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Glebewood Man Pleads Guilty to Using Dark Web to Download Child Pornography

An Arlington man now faces up to two decades behind bars, after admitting to downloading child pornography from the dark web.

Federal prosecutors say 39-year-old Jon T. Wilkins, a former commercial bank executive, pleaded guilty today (Friday) to one count of “receiving child pornography.” A judge could now sentence him to anywhere between five and 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors allege that FBI agents discovered that Wilkins was active on “Playpen,” a dark web forum specializing in child pornography, back in 2015.

They then tracked Wilkins’ IP address to his home in a Glebewood neighborhood, and secured search warrants for his property. Investigators then found dozens of images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of preteen girls on computers belonging to Wilkins.

Prosecutors added in a news release that Wilkins “attempted to conceal his illegal behavior by utilizing Tor, a special web browser that permits access to the dark web while hiding browsing activity.” But agents still uncovered some of his browser history, according to an affidavit filed in federal court.

Wilkins is set for a sentencing hearing on April 5.

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Police Charge Dump Truck Driver Who Allegedly Struck Woman Pushing Stroller in Rosslyn Crosswalk

The driver of a dump truck who allegedly struck a woman pushing a stroller in a Rosslyn intersection yesterday (Thursday) is now facing criminal charges.

Arlington Police announced today (Friday) that they’re charging 63-year-old John Washington of Silver Spring, Maryland with reckless driving and failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk in connection with the crash.

The incident happened around the intersection of Lee Highway and Ft. Myer Drive around 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Police believe the woman was crossing the street with a child in a stroller when the truck driver struck her.

She was taken to the hospital with “serious but non-life threatening injuries,” though police say she was able to maneuver the stroller out of the way before the crash, and the child was not hurt.

Washington will face his first hearing on those charges on Monday (Dec. 17), according to county police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

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Here’s How Arlington First Responders Train to Handle ‘Active Shooter’ Scenarios

The call went out over a police radio channel shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday: there’s an active shooter at Washington-Lee High School, with multiple gunshot victims.

Luckily, this was just a drill, an exercise that police and dispatchers used to prepare should such a nightmare scenario ever play out in Arlington.

In fact, Arlington County Police say they have been actively training since 1999 to handle a school shooting or any such “active shooter” situation, an all-too-common occurrence that has traumatized communities across the country.

The department also formed a “Tactical Training Unit” in 2013 to put an increased focus on the issue, providing each patrol officer with a minimum of six “training days” each year, according to a county fact sheet on the issue.

“Patrol officers participate in ‘no-notice’ training three times per year,” the fact sheet says. “This training requires on-duty police officers and firefighters to respond to a mock training scenario and practice integrating police and fire/EMS response to incidents such as ‘Active Violence Events.'”

The police department also has a full-time officer assigned to the county’s “High Threat Response Program” to coordinate how first responders manage such incidents across Arlington’s various departments.

All Arlington Public Schools also conduct at least four “lockdown” drills each year, coordinating with each building’s school resource officers for each one. Those officers also work with APS staff on “tabletop exercises in preparation for emergency situations,” the fact sheet said.

File photo

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Morning Notes

Rolling Thunder to Coming to a Stop — The 2019 Rolling Thunder rally will be the group’s last Memorial Day rally in the D.C. area, organizers say. The rally has brought thousands of bikers, along with road closures and motorcycle noise, to Arlington over the past three decades. [Washington Post]

The Gritty Pre-History of Crystal City — “Before development flourished (the entrepreneurs offered bargain rates to federal agencies), the area ‘was a conglomeration of places that sold junk, used tires, a drive-in movie theater, a run-down ice skating rink, second-hand materials — it was very unattractive…’ The industrial area leading to the Potomac Yard railway tracks for decades was bordered by sketchy bar-rooms of the 19th-century Jackson City and National Airport’s precursor, Hoover Field.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Seasonal Pop-Ups at Pentagon City Mall — A trio of “seasonal pop-up shops” are opening at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City: Chukulata, a sweet shop selling crepes and other treats; PolarX Ornaments, selling holiday decor and personalized ornaments; and Trunk and Drawer, which “specializes in men’s fashionable undergarments as well as sleepwear, activewear and swimwear,” per a press release.

