Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Arlington Waiving Affordable Housing Loan Payments — “The Board approved allowing borrowers of County Multifamily Revolving Loan Funds the option of waiving their 2020 loan payments if they commit to using the money to address rent and vacancy losses and emergency needs that are associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.” [Arlington County]

County Delaying Purchase of Property Near Shirlington — “In order to keep their options open, the Arlington County Board will make another $175,000 payment to hold open the possibility of acquiring two parcels adjacent to the Arlington Cultural Affairs facility in the Four Mile Run corridor.” [InsideNova]

Masks Required at County Courthouse — “Beginning May 22, 2020, cloth facial coverings will be available for all people who do not have one as they enter the Arlington County Courthouse, Sheriff Beth Arthur announced. This comes after the Honorable Judge Newman, Arlington County Chief Judge, ordered that all patrons who enter the Courthouse will be required to wear a cloth face covering or face mask.” [Arlington County]

Chamber Supports Extra Outdoor Dining Space — “Allowing restaurants to use parking lots and street parking spaces for additional outdoor capacity, similar to how they have been allowed to reserve parking space for carryout patrons, will provide additional flexibility for socially distanced service. We also encourage the County to consider block closures where restaurants may set up tables on a pedestrianized right of way to expand overall capacity.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

Pair in Stolen SUV Crash into Parked Cars — “The victim’s Ford F-150 was parked when he observed the unknown suspect enter it and and drive away. An officer en route to the call for service observed the F-150 and a Toyota Land Cruiser in the area travelling at high rates of speed. The officer attempted to effect a traffic stop on the F-150, however, it the driver refused to stop and fled onto I-395 NB. The Land Cruiser, which had previously been reported stolen out of Arlington, was later located, unoccupied, after it crashed into multiple parked vehicles.” [Arlington County]

Fund Established for Gutshall’s Kids — “A memorial fund to support the education of the late County Board member Erik Gutshall’s children has been established… The fund was established by a ‘generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous.'” [InsideNova]

Nearby: Fairfax Parks Reopening — “The Park Authority has begun reopening of parking lots and parks in the park system to be open for the Memorial Day weekend. Park Authority staff will begin the process of clearing barricades and opening parking lots at all 427 parks for our community on Wednesday, May 20 through Friday, May 22. These parks will reopen for limited use in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines.” [Fairfax County]

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Four people were taken into police custody early Sunday morning after a license plate reader alerted an officer to a reported stolen vehicle.

The incident happened around midnight. Police say the driver of the stolen car took off after the officer attempted a traffic stop, then bailed out and fled on foot — along with three other vehicle occupants — near the intersection of 9th Street S. and S. Oakland Street, in the Alcova Heights neighborhood near Columbia Pike.

Police established a perimeter and the Fairfax County Police helicopter was called in to assist with the suspect search. Eventually, all four suspects were apprehended, including the alleged driver — who was found in the backseat of a car that tried to drive through the search area.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE, 2020-05020209, 9th Street S. at S. Oakland Street. At approximately 11:46 p.m. on May 2, an officer was alerted to an LPR hit on a vehicle previously reported stolen out of Washington, D.C. The officer attempted a traffic stop, however, the driver eluded. The driver eventually stopped the vehicle at 9th Street S. and S. Oakland Street and all four occupants fled on foot. Arriving officers apprehended three of the suspects. A perimeter was established and a helicopter responded to assist with the search for the outstanding suspect. A vehicle entered the perimeter with an individual in the rear seat matching the suspect description. The vehicle was stopped and the fourth suspect was apprehended without incident. Three of the occupants were released and charges are anticipated at a later date. The fourth suspect and alleged driver, Avery Robinson, was arrested and charged with Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle, Possession of a Concealed Weapon, Possession of Stolen Goods, Eluding and Obstruction of Justice. He was held on a secured bond.

Numerous locals noted the circling chopper and took to social media to ask what was going on.

