Someone tried to light a door on fire at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses church in the East Falls Church neighborhood of Arlington this morning.
The fire was set using a flammable substance just before 10 a.m., according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Jason Hart. The fire damaged the door — an entrance to the church sanctuary — and some surrounding bushes but did not spread beyond that.
Investigators from the Fire Marshal’s Office are still on scene this afternoon, gathering evidence.
This is the second such arson case currently being investigated in Northern Virginia, Hart said; a similar fire was recently set at a Jehovah’s Witnesses church in the Falls Church section of Fairfax County.
Arlington authorities are coordinating the investigation with their Fairfax County counterparts, according to Hart.
It’s an ongoing problem: thieves using “skimmer” devices to steal credit and debit card information from unsuspecting customers of local businesses.
Arlington’s Cherrydale neighborhood appears to be the latest target of the skimmer scammers.
Reports a resident:
Maywood listserv lighting up with reports of multiple people getting their credit cards skimmed recently. Most people point to common thread of Liberty Gas station on Lee Highway (and a few other likely places in the area) as common thread. But that is not 100% clear.
In most cases, someone buys gas here. Later someone tries to purchase gas in California. Per Cherrydale listserv earlier, it looks like Arlington Police already found a “skimmer” machine earlier at Exxon across the street, but these are new reports from another potential location.
Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed at least a portion of the neighborhood scuttlebutt.
Here’s what she said via email to ARLnow.com:
Our Financial Crimes Unit received reports of possible credit card skimming at the Liberty Gas station. They responded to the area and during their investigation did not identify a point of compromise at this location. On March 9 at approximately 1:57 p.m., police responded to the Exxon gas station in the 4000 block of Old Dominion Drive for the report of a recovered credit card skimmer. That investigation is ongoing.
These type of cases are typically reported to police as credit card fraud and since we use credit cards for almost all purchases (online, in person, groceries, gas, etc.) the challenge is identifying the point of compromise. Turnaround time from point of compromise to first fraudulent use varies depending on how the suspects intend to use the stolen data. Police work closely with banking institutes who notify us when there is a trend with customers cards being compromised and they identify the location all the cards have in common.
There are some things citizens can do to protect themselves:
- You will not know if a gas pump has a skimmers. In most cases, the skimmers are being placed inside the machine.
- Pay inside at the gas station rather than at the pump.
- Always pay using credit rather than debit – it’s easier to dispute the charges and isn’t linked directly to your bank account.
- If you haven’t switched to a chip reader on your credit card, do so.
- Regularly check your bank statements and if you notice fraudulent activity, notify the bank so they can begin an investigation.
- If you find you were the victim of fraud, file a police report.
Photo via Google Maps
A man posing as a maintenance worker sexually assaulted a woman in her Rosslyn apartment Sunday morning.
The attack happened around 9:45 a.m., on the 1500 block of Key Blvd, according to an Arlington County Police Department press release.
Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect, a man believed to be in his early 20s, who was caught on video surveillance footage.
More from the ACPD press release:
The Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a suspect involved in the sexual assault of a female victim which occurred at a residence in the 1500 block of Key Boulevard.
At approximately 9:45 a.m., an unknown male suspect entered the residential building and began knocking on various apartment doors claiming to be a maintenance worker. Once the female victim opened her door, a physical struggle ensued between the victim and the suspect. During the attack, the suspect sexually assaulted the victim. The suspect then fled the scene on foot.
The suspect is described as a black male in his early 20s, approximately 6’0″ tall with a slim build. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with dark pants and carrying a backpack.
Arlington County Police remain in the area investigating this incident. If anyone has information on the identity of this individual or details surrounding this incident, please contact Detective P. Pena of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit at 703.228.4183 or at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).
Update at 3:20 p.m. — Police have released surveillance footage of the suspect allegedly fleeing the scene of the crime.
The crash happened in rainy weather around 5:40 p.m. Saturday, on S. Glebe Road near ramps to and from I-395.
