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

(Updated at 10:15 a.m.) The neighborhoods around Gunston Middle School have again been the scene of a significant series of thefts from vehicles.

Thieves have repeatedly targeted the residential areas along 28th Street S., which connects the Long Branch Creek and Arlington Ridge neighborhoods, over the past month.

The latest involved the early morning theft of airbags from around 20 Honda vehicles, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report. Airbag thefts were also reported in the nearby Aurora Hills neighborhood, not far from Crystal City.

LARCENY FROM AUTO (Late) (Series), 2022-04280050/04280074, 1400 block of 28th Street S./600 block of 26th Street S. At approximately 5:47 a.m. on April 28, police were dispatched to the late report of a larceny from auto. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that between approximately 4:49 a.m. on April 27 and 5:36 a.m. on April 28, the unknown suspect(s) forced entry into approximately 20 vehicles, all identified as Honda models, and stole airbags. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

It the third such reported theft series in the neighborhood in April. Others include:

  • Five vehicles were rummaged through after windows were smashed in Long Branch Creek and Arlington Ridge on April 25
  • At least one catalytic converter theft (out of three reported total) on April 20
  • Three vehicles were rummaged through after windows were smashed in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood on April 14

In November, sixteen vehicles in Long Branch Creek had their windows smashed in one presumed overnight crime spree.

Asked about the thefts and what specifically is being done in these neighborhoods to prevent additional crime sprees, a police spokeswoman provided some general information.

“Larcenies from auto, including thefts of airbags, catalytic converters, tires and rims, as well as thefts of valuables/keys from unlocked vehicles are recurring local and regional crime trends,” said ACPD’s Ashley Savage. “As time and resources permit, officers conduct extra patrols in the areas of reported incidents.”

“The department’s efforts are enhanced by the active involvement of the community,” she continued. “Community members observing in-progress criminal activity should report for police investigation by contacting the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222 or dial 9-1-1 in an emergency.”

Savage also provided the following prime prevention tips.

Officers continue to share crime prevention information, including information on the 9 P.M. Routine, with community members and organizations in the areas of these incidents.

Additional crime prevention information related to larcenies from auto include:

  • Close and lock all windows and doors when you park. Pull on the door handle to verify it’s locked.
  • Park in well-lit areas and activate exterior lights at your home.
  • Take all valuables out of your vehicle.
  • Do not leave your keys, key fobs, or valet keys in your vehicle. This includes keys to a secondary vehicle.
  • Participate in the #9PMRoutine and encourage your family, friends and neighbors to do so too.

A follow up inquiry with Arlington County’s communications staff, with questions specific to the affected neighborhoods, yielded more detail about local outreach efforts.

“The incident summary from the Daily Crime Report and crime prevention tips have been shared by the ACPD Community Engagement Division with all civic association presidents as well as on all areas on Nextdoor,” wrote Bryna Helfer, Assistant County Manager and Director of Communications and Public Engagement. “This includes Long Branch Creek and Arlington Ridge civic associations as well as other areas in the County as [larcenies from auto] have been reported in nearly all neighborhoods across Arlington, typically during the overnight hours and can occur on any day of the week.”

ARLnow has not received a response to questions sent to the email address for the Long Branch Creek Civic Association. The neighborhood association’s Facebook page has been inactive for several years and its Yahoo Groups page appears to have been taken down.

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An Arlington County police car with lights flashing (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 9:40 p.m.) The man who was arrested on Sunday for robbery and carjacking after an inter-jurisdiction car chase on I-395 was awaiting trial in Fairfax County for stealing a car, court records show.

Laysohn Jones, 21, of Suitland, Maryland, had a hearing date set for May 2 for the auto theft charge, as well as a preliminary hearing for a failure to appear and charges for driving without a license and eluding police. He had been “released on recognizance,” according to court records, or released without bail when he allegedly committed the crime.

And two weeks ago, a man who has committed a slew of petty thefts over the last five years — from the Springfield Mall, Tysons Corner Center, and a CVS pharmacy and Macy’s in Pentagon City — was arrested on nearly a half-dozen charges.

Ronald D. Thomas, 24, is now being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility for his most recent alleged crimes — spitting on an officer, grand larceny, petit larceny, trespassing and identify theft — as well as an outstanding warrant from Fairfax County for grand larceny. Court records indicate he also had a felony second-degree assault charge from Maryland and a misdemeanor assault charge in D.C.

These cases have some blaming recent bail reforms, championed by many prosecutors who were elected on pledges to reform the criminal justice system.