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Arlington County Police are looking for a suspect that allegedly fled from a traffic stop in a stolen car early this morning.

Police say they responded to the 1500 block of S. Quincy Street around 2 a.m., for a report of someone tampering with cars. While checking around, an officer spotted a suspect in a stolen car near the intersection of N. George Mason Drive and Carlin Springs Road, southwest of Ballston.

Despite efforts to pull the vehicle over, the driver sped off and made a successful getaway. (Arlington police are generally not authorized to conduct vehicle chases, particularly for nonviolent crimes.)

The incident a months-long wave of vehicles being broken into. In February it was revealed that nearly 900 vehicle break-ins had been reported in Arlington since July 2019.

More from an ACPD crime report:

ELUDING (Significant), 2020-04270011, N. George Mason Drive at N. Carlin Springs Road. At approximately 2:00 a.m. on April 27, police were dispatched to the report of a possible tampering with auto in the 1500 block of S. Quincy Street. While checking the area, officers observed a dark colored sedan which was determined to have been reported stolen out of Manassas, Virginia. Officers attempted a traffic stop and the driver fled the scene at a high rate of speed. The investigation is ongoing.

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Morning Notes

Biden Wins Virginia — “Virginia voters have overwhelmingly given former Vice President Joe Biden a sizable win over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Tuesday’s primary election. According to unofficial state election returns, Biden has been called the winner of the state with 53.3 percent of what was a record primary turnout, and will capture the largest share of its 99 delegates.” [Patch, Washington Post]

Bernie Underperforms 2016 — In the two-way race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in 2016, Sanders captured 33% of the vote in Arlington. Yesterday, he received 19% of the vote, a close third to Elizabeth Warren at 20%.

FAA Taking Comments on DCA Noise — “After changing the routes for planes taking off from Reagan National Airport, in Arlington, Virginia, the Federal Aviation Administration is holding a public comment period. The comment period closes March 30. In an email, Libby Garvey, chair of the Arlington County Board, said that even if people in the community submitted earlier complaints, the FAA will not be officially considering them.” [WTOP]

Tafti Defends Changes at Prosecutor’s Office — “There’s this false critique that these reforms are making our communities less safe. We’ve been fed a story for decades that we have to incarcerate and have zero tolerance in order to be safe. More and more we are finding that harm reduction — for drug use, mental illness treatment, restorative justice — is more effective.” [Arlington Magazine]

Police: Two Arrested in Stolen Vehicle — “At approximately 2:40 p.m. on March 1, officers [in Pentagon City] were alerted to a license plate reader hit on a vehicle previously reported stolen out of Washington D.C. Officers observed two subjects walking away from the parked vehicle and conducted surveillance in the area. The subjects were taken into custody without incident as they returned to the vehicle… A search of the vehicle located suspected narcotics.” [Arlington County]

Chamber Cheers Tourism Tax Bill — “The Arlington Chamber of Commerce celebrates the General Assembly’s establishment of permanent funding for tourism promotion in Arlington. This 0.25 percent Transient Occupancy Tax surcharge on hotel rooms is used exclusively by Arlington Convention and Visitors Service… to grow travel and tourism in Arlington. Previously, the tax surcharge was enacted with a July 1, 2021 sunset” provision. [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

Bill Could Boost N. Va. Metro Funding — “Northern Virginia localities could soon have the ability to spend more money on Metro service increases after state lawmakers approved a bill that tinkers with the dedicated funding agreement for the transit agency… Virginia’s total financial contribution to Metro can’t increase by more than 3% each year, a condition designed to impose fiscal discipline on the agency. The bill from Del. Vivian Watts, D-Annandale would exempt any costs associated with service increases from that cap.” [Washington Business Journal]

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Arlington County Police are continuing their crackdown on thefts and robberies in Pentagon City parking garages.

Police have stepped up patrols in the area after a series of armed carjackings and other crimes in shopping center garages. On Saturday evening, those extra patrols may have helped stop a trio of alleged, would-be thieves.