Stepped Up DUI Enforcement Underway — “To help spread the message about the dangers of drunk driving, the Arlington County Police Department is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to get drunk drivers off the roads and help save lives during the national high-visibility enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, which runs from December 13-31, 2018.” [Arlington County]

JBG Buying More Sites in ‘National Landing’ — “JBG Smith Properties has reached a deal to buy a development site across from Virginia Tech’s planned innovation campus in Alexandria, part of a larger strategy to acquire land in and around the National Landing area that includes Amazon.com Inc.’s new headquarters.” [Washington Business Journal]

Nearby: Old Town Getting Left Behind? — “The old guard of Alexandria, mainly in Old Town, has for decades wielded a sort of NIMBY clout and deployed ample financial resources to fight projects. The plans to activate Alexandria’s 8.6-acre waterfront were delayed for years due to community pushback and legal challenges… But fears that Alexandria will be left behind as competition intensifies with flashier destinations such as National Harbor and The Wharf are spurring change.” [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Michael Coffman

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BREAKING: Crystal City Building Evacuated Amid Widespread Bomb Threats

(Updated at 4 p.m.) An office building in Crystal City has been evacuated after a company inside reportedly received a bomb threat via email.

Police and firefighters were first dispatched to 1919 S. Eads Street for a report of a bomb threat around 2:15 p.m. Among the building’s tenants are the Consumer Technology Association and Inside Washington Publishers.

Shortly after the initial dispatch, it was reported that the fire alarm in the building was sounding and people were evacuating.

This is the second bomb threat to prompt an office evacuation in Crystal City so far this month.

Meanwhile, another emailed bomb threat has been reported at 4300 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, headquarters to energy company AES and home to other offices and retail businesses.

News outlets are reporting that “dozens” of bomb threats have been reported at news outlets and other businesses and institutions across the U.S., though the threats are not believed to be credible. The FBI is monitoring the situation, both in the D.C. area and nationwide.

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BREAKING: Dump Truck Injures Woman Pushing Stroller in Rosslyn

(Updated at 12:25 p.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a crash in Rosslyn involving a dump truck and a woman who was pushing a stroller.

The crash happened around 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Lee Highway and Ft. Myer Drive. According to a police spokeswoman, a female pedestrian was struck by a dump truck and suffered serious — but at this point non-life-threatening — injuries. The woman was pushing a stroller at the time but the child was not injured, police said.

The victim was rushed to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital. Detectives are on scene investigating, as is standard procedure for crashes involving very serious injuries.

All lanes of eastbound Lee Highway were previously blocked at N. Nash Street, but have since reopened. Police have moved the investigation onto N. Lynn Street, closing two lanes on that road. Major backups have been reported on the Key Bridge and Ft. Myer Drive approaching Rosslyn.

Road closures are expected to remain in place “for a significant amount of time” while officers investigate the cause of the crash, according to Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

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Morning Notes

Arrest Made in Rosslyn Stabbing — “Police identified the [stabbing] suspect as Isiah Hill, 61, of Washington D.C. and obtained warrants for Aggravated Malicious Wounding and Abduction. At approximately 2:15 p.m. on December 12, the U.S. Marshals Service, with the assistance of the Arlington County Police Department, took the suspect into custody in Washington, D.C.” [Arlington County]

Isabella Restaurants File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy — Embattled chef Mike Isabella’s restaurant group has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation. Barring a last-minute rescue, most of his restaurants, including Pepita, Yona, and Kapnos Taverna in Ballston, are likely to close by Dec. 27. [Washingtonian]

Home Sales Still Down in Arlington — “A total of 198 properties went to closing across the county in November… That’s down nearly 22 percent from a year before, coming on top of a 13-percent year-over-year drop in October sales. But year-over-year average sales prices were stable in two of the three segments of the market.” [InsideNova]

Another Big Metro Shutdown Planned — “Next summer’s shutdown of the Blue and Yellow lines south of Reagan National Airport will run from May 25 through Sept. 2, 2019. Additional Blue Line single-tracking between Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield is planned from Sept. 3 through Sept. 29.” [WTOP]

Video: Dogs and Santa in Shirlington — “About 100 dogs got their pictures taken with Santa Claus by a professional pet photographer at Dogma Gourmet Dog Bakery and Boutique in Arlington, Virginia. From large Golden Retrievers to pint-sized Chihuahuas, the pups were dressed for the holidays.” [Voice of America]

Photo courtesy Ray Villarreal

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Crime Report: Woman Arrested Following Weekend Brawl in Ballston

A Fairfax woman is now behind bars after police say she injured someone during a fight in Ballston this past weekend.

Arlington County Police say 46-year-old Huafang Cui started scuffling with someone around noon last Saturday (Dec. 8) along the 800 block of N. Randolph Street.

