A man broke into a woman’s apartment in Virginia Square early this morning and sexually assaulted her.
That’s according to a press release just issued by the Arlington County Police Department.
The break-in happened on the 3900 block of Fairfax Drive, which corresponds with the address of the Quincy Plaza apartment tower. After sexually assaulting the resident, the man fled on foot.
The suspect remains at large and police are asking for the public’s help in identifying him. The press release, however, only included a vague description of the man and no surveillance image.
The Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect involved in a residential burglary with sexual assault which occurred in the Ballston-Virginia Square neighborhood.
At approximately 4:15 a.m. on April 2, police were dispatched to the report of an attempted rape in the 3900 block of Fairfax Drive. Upon arrival, it was determined the unknown male suspect gained entry into the female victim’s residence, entered her bedroom and sexually assaulted her before fleeing the scene on foot. The suspect is described as a Black male, approximately in his mid-20’s, wearing dark clothing.
This remains an active investigation. Anyone with information regarding the identity of this individual, details surrounding the incident, and/or home surveillance that may assist the investigation is asked to contact Detective J. McGrath (703-228-4244 or [email protected]) or Detective C. Oesterling (703-228-4241 or [email protected]) of the Special Victims Unit. Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Police arrested a man after a somewhat unusual burglary in Ballston yesterday evening.
The burglary happened shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday, on the 900 block of N. Stuart Street, which corresponds with the Meridian at Ballston Commons apartment building.
Police say a sleeping resident woke up to find someone rummaging through his bedroom.
“The victim yelled at the suspect [who then] fled the scene on foot with the victim’s backpack and alcohol,” said today’s Arlington County police crime report. “Responding officers located the suspect in the area and took him into custody without incident. During a search of the suspect’s person incident to arrest, credit cards and other personal belongings of the victim were located.”
A 19-year-old D.C. man was arrested and charged with burglary and four counts of credit card theft, police said.
A Falls Church man allegedly placed his gun in a flowerbox and asked someone to watch it in the midst of an argument in Ballston.
The incident happened around 9 p.m. Saturday along Wilson Blvd, in front of Ballston Quarter mall.
“The male victim had exited a business when the male suspect approached and began acting disorderly,” Arlington County police said today in a crime report. “The suspect and victim became involved in a verbal dispute, during which the suspect allegedly assaulted the victim and made threatening statements.”
“The victim then walked away and the suspect removed a firearm from his person, placed it into a flowerbox and asked a witness to watch it before reapproaching the victim,” the crime report continued. “Responding officers took the suspect into custody without incident and during a search of his person incident to arrest, located suspected narcotics.”
During the incident 911 callers reported a man with a gun, prompting a large police response. The argument and the response were both caught on camera and posted on Twitter by local public safety watcher Dave Statter.
(1) NEW: Interesting drama played out on the streets of Ballston Saturday at 9 pm. A fight at Wilson & Randolph with a report of a man with a gun. This is what it looked like just before @ArlingtonVaPD arrived. (more) @ARLnowDOTcom #arlington #Crime pic.twitter.com/vH0i5YxVfn
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) February 20, 2023
(3) A 911 caller said he picked up the gun the man in the dispute stashed. Officers appeared to have found that person & got the gun. Witnesses identified the man initially detained as the person originally having the gun. He was handcuffed. Waiting to learn more from ACPD. pic.twitter.com/Qt8B5GhK0M
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) February 20, 2023
The suspect, a 32-year-old man from Falls Church whose first name is Justice, “was arrested and charged with Reckless Handling of a Firearm, Concealing a Weapon, Assault & Battery, Possession of Schedule I/II Controlled Substance, Possession of Schedule I/II Controlled Substance while Possessing a Firearm, and Drunk in Public,” the crime report said. “He was held without bond.”
Also in today’s crime report, a 59-year-old man has been charged with burglary and destruction of property after a series of business break-ins in the Virginia Square and Ballston area.
The suspect was out on bond but wanted for violating pretrial conditions, court records show. He was previously arrested in 2021 for assault and in February 2022 for allegedly throwing a brick through the window of Olive Lebanese Eatery in Ballston, stealing $50 in cash and causing thousands of dollars in damage, as we previously reported.
Our previous reporting also noted that the suspect was wanted at the time for violating the conditions of an earlier release.
More from the crime report:
BURGLARY, 2023-02200040/02200044/02200051, 3800 block of Fairfax Drive/4300 block of Fairfax Drive/4300 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 4:15 a.m. on February 20, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary alarm in the 3800 block of Fairfax Drive. Upon arrival, it was determined the suspect allegedly forced entry into the business and tampered with two cash registers before fleeing the scene on foot. During the course of the investigation, it was determined the suspect forced entry into businesses in the 4300 block of Fairfax Drive and the 4300 block of Wilson Boulevard, rummaged through items and tampered with safes. Officers located the suspect in the area and took him into custody without incident. Steven Pugh, 59, of No Fixed Address, was arrested and charged with Burglary (x2) and Destruction of Property (x2).
