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by Tim Regan — January 12, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

(Updated at 10:17 a.m.) A free creative arts festival is returning to Crystal City in just over two months.

Artomatic, a six-week art show that was previously held in the neighborhood in 2007 and 2012, is scheduled to return Friday, March 24, and run until Saturday, May 6.

This year’s Artomatic will occur at 1800 S. Bell Street, the Crystal City Business Improvement District said. Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to visit the 100,000-square-foot arts space over the course of the event.

In previous iterations, the festival has brought visual art, music, film, live performance, fashion and other forms of artistic expression. Artist registration begins next month, organizers said.

“We first brought Artomatic to Crystal City in 2007 in order to demonstrate the transformation that was already in progress — a new main street, fun restaurants — as well as to underscore how easily accessible our neighborhood is from D.C. The second showing in 2012 helped us further showcase our emerging arts and innovation scene,” said Angela Fox, CEO of the Crystal City BID. “Now in our third iteration, we are excited to mark the beginning of the next generation of growth, engagement and creativity for Crystal City.”

More information on this year’s event from a press release:

Artomatic returns for its signature art event to be held this year in Crystal City, Virginia from Friday, March 24th to Saturday, May 6th. Artomatic draws hundreds of artists and performers throughout the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area to showcase their talents for a six week long free exhibition that routinely attracts thousands of visitors.

“We first brought Artomatic to Crystal City in 2007 in order to demonstrate the transformation that was already in progress – a new main street, fun restaurants – as well as to underscore how easily accessible our neighborhood is from DC. The second showing in 2012 helped us further showcase our emerging arts and innovation scene,” said Crystal City BID President/CEO Angela Fox. “Now in our third iteration, we are excited to mark the beginning of the next generation of growth, engagement and creativity for Crystal City.”

This year’s 100,000 square foot space at 1800 S. Bell Street is provided by Vornado/Charles E. Smith and is located along Crystal City’s Art Underground. Launched in 2013 to transform Crystal City’s interior concourse into a vibrant arts and cultural destination, the Art Underground includes Synetic Theater, the 1200-foot long FotoWalk Underground, ArtJamz Underground, the Gallery Underground, TechShop, and Studios Underground which provides work space for two dozen artists.

Artomatic is well-known for transforming empty spaces into vibrant arts communities that create unique and exciting events for tens of thousands of visitors – all free to visit. Anyone can show art at Artomatic – it is non-juried and art is selected on a first-come, first serve basis – so it’s a great way to discover new art.

“We are very excited to be working again with the Crystal City BID, a constant champion of the arts, to create a unique, invigorating and brand new artistic experience for all visitors to enjoy,” said Jennifer Williamson, current Artomatic Board President. “We will be conducting Artist tours starting in mid-January to allow interested participants an advance glimpse of their artistic home for six weeks where they can start imagining the endless creative possibilities they can do with the space.”

by Tim Regan — January 6, 2017 at 3:00 pm 0

Photo via Facebook / DC Tattoo ExpoThousands of tattoo enthusiasts are expected to flock to Crystal City for an annual expo next week.

The D.C. Tattoo Expo is scheduled to be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott (1700 Jefferson Davis Highway) next Friday, Jan. 13 to Sunday, Jan. 15. This is the show’s seventh consecutive year running.

The event should attract more than 400 professional tattoo artists, including some of the celebrities from Spike’s “Ink Master” and “Tattoo Nightmares,” organizers said. Attendees can sign up to get new tattoos or just talk shop with the tattooers throughout the three-day festival.

“For our seventh year in a row, we have more vendors, more clothing, more tattoos, more craziness and more fun than ever before,” the expo website reads.

The D.C. Tattoo Expo is also set to include body piercing, tattoo competitions and the annual Miss D.C. Pin-up contest. “The Human Knot” and “Mini KISS” are also scheduled to perform.

