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Large Snapping Turtle Rescued by Animal Control Officers Near Fraser Park

A large snapping turtle gave a few South Arlington parkgoers a surprise today (Wednesday), and animal control officers ultimately had to step in to guide the reptile to safety.

Jennifer Toussaint, the county’s chief animal control officer, told ARLnow that her office received a call around noon that the large turtle was in the street at the intersection of Army Navy Drive and 28th Street S., just near Fraser Park.

She said an officer ultimately “safely moved the snapping turtle in the direction it was heading towards the stream adjacent to the brush line near the street,” which backs up to I-395.

Toussaint added that it’s hardly unusual for her office to receive calls about snapping turtles — animal control officers discovered someone keeping one as a pet just last month, a practice she strongly advises against — and the Arlington Ridge and Long Branch Creek neighborhoods seem to be particularly popular spots for the creatures.

“Snapping turtles mate from April [to] November and travel extensively on land when laying eggs and looking for [a] new habitat,” Toussaint wrote in an email. “Army Navy Drive [and]28th Street seems to be a very specifically popular areas for them, as we have yearly calls for service for snapping turtles in the roadway injured or needing assistance ranging back as far as 2013. Most of our snapping turtle calls in Arlington come in June [through] July.”

Justin Covert, one of the people to discover the turtle, added that his girlfriend discovered another turtle in the park earlier this month, even though he’d “never seen a turtle around these parts until now.”

Should the turtle sightings continue, Toussaint wants to warn people that the reptiles have “very flexible necks, sharp long claws, a strong jaw and can act defensive when handled.”

While animal control officers may be best-suited to move the creatures off roadways, she advises that it’s “inappropriate to pick them up by their tails,” if any turtle seems in danger.

“Their weight needs to be supported and dragging them can cause cuts that can get infected,” Toussaint wrote.

Photo courtesy of Justin Covert

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Crime Report: South Arlington Residents Chase Off Burglar

Some South Arlington residents awoke to a man attempting to steal from their home early Monday morning (Aug. 20) before chasing him off, according to a county crime report.

Arlington police say the incident happened just before 4 a.m. Monday in a home on the 2700 block of S. Adams Street, in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood.

Investigators believe people living in the home “encountered an unknown suspect attempting to steal items of value” and then “yelled at the suspect, who then fled the scene in possession of the victims’ property prior to police arrival.”

Police say the investigation is still ongoing.

Full details from a crime report:

BURGLARY, 2018-08200029, 2700 block of S. Adams Street. At approximately 3:57 a.m. on August 20, police responded to the report of a burglary just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victims were awoken to noise inside their residence. When the victims went to investigate, they encountered an unknown suspect attempting to steal items of value. The victims yelled at the suspect who then fled the scene in possession of the victims’ property prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a heavy set male, with dark skin, chin-length dark hair, wearing a grey baseball hat and a dark colored short sleeve t-shirt. The investigation is ongoing.

And here are more highlights from the past week’s crime reports, including some we’ve already reported.

BURGLARY, 2018-08200212, 2100 block of N. Thomas Street. At approximately 4:21 p.m. on August 20, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary just discovered. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 8:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., an unknown suspect(s) forced entry to a residence and stole items of value. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

ROBBERY, 2018-08190195, 1800 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 6:00 p.m. on August 19, police were dispatched to the report that a large number of ATVs and dirt bikes had entered Arlington County. The riders arrived at a gas station in the 1800 block of Wilson Boulevard and allegedly began stealing merchandise. An employee was shoved by one of the suspects when he attempted to confront the group. In an attempt to prevent future thefts, the employee locked the doors of the business. Several suspects kicked the door, causing the glass to shatter. The suspects fled the area prior to police arrival with witnesses reporting observing ATV and dirt bike riders cross the Key Bridge into Washington, D.C. The investigation is ongoing.

WEAPONS VIOLATION, 2018-08150047, 1900 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 3:26 a.m. on August 15, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that following a verbal dispute with a food delivery driver, the suspect became irate and brandished a firearm. Warrants for Assault and Battery and Brandishing a Firearm were obtained for the suspect. The investigation is ongoing.