Three juvenile suspects were taken into custody following a foot chase, after they were seen pulling on car door handles in a garage along Army Navy Drive, according to police. The address is in the area of both the mall and the Pentagon Row shopping center.

More from an ACPD crime report:

VEHICLE TAMPERING (Significant), 2020-02290159, 800 block of Army Navy Drive. At approximately 5:22 p.m. on February 29, police were dispatched to the report of a tampering with auto. Upon arrival, it was determined that a witness allegedly observed three suspects pulling on door handles of parked vehicles inside a garage. An arriving officer observed the suspects attempting to leave the scene in a stolen vehicle and activated his emergency equipment to stop the vehicle. Upon seeing police, the suspects fled from the vehicle on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, all three suspects were apprehended. Petitions are being sought for the juvenile suspects.

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Arlington County Police are investigating another series of vehicle break-ins.

In the latest incident, about 10 cars had windows smashed and airbags stolen in parts of south Arlington. The thefts were reported in the Columbia Forest and Shirlington areas early Saturday morning.

Police say they don’t have a suspect description and are continuing to investigate.

Vehicle break-ins have seemingly become a regular occurance in Arlington. Last week, the police department’s crime reports detailed more than 17 vehicles being broken into and at least one stolen, mostly in overnight crime sprees. On local listservs and in an email sent by a victim to ARLnow, some reported their vehicles being broken into via electronic means.

Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage said police are taking a number of steps in response, but still need the public’s help.

“ACPD officers proactively patrol Arlington’s neighborhoods to identify and prevent criminal activity,” Savage told ARLnow. “The department’s efforts are enhanced by the active involvement of residents. Residents are encouraged to report suspicious activity to police for investigation by calling 703-558-2222 or 9-1-1 in an emergency.”

“We also encourage residents to reduce the opportunity for crime by participating in the 9 P.M. Routine,” Savage added, referring to the department’s campaign to remind residents to lock their doors and remove valuables from their cars.

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Morning Notes

Stolen Car Leads to Arrests — Several people were arrested after fleeing a reported stolen car on foot in the Green Valley neighborhood Monday afternoon. At least one of those arrested was a juvenile, according to scanner traffic. [Twitter]

Group Lists Properties Set for Demolition — “Demolition permits for a total of 159 homes, plus a number of other properties, were approved by the Arlington County government in 2019, according to an analysis by Preservation Arlington… In addition to homes, three garden apartments, 11 commercial buildings, two civic buildings and several other structures also were being readied for razing.” [InsideNova]

Doorways CEO Departing — “Doorways announced today that the agency’s President and CEO, Caroline Jones, MSW, will be leaving the organization in February. Since 1978, Doorways has operated at the many intersections of homelessness, poverty, and intimate partner violence, responding to community members in crisis.” [Press Release]

ARLnow Needs You — Help ARLnow set the direction for our news coverage and offerings in 2020 by taking this quick 10-question survey. So far, the average survey-taker has spent about 3 minutes answering the questions. [SurveyMonkey]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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A small used car dealership on Lee Highway had nine vehicles stolen from the lot overnight, the latest in a string of thefts from local dealerships.

Workers at Car World, on the 3500 block of Lee Highway, discovered the thefts this morning.

“At approximately 9:17 a.m. on January 13, police were dispatched to the 3500 block of Lee Highway for the report of a grand larceny auto,” Arlington County Police confirmed to ARLnow. “Upon arrival, it was determined that unknown suspects forced entry into a business and stole nine vehicles. Police remain on scene investigating.”

Police say they believe there’s a connection to the theft of 12 vehicles from dealerships on Lee Highway, Wilson Blvd and Columbia Pike last month.

“Detectives are investigating today’s report as series with the earlier reported car burglaries,” said police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “ACPD has conducted crime prevention outreach at car dealerships in the County to encourage business owners to secure their properties and the keys to vehicles. Detectives continue to follow-up on investigative leads in the series but to best ensure the integrity of the ongoing case, we cannot provide more specific details.”