From an Arlington County Police Department press release:
At approximately 5:40 p.m. on April 22, police were dispatched to the 2400 block of S. Glebe Road for the report of a single-vehicle crash involving a moped. Arlington County Fire Department medics administered CPR before transporting Virgiliro Lopez, 45, of Alexandria, VA to George Washington University Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
Detectives from the Critical Accident Team (CAT) responded to the scene. The initial investigation revealed the driver was traveling southbound on Glebe Road when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a traffic sign in the median. The investigation into the crash is ongoing.
Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or has additional information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Detective T. Parsons at [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.
Glebe Road was closed or at least partially blocked for more than an hour following the crash, while police investigated. NBC 4’s Darcy Spencer tweeted the following photo from the scene.
— Darcy Spencer (@darcyspencer) April 22, 2017
(Updated at 11 a.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a shooting in the Buckingham neighborhood, near Ballston.
A man was shot in the leg during a dispute and was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital, according to police. The man’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
There were no suspects in custody as of Saturday morning.
The shooting happened just after 11 p.m. Friday, outside of an apartment building on the 4300 block 4th Street N. Police remained on scene overnight, investigating the crime.
More from an ACPD press release:
On November 25 at approximately 11:07 p.m., Arlington County Police responded to a report of a shooting in the 4300 block of 4th Street N. Arriving officers located one male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg. He was transported to George Washington University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The initial investigation revealed that the victim and a witness were walking in the 4300 block of 4th Street N. when they came upon a dispute between two male subjects. One subject discharged a firearm, striking the victim in the leg. The subjects fled the area prior to police arrival. The shooting subject is described as a black male with a thin build wearing a black shirt and yellow pants at the time of the incident.
Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact Detective C. Riccio of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
A driver struck and seriously injured a bicyclist this afternoon near Courthouse.
The crash happened shortly before 4 p.m. at the intersection of Fairfax Drive and N. Queen Street, in the Radnor/Fort Myer Heights neighborhood.
A woman in a Nissan sedan struck the adult male cyclist near the entrance to Route 50. The car’s windshield shattered from the force of the impact on the passenger side of the vehicle. Damage was also visible on the side and hood of the car.
The cyclist was transported via ambulance to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Officers remained on scene to investigate the crash, said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
The driver remained on scene. No word yet on whether any charges will be filed.
Update at 1:45 p.m. — In a statement, Arlington County Police say the teen was in the crosswalk when she was struck by a car traveling eastbound on Lee Highway.
The driver of the vehicle rendered aid to the victim and remained on scene until the arrival of police units. Sun glare was present for eastbound traffic on Lee Highway at the time of the collision and is being investigated as a contributing factor. No charges have been filed at this time. The investigation is ongoing.
Updated at 12:45 p.m. — All lanes of Lee Highway have reopened.
Earlier: Lee Highway is closed in both directions between George Mason Drive and N. Glebe Road this morning due to an investigation.
Arlington County Police say they’re investigating a collision involving a vehicle and a pedestrian at Lee Highway and N. Edison Street.
A female pedestrian was struck by a driver in a sedan just after 7:30 a.m., said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. She suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital.
Savage said the victim has been identified as a 15-year-old girl who was walking to school at the time. The striking driver remained on scene, Savage said. The exact circumstances surrounding the crash have not yet been determined.
ACPD’s Critical Accident Team is continuing to investigate the collision and there’s still no word on how long the closure is expected to last.
POLICE ACTIVITY: PD investigating pedestrian collision at Lee Highway at Edison St. Lee Highway is closed from George Mason to Glebe Rd.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) September 22, 2016
The suspicious meatballs found by a dog owner in Bluemont Park have been tested and all the tests for harmful substances came back negative, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington says.
“The lab tested for anticoagulants (which would cause massive internal bleeding) and organic chemicals including pesticides, therapeutic and illicit drugs, euthanasia agents and environmental contaminants,” said AWLA’s Susan Sherman. “All tests were negative.”