Photo via Facebook / D.C. Tattoo Expo

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 5, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

1K Wine|Beer Walk

Get ready to enjoy everyone’s favorite faux race with your best bud, BFF, partner or spouse at a steep discount with today’s ARLnow Daily Deal. For the next 24 hours, purchase two 1K Wine|Beer Walk tickets for the price of one!

Tickets are usually $25 at the door or $20 online. With this Daily Deal, you can purchase two tickets for only $20 (plus transaction fees).

Choose the beverage of your choice, select your heat, and get ready to make your way through the course stopping at “hydration stations” throughout the Crystal City Shops and the Art Underground where you will be able to sample from up to 20 different wine and beers. As always, the wine and beer selections are hand-picked by the experts at the Crystal City Wine Shop where all offerings are also available for purchase.

Celebrate your personal best (i.e., your favorite taste) at a fun-filled finish festival that includes additional tasting stations, great music and complimentary bites. Come dressed in your most creative or obnoxious race-wear and be ready for photos, social media, and prizes. 

>>Purchase Today’s Deal Now<<

WHEN: Saturday, January 21st – Heats Available at 2, 3 and 4

WHERE: The Landing, Crystal City Shops @ 1750 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202

WHAT: Everyone’s favorite faux race, the 1K Wine|Beer Walk is right around the corner. Choose the beverage type of your choice, select your heat, and get ready to make your way through the course stopping at “hydration stations” throughout the Crystal City Shops and Art Underground where you will be able to sample from up to 20 different wine and beers.

by Buzz McClain — January 2, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

Startup Monday header

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

When and if more manufacturing jobs start returning to the U.S., MicroBenefits will be on hand to provide “front-line workers” with a useful tool that helps them work safer and more efficiently, provides training and a pathway for advancement, and creates powerful communication capabilities between the workers and management.

MicroBenefits US staffThe Arlington-based startup, with U.S. operations headquartered in Crystal City’s 1776 business incubator, is already in operation in factories in China. Vietnam is coming online soon; factories in the Philippines are slated for early 2017.

“We’re making English and Spanish versions of the app and we’ll enter different markets [in those languages] as we have opportunities with different brands,” said Mason Chenn, director of business development.

So what does MicroBenefits do for those front-line workers? But first, what is a front-line worker?

“A front-line worker is the person who is assembling your smartphone or your speakers, or is sewing the shirts you are buying from a brand that you know,” he said. “They’re the person putting the stitches together or screwing the screws into the device.”

Photo courtesy MicroBenefitsIf you’ve ever been a front-line worker you know that it’s an isolating position, even though you may be surrounded by coworkers and supervisors. You punch the clock when you come in, do your job and punch out. In some management structures, the only time you get to communicate common problems is over a beverage with coworkers after hours. And visiting with human resources or upper management is a big, tension-filled deal.

Smart companies know they operate more efficiently when they receive feedback from their employees. What MicroBenefits does is give those front-line workers access to a number of channels they never had before via smartphones.

“We offer a mobile technology platform that helps empower front line workers,” Chenn said, bravely attempting to summarize. “The elevator speech gets very complicated after that.”

MicroBenefits deals with multiple stakeholders — the brands that employ the suppliers and the suppliers that employ the front-line workers. “Our technology is enabling change in supply chains around the world,” Chenn said, catching the elevator again.

“We’re trying to solve compliance issues around environmental health and safety. We help to qualify workers for advancement within their organizations with training opportunities. And we provide feedback channels so workers have a voice in the factor to talk about the issues they’re experiencing.”

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by Katie Pyzyk — December 19, 2016 at 1:00 pm 0

Startup Monday header

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

College students fall asleep in class. It’s an age-old issue. But a new solution to the problem is what prompted the launch of Sunniva, an Arlington-based “super coffee” beverage business.

A couple of years ago Jordan DeCicco was that guy who kept falling asleep in his classes at Philadelphia University. The freshman tried to stay awake using the energy drinks or pre-made coffee beverages available at convenience stores, but he didn’t like all the sugar, fat, caffeine, and calories that accompanied the beverages.

