Press Club

Morning Notes

The entrance to the parking garage on 20th St. in Crystal City (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Jogger Robbed Near Rosslyn — “The victim was jogging in the area when the unknown male suspect approached, grabbed her by the arm and pushed her away while attempting to remove her cell phone from her hand. A brief struggle ensued, during which the suspect stole the victim’s cell phone before fleeing the scene in a white sedan. The victim sustained minor injuries and did not require the treatment of medics.” [ACPD]

JBG Announces Carbon Neutrality — “JBG Smith Properties, in its 2022 Environmental, Social and Governance report released Friday, said it achieved carbon neutrality across its 16.8 million-square-foot operating portfolio in 2021 as a result of its purchases of carbon offsets and renewable energy credits… More than 50% of the Bethesda-based firm’s holdings are located in Pentagon City, Crystal City and Potomac Yard, the area branded as National Landing.” [Washington Business Journal]

ACPD Motor Officer Is No. 1 — “Over the weekend, members of the Special Operations Section competed in the 2022 NOVA Motor Rodeo. Congratulations to all the participants including ACPD’s Corporal Maxwell who placed 1st in the Individual Slow Ride – Police Category!” [Twitter]

More Dangerous I-395 Driving — From public safety watcher Dave Statter: “This is a new one for #395cam: Driver gets halfway down Rt 110N ramp & decides that’s not where they want to to go. Watch what they do.” [Twitter]

It’s Tuesday — Possible light rain in the afternoon and evening. High of 66 and low of 57. Sunrise at 6:18 am and sunset at 7:57 pm. [Weather.gov]

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

A man was robbed in Rosslyn early Friday morning by a woman carrying a gun in a fanny pack.

The robbery happened around 3:45 a.m. along the 1600 block of 18th Street N., across from the H-B Woodlawn Secondary School building. The woman ran off with stolen cash but gave the victim his cell phone back after initially taking it, police say.

“The victim was inside the residential building when he was approached the unknown female suspect,” said an Arlington County Police Department crime report. “The suspect grabbed at the victim and stole his cell phone, during which the victim attempted to take it back and the suspect made verbally threatening statements and opened her fanny pack to reveal a firearm. The suspect stole money from the victim before returning his cell phone and fleeing the scene.”

The crime report noted that the suspect was “wearing a black head scarf, black jacket, burgundy fanny pack, gray pants and black sneakers.”

“The investigation is ongoing,” ACPD said.

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(Updated on 4/12/22) A man and two juveniles were taken into custody today after a robbery and a carjacking in Arlington, and a car chase on I-395.

The crime spree started around 1 a.m. Sunday, for a reported robbery and attempted carjacking near the Westin hotel in Ballston.

“At approximately 1:00 a.m. on April 10, police were dispatched to the 800 block of N. Glebe Road for the report of a robbery by force,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “The victim was inside his parked vehicle when the three unknown suspects approached. The suspects opened the vehicle’s doors, struck the [victim] and stole his wallet and credit cards. When the victim exited the vehicle, the suspects entered and attempted to steal the vehicle, however, it had become immobilized.”

“The suspects then fled the scene on foot,” Savage added. “The victim declined medical attention.”

Just a few minutes later, a block or so away from the original crime scene, the same three suspects carjacked two people inside a parked car.

“At approximately 1:03 a.m. on April 10, police were dispatched to N. Vermont Street at N. Tazewell Street for the report of a stolen vehicle,” Savage said. “Upon arrival, it was determined that the two victims were inside their parked vehicle when the three suspects approached, opened the driver’s door and demanded the victims exit. The suspects then fled the scene in the stolen vehicle.”

Three hours after that, Virginia State Police spotted the stolen vehicle on I-395 in Fairfax County and started to chase it.

“At approximately 4:00 a.m., officers were notified that Virginia State Police had initiated a pursuit of the vehicle on I-395 in Fairfax County,” said Savage. “Arlington officers joined the pursuit once it entered Arlington County. The driver disregarded all commands to stop and fled into Washington D.C.”