“Repeat criminals are crossing jurisdictional lines and facing no consequences in first, second and third jurisdictions due to progressive policies like abolishing bail,” said Sean Kennedy, a spokesman for Virginians for Safe Communities, an organization that launched efforts last year to unseat the Commonwealth’s Attorneys for Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington counties.

“They go on to commit more crime elsewhere and those jurisdictions don’t understand their full criminal history because the same prosecutors have downgraded serious charges to light misdemeanors,” he continued. “More and more people are suffering because of that.”

Those who champion reforms to the criminal justice system, however, say repeat offense cases like these have long existed and systems like jail and bail did not deter people from offending over and over again. They add that these policies did nothing to solve underlying problems driving the criminal behavior, such as drug addiction and unstable housing.

“The inclination is, ‘We need to send him to jail for longer.’ We tried that before — that doesn’t work either,” said Arlington’s Chief Public Defender Brad Haywood.

He refuted the idea that there is a “progressive prosecution angle” at work, referencing the ongoing political tug-of-war between reform-minded prosecutors like Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, whose changes have prompted some backlash, and those who advocate for more stringent prosecution and punishment.

“This is a problem that has been an issue for decades in the U.S.,” Haywood said. “This is an issue, very broadly, with the criminal justice system.”

Bond reforms 

Eliminating cash bail was a campaign promise of both Dehghani-Tafti, whose office does not ask for cash bail, and her counterpart in Fairfax, Steve Descano, who formally eliminated cash bail in 2020.

In the case of the carjacking, Randall Mason, the president of the Arlington Coalition of Police, said Fairfax County’s release of the alleged carjacker put officers, the driver and the public at risk of injury.

“He went out and did the same thing again, and it put Arlington officers at risk because pursuits are inherently dangerous,” Mason said. “Luckily everyone was safe, and no citizens injured.”

Police are concerned about and frustrated by the pattern of people who are arrested for serious offenses and released without bond, Mason said.

Dehghani-Tafti countered that her office does seek to hold people deemed to be dangerous or a flight risk.

“It’s the danger you pose, not whether or not you have cash, that should control whether you are released pre-trial or not,” she said.

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Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti at an NAACP and Black Lives Matter rally in June 2020 (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares visited Arlington yesterday (Thursday) to launch a political fund aimed at unseating progressive prosecutors.

The reform-minded approach of “left-wing liberal prosecutors” has “directly resulted in higher crime in our communities and they must be stopped,” Miyares said in a statement that specifically called out Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano.

The goal of the Protecting Americans Action Fund, he said, is to “elect District Attorneys who will enforce the law and prosecute criminals, instead of this warped version of criminal justice, which is endangering Americans.”

Miyares did not name-drop Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, Descano’s Arlington counterpart, but coming to Arlington was enough to prompt her to mount a defense of her prosecutorial approach.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church fired back on Twitter with a volley of tweets.

Dehghani-Tafti was elected in 2019 on a pledge to reform the criminal justice system by reducing racial disparities in prosecution as well as recidivism and incarceration, while investigating wrongful convictions. Last year, there was an effort to recall her that accused Dehghani-Tafti of offering criminals lenient plea deals.

Miyares contends crime is up in places like Northern Virginia, under the leadership of Descano, Dehghani-Tafti and Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj. But Arlington’s top prosecutor says these jurisdictions “have the lowest crime rates of any large jurisdictions in Virginia and country.”

She reiterated the crime trends she touted earlier this year, including that her jurisdiction recorded no homicides in 2021 — down from three homicides in 2020 and two in 2019.

(Two reported deaths last year were in federal jurisdiction, including the police officer who was stabbed, shot and killed outside the Pentagon and the security contractor who died at the U.S. State Department’s National Foreign Affairs Training Center.)

“I’ve long resisted the claim that the drop in homicide is due solely to my policies. Instead, I’ve credited the work of our County Board, local delegation, police department, school board, defense bar, public defender, and community and faith groups in teaming up to prevent crime,” she said.

“And yet, the AG and other anti-reformers have no hesitation in cherry picking any individual incident or any uptick in any crime, however slight, to mislead the public and paint a false picture of our reform achievements,” she continued.

Some crimes were trending up during her election year, 2019, and continued upward during her first year of office. This includes an uptick in property crimes, driven largely by carjackings, according to 2020 crime data — the most recent available from Arlington County Police Department.