He learned about Bulletproof Coffee — a blended mixture of coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil — and found that it definitely gave the energy boost he needed to stay awake through class. He tried making it in his dorm room but that wasn’t really practical for a few reasons. First, making it ahead of time and trying to chill it resulted in the butter going back to its solid form. Second, it was loaded with fat from the butter. Finally, Jordan just wasn’t a fan of the taste.

Sunniva "super coffee" beverageThat’s when he started making his own coffee drink and it seemed to be a winner. So much so that other students took notice and DeCicco began selling the drink out of his dorm room. He felt like he was onto something and enlisted help from older brother Jake, who at the time was in business school at Georgetown University.

“We’re very much accidental entrepreneurs,” Jake says. “We were just tired college students who needed an energy boost.”

Sunniva’s combination of Colombian coffee, coconut oil, and a lactose-free milk protein is a low-fat, low-cal beverage that, according to Jake, offers a longer-term energy boost compared to other products that often provide an energy spike and a crash later. Each bottle has 90mg of caffeine, which is pretty standard for an 8 oz. cup of coffee.

Sunniva is now about a year old and based out of the WeWork space in Crystal City. Oldest brother Jim is now the CEO and joins middle brother Jake in running the business, while youngest brother Jordan has gone back to school after taking a year off following his freshman year.

The business is coming full circle and targeting the very audience from which the original idea sprouted: Sunniva has found a substantial niche market on college campuses. It therefore relies heavily on digital marketing channels that younger audiences use: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, and vlogs, to name a few.

“Being started by tired college kids for tired college kids, we really take advantage of this digital age,” Jake says.

The DeCicco brothers, who launched Arlington-based SunnivaThe brothers often are featured in the various social media posts. “We definitely have a personality behind the brand,” Jake says. He laughs as he points out how they often go by “oldest brother, middle brother, and youngest brother” instead of by formal titles like CEO, COO, or founder.

In addition to a growing market on college campuses, Sunniva also has found a home in the cold beverage section of 32 Whole Foods stores in the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as on Amazon.

The product is processed at an aseptic facility in Buffalo, New York. The business tried out different manufacturers and different modes of pasteurization before landing at the current facility. “We had to scale our business appropriately to get there,” Jake says.

Sunniva currently processes about 200,000 bottles per batch. The product now is made in such a way that it doesn’t require refrigeration before opening; it’s shelf-stable for nine months.

Sunniva’s business plan involves further expansion into other Mid-Atlantic and northern East Coast markets up to Boston, with a longer-term goal of becoming a national brand. But the goal for early 2017 is to work on more local market penetration. The brothers want Sunniva to be the “premier bottled coffee in the Washington, D.C. area.”

“Reaching profitability is not a metric we use right now,” Jake says. “Right now we’re really focused on our philosophy of ‘win where you live’ and being hyperlocal.”

by ARLnow.com — December 14, 2016 at 11:00 am 0

Fairfax County police car lightsA woman found a man sleeping in her car in the Crystal City area early this morning.

Police were called to the 1900 block of Jefferson Davis Highway just after midnight.

The suspect fled but was found by officers, arrested and is now facing larceny and trespassing charges.

From this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (Significant), 2016-12140006, 1900 block of Jefferson Davis Highway. At approximately 12:20 a.m. on December 14, officers responded to the report of a suspicious subject. A female victim found an unknown male subject sleeping in her vehicle. The victim confronted the unknown male subject, causing him to flee the scene on foot. Units positively identified a subject matching the victim’s description. Amir Mansur Haynes, 28, of Washington D.C., was arrested and charged with petit larceny, entering or setting in motion vehicle, and trespassing.

The rest of the past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — December 13, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

A drunk woman stole a car in Crystal City but then crashed it three blocks down the road, police say.

