternoon along S. Lowell Street in the Green Valley neighborhood.

“At approximately 3:52 p.m. on May 19, police were dispatched to a report of an assault,” said an Arlington County Police Department crime report. “Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect’s vehicle was in the process of being towed when he confronted the Public Safety Aide (PSA). During the confrontation, the suspect allegedly threatened the PSA before physically pushing him. Responding officers took the suspect into custody without incident.”

The 20-year-old suspect was charged with Assault and Battery and released on an unsecured bond, police said.

Earlier Thursday, yet another series of auto crimes was reported, this time in the Ashton Heights neighborhood. Officers found nine vehicles with windows smashed along the 800 block of N. Lincoln Street, according to the crime report.

“At approximately 8:34 a.m. on May 19, police were dispatched to the report of a destruction of property,” said ACPD. “Upon arrival, it was determined that between 11:00 p.m. on May 18 and 6:00 a.m. on May 19, the unknown suspect(s) smashed the windows to nine vehicles and stolen items of value from two of the involved vehicles. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.”

Dozens of vehicle thefts, break-ins and other such crimes have been reported across Arlington over the past few weeks.

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Sixteen cars had windows smashed in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood earlier this week.

The smashing spree happened Monday morning along a two block stretch of S. Adams Street, in the neighborhood that’s located roughly between Pentagon City and Shirlington.

The suspect (or suspects) appears to have rummaged through the vehicles but no items were reported stolen.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY (Series), 2021-11150063/11150074, 2600 block and 2700 block of S. Adams Street. At approximately 10:26 a.m. on November 15, police were dispatched to the report of a destruction of property in the 2700 block of S. Adams Street. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim observed the front passenger window to her car had been smashed, but no items appeared to have been stolen. During the course of the investigation, seven additional vehicles were discovered to have had their windows smashed. At approximately 11:22 a.m., police were dispatched to the report of a destruction of property in the 2600 block of S. Adams Street. Upon arrival it was determined that eight vehicles had their windows smashed and items rummaged through. No items were reported stolen. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

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Morning Notes

Firefighters Recount 9/11 Horror — “Arlington County firefighter Matthew Herrera was racing to a call for an apartment fire in Rosslyn, Virginia, 20 years ago, when his crew was rerouted. Their new destination: the Pentagon, for a report of a plane down in the area. It was Sept. 11, 2001. Herrera, now a captain, struggled to get through piles of debris inside the building, right where the plane had hit, to fight the blaze. ‘The first time I fell, I got up real quick and I remember (thinking), ‘I hope I’m not stepping on somebody.’ And I knew that I probably was,’ Herrera told WTOP.” [WTOP]

More Recollections of Sept. 11 — “What they encountered was catastrophic, unprecedented and unforgettable. ‘There was just one piece of the plane I could see,’ recalls Scott, who today holds the rank of Captain II with Arlington Fire/EMS. ‘It was the letter C, from American Airlines.’ Along with countless other responders, Scott spent hours working to suppress the fire raging on the Pentagon’s west side.” [Arlington Magazine, WJLA, NBC 4]

Car Break-ins Around Arlington Ridge — “2300 block of S. Arlington Ridge Road / 1200 block of Oakcrest Road. At approximately 9:52 a.m. on September 3, police were dispatched to the report of multiple larcenies from auto. The investigation determined that between 10:30 p.m. on September 2 and 9:52 a.m. on September 3, the unknown suspect(s) entered approximately four vehicles and rummaged through them. A variety of tools and personal items were reported stolen from the victim vehicles.” [ACPD]

First Hurricane Dog Adopted at AWLA — From the Animal Welfare League of Arlington: “Over the weekend, the first of our Louisiana dogs was adopted! We think Milo is very happy with his new family . More of the dogs from Louisiana will be available in the coming days/weeks so keep an eye on our website!” [Twitter]

Yorktown Football Undefeated So Far — “When it come to his team’s execution on offense, Bruce Hanson is hard to please. The longtime head coach of the Yorktown Patriots has a 2-0 football team already this fall that has scored 19 and 43 points in each of those high-school contests. Yet Hanson isn’t satisfied with what he says is sloppy and uneven performances, including during Yorktown’s 43-17 blowout of visiting Wilson on Sept. 2.” [Sun Gazette]

A Capital Problem Along Route 50 — “@VaDOTNOVA: Please fix the capitalization error on this sign. Should read ’14th Street,’ not ’14Th Street.’ Has annoyed me for years. On WB Arlington Blvd (US 50) near the Marine Corps Memorial.” [Twitter]

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The Arlington Forest neighborhood woke up Monday morning to find numerous cars were broken into overnight.

