Arlington, VA

A South Carolina man who forcibly stole a woman’s car and then fled from police has received a nearly four year prison sentence.

On the evening of June 22, 2020, police say Verdell Floyd carjacked a woman in a gas station near Shirlington. According to police, Floyd approached the woman while she was pumping gas “and demanded the vehicle.”

Floyd, then 19, drove into Fairfax County before driving back into Arlington and fleeing from police at a high rate of speed. He later abandoned the car and was arrested after a K-9 search, according to Arlington County police.

The Columbia, South Carolina resident pleaded guilty to felony charges of carjacking and eluding police in January. Last week, he was sentenced in Arlington Circuit Court.

“The court sentenced Mr. Floyd received a sentence at the mid-point of his sentencing guidelines, which requires that he serve an active sentence of 3 years and 8 months to serve,” Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti told ARLnow, in response to inquiries about the case. “The exact sentence was 15 years, with all but 3 years and 6 months suspended on the carjacking charge, and on the eluding charge, 12 months with 10 months suspended. He will be required to engage in supervised probation for 5 years upon release.”

ARLnow also asked about other cases stemming from the rise in carjackings both in Arlington and around the region, specifically seeking stats on such prosecutions in Arlington and comment on how those cases are being handled.

Dehghani-Tafti replied simply: “As for the other cases, we are prosecuting them.”

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Morning Notes

Man Arrested for Alleged Carjacking — “Upon exiting the store, the suspect approached the vehicle associated with the female witness and attempted to hand the male occupant a drink. When the male declined, the suspect allegedly punched him on the side of the head and proceeded to open the vehicle’s door, pull him out and began assaulting him. The occupants from the suspect’s vehicle attempted to intervene and when the suspect refused to comply, they left the scene. Upon seeing that the suspect vehicle had left the parking lot, the suspect entered the victim’s vehicle and fled the scene.” [Arlington County]

Amazon Workers to Volunteer at Vaccination Site — “The company sent out an opportunity for employees to volunteer at the clinic on one of its listservs, and pulled in workers from all around the region, including those at Amazon Web Services, which has a hefty Herndon presence. Roughly 50 Amazon employees will help run the clinic each day… While Arlington health workers will deliver the vaccines themselves, Amazon volunteers will perform other important tasks, like monitoring people for symptoms after they’ve received a shot.” [Washington Business Journal]

Capitol Rioter Photographed in Arlington — “[Michigan] resident Anthony Williams used Facebook to show off photos and videos of himself inside the U.S. Capitol, which gave law enforcement officials enough evidence to arrest him last week… Williams posted updates to Facebook as he traveled to Washington, D.C. He posted his location in Bedford County, Pennsylvania with the caption “Operation Storm the Swamp” and posed for a photo with five other men at a sports pub in Arlington, Virginia.” [MLive]

Rosslyn Building Set for Foreclosure Sale — “A Rosslyn office building that hosts one of President Joe Biden’s favorite sandwich shops is slated to be sold at a foreclosure auction, the latest sign of distress in Greater Washington’s commercial real estate industry… a public auction is scheduled to be held 11 a.m. Wednesday outside the Arlington County courthouse for 1500 Wilson Blvd., a 17-story, 261,360-square-foot office building that stands at the intersection of North Oak Street and Clarendon and Wilson boulevards in Arlington County.” [Washington Business Journal]

Lopez’s Challenger Picks Up Endorsement — “The activist group Our Revolution Arlington has endorsed Karishma Mehta’s bid to unseat Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington-Fairfax) in the June 8 Democratic primary… The organization pointed to the challenger’s support for the Green New Deal for Virginia, single-payer healthcare, ‘slashing police budgets and re-investing those resources into securing people’s basic needs,’ repealing right-to-work laws and other ‘transformative policy proposals.'” [Sun Gazette]

Kiwanis Help Kids During the Pandemic — “Arlington’s pandemic-stressed safety net organizations received an infusion of funds from the Kiwanis Foundation of Arlington this month. The Foundation, the charitable arm of the Kiwanis Club of Arlington, distributed more than $50,000 to the Arlington Food Assistance Center, Arlington THRIVE, The Salvation Army, ASPIRE, Bridges to Independence, PRS Crisis Link, Doorways, Capital Caring, YMCA, Arlington 4-H, National Capital Treatment & Recovery, VHC Pediatrics and other non-profits serving children in the community.” [Press Release]