Photo via Google Maps

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For at least the second time this month, there has been a series of vehicle tamperings in a North Arlington neighborhood.

The latest series of incidents happened in the Donaldson Run neighborhood, after the previous series of vehicle break-ins in Dominion Hills.

Police say a car was stolen and at least two other vehicles were rummaged through between Sunday night and Monday morning, along the 3000 block of N. Stuart Street.

More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

VEHICLE TAMPERING (series), 2019-06240073, 3000 block of N. Stuart Street. At approximately 8:30 a.m. on June 24, police were dispatched to the report of a stolen vehicle. While investigating the stolen vehicle, it was determined that between 10:00 p.m. on June 23 and 8:30 a.m. on June 24, approximately two additional unlocked vehicles were entered and items items tampered with. Nothing of value was reported stolen. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

Police say residents should keep their cars locked and remove valuables after parking.

Below are the rest of the highlights from this week’s crime report, including some we’ve already reported.

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Morning Notes

Rescuers Searching for Vehicle in the Water — “A vehicle apparently went into the water Sunday night near Roosevelt Island in the Potomac River, and a search was still under way Monday morning, authorities said. The search was being conducted near the island’s parking lot, according to the D.C. Fire and EMS Department. A witness reported that the vehicle went into the water.” [Washington Post, Twitter]

Amazon Less Worried About HQ2 Housing Impact — “Amazon said its second headquarters in Arlington will not aggravate housing problems as much as the company has in Seattle because it will be able to plan for growth here in a way that it couldn’t in earlier years in its home base. Jay Carney, a senior vice president with the online retail giant, also said the company chose the Washington region for HQ2 and its 25,000 jobs partly because it is ‘a much more racially diverse area than the Pacific Northwest.'” [Washington Post]

Amazon’s Transformative Effect on Crystal City — “All of this points toward a vision of the future that was far-fetched even a few years ago: Crystal City as a place people would want to remain in after 5 p.m.” [Washingtonian]

County Had Cozy Emails with JBG Smith — “In a Dec. 6 email to Andy VanHorn, the executive vice president at JBG Smith Properties overseeing the development of Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters, Schwartz pledged open and unfettered access to a roster of key county officials charged with overseeing the various pieces of the approval process.” [Washington Business Journal]

Arlington Unemployment Rate: 2.1% — “Arlington will have to share the title of lowest jobless rate in Virginia for at least a month. With 150,932 county residents in the civilian workforce and 3,216 looking for jobs, Arlington’s unemployment rate for March stood at 2.1 percent, unchanged for a month before and tied with the adjacent city of Falls Church as lowest among the commonwealth’s 133 cities and counties.” [InsideNova]

Arlington Man Arrested After Police Chase — “An Arlington resident was arrested Thursday for allegedly stealing a Porsche and leading Fairfax County police on a chase through Tysons.” [Tysons Reporter]

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A vehicle that was stolen in Arlington was recovered after it was driven past a police cruiser with automatic license plate readers.

The car was stopped in the Nauck neighborhood around 1 a.m. this past Thursday and two of its occupants were arrested “without incident.”

More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE, 2018-04050007, 2200 block of S. Garfield Street. At approximately 1:05 a.m. on April 5, an officer on routine patrol was alerted to a License Plate Reader hit on a vehicle that had previously been reported stolen out of Arlington County. The officer initiated a traffic stop and two occupants of the vehicle were taken into custody without incident. Kevin Tate, 47, of Capitol Heights, MD, was arrested and charged with Buying/Receiving Stolen Goods, Giving False Identity to Law Enforcement Officer While Detained, and Driving with Suspended or Revoked License. He was held on no bond. Yvonne Elliott, 54 of Alexandria, VA, was arrested and charged with Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance. She was held on a secure bond.

The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

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