The incident happened around 11 a.m. on Sunday. It started, police say, when a woman “entered an unoccupied but running vehicle” on the 2200 block of S. Clark Street.

“The owner of the vehicle approached the suspect, but the suspect refused to exit and fled the scene in the vehicle,” according to an Arlington County Police crime report. “The female suspect then struck a vehicle stopped at a red light in the 1900 block of S. Clark Street.”

The woman was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at Virginia Hospital Center, then charged with grand larceny auto, driving under the influence and reckless driving, according to the crime report.

Photos courtesy Doug Wendt

by ARLnow.com — December 12, 2016 at 5:25 pm 0

An elderly woman has been struck by a vehicle at the intersection of 23rd Street S. and S. Fern Street.

The incident was reported just after 5 p.m.

Police arriving on scene said the woman was conscious, alert and talking to emergency responders, but was bleeding from the head. She is being transported to a local hospital via ambulance.

A traffic camera showed the woman lying in the street near the curb in front of Tortoise & Hare restaurant.

Westbound S. Fern Street is currently closed to traffic at S. Eads Street.

Update at 8:15 p.m. — The woman’s injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. S. Fern Street reopened to traffic shortly after 6 p.m.

by ARLnow.com — November 30, 2016 at 5:35 pm 0

Artomatic, a free, unjuried creative arts event that invites artists to display their work — usually in large, vacant buildings — is returning to Crystal City.

The event, which was previously held in Crystal City in 2007 and 2012, will take place over the course of six weeks in the spring at 1800 S. Bell Street, the Crystal City Business Improvement District announced today. Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to visit the 100,000-square-foot arts space over the course of the event.

“The return of Artomatic to Crystal City demonstrates the area’s continued growth and development as an artistic and innovative laboratory,” said Angela Fox, CEO of the Crystal City BID. “Artomatic’s mission aligns with the BID’s efforts to transform our community into a place where people are inspired to create their own masterpieces.”

Dubbed a “playground for artistic expression,” Artomatic is known for its massive size and range of often-eclectic creative works, including visual art, music, film, live performance, fashion and more.

From a press release:

The Crystal City BID made its first massive splash onto the creative stage in 2007 by luring Artomatic across the river and helping them host their biggest art happening up to that time…

The 2007 and 2012 editions attracted over 35,000 and 75,000 visitors, respectively, and over a thousand artists for each run. Artomatic 2017 will be in approximately 100,000 square feet of space provided by Vornado/Charles E. Smith at 1800 S. Bell Street. Artomatic is anticipated to attract another large and diverse crowd given its proximity to metro, free parking after 4 p.m., and location among dozens of restaurants and watering holes.

The new location also has the benefit of an entrance along the interior concourse of Crystal City and part of the Art Underground. Launched in 2013 to transform Crystal City’s interior concourse into a vibrant arts and cultural destination, the Art Underground includes Synetic Theater, the 1200-foot long FotoWalk Underground, ArtJamz Underground, the Gallery Underground, TechShop, and Studios Underground which provides work space for two dozen artists.

The dates for the 2017 installment of Artomatic are expected to be announced within a few weeks.

by ARLnow.com — November 30, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

A new fast casual Korean barbecue restaurant has opened in Crystal City.

KBQ Korean BBQ & Bar is located at 2450 Crystal Drive, next to Buffalo Wild Wings. It opened earlier today, offering a Chipotle-style experience, allowing customers to build their own rice and lettuce bowls, lettuce wraps, tofu dogs and rice burgers.

KBQ offers six proteins — from steak to pork belly to tofu — and nearly a dozen “banchans,” or sides. That’s topped off by a selection of sauces and garnishes.

In addition, there’s a separate “bubble tea shop” offering a selection of bubble teas, including taro, chai and mango, for $5 apiece. As of earlier today, the boba for the teas was not yet ready, so customers had to make do with bubble tea sans bubbles.

