A robbery attempt in the Penrose neighborhood did not go as planned, after the would-be victim reportedly grabbed and broke a suspect’s replica handgun.
That’s according to scanner traffic and an Arlington County Police Department crime report today.
The incident happened Sunday afternoon on the 2800 block of 8th Street S., two blocks north of the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive.
“At approximately 2:35 p.m. on March 5, police were dispatched to the report of an attempted robbery,” said the crime report. “Upon arrival, it was determined the male victim and two unknown suspects arrived at this location for the prearranged sale of a computer. The suspects showed the victim the computer before brandishing what was later determined to be an air soft gun and demanding the victim’s money.”
“The victim handed the suspects cash and took control of the air soft gun,” the crime report continued. “The suspects then fled the scene on foot, dropping the money in the process. No injuries were reported.”
Scanner traffic at the time suggested that the black handgun, which looked like a Glock, broke when the victim snatched it away from the young suspect.
The suspects — described as in their teens or early 20s — showed up to the sale wearing hoodies and masks, according to ACPD. The computer in question was described as a Mac in a police dispatch.
“The investigation is ongoing,” police said.
Hat tip to Alan Henney
A man has been arrested after allegedly robbing a gun store in Clarendon.
Police say the 22-year-old man, of an unknown address, stole a gun and ammunition from the store on the 2600 block of Wilson Blvd, which corresponds with the address of Nova Armory.
From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ROBBERY, 2023-03020128, 2600 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 1:34 p.m. on March 2, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined the suspect entered the business wearing a ski mask and was asked by store employees to remove it but did not comply with their requests. The suspect then allegedly selected a firearm and ammunition and began to exit the store. Employees tried to stop him, during which the suspect attempted to strike one of the employees before fleeing the scene with the stolen items. The suspect boarded a Metro Transit bus and responding officers stopped the bus, located the suspect on board and took him into custody. During a search of his belongings, officers recovered the stolen firearm and ammunition. [The suspect], 22, of an unknown address was arrested and charged with Robbery and Prohibition of Wearing of Masks in Certain Places. He has held without bond.
The robbery suspect has the same name as a man who charged the suspect in the shooting death of his twin brother in a Pittsburgh courtroom last year.
In December, a man in his early 20s tried unsuccessfully to steal a gun from Nova Armory. The gun was recovered after the store manager chased him down, but the suspect managed to get away.
Carjackings appear to be rising again in Arlington and across the D.C. area.
An uptick between 2019 and 2020 spurred Arlington County Police Department to focus prevention efforts on robbery, burglary and destruction of property incidents. Increased enforcement in 2021 resulted in fewer carjackings, after ACPD made two significant carjacking arrests, per ACPD’s 2021 annual report.
“The combination of the collaboration and the education and proactive work that ACPD did reduce the carjackings and then reduced the stealing of cars in general,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, who participated in a regional effort to crack down on carjackings during that time. “With that reduction, less collaboration was needed, but we are working together to make sure that we’re doing the same coordination as before with other jurisdictions.”
But now the crime — in which a person steals a victim’s car by force, threat or intimidation — seems to be ticking up again, with five carjackings in January 2023 compared to zero carjackings in January 2022 and 14 throughout the 2022 calendar year, according to stats provided by ACPD.
Meanwhile, across the river in D.C., one Arlingtonian was carjacked near Union Station and another resident’s Rolls Royce was stolen near Logan Circle, according to police reports.
Dehghani-Tafti said the social science data shows the certainty of being caught is the strongest deterrent from people committing crimes, but deterrence can be harder with carjacking.
“These can be hard crimes to solve because people get away so fast and cars change hands so quickly, they take a lot of collaboration and coordination and proactive action,” she said.
Law enforcement and the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney say they’re devoting more resources to combat these crimes.
ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage says the department “continues to deploy increased police resources, to include both visible and non-visible assets, in Crystal City and the surrounding neighborhoods to address this crime trend.”
“The Arlington County Police Department remains a member of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force which coordinates on offenses such as carjackings,” she said. “As part of our ongoing investigative efforts into these incidents, detectives are working collaboratively with our regional law enforcement partners to share information, identify trends, apprehend suspects and hold them accountable for their actions.”
Dehghani-Tafti, meanwhile, is meeting with a division of Virginia State Police on vehicle thefts, generally.