When officers arrived at the scene, they determined that Cui “threw an object at the victim, causing a laceration.” The victim was treated for minor injuries at the scene.

Police then arrested Cui and charged her with malicious wounding. She now faces a hearing in Arlington General District Court on Jan. 19.

More details from a county crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2018-12080128, 800 block of N. Randolph Street. At approximately 12:20 p.m. on December 8, police were dispatched to the report of a fight in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that a verbal dispute between known individuals escalated and became physical when the suspect allegedly threw an object at the victim, causing a laceration. The victim was treated by medics on-scene for minor injuries. Huafang Cui, 46, of Fairfax, Va., was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding. She was held on no bond.

And here are other highlights from the past week of crime reports, including some we’ve previously reported:

ATTEMPTED BURGLARY, 2018-12110240, 4100 block of 3rd Road N. At approximately 8:37 p.m. on December 11, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victims were inside their residence when they observed an unknown suspect allegedly attempting to force entry to their residence, causing damage. Upon being noticed by the victims, the suspect fled prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a male wearing a baseball hat. The investigation is ongoing.

ROBBERY, 2018-12100085, 3100 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 10:45 a.m. on December 10, an officer on routine patrol was flagged down by a citizen requesting assistance. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown male suspect entered a business and began selecting merchandise. When an employee noticed the suspect, she approached him and said she was calling 911. The suspect yelled at the employee and grabbed her cell phone out of her hand. The suspect dropped the merchandise outside the business before fleeing on foot with the victim’s cell phone. Warrants for Robbery and Preventing an Emergency Call are pending for the suspect.

ATTEMPTED BURGLARY (late), 2018-12100145, 1400 block of 12th Street N. At approximately 3:14 p.m. on December 9, police responded to the late report of breaking and entering. Upon arrival it was determined that between December 8 at 12:00 a.m. and December 10 at 2:56 p.m., an unknown suspect attempted to force entry to a building, causing damage. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

ASSAULT ON POLICE, 2018-12090212, 3600 block of 12th Street S. At approximately 8:53 p.m. on December 9, police were dispatched to the report of a highly intoxicated male with a child allegedly stumbling in the road. Witnesses directed arriving officers to a residence, where they located the male suspect inside. The male suspect disobeyed lawful commands to open the door. Officers forced entry to the residence and took the suspect into custody. While attempting to escort the suspect out of the residence, he actively resisted and refused to walk. As the officers carried him out, he kicked one officer multiple time. The officers regained control and secured the suspect in the cruiser successfully. Stuart Behrens, 45, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Abuse and Neglect of a Child, Assault on Police, and Obstruction of Justice.

RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE, 2018-12070299, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 9:06 p.m. on December 7, an officer on routine patrol was alerted to a License Plate Reader hit on a stolen vehicle parked in the area. Officers located the unoccupied vehicle and took two suspects into custody without incident as they returned to the vehicle. Jamall Walker, 31, of Washington D.C. was arrested and charged with Credit Card Theft and Buying or Receiving Stolen Goods. Anthony Campos, 29, of McKinleysville, Ca., was arrested and charged with Identity Theft and Possession of Marijuana.

BURGLARY, 2018-12060068, 5000 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 7:47 a.m. on December 6, police responded to the report of a burglary just discovered. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 7:00 p.m. on December 5 and 7:47 a.m. on December 6, an unknown suspect forced entry into a business and stole cash. The investigation is ongoing. There is no suspect(s) description.

BURGLARY, 2018-12060099, 5100 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 7:47 a.m. on December 6, while investigating the above listed burglary (2018-12060068), police located another business with damage to the front door. Upon investigation, it was determined that the suspect forced entry into the business and rummaged through items but nothing was reported stolen. The investigation is ongoing. There is no suspect(s) description.

DISORDERLY CONDUCT (Significant), 2018-12050138, 2900 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 12:30 p.m. on December 5, an officer investigating traffic hazards in the area determined they were related to a promotion at the Cheesecake Factory. While managing traffic, a call was dispatched for a fight in progress inside the restaurant. No active fight was located by arriving officers, however, they encountered a large crowd related to the promotion. The officers addressed the crowd and deescalated the tension related to the wait time. One subject amidst the crowd was allegedly disorderly and restaurant management requested he leave the premises. The subject refused to leave, did not comply with the lawful commands of officers, and actively resisted arrest. Following a brief struggle, the subject was successful taken into police custody. The subject was transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation. Prabhjot Singh, 19, of Burke, VA was charged with Disorderly Conduct and released on a Virginia Uniform Summons.