This uptick prompted more police patrols and coordinated regional response in 2021, which may explain why, according to preliminary ACPD data for last year, carjackings dropped from 16 in 2020 to eight, while car thefts dropped from 323 in 2020 to 306.

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Detectives Parsons and Galiatsos honored by a national task force for organized retail crime (Image via Twitter/ACPD)

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.

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.

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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.”

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It appears that Bowlero — an allegedly rowdy Crystal City bowling alley at the base of apartments — won’t be headed to the gutter this year.

The Arlington County Board this weekend is set to renew use permits for Bowlero (320 23rd Street S.) sparing it from closure, on the conditions that staff will review its operations next January, closely monitor the business in the meantime and review it again in 2025.

But the relationship between the bowling alley and the residents of The Buchanan apartments above it is uneasy. There have been dozens of reports to Arlington County Police Department of fights, drunk and loud patrons, indecent exposure and damaged property.

It reached a point where ACPD hosted an online town hall on March 31 last year to hear tenants’ concerns and discuss the work by officers and Bowlero staff to get crowds under control.

Eighteen months after opening, Arlington County is recommending the Board renew Bowlero’s permits with the one-year review to make sure community concerns about night-time nuisances are minimized. Since it opened in July 2020, there have been nearly 70 calls for service to ACPD.

The county says it supports renewing the permits because the quality-of-life problems caused by rowdy patrons are being addressed through the Arlington Restaurant Initiative (ARI), a partnership between ACPD and restaurants and bars to make Arlington a safe nightlife destination.

Otherwise, it says in a county report, staff found no other problems with the business operating there.

The police department supports the renewal because Bowlero maintains the restaurant initiative accreditation it earned in October 2020, per the report. The alley’s management plays an active role in involving police, ACPD said in the town hall, making half of the 52 calls for service between July 2020 and March 31.

“Bowlero has also implemented proper security measures and best practices, as recommended by Arlington County Police Department (ACPD), for calming and managing crowds, in addition to proactively responding to pending reports on site,” the report said. “The Police Department has not identified any outstanding public safety issues related to the continuation of the subject use.”

These security measures include scanning people with wands and checking bags, the report says. In addition, a neighborhood liaison has been appointed to address residents’ concerns.

Still, members of a nearby civic association have expressed their concerns “about reports of a high volume of late-night noise and potentially dangerous activity related to patrons of the establishment,” the report said.

One former resident, who moved away partially because of the nuisances downstairs, said metal detectors and police’s best practices are “treating the symptoms” but not addressing their root causes: alcohol, prices, promotions and hours.

The permits allow Bowlero to operate from 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Saturday through Sunday.

The former Buchanan resident said the calls to police detailed in the report — chiefly calls about fights and loud and drunk patrons — “seem typical of what I experienced.”

“They are absurd,” he said. “Gun issue? Street fights? Woman exposing herself? These are not just noise complaints, nor was this U Street [a street in D.C. known for its nightlife] prior to Bowlero opening. It was a calm and pretty safe street that turned into a place to actively avoid.”

Here’s the full list of what residents called for in 2021:

Calls to ACPD for service at Bowlero in Crystal City (via Arlington County)
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A man with what looked like a BB gun stole cash from the tip jar of a business in the Ballston area on Saturday afternoon, according to the Arlington County Police Department.

The robbery happened around 3:30 p.m. in the 1000 block of N. Glebe Road, yesterday’s ACPD crime report said.

A man approached the register, brandished what is believed to be a BB gun, and stole cash from the tip jar before he fled on foot, says ACPD’s crime report that was posted yesterday. Police did not find the suspect when they arrived. The department is still investigating.

The robbery over the weekend follows two recent, similar tip jar robberies in the area. ACPD reported a robbery in Rosslyn on Jan. 9 in which a man entered a business, showed a firearm and took money from a tip jar. Less than an hour later, an armed man in D.C., near Metro Center, stole from a tip jar.

“Based on the similar circumstances in both incidents, the two robberies (2022-01090110 and 2022-01150127) are being investigated as a series,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “The investigation into these incidents is ongoing and Arlington County detectives continue to collaborate with our regional law enforcement partners.”

Savage advised anyone with information related to the investigation call ACPD’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

A few blocks south, later on Saturday evening, an employee was assaulted after confronting someone they believed was stealing from the business. Three men entered the business in the 700 block of N. Glebe Road and began to look at merchandise before an employee saw one of them conceal merchandise and try to leave. The employee confronted the man, who began to yell at her and push her, police said.