Two units in the VSP Fairfax Division are “partnering to take a more concentrated and analytical look at vehicle thefts within the Northern Virginia region,” state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said. “This is not uncommon for state police to do, as we consistently look for ways to address any crime patterns that develop and identify ways to strategically address and resolve them.”
Of the five reported carjackings last month in Arlington, four were in the Crystal City and Pentagon City areas — where many such incidents were concentrated during the last spree — and three involved BMWs.
“In recent cases, carjacking suspects have generally approached victims as they were inside their idling parked vehicles, brandished a firearm and demanded the victim’s keys and property,” per an Arlington police press release, sent in response to the uptick. “In some cases, the suspects approach the victim by pulling alongside them in a vehicle, which is later determined to be stolen. Reported incidents in Arlington have generally involved multiple suspects.”
While some are threatened with guns, other victims are attacked when they exit their cars.
On Jan. 27, a Columbia Pike resident was exiting his car near Union Station in D.C. to let out an Uber customer when he was attacked and the attacker drove away in his car. The victim and another driver idling behind him chased the alleged carjacker for nearly a mile. Stuck behind a dump truck, the suspect reversed the stolen car and hit the pursuing car. The duo apprehended the suspect but ultimately let go, citing fear for their safety and a growing crowd, according to a Metropolitan Police Department incident report.
The car was later returned to the owner.
Arlington police issued the following safety tips for residents in response to the recent spate of carjackings.
- When inside your vehicle, keep your doors locked and windows up
- Exit your vehicle and continue to your destination promptly after parking
- Be aware of your surroundings when entering and exiting your vehicle
- Limit your use of devices that may distract you, such as cell phones and headphones
- Don’t leave items unattended or visible in your vehicle
One woman’s story
Some two-and-a-half years ago, then-Alexandria resident Lauren Brown was similarly attacked while waiting to turn left onto S. Glebe Road near the Harris Teeter in Potomac Yard. She told ARLnow her experience as a cautionary tale.
A group of 18-year-olds in a stolen car hit Brown. After pleading with her not to call the police — with whom she was already on the phone — they drove away. They returned, and one occupant hit her while the other got in her car and they drove away.
“It’s a really crazy thing what adrenaline does to your body,” she said. “I didn’t feel [the injury] until a few days later.”
Arlington police are investigating a violent robbery in the Lyon Park neighborhood last night.
The robbery happened around 11 p.m. on the 200 block of N. Wayne Street, in the area of the Washington and Lee Apartments, and resulted in gunfire and a serious injury.
“At approximately 11:07 p.m. on December 27, police were dispatched to the report of shots heard,” Arlington County police said today in a crime report. “Upon arrival, officers made contact with the victim who had sustained serious, non-life-threatening injuries and declined the treatment of medics. The investigation determined the victim was inside his residence when approximately three male suspects entered, physically assaulted him and stole his personal belongings, including a firearm, before fleeing the scene on foot.”
“During the course of the investigation, officers recovered evidence of a firearm being discharged and located property damage to the floor of the residential building,” the report continues. “There are no descriptions for the three suspects. The investigation is ongoing.”
The crime report does not specify who fired the gunshot nor the nature of the victim’s injuries.
Robbery at Pentagon City Mall — “1000 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 3:39 p.m. on November 22, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined the male suspect entered the business, allegedly concealed merchandise and attempted to leave without paying. The suspect was then confronted by two loss prevention officers, during which he attempted to push past them. A brief struggle ensued, and the suspect was detained by the loss prevention officers.” [ACPD]
Arrest in Arlington After D.C. Shooting — “A woman is injured after a man shot at her car on Interstate 295 in D.C. on Sunday, police say. The woman was driving on DC-295 at Exit 5C at about 1 a.m. when a man in a white truck with a California license plate shot at her car… Shortly after the incident, at about 1:15 a.m., a car that matched the suspects car’s description was pulled over in the 2300 block of 24th Road S in Arlington.” [NBC 4]
‘Project Winter Cheer’ Seeks Support — “Offender Aid and Restoration is seeking support for its ‘Project Winter Cheer’ initiative, which supports children and families impacted by incarceration during the holiday season… The program aims to provide each child with a $50 gift card, which will be presented along with a note from their parent letting them know that the gift is coming from them and wishing them love during the season.” [Sun Gazette]
It’s Monday — Mostly cloudy and breezy throughout the day. High of 54 and low of 41. Sunrise at 7:07 am and sunset at 4:49 pm. [Weather.gov]
Flickr pool photo by Jeff Vincent
A 24-year-old Texas woman was arrested after police say she stabbed someone she knew in Courthouse.