Cars on at least three blocks of the neighborhood near Route 50 were targeted by thieves, who opened doors and rummaged through the belongings inside, stealing cash. In all, around 18 vehicles were entered, according to the Arlington County Police Department.

Police are now searching for two suspects in the case. From an ACPD crime report:

LARCENY FROM AUTO/GRAND LARCENY AUTO (SERIES), 2021-08020041, 200 block of N. Edison Street / 5100 block of 1st Street N. / 200 block of N. Emerson Street. At approximately 5:02 a.m. on August 2, police were dispatched to the report of suspicious persons. Upon arrival, it was determined that the reporting party observed two unknown male suspects looking into parked vehicles. Arriving officers located a vehicle with open doors and items that had been rummaged through. A canvass of the area located approximately 18 vehicles which has been entered and rummaged through. Several victims reported an undisclosed amount of cash was stolen from their vehicles, as well as personal items displaced. During the course of the investigation, one victim vehicle was reported stolen but was subsequently located in the area and recovered. Suspect One is described as a Black male, approximately 5’10” tall with short hair and a long beard, wearing a white t-shirt. There is no description for Suspect Two. The investigation is ongoing.

Arlington experienced a rash of vehicle break-ins and thefts during the pandemic last year, though some arrests have since been made and — anecdotally, at least — such reports have become less frequent.

Also in Tuesday’s crime report, the police department noted a theft of a half-dozen motorized scooters from a scooter and motorcycle dealership in the Clarendon area.

GRAND LARCENY AUTO (SIGNIFICANT), 2021-08010105, 3200 block of 10th Street N. At approximately 10:19 a.m. on August 1, police were dispatched to the report of a grand larceny auto. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 11:20 p.m. on July 31 and 5:42 a.m. on August 1, three unknown suspects forced entry into the business and stole 6 motorized scooters. No other items were reported stolen or damaged. There are no suspect descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.

Door damaged at Bricks Pizza in Arlington Forest on July 12, 2021 (photo courtesy Michael T.)

A new series of break-ins at the Arlington Forest Shopping Center has caused losses for a pair of local businesses.

The overnight burglaries were discovered this morning, at the low-slung shopping center along Route 50.

“At approximately 7:54 a.m. on July 12, police were dispatched to the report of two vandalized businesses,” according to Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Upon arrival, it was determined that unknown suspect(s) broke the glass door to a business with a rock, gained entry and stole a cash register. The door to a second business was damaged but no entry was made and nothing was reported stolen.”

A nearby resident tells ARLnow that Bricks Pizza had its door damaged and DA Studio Salon had its cash register stolen.

Bricks Pizza was also burglarized in January, when a thief or thieves damaged and/or stole from Crystal Thai restaurant, Sense of Place Cafe, and the Forest Valet dry cleaner. An online fundraiser after the January break-ins raised nearly $32,000 to help with repairs.

“The investigation is ongoing,” Savage said of the latest incident.

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A juvenile is facing numerous charges and police are looking for two other suspects after yet another business burglary in Dominion Hills.

Police have been more proactive in the wake of dozens of break-ins and thefts at local businesses. The arrest was made early Saturday morning after patrols were stepped up in response to reports of burglaries in a nearby jurisdiction, according to Arlington County police.

Officers allegedly caught three burglars in the act shortly after 3 a.m. while removing a cash register from a business on the hard-hit 6000 block of Wilson Blvd, scene of at least four prior burglaries. They had allegedly arrived at the location in a stolen vehicle and broken the front window of a business.

All of the suspects fled on foot, but Arlington and Fairfax officers were able to take one into custody in the Seven Corners area, with the assistance of the FCPD helicopter.

Police are continuing to investigate the burglaries and are working to determine the identity of the other two suspects. Previously, an Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman told ARLnow that the business burglaries are being investigated as being potentially connected.

“Investigators believe that some of these cases are linked but not all are committed by the same suspects,” said ACPD’s Ashley Savage.