The chase was caught on camera by public safety watchdog Dave Statter, from his perch in Pentagon City.

The suspects were eventually able to elude police, but the carjacked vehicle was spotted again by D.C. police later Sunday morning.

According to multiple reports, three suspects were taken into custody after the vehicle crashed, following a chase through parts of D.C. and Prince George’s County. The reports also suggest that two other people were in the car at the time of the crash.

Savage confirmed that one adult suspect is facing multiple charges, while “petitions… are pending” for two juvenile suspects.

“The Metropolitan Police Department later located the stolen vehicle and detained the vehicle’s occupants,” Savage said. “As a result of the investigation, detectives obtained warrants for the adult suspect for Conspiracy to commit carjacking (x2), Carjacking (x2) and Robbery.”

The man was later identified by police as 21-year-old Laysohn Jones of Suitland, Maryland.

This was the third carjacking in Arlington over the past week, and the fourth so far this year. A total of eight carjackings were reported in 2021, according to ACPD.

The carjacking that happened this past Wednesday morning involved three suspects and took place near N. Glebe Road, just south of Ballston, in the Buckingham neighborhood.

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Overturned vehicle and police activity on the Spout Run entrance from the GW Parkway (Photo courtesy @airwolf782)

A vehicle possibly involved in a robbery in Georgetown has overturned on the GW Parkway.

The wreck happened around 3:15 p.m. in the northbound lanes of the Parkway, near Spout Run, leaving the vehicle on its roof.

Two occupants are out and said to be in police custody. An Arlington police K-9 unit was dispatched to the scene, initially to search for a person still believed to be on the run, though it’s unclear whether that is still the case.

Firefighters and medics, as well as police from several jurisdictions, are now on scene.

Public safety watcher Alan Henney reports that the people in custody are suspects in a robbery of an optical store in D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood. There have been a number of such robberies across the region in recent months, including at least two in Arlington.

The exit from the northbound GW Parkway to the Spout Run is currently closed as a result of the emergency activity.

Photo courtesy @airwolf782

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Visual Health optometrist in Clarendon (via Google Maps)

An optometrist office one block from the Clarendon Metro station was the latest apparent victim of a band of eyeglass bandits.

The robbery happened last night shortly after 6 p.m. at Visual Health (3012 Wilson Blvd). Police say a group of three suspects entered the store, grabbed handfuls of glasses, and ran to a getaway vehicle that then sped off.

From an Arlington County Police Department crime report today:

GRAND LARCENY (significant), 2022-02160206, 3000 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 6:13 p.m. on February 16, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery by force. Upon arrival, officers determined the incident was a grand larceny. The investigation determined that Suspect One entered into the business and began grabbing eyeglasses. A short time later, Suspects Two and Three entered into the business and also began grabbing eyeglasses. All three suspects then ran out of the business with the stolen merchandise and entered into a vehicle before fleeing the area. The three suspects are described as Black males, approximately 5’8″ – 5’10”. Suspect One was wearing all black clothing and a black ski mask. There is no clothing description for Suspects Two and Three. The suspect vehicle is described as a black sedan. The investigation is ongoing.

The suspect descriptions and modus operandi are similar to a group implicated in a series of smash-and-grab eyeglass heists around the region over the past month or so.

Among the half-dozen or more previous incidents was a $60,000 eyeglass theft from Arlington’s EyeSee Optique on Columbia Pike on Jan. 11; another eyeglass smash-and-grab at Bauer’s Optical, near Fairlington in Alexandria, on Jan. 20; and a Feb. 1 smash-and-grab at Village Eye Center in McLean.

“Based on the similar circumstances of the incidents, the Arlington cases are being investigated as a series,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “The investigation into these incidents is ongoing and Arlington detectives continue to collaborate with our regional law enforcement partners to identify crime trends in the region and apprehend suspects involved.”

The thieves are believed to be targeting eyeglasses due to their relatively small size and high resale value.