LARCENY FROM AUTO (APPREHENSION), 2018-08140005, 200 block of S. Adams Street. At approximately 12:30 a.m. on August 14, police responded to the report of vehicle tampering in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was inside his residence when he observed two suspects inside his vehicle. When the victim exited his residence and approached the vehicle, he observed three suspects flee on foot. A lookout was broadcast based upon the description provided by the victim and responding officers located the three individuals in the area matching the suspect descriptions. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspects entered approximately three additional vehicles in the area and stole items of value. Malique Harden, 18, of Suitland, Md.,  was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny, Tampering with a Vehicle (x2), Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (x2) and Possession of Marijuana. Petitions were sought for Tampering with a Vehicle, Possession of Marijuana and Grand Larceny for the two juvenile suspects.

BURGLARY (late), 2018-08140252, 1200 block of N. Rolfe Street. At approximately 9:41 p.m. on August 14, police were dispatched to the late report of breaking and entering. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 3:40 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., an unknown suspect(s) forced entry to a residence, causing damage. Nothing was reported stolen from the residence. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

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Morning Notes

DHS Official Charged With Beating Wife in Arlington — A “senior career official with the Department of Homeland Security who… handles a ‘high volume’ of classified information in his role as an intelligence briefer,” served jail time after a 2016 incident in Arlington in which he was charged with assaulting his wife, breaking two ribs and causing bruising around her neck. [Washington Post]

Anti-DUI Event at Shamrock Crawl Tomorrow — The Arlington County Police Department will hold a St. Patrick’s Day-themed anti-DUI event dubbed “Don’t Press Your Luck” in Clarendon tomorrow (Saturday). The event will coincide with the planned Shamrock Crawl bar crawl. [Arlington County]

More on Wakefield’s Championship Run — But for a great defensive play by Varina, the Wakefield High School boys basketball team might have emerged victorious from yesterday’s state championship game in Richmond. [Washington Post]

Arlington to Co-Star in Travel Video — Arlington County has received grant funding that will help pay for its share of a new Virginia tourism video that will also feature Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Loudoun County, Richmond and Staunton. [Arlington County]

Long Branch Creek Profiled — “A mostly residential section of south Arlington, Long Branch Creek is a diverse community where almost 75 percent of residents are renters. In addition, there are condominium buildings, townhouses, duplexes and one single-family home.” [Washington Post]

Fire Station History to Be Recognized — Last month Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz established a “Fire Station No. 8 History and Legacy (FS8HL) Working Group,” to record and celebrate the history of the first Arlington fire station staffed by African Americans. [Arlington County]

Kanninen Gets Democratic School Board Nod — “An Arlington County Democratic Committee School Board caucus? Fuggedaboutit. Incumbent School Board Chairman Barbara Kanninen was the lone candidate to file to run in the caucus, which had been slated for several days in May. With no opposition bubbling up, the caucus was nixed.” [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Rex Block

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Board to Consider $5.3 Million in Neighborhood Improvement Projects

The Arlington County Board on Saturday is expected to consider five neighborhood improvement projects with a cumulative price tag of $5.3 million.

The projects have been advanced by a county committee via Arlington’s Neighborhood Conservation Program, which encourages neighborhoods to apply for funding for various types of local improvements.

The projects set for approval are:

  •  A new neighborhood sign for Long Branch Creek ($12,500)
  • Street improvements and new streetlights along 31st Street S. in Fairlington, between S. Randolph and Woodrow Streets ($1.7 million)
  • New streetlights on S. Oak, Ode and Orme Streets in Foxcroft Heights ($562,704)
  • Intersection improvements along 2nd Street S. at S. Wayne, Uhle and Wise Streets in Penrose ($1.6 million)
  • Street improvements along N. George Mason Drive between 11th Street N. and I-66 in Waycroft-Woodlawn ($1.4 million)

The County Board is expected to vote on the Neighborhood Conservation projects at its Saturday meeting. The measure also includes an additional $200,000 for the county’s “Missing Link Program,” which funds the construction of small stretches of new sidewalk to connect existing sidewalks.

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Neighborhood Day Set For Saturday Across Arlington

Neighborhoods across the county are getting ready for Neighborhood Day, set to take place Saturday and feature a wide range of events and activities.

The day looks to bring together neighbors to strengthen bonds on blocks and across the county.

This year’s events are:

Jennie Dean Park Historical Markers Unveiling Ceremony
At noon, the park’s new historical markers will be unveiled, followed by a tour  of Arlington Food Assistance Center’s new office at 2708 S Nelson Street.

Seventh Annual Turtle Trot 5K Race
A chip-timed 5K race at Bluemont Park on a certified course. The race begins at 10 a.m.

International Migratory Bird Day Festival
From 9-11 a.m., celebrate International Migratory Bird Day by learning about migratory birds such as hummingbirds and osprey with hands-on activities, games, crafts, bird walks and more. Meet at Lacey Woods Park Picnic Shelter, 1200 N. George Mason Drive.