A dog owner found the meatballs along Four Mile Run earlier this month and took to an email listserv to warn fellow residents of a possible poisoning attempt. She said her dog ate at least one of the meatballs; she immediately took the dog to a vet to induce vomiting.
AWLA says it is still trying to figure out why the meatballs were placed along the stream. The organization is urging dog owners to stay vigilant.
“We still don’t know how the meat patties got there or what the intention was,” Sherman said. “We will be posting information on our website and on Facebook advising residents to keep their dogs on leash and to be aware of their environment to avoid a dog ingesting any unknown substance. If anyone finds something suspicious like the meat patties, call animal control at 703-931-9241.”
The Bureau says the man robbed a CVS in Seat Pleasant, Maryland and an Exxon in Northwest D.C. Tuesday morning, before robbing the Sunoco around 11 a.m. The man implied that he had a gun and then fled with cash, the FBI says.
The suspect, who’s considered to be “armed and dangerous,” is described as “a black male, approximately 5’10” tall, between 40 and 50 years of age, with a medium complexion and a black and gray colored beard.”
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the suspect’s identification, arrest and conviction. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the FBI Washington Field Office at 202-278-2000.
On Thursday, a local mother wrote to a local email listserv to warn about meatballs her dog scarfed up along Four Mile Run in Bluemont Park. The meatballs, she said, contained what her vet thought was rat poison. (The vet was able to quickly induce vomiting and the dog is expected to be okay.)
The story quickly made its way around other local listservs and attracted the attention of Fox 5, which interviewed the dog owner.
“For me, it’s a sick psychopath or something like that,” Natascha Weber told Fox 5’s Lauren DeMarco. “I have no idea why somebody would do something like that.”
AWLA is testing the meatballs, the organization’s COO, Susan Sherman, told ARLnow.com Friday.
“We received a call [Thursday] afternoon from a resident who thinks her dog may have ingested poisoned meat while they were walking in Bluemont Park at the intersection of Four Mile Run trail, near the stream,” Sherman said. “The dog owner gathered some of the meat and kept it refrigerated. We are picking up the sample now and will send it to a lab for testing.”
As of Tuesday morning, Sherman said the testing was still in progress and it will likely be a week before we know what exactly was in the meat.
The original listserv email is below.
My daughter and I were walking our dogs today at Four Mile Run/Bluemont Park in Arlington, because we like the paths next to the stream. On our way back to the car, the dogs were wading in the water and when they got out, Yoko found something to eat. I wasn’t able to pull her away fast enough so she ate a good amount. I took a closer look and discovered more than 10 poison baits right next to the stream on and between the rocks (raw ground beef meatballs, mixed with all kind of pills, pellets and grain). Obviously we got her back to our car as fast as possible and went to the animal hospital straight away.
The vet made her vomit and since it was only 15-20 minutes between eating the stuff and the treatment in the hospital, she was confident, that she got everything out of Yoko’s stomach. The vet is 99% sure that it’s rat poison. We reported everything to Animal Control/Animal Welfare in Arlington, got back to Bluemont Park and collected the rest of the toxic baits…
I am absolutely shocked about this incident and hope that Yoko will recover completely. And of course I hope that no other dog was harmed by this crime of a maniac. So please (!!!) watch out when you are walking your dog(s) in that area but I guess, that can happen everywhere.
If you have an idea what else we could do (besides reporting it to Animal Control), I’d appreciate any advice. I know it’s unlikely to find this criminal but I am ready to do everything to increase the chances.
Metro Transit Police are opening an investigation into the cause of July’s train derailment at the East Falls Church Metro station.
About 75 passengers were on an Orange Line train on July 29 when it derailed around 6:30 a.m. The passengers were able to offload “without further incident,” Metro said the day of the derailment.
Though Metro’s safety department was investigating the cause of the incident, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld asked Metro Transit Police to open a parallel inquiry “following a briefing in which investigators advised him of concerns arising from employee interviews, inspection reports, rail defect tracking, and video recordings,” according to a press release.