The incident happened Monday evening near county government headquarters, on the 2100 block of Clarendon Blvd, and followed a verbal dispute that escalated into a physical struggle.
The suspect has also been charged with robbery after allegedly taking the male victim’s phone and wallet.
From an Arlington County police crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2022-08290201, 2100 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 7:00 p.m. on August 29, police were dispatched to the report of an assault with weapon. The investigation determined that the known parties became involved in a verbal dispute, during which the suspect allegedly stole the male victim’s phone and wallet. A struggle ensued and the suspect stabbed the victim. The suspect fled the scene on foot and was later stopped in her vehicle by police. The suspect was taken into custody without incident. The suspect and victim were transported to area hospitals for injuries considered non-life threatening. [The suspect], 24, of Austin, TX was arrested and charged Malicious Wounding and Robbery. She was held without bond.
A man allegedly got mad and drew a gun when an employee at a local car wash asked him to move his vehicle.
The incident happened around 10:15 a.m. Tuesday at the Mr. Wash car wash on the 100 N. Glebe Road, according to scanner traffic. No one was hurt.
Police say they have since identified the suspect.
From today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
BRANDISHING, 2022-08160067, 100 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 10:16 a.m. on August 16, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing. Upon arrival, it was determined an employee of the business approached the suspect and requested he move his parked vehicle which was blocking other customers. A verbal dispute ensued, during which the suspect allegedly brandished a firearm before fleeing the scene in his vehicle. No injuries were reported. During the course of the investigation, officers identified the suspect and obtained a warrant for Brandishing a Firearm within 1,000 feet of a School. The investigation is ongoing.
Also Tuesday morning, a man allegedly robbed a 7-Eleven store in Virginia Square, assaulted an employee, and then went back into the store to steal more items.
ROBBERY, 2022-08160042, 3500 block of Fairfax Drive. At approximately 8:42 a.m. on August 16, police were dispatched to the report of a dispute in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined the unknown male suspect entered into the business, took several items off of the shelves and attempted to leave without paying. An employee confronted him, during which a verbal dispute ensued. Another employee attempted to intervene and the suspect struck him before leaving the business. The suspect quickly reentered the business, stole additional merchandise and fled the scene on foot. A lookout for the suspect was broadcast and officers canvassed the area yielding negative results. No injuries were reported.
That afternoon, another retail robbery led police on an ultimately futile search for the suspect, who is believed to have fled via Metro.
The robbery happened at the Costco store in Pentagon City.
“At approximately 12:54 p.m. on August 16, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery,” ACPD said. “The investigation determined the unknown male suspect was allegedly attempting to leave a business with unpaid merchandise when he was confronted by loss prevention.”
“A verbal dispute ensued, during which the suspect implied he had a knife before fleeing the scene with the stolen items,” the crime report continues. “The employees followed the suspect out of the business as he continued to verbally threaten them.”
The suspect was seen fleeing into the Pentagon City Metro station, but officers arrived at the platform just as a Blue Line train was departing, according to scanner traffic. That led to unsuccessful efforts to get Metro to stop the train at the Pentagon, at the Arlington Cemetery station, and finally in Rosslyn, per police radio traffic.
“A lookout for the suspect was broadcast and officers canvassed the surrounding area with negative results,” said the crime report.
A man accused of robbing a security guard in Courthouse was arrested in front of Arlington police headquarters Tuesday night.
The incident happened around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and started inside an office building lobby on the 2100 block of Clarendon Blvd. Arlington County government headquarters is the only office building on that exact block.
“The suspect was inside the lobby of an office building when the security guard informed him that the building was closed,” said an ACPD crime report. “A verbal dispute ensued, during which the suspect allegedly pushed the security guard to the ground and stole her flashlight before fleeing the scene on foot.”
The security guard followed the suspect a short distance and flagged down police on the 1400 block of N. Courthouse Road, the same block as ACPD headquarters. Officers “took [the suspect] into custody without incident.”