Though KBQ seems likely to capture a primarily lunchtime dining crowd in Crystal City, it also has a bar serving cocktails, beer, wine and “bombs” — as in soju, Jager, car and cherry bombs. The restaurant will be open nightly until 1 a.m.

Korean barbecue “is the hottest trend in the culinary world,” according to a press release announcing the restaurant’s opening today. The full release, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — November 16, 2016 at 11:20 am 0

A restaurant in the Crystal City Shops was burglarized Monday night, according to Arlington County Police.

From an ACPD crime report:

BURGLARY, 2016-11150052, 1600 block of Crystal Square. Between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on November 14, an unknown subject entered a business and stole an undisclosed amount of cash. The investigation is ongoing.

It has been a rather slow week for crime in Arlington. The rest of the past week’s crime report highlights, including at least one that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — November 10, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Trump cutout goes out with the recycling after Election Day (photo courtesy Ari P.)

David Black Convicted, Sentenced for Wife’s Murder — An Arlington County jury this week found Arlington Ridge resident David Black guilty of murdering his wife. Bonnie Delgado Black was found stabbed to death in her home, which was just blocks from her estranged husband’s house, on April 17, 2015. Yesterday the jury recommended that Black serve two life sentences. [NBC 4, WTOP]

County Board Ditches New Year’s Day Meeting — Eschewing a long-standing tradition of holding its first meeting of the year on New Year’s Day, the Arlington County Board yesterday voted unanimously to hold its 2017 organizational meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3. “We still will start our year off with the community, but without forcing employees to give up their personal and family time on a holiday,” said County Board Chair Libby Garvey. [Arlington County]

Retail Space for WeWork in Crystal City — The County Board on Saturday voted to convert 440 square feet of the WeWork and WeLive building in Crystal City to ground floor retail space, at the request of WeWork. No word yet on what kind of a retailer may be moving in. [Arlington County]

More on Park Protests — “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark has tackled the dual controversies of the baseball field fence in Bluemont Park (the Board acted on that yesterday, article coming soon) and the proposed Williamsburg Middle School athletic field lights. Clark concluded: “Popular sports for kids, peaceful green parks: competing Arlington virtues.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Evolent Health Stock Soars — As of 10 a.m. the share price for Ballston-based Evolent Health is up more than 12 percent today and nearly 70 percent for the year. The tech firm reported a narrower-than-expected loss and higher-than-expected revenue in the third quarter of 2016. [CNBC, Yahoo]

Board Approves Loan for Apartment Renovations — The Culpepper Garden affordable apartment complex for low-income seniors will receive needed renovations thanks to a $9.9 million loan from Arlington’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund. The County Board unanimously approved the loan yesterday. The renovations are expected to begin in the spring and will require tenants to temporarily move to other units on site while their units are renovated. [Arlington County]

Photo courtesy Ari P.

by ARLnow.com — October 28, 2016 at 9:25 am 0

Food trucks near Ballston Mall

County Manager on Buck Property — County staff have “made no recommendations for any specific function” at the to-be-acquired Buck property near Washington-Lee High School, the county said in a press release this morning. Nearby residents have launched a petition against a proposal to use the property for school bus operations. Said Arlington County Manager Mark Schwarz: “Our ability to provide essential services is only as good as the facilities we have to support them. As our population continues to grow, our services will either deteriorate or cost the taxpayer more without adequate support facilities.” [Arlington County]

Fundraiser for Employee Struck By SUV — A fundraiser for a Mad Rose Tavern employee run over by an SUV raised more than $5,000 last night, the restaurant’s manager said on Facebook. Victoria Gonzalez, 34, is still in the hospital, preparing to begin rehabilitation. The next court appearance for the DUI suspect in the case is scheduled for Nov. 17. [WJLA]

Bowl’d to Introduce Breakfast — Healthy fast casual eatery Bowl’d (1028 N. Garfield Street) in Clarendon is introducing weekend breakfast service from 9 a.m. to noon, starting this Saturday. Bowl’d founder Allen Reed says the restaurant will be “giving away breakfast tacos, greek yogurt bowls and hot breakfast bowls to the first 150 people who come through our doors this weekend.”