Lee Highway Alliance Events
The Lee Highway Alliance is hosting three events to celebrate at Woodstock Park, Big Walnut Park and Langston-Brown Community Center.

Tuckahoe Home and Garden Tour
The self-guided Tuckahoe Home & Garden Tour showcases recently renovated Arlington homes that solve common space and design challenges through creative remodeling.

Fairlington Home and Garden Tour
Tour a variety of renovated homes and gardens in Fairlington Village. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased in advance or on the day.

Remove Invasive Plants
Increase native species diversity by helping with the return of ferns and wildflowers, and the animals that depend on them, in areas once covered in destructive invasive plants. The Gulf Branch Nature Center will host the event from 2-4 p.m.

Zumbathon
Join Enrique and special guest Mimi in a two-hour zumbathon from noon-2 p.m. at Penrose Square.

Tara-Leeway Heights Community Day
From 1-3 p.m. at Big Walnut Park, the Tara-Leeway Heights community will host an event complete with food vendors, games and more.

LBCCA Celebration and Movie Night Series Kick-Off
The Long Branch Creek Civic Association will bring the community together to celebrate from 5-9 p.m. at Troy Park. The event will include a moon bounce, games and activities, potluck dinner, snacks, beverages and an outdoor movie screening.

Ashton Heights Neighborhood Yard Sale
From 8 a.m.-noon, visit the Ashton Heights neighborhood for a community-wide yard sale.

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Suspect Sought in Bumbling Burglary Spree

Police car (file photo)Arlington County Police are trying to find the man responsible for a series of four burglaries or attempted burglaries in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood, near Pentagon City.

A crime report (below) details the overnight burglary and break-in spree, during which the man accidentally woke up two residents while inside their homes and, at one point, apparently cut himself badly enough while trying to cut through a screen door that he left a blood trail.

The suspect did manage to steal “numerous items of value” in the process.

From an ACPD crime report:

BURGLARY(series), 2016-11160038, 1400 block of S. 28th Street. Between 3:15 a.m. and 3:20 a.m. on November 16, a male victim was awoken and discovered an unknown male subject inside his residence. The male victim confronted the suspect and the suspect fled the residence on foot causing the victim to contact police. Numerous items of value were reported stolen.

At approximately 3:23 a.m. on November 16, officers responded to the 2800 block of S. Meade Street for the report of a burglary in progress. A female victim awoke to an unknown male subject in her residence causing the male subject to flee on foot. The victim then contacted police. No items appeared to be missing from the residence.

At approximately 9:43 a.m. on November 16, officers were dispatched to the 2800 block of S. Glebe Road for suspicious circumstances. The female victim discovered blood on her front door and two large holes in her window screen. No entry was made into the residence.

At approximately 9:00 a.m. on November 16, officers responded to the 1400 block of S. 28th Street for a late burglary. The female victim attempted to enter her apartment and discovered it was secured by a deadbolt. Once the victim was able to make entry she discovered numerous items of value were stolen from the residence.

The suspect is described as an unknown age black male, approximately 6’0″ tall and weighed 200-215 lbs. He was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt. Officers on scene determined the subject made entry into the residences through unlocked windows. Investigation is ongoing.

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Police: Man Finds Bullet Hole, Bullet in Home

Police car (file photo)A resident of Arlington’s Long Branch Creek neighborhood, near Pentagon City, found a bullet hole and a bullet inside his home last night, but it’s unclear from where it was fired.

The incident was reported around 10 p.m. on the 2400 block of 27th Court S. No injuries were reported.

From an Arlington County police crime report:

MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED DWELLING, 161019045, 2400 block of S. 27th Court. At approximately 10:00 p.m. on October 19, officers responded to the report of a late shots fired. Upon investigation, it was determined that a male victim found a bullet hole in the roof of a room inside his residence. A bullet was found on the floor nearby. A search of the residence and a check on the welfare were conducted in nearby residences. An origin of the bullet was unable to be located. The investigation is ongoing.

Separately, but around the same time, police responded to a report of someone shooting at people and homes with an airsoft gun in the Columbia Forest neighborhood, just north of Wakefield High School.