Photo via Google Maps

Arlington police nabbed suspects in pair of robberies in Crystal City over the weekend.

The first happened just before midnight at an unnamed business on the same block of 23rd Street S. in Crystal City as the 7-Eleven store.

Police say a woman entering a business confronted a group of teens who pushed past her. They in turn allegedly struck her and stole her purse. Three suspects, two young men and a juvenile, were later taken into custody.

More from an ACPD crime report:

ROBBERY, 2022-02040274, 400 block of 23rd Street S. At approximately 11:51 p.m. on February 4, police were dispatched to the report of a fight in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was walking into the business when the three unknown suspects exited the business and physically pushed past the victim. The victim confronted the suspects who then turned around and allegedly began striking the victim. The victim fell to the ground and the suspects continued to strike her before stealing her purse containing credit cards and personal items. The suspects then fled the scene on foot. The victim sustained minor, non-life threatening injuries and did not require the treatment of medics. A lookout was broadcast and the suspects were located in the area and taken into custody without incident.

The next morning, another robbery was reported in the area, this time on the 1500 block of Crystal Drive, across the street from the Crystal City water park.

Police say they arrested a 27-year-old man after he allegedly stole merchandise from a business, shoved an employee and tried to resist arrest when officers arrived on scene. From ACPD:

ROBBERY, 2022-02050089, 1500 block of Crystal Drive. At approximately 9:45 a.m. on February 5, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect entered into a business and allegedly began to conceal merchandise into a bag before walking towards the exit without paying. An employee confronted the suspect and asked that he return the items but the suspect pushed the employee and fled the scene on foot. Employees followed the suspect and pointed him out to arriving officers. The suspect disregarded the commands of the officers and actively resisted arrest. Following a brief struggle, the suspect was taken into custody. During a search incident to arrest, officers located a tool on his person and determined he had thrown additional tools on the ground as he fled from the business.

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Morning Notes

An artist paints inside Palette 22 in Shirlington (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Fallon Sings About Pentagon Chicken — “That stroke of social media brilliance was followed by even more exposure as ‘The Tonight Show’ host Jimmy Fallon wrote a song for the bold bird. It began with the lyrics ‘Are you just a clucker or an undercover spy?’ We do not expect the Pentagon to answer.” [WTOP, Twitter, Facebook]

WBJ Calls Out Crystal City Erasure — “On Jan. 18, JBG Smith Properties announced it has started construction on a pair of multifamily towers at 2000 and 2001 S. Bell St., a block south of the Crystal City Metro station. In, I dare say, the heart of Crystal City. But in that 750-word press release, “Crystal City” does not appear. Not once. ‘National Landing,’ meanwhile, appears seven times.” [Washington Business Journal]

More on School Mask Judge — “The Arlington judge who dealt a blow Friday to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order making masks optional in schools is married to an Arlington teacher, but attorneys for Youngkin (R) and the school boards did not believe she should have recused herself.” [Washington Post]

More On Eyeglass Smash and Grabs — “Five men with hoods and heavy coats cased the store for about five minutes, Abbasi said, then smashed open the display cases holding Cartier, Gucci and Dior glass frames and made off with about $60,000 worth of merchandise. Surveillance video shows the five bandits rapidly shoveling the high-dollar frames into plastic bags while Abbasi is yelling at them and calling police, leaving a patina of shattered glass chunks in their wake.” [Washington Post]

‘Mental Health Crisis’ at County Jail — “Sheriff Beth Arthur said the man, Paul Thompson, should not have been there, pointing out he had no criminal history. But she admits he did suffer from mental illness like most of the county’s inmates… Of the 280 current inmates, some 170 have mental health challenges; 66 of them are serious. Even the longtime sheriff wants to know why the county is ‘dumping these people in jail when they need serious care.'” [WTOP]

Metro Budget Meeting Tonight in Courthouse — “Beginning Monday, February 7, Metro will hold the first of three public hearings for people to weigh in on Metro’s Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget. Hearings will be held next week and will provide for both virtual and in person public participation options.” [WMATA]