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Morning Notes

Alleged Carjacking Crew Busted in Arlington — “The audacious spree, police officials said Thursday, accounted for five of 21 armed robberies and armed carjackings in the D.C. region linked to the same four-person crew in January and February… Two were arrested Feb. 5 and Feb. 19. The other two were apprehended a week later after a SWAT team converged on them in a hotel in Arlington.” [Washington Post]

Va. Expands Eligibility for Retail Vaccinations — “The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced today that Federal Retail Pharmacy partners will expand within Phase 1b to offer vaccines to individuals who are 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions, as well as frontline essential workers.” [Virginia Dept. of Health]

Still a Thing: Homes with Septic Tanks — From Chris Slatt on Twitter: “I was today years old when I learned that there are 38 residences in Arlington County with septic tanks.” [Twitter, Arlington County]

Maintenance Worker Exposes Himself — “5300 block of N. Carlin Springs Road. On March 16, police received a message on the Telephone Reporting Unit phone line regarding an indecent exposure. The victim stated that at approximately 3:30 p.m. on March 15, while having maintenance completed inside her residence, the suspect exposed his genitals to her.” [ACPD]

Rosslyn-Based Rosetta Stone Acquired — “IXL Learning, developer of personalized learning products used by more than 12 million students, announced that it has acquired Rosetta Stone, the leader in technology-based language education.” [PRNewswire]

Origin Coffee Lab Profiled — “For the coffee, Mekonnen relies on a 5-kilo-capacity Probat P5-2 roaster to turn out fresh roasts. The machine also serves as an industrial centerpiece and natural focal point, one the company plans to highlight more through educational events and tastings as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.” [Daily Coffee News]

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A month ago, Arlington County police announced stepped-up patrols in and around Crystal City, following a string of carjackings.

Since then no new carjackings have been reported, and ACPD says it has taken five guns off the streets via proactive enforcement.

More from a press release:

In February, the Arlington County Police Department launched a criminal patrol detail to address recent violent crime trends in Crystal City and the surrounding neighborhoods. The detail takes a two-pronged approach to reducing criminal activity in the area: education and enforcement. Officers conduct high-visibility enforcement patrols while engaging community members and business stakeholders about important crime and safety information.

As a result of the proactive investigative efforts of officers working the detail, 6 weapons have been recovered including 5 firearms and 1 pair of brass knuckles. Additionally, there have been zero carjackings or thefts of idling vehicles in the Crystal City area since the detail began. Officers are committed to maintaining public safety through dedicated crime prevention strategies and initiatives. Our efforts to prevent and reduce crime in Arlington County are enhanced by the active involvement of the community and members of the public are encouraged to continue following these safety tips for preventing motor vehicle thefts.

There have been 18 carjackings in Arlington since the start of 2020, including 13 along the Route 1 corridor. By contrast, there were three carjackings from 2018-2019.

The police department provided the following list of arrests and incidents that have occurred since the high-visibility patrols started.

Read More

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Arlington County police are stepping up patrols around Crystal City and surrounding neighborhoods amid a rash of carjackings.

There have been 18 carjackings in Arlington since January 2020, the police department said, compared to three total over from 2018 to 2019. Most — 13 out of 18 — have occurred along the Route 1 corridor, including 7 in the immediate vicinity of the Pentagon City mall.

It’s part of a regional crime trend, with other D.C. area jurisdictions similarly experiencing sharp rises in carjackings. ACPD says it has arrested or identified suspects already in custody in 8 of the 18 cases in Arlington.

To help combat the crime wave, the department “continues to deploy increased police resources, to include both visible and non-visible assets, in Crystal City and the surrounding neighborhoods.” It is also “engaging with community members and businesses in the area to share important crime and safety information.”

“The Department is deploying electronic signboards in various locations throughout the County as part of a high-visibility public awareness campaign,” ACPD said in a press release Tuesday.

The carjackers, police say, “often approach victims as they are exiting or sitting in their parked vehicles, brandish a firearm and demand the victim’s keys or property.”

“In some cases, the suspects approach the victim on foot while in others, the suspects approach in a vehicle later determined to be stolen,” police said. “Reported incidents in Arlington County have involved between one and four suspects.”

In the press release, the police department touted the arrests of four suspects seen acting suspiciously in a Pentagon City parking lot Saturday afternoon. More from ACPD:

At approximately 4:40 p.m. on February 13, officers working in the area were dispatched to the 900 block of Army Navy Drive for the report of a suspicious unoccupied vehicle. The reporting party advised they had observed four subjects exit the vehicle, walk slowly through the parking lot, appearing to be casing vehicles. Using law enforcement resources, officers determined the vehicle had previously been reported stolen from a carjacking in Maryland. Officers established a perimeter and the occupants were taken into police custody as they returned to the vehicle. [An 18-year-old suspect from Washington, D.C.] was found in possession of the vehicle’s key and was charged with Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. Two other occupants, an adult and juvenile, were charged with narcotics offenses.