ATTEMPTED MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 161019048, 5200 block of S. 11th Street. At approximately 10:05 p.m. on October 19, an unknown subject(s) shot an air-soft firearm at a male victim and the surrounding houses in the neighborhood. The victim was uninjured and there was no damaged property found. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

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Morning Notes

Large plush bear outside of Kinder Haus Toys in Clarendon

Stratford School Designated Historic — The Arlington County Board has approved a historic designation for the Stratford School, the current home to the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program and the future home to a new middle school. In 1959, Stratford became the first public school in Virginia to be integrated, with four black seventh graders enrolling, thus marking the beginning of the end of school segregation in the Commonwealth. [Arlington County]

Fox Freed From Fence — A not-so-sly fox had to be freed by an Arlington animal control officer after getting its hind leg stuck in a chain link fence. The fox was uninjured. [Twitter]

Park Expansion, Land Donation Approved — The County Board last night approved the expansion of Benjamin Banneker Park, via the purchase of a 8,487-square-foot lot for $637,500. The Board also accepted the donation of 7,432 square feet of land adjacent to I-66 and a bike trail. Hitt Contracting, Inc. donated the land after figuring out that zoning restrictions prevented the company from developing it. [Arlington County]

Preservationists Worried About Tear-Downs — Local preservationists are worried about plan to tear down a number of older properties in the area of Minor’s Hill and replace them with new homes. However, it appears that the home builders will be able to proceed with their plans, as “Arlington County has no legal authority to delay or stop the demolition.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Long Branch Creek’s First Neighborhood Plan — The Long Branch Creek neighborhood, located near the Glebe Road onramp to I-395, has had its first-ever Neighborhood Conservation Plan approved by the Arlington County Board. The plan will allow the neighborhood to apply for neighborhood improvement projects. It calls for Long Branch Creek to become a “walkable urban village” while “preserving the livability and quiet, diverse character of the neighborhood.” [Arlington County]

Yorktown Student Auditions for Shark Tank — Among those auditioning for the ABC show Shark Tank at a recent casting call at 1776 in Crystal City was a 17-year-old Yorktown High School student, Zanab Farooq, who founded a custom mobile phone case company. [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

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Beer and Wine Likely Coming to Two S. Arlington Starbucks Stores

New Starbucks on Columbia Pike

Starbucks customers may be able to order a glass of wine with their Pumpkin Spice Lattes at two Arlington locations in the next few months.

Starbucks has filed liquor license applications for its new Penrose Square (2413 Columbia Pike) and Arlington Ridge Shopping Center (2925 S. Glebe Road) locations. If approved, the stores will be able to serve beer and wine, in addition to the coffee and tea drinks the company sells.

Starbucks is offering beer and wine at select stores as part of its new “Starbucks Evenings” service, which also includes small plates.

According to a sample menu, the coffee chain will sell various red, white and sparkling wines by the bottle and glass, as well as craft beers. Small plates include truffle mac and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates, chicken skewers and truffle popcorn. Menus vary by region.

License applications for the two stores are currently pending, according to the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.

Wine and beer will come to the Long Branch Creek location in “probably a few months,” said a supervisor at the store but she could not provide any additional information. USA Today reported in August that Starbucks is launching Starbucks Evenings at more than 2,000 of its 12,000+ U.S. stores, with many opening by the end of the year.

A Starbucks spokesman stopped short of confirming that the two South Arlington stores will in fact be serving beer and wine in the near future.

“Just as each customer is unique, so are our stores and we consider a broad range of products and experiences for each neighborhood,” said the spokeswoman. “And, as you’ve probably seen, we’re in the very early stages of considering our stores at 2413 Columbia Pike and 2925 S. Glebe Road for the Evenings menu. It’s a long and thoughtful process and the permit filing is just one of many steps we take.”

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Car, Restaurant Catch Fire Over Weekend

Arlington County firefighters battled blazes on Columbia Pike and in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood over the weekend.

On Saturday around 2:30 p.m. firefighters extinguished a car fire inside a parking garage on the 26oo block of S. Veitch Street, in Long Branch Creek. No one was hurt.

On Sunday evening firefighters battled flames inside a kitchen hood at the El Rancho Peruvian Chicken restaurant on the 3600 block of Columbia Pike. The fire was extinguished and the county fire marshal stayed on scene to investigate the incident, according to the fire department’s Twitter account.

This was the second fire at the chicken restaurant in about three years.

Photos courtesy @jbester and @Travis_Lane10

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UPDATED: Four Mile Run Water Main Break Leaves 150 Without Water

(Updated at 3:25 p.m.) A broken water main has filled a section of Four Mile Run Drive with water, causing emergency crews to shut down the road while it is undergoing repair.