A man armed with a hammer smashed and stole from a jewelry store in the Pentagon City mall Thursday morning.
Arlington County police say they were dispatched to the 1100 block of S. Hayes Street around 11:15 a.m. and arrived to find that “an unknown male subject [had] walked into the business, smashed the display cases with a hammer and stole jewelry.”
Officers searched the area but couldn’t find the suspect, who was wearing a black hooded jacket, face covering and ball cap.
While police don’t typically reveal the names of businesses that are the victims of crimes, on social media it was reported that the store was the Kay Jewelers, on the first level of the mall near Nordstrom.
Just spoke to a @Nordstrom employee who told me that @KayJewelers at @FashionCtrPC was the target of a smash-and-grab theft earlier today! @simonmalls @ARLnowDOTcom #CartChaosNewsNetwork pic.twitter.com/jbcg8z2S6V
— CartChaos22202 (@CartChaos22202) May 24, 2022
Two Arlington County detectives are being recognized for leading an investigation that led to $89,000 of stolen merchandise being recovered.
The TJX National Task Force for Organized Retail Crime, formed by the parent company that owns department store TJ Maxx, honored Arlington detectives Tim Parsons and Diane Galiatsos earlier this week for their part in arresting a man and recovering tens of thousands of dollars of stolen property.
Detectives Parsons and Galiatsos were recognized by the TJX National Task Force for Organized Retail Crime for their outstanding investigative efforts which led to the recovery of stolen property and the arrest of a D.C. man for Embezzlement and Larceny with the Intent to Sell. pic.twitter.com/ojly3k8RtN
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) March 2, 2022
In December, police got a tip from the task force about an employee stealing merchandise from a business on the 1100 block of S. Joyce Street in Pentagon City, ACPD spokesperson Ashley Savage tells ARLnow.
Perhaps not coincidentally, that’s the same block as the T.J. Maxx in Pentagon City, though ACPD typically does not reveal the identity of businesses that have been victims of crimes.
A police investigation was launched and resulted in an employee being arrested and charged with embezzlement and larceny with the intent to sell. The police recovered $89,000 of merchandise.
The case remains active and in the court system, notes Savage.
“Det. Parsons and Det. Galiatsos are an inspiration to your organization. The professionalism and participation put forth in this case sets an example for other Law Enforcement Agencies to follow,” the award reads. “With the highly impactful nature of this case and the quick closure, we at TJX are very thankful for the ongoing partnership with the Arlington County Police Department.”
Organized retail crime is defined as two or more persons illegally obtaining retail merchandise in large quantities as “part of an unlawful commercial enterprise,” according to Loss Prevention Magazine.
Since police statistics do not specifically track organized retail crime, Savage said she could not provide ARLnow with data about its prevalence in Arlington. However, last year the county experienced a wave of a crime, with a seemingly organized group of burglars breaking into numerous cash-based local businesses to steal money and items.
Besides TJX, ACPD also partners with the Mid Atlantic Organized Retail Crime Alliance (MAORCA) to share information on these types of crime in the region.
For the second time in less than a year, Olive Lebanese Eatery in Ballston is cleaning up broken glass after a break in.
On Tuesday night (Feb. 22) at about 9:15 p.m., according to the police report, a witness spotted a man attempting to break in through the front door of the restaurant at 1100 N. Glebe Road. At the same time, a security camera was also recording the burglary in progress.
When the man couldn’t break through the front door, he threw a brick through the restaurant’s glass window. Then, he walked through the broken window, broke the cash register on the floor, grabbed approximately $50 in cash, and fled on foot. The suspect also damaged the glass front door of an adjacent business, the police report notes, but didn’t force entry.
The crime will cost the family-owned restaurant thousands, as its business continues to recover from the pandemic.
Arlington police caught up with the suspect a short time later, a few blocks away at N. Glebe Road and Washington Boulevard.
Police arrested an Arlington man and charged him with burglary, petit larceny, destruction of property, and identity theft for providing false information to police. He was already wanted by the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office for failing to appear in court and violating a condition of an earlier release, confirms ACPD spokesperson Ashley Savage.