Police offered the following safety tips for drivers to help avoid being a victim of a carjacking, car theft, or vehicle break-in.

  • “Exit your vehicle and continue to your destination promptly after parking”
  • “Park in well-lit, high traffic areas.”
  • “Be aware of your surroundings when entering and exiting your vehicle”
  • “Limit your use of devices that may distract you, such as cell phones and headphones”
  • “Don’t leave items unattended or visible in your vehicle”

Flickr pool photo (top) by Kevin Wolf. Map (below) courtesy ACPD.

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For the second time in two weeks a carjacking has been reported along Arlington’s Yellow Line corridor.

The latest carjacking happened Wednesday night along the 23rd Street restaurant row, on the 500 block of 23rd Street S. Three men, two armed with guns, stole a Ford Mustang after the victims exited their car, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.

One of the suspects hopped in the Mustang and drove off, followed by the other two suspects in an SUV all three arrived in. No injuries were reported.

More from ACPD:

CARJACKING, 2021-02030147, 500 block of 23rd Street S. At approximately 8:50 p.m. on February 3, police were dispatched to the report of a carjacking. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victims had exited their parked vehicle when the three suspects exited a black SUV and approached them. Suspects One and Two brandished firearms and demanded keys to the victims’ vehicle, then instructed the victims to move away from the vehicle. Suspect One entered the victim’s vehicle and fled, while Suspects Two and Three followed in the SUV prior to police arrival. Suspect One is described as a Black male, approximately 5’11”, wearing all black and a black mask. Suspect Two is described as a Black male, approximately 5’8″, wearing all black and a black mask. Suspect Three is described as a Black male, approximately 5’6″, 12-17 years old, with dreadlocks, wearing all black. The victims’ vehicle is described as a 2020 Black Ford Mustang with Georgia temporary license plates. The investigation is ongoing.

The D.C. region is in the midst of a rash of carjackings, including violent, armed carjackings. There were 16 carjackings in Arlington in 2020, after just three were reported in the previous two years, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

The last reported carjacking in Arlington happened on Friday, Jan. 22 in the Pentagon City area.

Arlington County police are investigating a carjacking that happened at one of the Riverhouse apartment buildings in Pentagon City this morning.

Police say a Hyundai with three people inside pulled up to the victim after she parked her Honda Civic. The suspects implied that they were armed, stole the woman’s car and purse, and then fled the scene, according to police department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

More from an initial ACPD crime report:

CARJACKING, 2021-01220113, 1400 block of S. Joyce Street. At approximately 11:08 a.m. on January 22, police were dispatched to the report of a grand larceny auto. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was exiting her parked vehicle when the suspect vehicle, occupied three times, approached. The suspects implied they had a weapon and threatened the victim before stealing her vehicle and purse. The victim was not injured. The victim’s vehicle is described as a Honda Civic with Virginia plates. The suspect vehicle is described as a white Hyundai. Police remain on scene investigating.

The D.C. region is in the midst of a rash of carjackings, including violent, armed carjackings. There were 16 carjackings in Arlington in 2020, after just three were reported in the previous two years, Savage tells ARLnow.

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Another carjacking has been reported in Arlington.

The crime happened around 2:30 a.m. Monday in Pentagon City. Police say a group of five suspects jumped a man who was standing outside his vehicle, then started to drive off with it, dragging him for “a short distance” in the process.

The victim suffered minor injuries, police said.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

CARJACKING, 2020-12280012, 1400 block of S. Joyce Street. At approximately 2:34 a.m. on December 28, police were dispatched to the report of a fight. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was outside of his vehicle when a group of five suspects approached him and began asking for a ride. The suspects surrounded the victim, at which point they grabbed the keys to the vehicle from the victim and assaulted him. The suspects entered the vehicle and the victim attempted to pull one suspect out of the driver’s seat unsuccessfully. The suspects then began to drive away, dragging the victim a short distance and fled the area prior to police arrival. The victim sustained minor injuries during the incident and was transported to an area hospital. The vehicle is described as a red 2020 Kia Optima with Florida license plate LKUP10. Suspect One is described as a Black male, wearing a black balaclava, red jacket, black shirt, blue jeans, and brown boots. Suspect Two is described as a Black male, wearing a black jacket, black pants, and brown boots. Suspect Three is described as a Black male, wearing a black jacket, dark jeans, sneakers and a black hoodie. Suspect Four is described as a Black male wearing a black hoodie, dark jeans, and red sneakers. Suspect Five is described as a male wearing a black jacket, black pants and black shoes. The investigation is ongoing.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

A felon driving a minivan with allegedly stolen plates was pulled over Saturday night along northbound I-395.