The break is near the intersection of Four Mile Run Drive and S. Cleveland Street, near the intersection of S. Glebe Road and W. Glebe Road, I-395 and the Alexandria border.

Arlington County Police Department and fire crews are responding to the area. According to scanner traffic, there may be “multiple” breaks in a “pretty big line,” and it may affect water service in the area.

County Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Jessica Baxter said the line is 12 inches big and the break has affected about 150 customers in the area.

“Repairs will continue through the late evening and commuters are advised to avoid the area and seek alternate routes,” Baxter said.

Last winter, a 16-inch water main burst on S. Arlington Mill Drive in Shirlington, causing water pressure to be significantly affected in large swaths of the area, and causing Abingdon Elementary School and the Fairlington Community Center to close. Repairs to that line took more than 48 hours to complete.

As of noon, water was continuing to flow out of the break, but traffic on Glebe Road is moving through. The section of Four Mile Run Drive that is closed is not connected to the one that runs from Columbia Pike to the Weenie Beenie near Shirlington.

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Crime Report: Jewelry Stolen

Someone broke into an apartment in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood over the weekend and stole a “variety of expensive jewelry.”

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

BURGLARY, 08/24/13, 2600 block of S. Veitch Street. Between 7:45 pm on August 23 and 11:45 pm on August 24, a female victim noticed the screen of the window had been cut and her apartment had been broken into. A variety of expensive jewelry was stolen. There is no suspect(s) description.

Last Thursday, a man was punched in the face and had his cell phone stolen in the area of St. Thomas More Cathedral School.

ROBBERY, 08/22/13, 100 block of N. Thomas Street. At 3:25 pm on August 22, a victim was punched in the face and had his cell phone taken. The suspect fled the scene on foot and is described as a black male in his 20’s, approximately 5’7″ tall and 160 lbs. He had a neck tattoo as well as arm sleeve tattoos. He as wearing an army fatigue shirt, jeans and grey new balance sneakers.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump.

ROBBERY, 08/24/13, 800 block of N. Barton Street. Between 2:40 and 2:55 am on August 24, a victim was robbed of her cell phone after a brief struggle. The suspect fled the scene and is described as a Hispanic male in his 20’s, approximately 190 lbs and 5’11” tall. The suspect was wearing a white or light colored crewneck shirt at the time of the incident.

ROBBERY, 08/25/13, 4400 block of N. Wilson Street. At 1:00 am on August 25, two male subjects attempted to take a victim’s property, but were unsuccessful. The subjects then fled the scene. The subjects are described as black males both in their 20’s and both approximately 5’9″ tall. Both individuals had dreadlocks and one was wearing a black shirt and black shorts at the time of the incident.

INDECENT EXPOSURE, 08/20/13, 4800 block of S. Columbia Pike. At 6 pm on August 20, a subject was seen masturbating behind a shopping center while looking at children on a playground. Jose Sanchez, 56, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with indecent exposure. He was issued a secured bond.

INDECENT EXPOSURE, 08/21/13, 1500 block of N. Veitch Street. At 3:27 am on August 21, a subject exposed himself to police during a vandalism investigation. Paul Drayton Jr., 25, of Rockville, MD, was arrested and charged with indecent exposure.

GRAND LARCENY / POSSESSION OF BURGLARIOUS TOOLS, 08/22/13, 1600 block of S. Eads Street. At 2:57 am on August 22, an officer observed a subject riding a bicycle while pulling another bicycle alongside him in an area that has had a number of recent bike thefts. When the officer questioned the subject, he attempted to flee but was taken into custody after a brief struggle. The subject had in his possession a power grinder with numerous blades and admitted to stealing the Cannondale and Drossiger bicycles. Howard Montgomery, 47, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with grand larceny, larceny with intent to sell, possession of burglarious tools and obstruction of justice. He was held on no bond.

BURGLARY, 08/24/13, 6000 block of N. Wilson Blvd. Between 11:30 pm on August 23 and 3:30 am on August 24, an unknown subject(s) entered a residence and stole an iPad, Gateway laptop, and a black messenger style bag. There is no suspect(s) description.

BURGLARY, 08/24/13, 1800 block of S. 9th Street. Between 10 pm on August 23 and 11:22 am on August 24, a residence was broken into and a large number of electronic and personal items were stolen. There is no suspect(s) description.

STOLEN VEHICLES

08/20/13, VA TGURLS, 2011 Suzuki GSXR, White
4400 block of N. 4th Street

08/24/13, VA WYW-2238, 2012 Ford Fiesta, Black
1900 block of N. Cleveland Street

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