Beyer Challenger Launches Primary Bid — “An intra-party challenger to U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th) kicked off her campaign Feb. 2 with a singular plea to Arlington Democrats. ‘Give me a chance,’ Victoria Virasingh asked during a kickoff speech… An Arlington native, Virasingh – who did not level any criticism at Beyer or even mention him by name in her remarks – said her goal was to create ‘a community that is rich and thriving and has opportunity for all of us.'” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Monday — A slight chance of snow and freezing rain today before 9 a.m., then a slight chance of rain and snow after that. Otherwise partly sunny, with a high near 45. Sunrise at 7:07 a.m. and sunset at 5:37 p.m. Mostly sunny tomorrow, with a high near 43. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Lonely job (Courtesy of Jeff Vincent/Flickr)

Columbia Pike Optician Robbed — “Security camera video captured the tense moments when a group of thieves robbed an Arlington County store owned by a man known in the community for his charity work… The five suspects take hammers to the cases and fill bags with Cartier, Dior and Gucci frames, about $60,000 of merchandise.” [NBC4]

Mail Delays Frustrate Residents — “Residents across the D.C. region have become increasingly frustrated over delays in mail deliveries, with last week’s snowstorms, a spike in coronavirus cases and long-standing problems with the U.S. Postal Service contributing to a breakdown in services… Arlington resident Diana Wahl said she received no mail between Dec. 27 and Jan. 9. She finally received some mail on Monday and Tuesday, but older mail.” [Washington Post]

Fmr. Local Prosecutor Joins New AG’s Office — “From the job title, it doesn’t look as if [former Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo] Stamos’s primary role is going to be to keep an eye on those prosecutors. But multi-tasking is the way of the world these days, and by picking her, Miyares certainly poked his thumb in the eye of some of the Northern Virginia chief prosecutors.” [Sun Gazette]

Some Local Libraries Closed — “Due to Covid-19 related staffing shortages, Cherrydale and Glencarlyn Libraries will be closed Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 13 – 16. All library locations are closed Monday, Jan. 17 for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.” [Arlington Public Library]

Winter Storm PSA from ACPD — From the Arlington County Police Department: “With the risk of another winter storm on the horizon, now is a good time to register for Arlington Alert to receive information on major emergencies, weather, traffic disruptions and transit delays in Arlington County.” [Twitter]

Arlington Loses Delegate on New Maps — “He’s been redistricted out of Arlington, but Del. Rip Sullivan said he will always consider the community a second political home.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Thursday — Today will have increasing clouds, with a high near 46. Sunrise at 7:25 a.m. and sunset at 5:09 p.m. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny, with a high near 44. North wind 8 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. [Weather.gov]

Photo courtesy of Jeff Vincent/Flickr

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For the second time in three days, a food delivery driver was robbed last week by a knife-wielding man in Westover. This time, however, an arrest was made.

The first incident, as previously reported, happened last Tuesday around noon, on the 5800 block of Washington Blvd in Westover.

“The victim was delivering food items to the suspect’s residence when the suspect opened the door and allegedly produced a knife and demanded that the victim leave the items,” an Arlington County Police Department crime report said. “The victim placed the items on the ground and left the scene before contacting dispatch. Warrants were obtained for the suspect. The investigation is ongoing.”

The second incident happened Thursday around dinner time, in much the same manner. From ACPD:

ROBBERY, 2021-12300151, 5800 block of Washington Boulevard. At approximately 6:40 p.m. on December 30, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was delivering food items to the suspect’s residence when the suspect opened the door and allegedly produced a box cutter and demanded that the victim leave the items. The victim placed the items down, exited the building and contacted police. Officers obtained warrants for Robbery and Defrauding a Restaurant for [The suspect], 36, of Arlington, VA.

It was not until Sunday, however, that officers went to arrest the man. A barricade situation and attempt to flee from police ensued.

“When officers attempted to serve the warrants at the suspect’s residence on January 2, he barricaded himself inside the apartment before attempting to flee out of a second story window,” said the crime report. “He was taken into custody and transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.”