“The victim sustained minor injuries and declined the treatment of medics,” the crime report noted.
A police spokeswoman declined to confirm to ARLnow whether the alleged robbery happened inside the county government building.
“ACPD reports criminal incidents by block number as to not directly or indirectly identify victims and reporting parties,” said Ashley Savage.
The 38-year-old suspect, who has no fixed address, has been charged with robbery, police said. Court records show no prior criminal history in Arlington, though a man of the same name and age has been arrested several times in Rhode Island, records posted online show.
A man upset that he couldn’t buy alcohol before 6 a.m. allegedly stole it by force and then threw some of it at a store employee.
The incident happened around 5 a.m. Sunday, at the 7-Eleven at 2001 Clarendon Blvd in Courthouse.
An “unknown male suspect entered into the business and began selecting alcoholic beverages,” Arlington County police said in the department’s daily crime report. “An employee informed the suspect that the sale of alcohol could not be completed prior to 6:00 a.m., during which the suspect ignored him. Another employee attempted to intervene, during which the suspect pushed him and exited the store with the unpaid merchandise.”
“A short time later, the suspect returned and threw one of the stolen items at the employee before fleeing the scene in a vehicle,” the crime report continued. “No injuries were reported.”
The suspect fled in what was described in police radio traffic as a white Budget rental van. Police were unable to locate the van or the man, who was described as “a Black male, approximately 30-35 years old, 6’0″, wearing a yellow cap, white shirt, yellow shorts and white shoes.”
Photo via Google Maps
First Day of School Three Weeks Away –” It seems as if summer just started, but before you know it, the 2022-23 school year in Arlington will be starting. The first day of classes for Arlington Public Schools is Monday, Aug. 29.” [Patch]
Pet Adoptions Down Slightly — “The Animal Welfare League of Arlington reports that 2,444 cats, dogs and small animals were adopted from its shelter during the 12-month period ending June 30. That’s down slightly from the 2,587 in the preceding year, which may be a positive sign that things are calming down in the get-along-with-COVID world that is now being experienced.” [Sun Gazette]
Another Gun Seized at Airport — ” Transportation Security Administration officers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington stopped a Charlottesville man on Wednesday from bringing his loaded handgun onto a flight… The man told officials that he was in a rush to fly to Florida to attend a funeral and ‘forgot that he had his loaded gun with him,’ according to TSA.” [Patch]
Arlington Man Charged With Robbery — “The investigation determined the suspect entered into the business, selected a beverage and allegedly attempted to leave without paying. A female employee confronted the suspect, who ignored her and selected additional merchandise. The employee attempted to stop the suspect, during which he struck her before fleeing the scene on foot. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspect had stolen merchandise from an additional business.” [ACPD]
West Glebe Bridge Demolition — “After months of being closed, much of West Glebe Road Bridge has finally been torn down ahead of eventual reconstruction. Demolition started earlier this week and is expected to finish by the week of Sept. 5. Demolition work is expected to continue Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.” [ALXnow]
It’s Monday — Humid throughout the day. High of 91 and low of 76. Sunrise at 6:17 am and sunset at 8:13 pm. [Weather.gov]
A theft at a Pentagon City shopping center led to the suspects driving down a sidewalk, police say.
The alleged robbery happened Saturday evening on the block of S. Hayes Street that’s home to both the Pentagon Centre shopping center and the Pentagon City mall.
According to Arlington County police, a suspect seen removing security tags from merchandise left the store and started running when confronted by a security guard. He hopped in a car, with the assistance of a second suspect, and drove down the sidewalk, narrowly missing the security guard, before fleeing the area, police say.
More from today’s ACPD crime report, below.
ROBBERY, 2022-07230176, 1200 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 5:19 p.m. on July 23, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny that had just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined a loss prevention officer observed Suspect One allegedly remove security tags from merchandise before exiting the business with the stolen items. When the loss prevention officer confronted Suspect One, the suspect pushed him and ran outside to a parked vehicle. Suspect Two followed and provided the vehicle’s keys to Suspect One. Suspect One then fled in the vehicle, driving on the sidewalk and nearly striking the loss prevention officer in the process. Suspect Two fled the area on foot. A lookout for the suspects was broadcast and officers canvassed the area yielding negative results.