More from a police press release:

A juvenile suspect is facing charges of Burglary, Possession of Stolen Auto, Conspiracy to Commit Felonies (2x), Felony Destruction of Property, Possession of Stolen Property, Petit Larceny, and Underage Possession of Tobacco following a commercial burglary in the Dominion Hills neighborhood on the morning of Saturday, April 24, 2021. The arrest follows an increase in overnight commercial burglaries targeting cash-based businesses both in Arlington County and the region. Detectives continue to investigate the juvenile suspect’s role in these burglaries and additional charges are anticipated.

At approximately 3:13 a.m. on April 24, officers were conducting extra checks at commercial establishments after receiving the report of a business being burglarized in a neighboring jurisdiction. Upon entering the 6000 block of Wilson Boulevard, officers observed a vehicle, which was later determined to be stolen, backed in front of a business with both front doors open. As the officers approached the business, they observed that the front window had been broken out. Three suspects then exited the business through the broken window carrying stolen merchandise and a cash register. Officers gave lawful commands to stop but the three suspects dropped the stolen items and fled the scene on foot.

A perimeter was established, and the area was searched with the assistance of the Fairfax County Police Department helicopter. At approximately 3:42 a.m., an officer observed an individual running across Route 50 matching the description of one of the burglary suspects. Fairfax County helicopter located the suspect in the 6100 block of Brook Drive where he was taken into custody without incident by Arlington and Fairfax County officers. The two additional suspects were not located and the investigation into their identities is ongoing.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information or video surveillance that may assist with the investigation is asked to contact Detective B. Kooharian at 703-228-4049 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Long-time Clarendon restaurant Nam-Viet was the victim of a break-in over the weekend.

Someone shattered the glass front doors of the restaurant, located at 1127 N. Hudson Street, just off Clarendon’s main nightlife district. The break-in happened early in the morning, police said.

“At approximately 2:22 a.m. police were dispatched to the report of a burglary in progress,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “Upon arrival, officers observed the suspect sitting at a table inside a closed restaurant and gave him commands to exit, which he complied with. The investigation determined the suspect forced entry into the restaurant by breaking two glass doors.”

A 21-year-old man from Milton, Massachusetts was arrested and charged with Unlawful Entry and felony Destruction of Property.

The break-in happened amid a national focus on hate-motivated crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Savage said anti-Asian bias did not appear to be a factor in this crime, however.

“The suspect was intoxicated at the time of arrest,” she said. “The preliminary investigation has not revealed a bias-based motive nor a connection to any other criminal incidents.”

On Instagram, Nam-Viet thanked customers for their support while the business cleaned up, noting that the pandemic has hit it and other Asian-owned businesses in the area hard.

We want to take a minute to thank everyone who has reached out to us today to show their love and support. We were fortunate enough to only have cosmetic damage to the doors. Nothing was taken and both our family and business are doing well. In the meantime, if you would like to help us out, we urge everyone to please support any and all Asian owned businesses in the area. They have been some of the hardest hit businesses during this pandemic.

We will continue to remain optimistic during these times and we will allow the proper authorities to do their work in remedying justice to those who caused this damage today. We wish for everyone to have nothing but respect for one another. And please know that Nam-Viet Restaurant is so blessed and thankful for the love, support and kindness shared in the Arlington community and beyond.

The broken doors were boarded up as of Saturday evening, as an anti-hate vigil was held nearby.

The Stop Asian American and Pacific Islander Hate Vigil, held from 6-6:30 p.m., was coincidentally organized a week prior in response to “events that have been occurring nationally,” said co-organizer Allyson Dieck.

“The backdrop of Arlington’s historical Little Saigon on Clarendon Blvd was the perfect site for an opportunity to honor and show our support for our own AAPI community,” Dieck told ARLnow. “We really felt that our AAPI community is in deep pain — currently from the national trend of violence being shown towards them, but also from more general bias shown on a regular basis. There were some moving accounts expressed during the vigil.”

About two dozen people attended the event, which was promoted on social media. Gathered at the Clarendon Metro plaza, they lit luminaries and held a moment of silence for the victims of the recent mass shooting in Atlanta. A number of those in attendance also spoke of their experiences with anti-Asian bias.

Jay Westcott contributed to this report

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