From the crime report:
The investigation determined that at approximately 9:16 p.m., a witness observed the suspect force entry into the business by throwing an item through the window, breaking the glass. The suspect then allegedly damaged the cash register and stole an undisclosed amount of cash before fleeing the scene on foot. No other items were reported stolen. During the course of the investigation, it was determined the suspect also damaged the glass front door to an adjacent business, however no entry was believed to have been made inside. During the course of the investigation, the suspect provided false identifying information, however, the officers were able to subsequently properly identify the suspect. [The suspect], 58, of Arlington Va., was arrested and charged with Burglary, Petit Larceny, Destruction of Property (x2), and Identity Theft. He was also served with outstanding warrants out of the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office. He was held on no bond.
The previous warrants are related to a misdemeanor charge from earlier this year, according to court records.
While the suspect only made out with about $50, the damage caused by the break-in could cost upwards of $7,000, owner Yvonne Risheq tells ARLnow. Besides the window, front door, and cash register, the suspect also damaged tables, chairs, the point of sales system, and the floor.
“This was just a single guy… who wanted easy cash,” Risheq says. “The money wasn’t much… because nobody pays in cash anymore. And, after the last time, we don’t keep any cash in the register.”
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.
Thieves are continuing to prowl parts of Arlington for unlocked vehicles.
The most recently reported incidents happened in the early morning hours of this past Thursday, in the Rock Spring and Alcova Heights neighborhoods.
In Rock Spring, a group of suspects stole two vehicles — at least one of which was taken via a key found in another unlocked vehicle — and tried to break into a house.
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
GRAND LARCENY AUTO / ATTEMPTED BURGLARY (series), 2021-06100036 / 06100047, 3400 block of N. Edison Street. At approximately 5:37 a.m. on June 10, police were dispatched to the report of a grand larceny auto just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 5:20 a.m., the victim was alerted to noises outside and exited his residence to see four vehicles idling in the street. One of the four vehicles was the victim’s 2011 Ford Explorer bearing VA license plate 745186, which the suspects had gained entry to through keys found in a nearby unlocked vehicle. The victim shouted in the direction of the four suspect vehicles and they fled the scene at a high rate of speed. The investigation determined that another one of the four vehicles, a 2013 Infiniti SUV bearing VA license plate XCM4640, had also been stolen earlier in the night from the 3400 block of N. Edison Street. While investigating the two stolen vehicles, it was discovered that four other vehicles in the area had been tampered with. During one of the tamperings, the suspects unsuccessfully attempted to use a key located inside a vehicle to gain entry into the victim’s residence. Suspect One is described as a male wearing dark clothing and tennis shoes at the time of the incident. There are no other suspect descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.
Also on Thursday, police responded to an incident in Alcova Heights in which at least four vehicles were broken into and an unlocked Mercedes was stolen from a home’s garage.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 2021-06100069, 3500 block of 8th Street S. At approximately 9:30 a.m. on June 10, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined that the unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and rummaged through it. No items were reported stolen. During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the suspect(s) entered and tampered with three other vehicles in the area and attempted to enter an additional three vehicles. While investigating the tamperings, a witness flagged down an officer and stated that a vehicle had been stolen from a residence in the 3500 block of 6th Street S. Officers made contact with the owner of the vehicle and it was determined that the suspect(s) entered the victim’s garage and located the unlocked vehicle, a 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC bearing VA license plate UKT2082, with the keys inside. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
Last week ACPD said it had “increased police resources” in response to a spate of home burglaries north of I-66, in which thieves found keys in unlocked vehicles and used them to steal items from homes.
The police department continues to encourage residents to lock their homes and vehicles, and to keep valuables out of view. Arlington has experienced a wave of crimes of opportunity involving unlocked and unattended vehicles over the past year or so.
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
The recent spate of business burglaries in Arlington is continuing.
Early Saturday morning a group of three thieves broke into businesses in the Dominion Hills and Westover neighborhoods, stealing several cash registers and leaving behind piles of broken glass. At least five businesses were damaged by the burglars.
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
BURGLARY, 2021-04170015/04170016, 6000 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 1:23 a.m. on April 17, police were dispatched to the report of multiple audible security alarms. Upon arrival, it was determined that multiple businesses had their front doors damaged, with two of the businesses being burglarized and two of the businesses showing signs of attempted forced entry. A cash register with an undisclosed amount of cash was stolen from one business, while no other items were reported stolen. Officers established a perimeter and the area was checked with negative results. The investigation revealed that the three suspects, who were wearing dark colored clothing and face masks, had fled the scene in a dark colored vehicle prior to the arrival of police. The investigation is ongoing.
BURGLARY, 2021-04170017, 5800 block of Washington Boulevard. At approximately 1:33 a.m. on April 17, police were dispatched to the report of a glass break alarm. Upon arrival, it was determined that employees were inside the closed business when they heard glass break, followed by footsteps and unknown individuals talking. The investigation determined that three unknown suspects forced entry into the business through a window, stole two cash registers containing and undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene on foot. Responding officers established a perimeter and the area was checked with negative results. No injuries were reported. There are no suspect descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.