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Morning Notes

APS Adds Non-Binary Gender Option — “This school year, Arlington Public Schools added a new question on its form for students to indicate a designated gender, including male, female and ‘X.'” [DCist]

ACPD Has New Electronic Sign — “You may see a new electronic signboard around @ArlingtonVA thanks to JAG grant funds provided through the @TheJusticeDept! These signboards help ACPD share important public safety messaging around school zones, events and campaigns… The signboards also display motorists speed so remember to slow down and obey posted speed limits.” [Twitter]

Leak Prompts Early Morning Road Closure — “A water leak has been repaired after causing early morning traffic problems Wednesday in Arlington. The leak was reported along S. Arlington Ridge Road between 23rd St S. and the Interstate 395 Service road.” [Fox 5]

Jail Holds Holiday Party for Inmates’ Kids — “The Arlington County Detention Facility was transformed Tuesday night into the fictional town, Whoville, in anticipation of a few special visitors. Some children were given the opportunity to visit their incarcerated parents.” [WUSA 9]

Amazon News Roundup — Amazon is planning to bring a “Treasure Truck retail vehicle” to the D.C. area. One way to accommodate new HQ2 workers would be to upzone nearby residential neighborhoods like Aurora Highlands to the population density of Capital Hill or San Francisco’s Mission District. Prompted by Amazon’s arrival, George Mason University plans to build a new 400,000 square foot facility on its Virginia Square campus in Arlington to house the Institute for Digital Innovation, “a research enterprise for fields like data analytics, cybersecurity and defense.”

Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen

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UPDATED: Police Drag Man Out of Home After Alleged Drunken Conduct Around Child

(Updated at 5:15 p.m. on 12/12/18) An Arlington man is now facing several charges after he was allegedly spotted drunkenly stumbling in the road with a child, then fought with police officers who dragged him out of his home.

Arlington Police believe 45-year-old Stuart Behrens was “highly intoxicated” as he walked in the road along the 3600 block of 12th Street S. around 9 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 9).

Witnesses told police that he was walking with a child, before heading to a home in the Douglas Park neighborhood.

When officers arrived at the residence, police say Behrens refused to open the door. Officers forced their way inside, and as they attempted to arrest Behrens, “he actively resisted and refused to walk,” police say.

“As the officers carried him out, he kicked one officer multiple time[s],” the police said.

Police successfully managed to get him into a county cruiser, and subsequently charged Behrens with abuse and neglect of a child, assault on police, and obstruction of justice.

He’s now set for a hearing on those charges in Arlington General District Court on Jan. 16.

More details from an county crime report, which was updated after the original publication of this article.

ASSAULT ON POLICE, 2018-12090212, 3600 block of 12th Street S. At approximately 8:53 p.m. on December 9, police were dispatched to the report of a highly intoxicated male with a child stumbling in the road. Witnesses, who earlier observed the suspect allegedly passed out on the sidewalk, directed arriving officers to a residence where the male suspect was located inside. Despite repeated requests, the suspect refused to open the door and allow responding officers to check on the welfare of the child. While speaking to the suspect through a mailslot, officers observed him drop the child on the floor then walk up a steep set of stairs holding the child by the shirt. The suspect again refused lawful commands to open the door and allow officers to check on the welfare of the child. The officers forced entry into the residence, secured the child and took the suspect into custody. While attempting to escort the suspect out of the residence, he actively resisted and refused to walk. As the officers carried him out, he kicked one officer multiple time. The officers regained control and secured the suspect in the cruiser successfully. Stuart Behrens, 45, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Abuse and Neglect of a Child, Assault on Police, and Obstruction of Justice.

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ACPD Investigating Stabbing in Rosslyn

A woman was stabbed Saturday night on Fort Myer Drive, roughly between the Rosslyn Metro station and the Iwo Jima memorial, and police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect.

Police say the woman was stabbed by a man who approached her and then ran off, but the motive for the attack is unclear. She was rushed to a local hospital and is expected to be okay.

More from ACPD:

Arlington County Police are seeking the public’s assistance identifying a malicious wounding suspect captured on surveillance image.

At approximately 6:47 p.m. on December 8, police were dispatched to the 1600 block of Fort Myer Drive for the report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined the female victim was walking in the area when she was approached by an unknown male suspect. The suspect brandished a knife and stabbed the victim before fleeing the scene on foot. The victim was transported to an area hospital in stable condition.

The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’10” and weighing 160 pounds. He was wearing a long black trench coat and a white hat at the time of the incident.

Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact Detective G. Seibert of the Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4199 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers Hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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Morning Notes

ACPD Helps With Bush Funeral — Arlington County Police Department motor officers “had the honor of assisting with escorts” for the George H.W. Bush funeral yesterday. [Twitter]

Arlington County Named LGBTQ ‘All-Star’ — “For the third year in a row, Arlington has received national recognition for its protections of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community members. The County scored 92 out of 100 on the Municipal Equality Index (MEI)… because it scored at least an 85 despite being in a state without supportive state-level LGBTQ protections, the County also earned ‘all-star’ recognition.” [Arlington County]

Bikeshare Station Coming to Gravelly Point — A Capital Bikeshare station was being installed along the Mt. Vernon Trail at Gravelly Point Park yesterday. [Twitter]

County, Volunteers Planting Trees — “This fall alone, the Tree Stewards has planted about 300 trees. The group planned on planting 900, but the ice and snow in early November steered it a little off track. Arlington County contractors picked up the rest of the job.” [WDVM]

Flickr pool by Tom Mockler

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Crime Report: Two Men Arrested for Allegedly Stealing Tires Off Car Parked Near Clarendon

Two men are now facing charges after police say they stole the tires off a vehicle parked in a Clarendon neighborhood, then tried to install those tires on their own car.

Arlington Police said officers were called to the 2600 block of Franklin Road around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Dec. 4), after someone discovered their tires and rims had been stolen.

The street is just behind the Buck & Associates building and the National Capital Bank.

A short time later, police say they spotted two men matching a witness’s description “attempting to affix the tires to their vehicle” in the same vicinity.

They subsequently arrested them and identified them as 27-year-old Victor Flores of Woodbridge and 22-year-old Jafet Herrera of Triangle.

Flores is now charged with grand larceny, theft of motor vehicle parts, marijuana possession and public drunkenness. Herrera is charged with grand larceny, theft of motor vehicle parts and marijuana possession.

Full details from a county crime report:

GRAND LARCENY (Significant), 2018-12040262, 2600 block of Franklin Road. At approximately 10:27 p.m. on December 4, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the reporting party heard noise outside and allegedly observed two male suspects remove tires and rims from the victim’s parked vehicle. The suspects fled in a vehicle prior to police arrival. A lookout was broadcast and two suspects matching the description provided were located in the area attempting to affix the tires to their vehicle. Jafet Herrera, 22, of Triangle, Va., was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny: Theft of Motor Vehicle Parts and Possession of Marijuana. Victor Flores, 27, of Woodbridge, Va., was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny: Theft of Motor Vehicle Parts, Possession of Marijuana and Drunk in Public.

And here are other highlights from the past week of crime reports:

ROBBERY, 2018-12030165, S. Walter Reed Drive at Columbia Pike. At approximately 3:23 p.m. on December 3, police were dispatched to the late report of a robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 11:00 p.m. on December 2, the victim was walking in the area when she was approached by an unknown male suspect who attempted to engage her in conversation. The suspect then grabbed the victim’s purse, attempting to pull it away unsuccessfully before brandishing a knife and cutting it away from the victim. The suspect then fled with the victim’s purse. The suspect is described as a black male with a medium complexion, approximately 5’3″, 35 years old, 170-180 lbs., with a stocky build, a mustache, semi-curly hair, and wearing a black jacket. The investigation is ongoing.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2018-12020183, 3100 block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 6:44 p.m. on December 2, police were dispatched to the report of possible shots fired in the area. The investigation determined that the victim was walking in the area when he approached an unknown suspect and asked where he could locate a ride. A verbal altercation ensued, which escalated into physical violence resulting in the stabbing of the victim. The victim ran from the scene and was located in the City of Alexandria by Alexandria Police. He was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The suspect is described as a male with long hair. The investigation is ongoing

RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE, 2018-11300191, I-395 SB at Route 110. At approximately 3:23 p.m. on November 30, an officer on routine patrol was alerted to a License Plate Reader hit on a stolen vehicle. With the assistance of additional arriving units, the officer initiated a traffic stop and the suspect was taken into custody without incident. Antoine Hunter, 25, of Washington, D.C. was arrested and  charged with Buying or Receiving Stolen Goods, Possession of a Schedule IV Controlled Substance and No Drivers License.

BURGLARY (late), 2018-11300093, 4500 block of Carlin Springs Road. At approximately 10:00 a.m. on November 30, police were dispatched to the late report of a burglary. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on November 29, a known suspect forced entry to a residence and stole items of value. The investigation is ongoing.