The traffic stop just before the 14th Street Bridge involved a small fleet of Arlington County Police and Virginia State Police cruisers and was caught on video. The highway was blocked while the incident played out.

In a crime report today, ACPD said the suspect had a concealed weapon in the vehicle and did not have a driver’s license. He is facing a number of charges.

WEAPONS VIOLATION, 2020-11280126, I-395 at Washington Boulevard. At approximately 8:45 p.m. on November 28, police received a License Plate Reader alert for a vehicle traveling with stolen license plates. Officers observed the vehicle and, with the assistance of Virginia State Police, conducted a traffic stop. During the course of the investigation, officers determined the driver was suspended and recovered a concealed weapon. Erich McDonald, 45, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Felon in Possession of a Concealed Weapon, Receiving Stolen Goods and No Operator’s License. He was held on no bond.

Also in today’s crime report, another armed carjacking was reported. The crime happened on Thanksgiving afternoon in the Crystal City area.

CARJACKING, 2020-11260081, 2000 block of S. Fern Street. At approximately 1:51 p.m. on November 26, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim parked and exited her vehicle, then observed the male suspect walk past her. The victim walked away from her vehicle, then returned to retrieve her belongings. As she re-approached the vehicle, the suspect turned around and ran towards her. The suspect displayed a firearm and demanded the victim’s keys. The suspect took the victim’s keys and fled in her vehicle prior to police arrival. The unoccupied vehicle was later recovered in Prince George’s County, MD. The suspect is described as a Black male in his 40’s, medium build, approximately 5’8″, wearing a black t-shirt, blue jeans, mirrored glasses, with short hair. The investigation is ongoing.

Morning Notes

It’s October — And just like that, September is over and October has started. October has been deemed Affordable Housing Month in Arlington County.

Cool Month on Tap? — “After a fast shift to autumn in September, we anticipate the coolest October since 2015 along with a healthy dose of rainfall. Our forecast is for Washington’s average October temperature to fall within 2 degrees of normal. Remarkably, the past four Octobers have each been at least 3 degrees above normal.” [Capital Weather Gang]

Local Hotels Still Hurting — “Arlington’s hotel-occupancy rate in July was just 24 percent, with the year-to-date rate of 35 percent less than half the 76.7-percent rate recorded during the same seven-month period in 2019… For the January-to-July period, the average room rate for Arlington lodging establishments was $141.55, down nearly 18 percent from the $172.16 recorded during the same period in 2019.” [InsideNova]

Riders Steal Rideshare Driver’s Ride — “The victim was operating as a rideshare driver when he became engaged in a verbal dispute with the three passengers in his vehicle. As he stopped his vehicle to end the trip, the passengers assaulted the victim, then pulled him from the car and continued to assault him. The suspects then re-entered the vehicle, stole it, and fled prior to police arrival. Officers canvasing the area later located the vehicle nearby.” [ACPD]

Debate Watch Party in Shirlington — “Most voters who showed up to the watch party at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia,  said they had made up their minds before the debate — and left feeling frustrated at what they saw.” [WUSA 9]

Regional Coronavirus Cases Down — “The number of new corona­virus infections this week has fallen to levels last seen in mid-July across the Washington region, although leaders and health officials worry that the return of colder weather could reverse the trend.” [Washington Post]

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(Updated at 4 p.m.) Men armed with a gun and a knife carjacked someone this afternoon in Crystal City.

The armed carjacking happened around 1:30 p.m., near the intersection of 15th Street S. and S. Bell Street — a block from the Crystal City Metro station.

“The victim was inside of their vehicle when they were approached by two suspects,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Kirby Clark tells ARLnow. “Suspect One displayed a knife and Suspect Two displayed a firearm and forced the victim to exit the vehicle. The suspects then threatened the victim and fled in the vehicle Northbound on Richmond Highway. The vehicle is described as a 2013 BMW X3 with Virginia license plates.”

The investigation is ongoing, Clark said.

This is the tenth carjacking so far this year, according to Clark, amid what police acknowledge has been a marked increase in vehicle-related property crimes, including car break-ins and thefts of idling vehicles. There have also been two attempted carjackings so far this year.

There was one carjacking reported during all of 2019, Clark said.

File photo

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