The western portion of Wilson Blvd in Dominion Hills and Bluemont has been the scene of at least a half dozen prior burglaries this year, including three on the same block as Saturday’s incident.
ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said detectives are investigating these and other prior business break-ins, in Arlington and around the region, as potentially related given the method of theft.
“The burglaries… are being investigated as part of the commercial burglary series,” Savage tells ARLnow. “Detectives continue to follow up on investigative leads in the case and are working collaboratively with our regional law enforcement partners to identify and apprehend those responsible.”
“Investigators believe that some of these cases are linked but not all are committed by the same suspects,” she added.
In February, ACPD announced that is was “investigating an increase in overnight commercial burglaries targeting cash-based businesses.” At the time, there had been 21 reported business burglary incidents in Arlington since the start of the year. Since then that number has risen to 31, including 22 completed burglaries and 9 attempted burglaries, according to police.
The police department previously offered the following crime prevention tips for businesses.
- “Don’t store money overnight in your business. If you must keep cash or other valuables overnight, store them in a safe anchored to the floor”
- “Leave cash drawers open, indicating there’s nothing to steal”
- “Post signs in your store window that cash and valuables are removed from the premises overnight”
- “Ensure your property has adequate lighting, especially at points of entry”
- “Consider installing security cameras with alarms to capture suspects on video and notify police immediately if unauthorized individuals gain entry to your business”
More local business were broken into this week, in a similar manner to others over the past several months.
Two men broke into Olive Lebanese Eatery at 1100 N. Glebe Road in Ballston early Wednesday morning and stole hundreds of dollars in cash, restaurant owner Yvonne Risheq tells ARLnow.
An Arlington County police report says that two suspects smashed their way into the restaurant and fled with stolen cash registers in a Ford F-150 pickup truck.
Around the same time, a similar burglary happened on the 4700 block of Lee Highway. From the crime report:
BURGLARY, 2021-03170043, 4700 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 9:00 a.m. on March 17, police were dispatched to the late report of a commercial burglary. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 6:00 p.m. on March 16 and 9:00 a.m. on March 17, an unknown suspect(s) forced entry into the business and stole a cash register and an undisclosed amount of cash.
These are just two in a rash of burglaries targeting cash-based local businesses that have the Arlington County Police Department concerned.
On February 22, ACPD released a statement that said the department had investigated 21 commercial burglaries so far in 2021. Since then, spokesperson Ashley Savage confirms that four more business burglaries, including the two this week, have occurred — for a total of 25. Savage also noted a recent attempted theft.
Many of the burglaries follow a similar pattern: suspects arriving in the middle of the night, forcing entry by smashing a glass door or window, removing registers or safes with cash, and fleeing in a waiting vehicle.
The entire crime takes mere minutes.
This is exactly what happened at Olive Lebanese Eatery, says Risheq.
At 2:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, security cameras captured two men throwing a boulder through a glass window, entering the building, and stealing the cash registers.
“They were in and out within one minute,” she says. “They knew what they were doing and exactly what to get.”
She says that two cash registers were stolen, each holding between $250 and $350.
Risheq believes it was pre-planned due to their precision and the fact that, when looking back at the surveillance video from earlier in the day, there was a man who had come into the restaurant and looked around for five minutes before exiting.
“He didn’t order anything, didn’t pick anything up. He was inside… just really looking at how things flowed,” she says. “To me, that’s very suspicious.”
In the end, the damages caused by the break-in will probably cost more than the $500 to $700 stolen, she says. They have to fix the glass window, the door, repair their sign, change all the keys and locks, and replace a few other items in the restaurant.
“No one was here and nobody got hurt,” says Risheq. “That’s the most important thing.”
The restaurant closed on Wednesday for repairs and re-opened on Thursday.
Olive Express Mediterranean Café opened in Ballston in October 2019, joining locations in Reston and Herndon. Later, the restaurant changed its name to Olive Lebanese Eatery.
Risheq says that they initially suffered a 90% drop in sales due to the pandemic, but catering has picked back up somewhat in recent weeks. The hope is that when people begin to return to the office — potentially this summer — business will slowly return to normal.
As for dishes she recommends to new customers, Risheq says the Lebanese kabobs or the falafel are the way to go.
“We make our falafel from scratch,” she says. “We’ve won awards for our falafel and humus.”
Due to their location in an office-heavy portion of Ballston, near a busy road, they’ve always felt safe. With the break-in, that illusion of safety is now shattered — but it won’t deter her from continuing to do business in Arlington.
“I was really surprised by the outpouring of support yesterday from residents and the community,” Risheq says. “I’m glad we made the move [to Arlington]. We do love it here.”