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Arlington police have not had much of a holiday break.

An eventful weekend has given way to a busy week, with three additional notable incidents over the past couple of days, each involving knife-wielding suspects.

The first happened near Crystal City on Monday night, when police say a drunk man with a knife injured two people.

From an ACPD crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2021-12270168, 2900 block of S. Eads Street. At approximately 9:45 p.m. on December 27, police were dispatched to multiple reports of an individual armed with a knife attempting to enter a vehicle. Upon arrival, officers located the suspect and detained him without incident. The investigation determined that the victim observed the male suspect in the parking lot of a business with a knife in his hand. The victim entered his vehicle and was approached by the suspect, who allegedly struck the rear window with the knife. The suspect began to yell at the victim, then shattered two of the vehicle’s windows. The victim then exited his vehicle to find safety inside a nearby business, when the suspect approached and struck him in the face. The victim sustained minor injuries and later declined the treatment of medics. The suspect then approached another business in the 2800 block of S. Eads and attempted to gain entry. When he was refused entry by an employee, the suspect allegedly threatened him with the knife and continued to yell and act disorderly. While attempting to restrain the suspect with the help of an additional witness, the employee sustained minor lacerations that did not require the treatment of medics. [The suspect], 41, of Oxon Hill, Md., was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding (x2), Attempted Malicious Wounding, Destruction of Property, Attempted Carjacking, and Drunk in Public. He was held on no bond.

Then, just before noon on Tuesday, a person with a knife allegedly threatened a food delivery driver in Westover.

ROBBERY, 2021-12280065, 5800 block of Washington Boulevard. At approximately 11:56 a.m. on December 28, police were dispatched to the report of an assault just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was delivering food items to the suspect’s residence when the suspect opened the door and allegedly produced a knife and demanded that the victim leave the items. The victim placed the items on the ground and left the scene before contacting dispatch. Warrants were obtained for the suspect. The investigation is ongoing.

A motive for the first two incidents was not immediately clear.

Finally, last night an 18-year-old suspect was arrested after a fight that led police to surround a home in the Virginia Square area. Police say the suspect injured two officers while being taken into custody.

ASSAULT ON LAW ENFORCEMENT, 2021-12280160, 1400 block of N. Lincoln Street. At approximately 8:47 p.m. on December 28, police were dispatched to the report of an assault with a knife in progress. Upon arrival, officers heard noise consistent with an active fight occurring inside the residence, established a perimeter and gave commands for the occupants to exit. A short time later, the victim exited the home, followed by the suspect. Officers gave the suspect lawful commands and attempted to take him into custody, however, he began to act disorderly and fight officers, striking two officers multiple times. A brief struggle ensued, and the suspect was subsequently taken into custody without further incident. The two officers sustained minor injuries and did not require the treatment of medics. [The suspect], 18, of Fredericksburg, Va., was arrested and charged with Assault & Battery on Police (x2) and Obstruction of Justice. He was held without bond.

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Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall entrance (file photo)

A woman with kids in tow reportedly became enraged by unsatisfactory service at the Pentagon City Apple Store yesterday, leading her to assault an employee, kick an iPad and steal a phone.

The wild scene played out around 4:30 p.m. at Apple’s busy Pentagon City mall location.

“Upon arrival, it was determined that the female suspect allegedly became irate after being refused service by store management and began to act disorderly,” said an Arlington County Police Department crime report today. “The suspect allegedly struck the employee with a plastic toy firearm, knocked a tablet out of his hands and kicked it across the store, then stole a cell phone and accessories from them.”

Police radio traffic suggests that the woman had kids with her at the time. She left the store and drove off before officers could find her.

“The suspect fled on foot into the parking garage and left the scene in a vehicle,” the crime report said. “The victim sustained minor injuries that did not require medical treatment.”

The incident was classified as a robbery due to the items that were allegedly taken by force.

“The investigation is ongoing,” ACPD said.

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