“A brief struggle ensued, and the suspect struck the employee before grabbing additional merchandise and fleeing the scene on foot with the two other suspects,” ACPD said.

Officers who responded to the business around 7:41 p.m. searched the surrounding area and located the stolen merchandise on a Metro platform.

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An Arlington man is facing numerous charges after an alleged abduction and shot fired along Columbia Pike.

The incident happened Tuesday night near the western end of the Pike in Arlington.

“At approximately 9:56 p.m. on January 11, police were dispatched to the report of a dispute,” said today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report. “Upon arrival, it was determined that the known suspect and female victim became involved in a verbal dispute. During the incident, the suspect allegedly brandished a firearm, threatened the victim, attempted to force her into a vehicle before discharging a round into the air and fleeing the scene.”

A suspect was later arrested.

“Officers identified the suspect, obtained warrants and subsequently located him and took him into custody without incident,” ACPD said. The 27-year-old man is facing an array of charges including “Abduction, Brandishing a Firearm, Assault & Battery, Reckless Handling of a Firearm, and Discharging a Firearm in a Public Place.”

Separately, a 33-year-old Arlington man is facing charges after an incident Wednesday night in the Westover area, on the 1100 block of N. Kenilworth Street.

“At approximately 10:36 p.m. on January 12, police were dispatched to the report of a person with a gun. Upon arrival, officers determined the suspect’s location inside an apartment, announced themselves as law enforcement and gave him commands to exit,” said the crime report. “The suspect exited the residence with a firearm in his hands, complied with officers commands to drop the weapon and was subsequently taken into custody without incident.”

“The investigation determined that the witness was inside her residence when she heard a loud noise coming from across the hallway and observed the suspect allegedly banging on an apartment door, making threatening statements and armed with a firearm,” the crime report continued.

A suspect was arrested and is facing charges of Reckless Handling of a Firearm and Disorderly Conduct, according to ACPD.

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Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti

Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti is welcoming a drop in car-related crimes, which have trended upwards during the pandemic years.

Preliminary data from the Arlington County Police Department indicates carjackings dropped from 16 in 2020 to eight in 2021, while car thefts dropped from 323 in 2020 to 306 in 2021. Finalized numbers will be published later this year in ACPD’s annual crime report.

“After a temporary rise in car thefts in the first half of the year, our office helped to spearhead the formation of a regional task force, resulting in a marked decrease in car-related crimes in the second half of the year,” Dehghani-Tafti, the top prosecutor for Arlington and the City of Falls Church, said in her most recent newsletter. “Most of the recent car thefts are a result of cars left unlocked, unoccupied and idling.”

In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, carjackings soared in Arlington — from one case in 2019 to 16 in 2020 — and the rest of the D.C. area. This uptick prompted more police patrols in the first half of 2021 and, by the summer, a coordinated regional response.

Preliminary data on carjackings and car thefts in 2021 (via ACPD)

From January through June, ACPD recorded 160 motor vehicle thefts and from July to December, ACPD recorded 146 similar crimes, which is “a good percentage drop,” Dehghani-Tafti tells ARLnow.

Per the 2020 annual report, motor vehicle thefts have a ways to go if they’re to fall back to levels last seen in 2018 and 2019, when there were 171 and 227, respectively.

Property crimes from 2016 to 2020 (via ACPD)

Dehghani-Tafti said she called attention to the drops in car-related crimes — as well as the zero recorded homicides last year and the lower rates of gun violence compared to other U.S. cities — in her newsletter to provide a counterpoint those who are saying crime is up under her tenure.

Dehghani-Tafti was elected in 2019 on a pledge to reform the criminal justice system by reducing racial disparities in prosecution as well as recidivism and incarceration, and investigating wrongful convictions. Last year, there was an effort to recall her that accused her of offering criminals lenient plea deals.

“[T]he more general point I was making in the digest is twofold: the first is that, contrary to some of the overheated rhetoric in certain quarters, crime remained low and we’ve kept our word in devoting resources to serious crimes, hence our record in the last year, including tackling a number of cold homicide and rape cases; second, I wanted to be intellectually honest that a lot of people deserve credit for crime being low, and to give them thanks for it,” she tells ARLnow.

Specifically, she thanked the Department of Human Services and the county government for funding social services, the Arlington School Board for diverting kids from the criminal justice system — it removed police officers from schools in 2021 — as well as ACPD for its deescalation work and community policing and the Sheriff’s Office for helping to reduce the jail population.