BURGLARY (late), 2018-11290171, 1300 block of S. Scott Street. At approximately 2:18 p.m. on November 29, police responded to the late report of a breaking and entering. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 6:00 p.m. on November 28 and 8:00 a.m. on November 29, an unknown suspect(s) forced entry into a business and stole items of value. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

ROBBERY, 2018-11280203, 200 block of S. Carlin Springs Road. At approximately 4:04 p.m. on November 28, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery by force. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim and two suspects met for the pre-arranged sale of goods. The victim provided one suspect with the item for sale and requested payment, at which point the suspects fled. The victim ran after the suspects for a brief period, until the suspect threatened him. Suspect One is described as a white Hispanic male, approximately 5’2″, wearing a red zip-up coat and carrying a black book bag. Suspect Two is described as a white Hispanic male, wearing a gray zip-up jacket. The investigation is ongoing.

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UPDATED: Large Crowd Reported at Clarendon Cheesecake Factory Amid Free Cheesecake Promotion

(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Arlington County police and medics have responded to Clarendon after a promotion for free cheesecake got out of control.

Police were called to the area of the Cheesecake Factory at 2900 Clarendon Blvd earlier today for a report of a large crowd and heavy traffic in the area. Around 1 p.m., another dispatch went out for a fight in progress at the restaurant, though officers did not find an active fight when they arrived.

The culprit: the Cheesecake Factory is giving away free slices of cheesecake in honor of its 40th anniversary, but only to those who order on Doordash. The result, according to an Arlington County Police spokeswoman: an unruly crowd of delivery drivers inside the restaurant, trying to pick up orders, and a rash of double parking around the Clarendon area.

The scene was “a little hectic” and officers were working to bring order and “calm the situation down,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow.com.

During the fracas, according to Savage, one person refused police commands to leave the restaurant and a struggle with officers ensued. That person was arrested and is expected to be charged with disorderly conduct, Savage said. He requested to be transported to a local hospital by medics for evaluation of possible injuries.

Here is what the Cheesecake Factory said about the promotion on its website:

In celebration of our 40th anniversary, on December 5th only starting at 11:30AM local time, we’re giving away 40,000 FREE slices* of cheesecake! Get a free slice* of cheesecake when you order delivery through DoorDash! Use promo code FREESLICE at checkout. Get it while you can because an offer this sweet won’t last long!

As an added bonus, DoorDash is offering $0 delivery fee** on all of The Cheesecake Factory delivery orders from December 5 – 11! No promo code needed!

There are social media reports that the promotion has caused chaotic scenes at other Cheesecake Factories across the country.

Later Wednesday afternoon, photos and video emerged on Twitter that appeared to show the arrest and some of the chaos inside the restaurant.

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Alleged Underwear Bandit Leads Would-Be Crime Fighter on Brief Chase

Geoff Collins was about to get lunch in Ballston on Friday when he witnessed what appeared to be a theft in progress.

A Macy’s employee was yelling at a man who had just run out of the store, carrying an arm-full of underwear. As the man crossed Wilson Blvd, Collins decided to give chase.

He never caught up to the man, but he did get a photo, which he emailed to ARLnow along with his story of what happened:

This morning around 11:40 a.m. on the 4300 block of Wilson Blvd in Ballston I witnessed a man running out of the Macy’s store carrying an arm full of men’s underwear. A store employee on her lunch break was screaming something in his direction as he ran across Wilson Blvd and up N. Taylor Street. I began pursuing him and took out my camera and yelled “hey, buddy” at which point he turned around for the attached photo. He immediately dropped the merchandise on the sidewalk and kept running toward Fairfax Drive. I picked up the merchandise, returned it to the store, and called the police. They came by about 10 minutes later and I filed a police report.

Collins said police took awhile to show up and get his side of the story. The officer never asked for the photo he took.

Police describe the incident as a “minor dispute.” No charges were filed.

“At approximately 11:49 a.m. on November 30, police were dispatched to the 700 block of N. Glebe Road for the report of a larceny just occurred,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The investigation determined this incident was a resolved minor dispute.”

Savage noted that police discourage residents from chasing alleged criminals through the streets.

“For your safety, citizens are not encouraged to chase suspects, however, they are encouraged to be active witnesses and report criminal activity to police at 703-558-2222 or 9-1-1 in an emergency,” she said. “Information provided to dispatch should include a suspect description, location, method and direction of travel.”

Photo courtesy Geoff Collins

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