Talento to Bring New Perspective to School Board — Democrat Tannia Talento, who’s running unopposed for Arlington School Board, says she wants to bring “the perspective of the working parent” to the Board. Another unique perspective: Talento said economic and family issues prevented her from getting a college degree. Talento says her priorities on the Board will be dealing with the growing student population, improving access to mental health services and narrowing the achievement gap. [InsideNova]

Arlington Lauded for LGBTQ Protections — “Arlington has been named one of 37 American ‘All-Star Cities‘ acclaimed for their high standard of inclusiveness toward their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer communities.” [Arlington County]

Innovative Companies in Crystal City — Business publication Bisnow says the following are “five disruptive companies establishing Crystal City as [a] nexus of innovation:” Lyft, TMSOFT, OrcaVue, Polynox Solutions and FourStay. [Bisnow]

by ARLnow.com — October 25, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Rosslyn at night, as seen from the Key Bridge

Woman Hit By SUV on Route 50 — A woman was struck and critically injured by an SUV while crossing Route 50 at Fillmore Street during Monday’s evening rush hour. The victim is expected to survive; lanes were closed while police investigated the crash. Nearby residents say the intersection is dangerous and accident-prone. [WUSA9, Twitter]

House Fire in Arlington View — There was an unusual house fire last night in the Arlington View neighborhood near Hoffman-Boston Elementary. A house’s gas meter caught fire, spreading flames into the home’s basement. The blaze was quickly extinguished, sparing the home from major damage. [Twitter, Twitter, Twitter]

Man Pleads Guilty in Hot Car Case — The man who accidentally left a friend’s two-year-old child in the backseat of a car, causing the toddler’s death, has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Daiquan Fields was sentenced to a net six months in jail, time he had already served since the April incident, and is now on supervised probation. [NBC Washington]

Bonnie Black Murder Case Begins — The estranged husband of slain south Arlington mom Bonnie Black is now on trial for her murder. The trial of David Black started with opening statements on Monday; this morning witnesses for the prosecution are expected to be called. [WJLA]

Crystal City Post Office Moving — The post office along Crystal Drive in Crystal City is moving a few blocks down the road. The existing post office will be closed Thursday and Friday and the new post office, at 2180 Crystal Drive, will open Monday, Oct. 31. [Patch]

High Praise for Ambar — New Clarendon restaurant Ambar, which opened this month in the former Boulevard Woodgrill space, may get an indirect boost from TripAdvisor rankings. Ambar’s original Capitol Hill location is listed as the top-ranked D.C. area restaurant on TripAdvisor. [Washingtonian]

Amputee Athlete Visits Students — “Ghanian athlete and activist Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah recently visited with Arlington students to share his message that physical disabilities should not stop individuals from achieving their destiny.” [InsideNova]

by ARLnow.com — October 24, 2016 at 4:30 pm 0

Fairfax County police car lightsA trio of suspects, one of whom was armed with a gun, robbed a man of his belongings in Crystal City on Saturday, police say.

This incident happened near the relatively busy intersection of Crystal Drive and 23rd Street, just after 8 p.m. Police are looking for the three men allegedly involved in the drive-by robbery.

From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ARMED ROBBERY, 161022054, 2300 block of Crystal Drive. At approximately 8:10 p.m. on October 22, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery. Upon investigation, it was determined that a male victim observed a vehicle pull up next to him and two male subjects exited the vehicle. One subject brandished a firearm and demanded the victim’s belongings. The suspects took the items belonging to the victim, re-entered the vehicle, and fled the area. The first suspect is described as a heavy set black male in his forties. He was wearing a light blue jean jacket and had a beard. The second suspect is described as a black male in his forties. He was wearing a black windbreaker jacket and a black hat. The third suspect is described as a black male in his forties, wearing a black t-shirt.

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