She says the jail population “consistently remains at its lowest levels in Arlington history,” although it has increased from a record low of 209 in June 2020 to 265 in December 2021.

As additional evidence of crime remaining low, she pointed to the zero homicides recorded in 2021 and relatively low rates of gun violence compared to other jurisdictions.

ACPD confirmed that no 2021 deaths have been ruled a homicide, which would be down from three in 2020 and two in 2019. There is, however, an open investigation into the deaths of two people in a Ballston apartment in December.

Two reported deaths in Arlington in 2021 fall outside ACPD’s jurisdiction and reporting: the man who stabbed, shot and killed a police officer outside the Pentagon this summer and the death of a security contractor at the U.S. State Department’s National Foreign Affairs Training Center.

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A man who was arrested for attempting to rob a store in Arlington two days ago had just posted bond for another arrest in Fairfax County on Monday.

Karim Clayton, a 44-year-old D.C. resident, attempted to steal electronics from a pharmacy in the Buckingham neighborhood on Tuesday, according to Arlington County police. On Sunday, a Fairfax County Police Department official said he was arrested for assault and battery and held on a $2,000 secure bond.

He posted bail on Monday at 3:10 p.m., the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office confirmed. The office said it does not have information on how he settled his bond nor is it public information.

After his was released, Clayton tried to rob the CVS on the 200 block of N. Glebe Road at 3 a.m. on Tuesday, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.

“[The] male suspect entered the business and allegedly began placing electronics into a cart,” said the report. “The suspect then attempted to exit the store without paying for the items and was confronted by an employee. The suspect pushed passed the employee, grabbed a few items out of the cart and fled the scene on foot prior to the arrival of police.”

An officer pulled Clayton over a couple of blocks away while trying to drive off and arrested him “without incident,” the report said. He was held on no bond.

The charge listed for this incident is accessory to robbery using force, per Arlington court records.

Meanwhile, yesterday (Wednesday), Clayton was set to appear in Alexandria General District Court for a grand larceny charge he is facing there. It appears he could not be located, however, as the courts marked Clayton on “fugitive file.”

A tipster described Clayton as being “a one-man petty crime wave in Northern Virginia over the last year.”

He was found guilty of petit larceny on June 8, 2020, according to the Fairfax County Police Department, just three days before he robbed a CVS in the Fair Oaks section of Fairfax County and led Virginia State Police on a high-speed chase through part of Arlington.

On June 11, Clayton attempted to elude police and during his flight from police, he hit a parked car and kept driving, FCPD said. State troopers pursued on I-66 him until he crashed near N. Ohio Street in Arlington.

Clayton was charged with grand larceny, larceny with intent to sell or distribute, speeding to elude law enforcement, a hit and run and driving without a license.

He was only prosecuted in Arlington on the charges of eluding police, and sentenced to 180 days in prison with 171 days suspended, according to court records. His license was suspended for 30 days and he was fined $572. The fine is now past due, along with three others levied in Arlington General District Court over the past year or so, records show.

Between then and his alleged attempted robbery on Tuesday, he’s been charged with five counts of grand and petit larceny.

He has been found guilty three times so far, with one case pending. In those cases, he was sentenced to two 180-day stretches in prison, each with 135 days suspended, and one 90-day sentence fully suspended.

He is next due in court on the latest robbery charge on Nov. 15.

Someone tried to steal a man’s dog Tuesday night in Shirlington.

The attempted robbery happened around 11:30 p.m. near the intersection of Campbell Avenue and S. Quincy Street, on the eastern end of Shirlington Village.

“The victim was walking his dog in the area when the suspect approached and demanded that he give him his dog,” Arlington County police said in a crime report. “When the victim refused, the suspect verbally threatened him and implied he had a gun.”

“The victim began running in the opposite direction, at which point the suspect began to follow after him,” the crime report continues. “The victim was then able to call [911]. No injuries were reported and no weapon was displayed.”

The suspect remains at large and ACPD says the investigation into the crime is ongoing.

Also on Tuesday night, around the same time, a woman tried to steal from a store on the 2400 block of N. Harrison Street. The name of the store was not given in the crime report, but that is the same block as the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center and a Safeway store.

“At approximately 11:20 p.m., the female suspect entered the business and attempted to steal merchandise,” said ACPD. “As the suspect attempted to leave without paying, a store employee confronted her and prevented her from leaving. The suspect became aggressive and verbally threatened to stab the employee before leaving the area on foot without the merchandise. No weapon was displayed.”

The second attempted robbery suspect also remains at large.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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