“The administrative review uncovered information that warrants further investigation by Metro Transit Police,” Wiedefeld said in a statement. “While Safety Department investigations determine cause and accountability, it is even more important to understand if other issues must be addressed with the way track inspections and maintenance have been conducted.”
Wiedefeld added that the transit agency uncovered information that “raises potentially serious concerns” in the cause of the derailment.
More about the investigation from a Metro press release:
Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld announced today that the investigation into the East Falls Church derailment, which began as an administrative review by the Safety Department, has been expanded to include an investigation by Metro Transit Police.
Wiedefeld directed the Metro Transit Police Department to open a parallel investigation into the matter following a briefing in which investigators advised him of concerns arising from employee interviews, inspection reports, rail defect tracking, and video recordings.
“The administrative review uncovered information that warrants further investigation by Metro Transit Police,” Wiedefeld said. “While Safety Department investigations determine cause and accountability, it is even more important to understand if other issues must be addressed with the way track inspections and maintenance have been conducted.”
Metro’s General Counsel, Patricia Y. Lee, has engaged two former Assistant U.S. Attorneys as Special Investigators to support the internal administrative review. Adam Hoffinger, a former AUSA for the Southern District of New York, and Peter White, a former AUSA for the Eastern District of Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia, will work closely with Lee on this matter. Both have extensive prosecutorial experience with complex cases.
“The public has a right to know that the tracks on which their trains run are being properly inspected,” said Wiedefeld. “The information uncovered to date raises potentially serious concerns, and we will take all actions necessary to get answers and hold people accountable.”
Wiedefeld assured riders today that the SafeTrack program underway (in which Metro tracks are being inspected and repaired) has been and will continue to be subject to quality controls from multiple internal and external groups to ensure all track work meets Metro’s high standards. (At the time of the derailment, East Falls Church interlocking had not yet been addressed as part of SafeTrack.) Metro is engaging an outside engineering firm to conduct a comprehensive review of its track inspection program.
“While we continue the due diligence to identify the cause of any conditions that may have contributed to this incident, Metro is simultaneously repairing the system and providing better rules, training, quality control and line management,” said Wiedefeld.
Photo courtesy John Sonderman
Some Receiving Duplicate Tax Bills — A large number of Arlington homeowners have received duplicate tax bills from the county. “As you can imagine, we have heard from many concerned taxpayers today,” Treasurer Carla de la Pava told the Sun Gazette. [InsideNova]
Brutal Beating Still Unsolved — The 1965 beating of a 19-year-old woman in her Rosslyn area apartment is still an unsolved, open case. The woman, Brenda Sue Pennington, survived but never fully recovered, living in a nursing home and depending on Medicare until her death in 2007. [Falls Church News-Press]
Beyer Questions New Social Security Requirement — Those who want to access their Social Security information online now must have a text-enabled cell phone as part of a new security measure. That has led to protests from seniors who don’t own a cell phone — and Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) agrees with them, saying they “deserve the convenience of checking their earnings and benefits online.” [Patch]
Medium Unsure If TV Series Will Live On — Monica Ten-Kate, the TV medium who communes with dead people and whose family lives in Fairlington, says in an interview that she’s not sure whether her cable TV reality series will be renewed for a third season. [Northern Virginia Magazine]
(Updated at 5:25 p.m.) Metro Transit Police are investigating a sexual assault that occurred last night on a Yellow Line train.
Metro says three men assaulted a woman, grabbing her inappropriately, after she refused to perform a sexual act.
The assault took place on a train near the Braddock Road Metro station. Transit Police investigated the incident at the Crystal City Metro station Thursday night, just before 10 p.m., prompting delays on the Blue and Yellow lines.
Late Friday afternoon, Metro released a press release (below) and surveillance images of the suspects (above).
Metro Transit Police are investigating a reported sexual battery aboard a Yellow Line train last night and are seeking the public’s assistance to identify three persons of interest pictured below.
The victim, an adult female, advised officers that she was approached by three males at around 9:30 p.m. aboard a northbound train from Huntington. As the train traveled between Eisenhower Ave and Braddock Road stations, the males approached the victim and asked her to perform a sexual act. When the victim refused, the suspects assaulted the female, including grabbing her body through her clothing.
The victim reported the incident to MTPD officers who broadcast a flash lookout and conducted a canvass of trains and stations along the line. The victim declined medical assistance and was subsequently transported to her residence by MTPD officers.
The suspects were described as follows:
1. Black male (medium complexion), age 18-30, height 5’8″-5’11”, weight 140 wearing red t-shirt with “aero” logo and blue jeans
2. Black male (medium complexion), age 18-30, height 5’8″-5’11”, weight 140 wearing black t-shirt with white shirt underneath and black jeans
3. Black male (medium complexion), age 18-30, height 5’8″-5’11”, weight 140 wearing black Nike shirt with yellow “P” Pittsburgh Pirates logo and blue jeans
Anyone who may have information about this incident is urged to contact Metro Transit Police detectives by calling (202) 962-2121 or by sending a text message to “MyMTPD” (696873).
The incident happened around 5 a.m. Sunday morning. Police say a woman “awoke to an unknown male sexually assaulting her.” After the attack, he fled the scene.
Police are looking for a man in a tan four-door sedan, who was last seen wearing a black hooded shell jacket with a hood.
From an ACPD press release:
The Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a suspect involved in the sexual assault of a female victim which occurred at a residence in the 700 block of N. Edgewood Street in the early morning hours of May 15, 2016.
At approximately 4:56 a.m. a female victim awoke to an unknown male sexually assaulting her. Following the attack, the male suspect fled the scene. The victim was then able to call 911. The victim advised that earlier in the evening, at approximately 2:30 a.m., upon returning to the residence she observed an unknown adult male walking away from the rear of the home. That individual left the area in a tan colored four door sedan. He was described as wearing a black hooded shell jacket with the hood up. The male suspect involved in this incident was described as wearing similar clothing.
Detectives from the Special Victim’s Unit are actively investigating this incident. Responding officers attempted a canine track in the area with negative results and officers canvased the area speaking with possible witnesses. Officers will continue conducting extra checks in the area.
If anyone has information on the identity of this individual or details surrounding this incident, please contact Detective G. Sloan of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit at 703.228.4198 or at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).
(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) A 17-year-old has been charged with murder following a fatal stabbing Friday night.
Police say the teen is a “relative” of the victim, and that the stabbing “resulted from a domestic incident that took place in a residence in the 3600 block of 3rd Street S.”
The deceased victim was identified as 46-year-old Arlington resident Dennis Adams. This was Arlington County’s first homicide of 2016.
From an ACPD press release:
On April 1, 2016 shortly after 8:00 p.m., Arlington County Police officers were dispatched to the 100 block of S. Glebe Road for an assault with injuries. Arriving officers located one juvenile male suffering from minor injuries. A police unit responding to the scene was flagged down by medics at the intersection of S. Glebe Road and 3rd Street S. where a second male victim suffering from numerous stab wounds was located. The second victim, Dennis Adams, 46, of Arlington VA was transported to George Washington University Hospital Trauma Center where he was pronounced deceased.
The juvenile male was able to provide police with a detailed account of the events that occurred on April 1. Through the course of the investigation, detectives uncovered a number of inconsistencies in the juvenile’s account of these events and other evidence that lead them to believe his account was fabricated.
The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit has determined that this stabbing resulted from a domestic incident that took place in a residence in the 3600 block of 3rd Street S. Detectives have charged a 17-year-old relative of the victim with murder and stabbing while committing a felony.
Anyone with information about this incident and/or who may have observed anything suspicious in the area is asked to contact Detective S. Bertollini of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4243 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).