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Restaurants on the 1800 block of N. Moore Street (via Google Maps)

An opportunistic thief stole a car that was left parked and unlocked, with the key in the ignition, near the Rosslyn Metro station last night, police say.

It happened around 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, on the 1800 block of N. Moore Street. The crime was initially reported as a carjacking, and a description of the vehicle was broadcast to other local police departments, but officers later determined that the car was simply driven off and not taken forcibly.

The driver of the car was reportedly inside a restaurant — the block includes a McDonald’s, Bethesda Bagels, Nando’s Peri-Peri, and Happy Eatery (recently renamed after formerly being called Happy Endings Eatery) — when the theft occurred.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

GRAND LARCENY AUTO, 2021-12010223, 1800 block of N. Moore Street. At approximately 9:43 p.m. on December 1, police were dispatched to the report of a stolen vehicle. The investigation determined that at approximately 9:40 p.m., the victim parked his vehicle and left it unlocked with the key in the ignition and entered a restaurant. While inside, a witness observed the suspect enter the vehicle and drive away. The vehicle is described as a 2003 Silver Toyota Matrix XR with Maryland license plate 1DB6405. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

Photo via Google Maps. Hat tip to Alan Henney.

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A Connecticut man has been jailed after police say he stole items from two cars and then tried to run from officers.

The arrest happened early Monday morning in the Columbia Forest neighborhood, near Columbia Pike.

Officers initially responded after a man said his car was moved and a man was rummaging through it. The man brandished the gun as the car’s owner approached, according to police.

The suspect allegedly led arriving officers on a brief foot chase before being taken into custody.

More from an ACPD crime report:

WEAPONS VIOLATION, 2021-11290031, S. Frederick Street at 10th Street S. At approximately 3:19 a.m. on November 29, police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious person. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim had left his parked vehicle running and upon returning, discovered it had been stolen. The victim canvased the area of S. Frederick Street and 10th Street S. and located his vehicle parked and the male suspect rummaging through it. As the victim approached the vehicle, the suspect turned and allegedly brandished a handgun before fleeing the scene on foot. Arriving officers canvased the area and observed the suspect walking in the 900 block of S. Columbus Street. As officers attempted to speak with the suspect, he ran and a brief foot pursuit was initiated before he was taken into custody without incident. During the course of the investigation, a handgun, items belonging to the victim and items from a separate larceny from auto in the 5000 block of 10th Street S. were recovered. [The suspect], 21, of Norwich, Ct., was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny Auto, Brandishing a Firearm, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Larceny from Auto (x2), Vehicle Trespassing (x2). He was held on no bond.

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A D.C. man was arrested Monday after police say he was found in possession of a stolen car, a rifle and ammunition near Gunston Middle School.

The arrest was made Monday afternoon along 28th Road S., next to Gunston Park and within the school zone, but not on the actual school grounds.

“At approximately 4:01 p.m. on October 4, patrol officers were alerted to a vehicle reported stolen from Prince George’s County, MD, and initiated an investigation,” said an Arlington County Police Department crime report. “The suspect, who was working on another vehicle in front of the stolen vehicle, was detained and determined to have the keys for the stolen vehicle on his person.”

“During an inventory search of the vehicle, a rifle, magazine and ammunition were recovered,” the crime report continues.

Police say the 26-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with numerous crimes, including “Possession of Stolen Goods, Possession of a Firearm on School Grounds, Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Convicted Felon and Removing/Altering the Serial Numbers of a Firearm.”

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A driver in a car that was reported stolen tried to flee a traffic stop, and promptly crashed near Ballston, blocking a busy road.

The incident happened around 10 a.m. at the intersection of N. Glebe Road and N. Carlin Springs Road.

A police spokeswoman, citing preliminary information from the scene, said the driver crashed after officers tried to pull the vehicle over.

“Officers received an alert for a vehicle previously reported stolen. Officers located the vehicle, attempted a traffic stop and the suspect fled,” said ACPD’s Ashley Savage. “The suspect vehicle struck a light pole in the area of Glebe Road and Carlin Springs and became inoperable. The suspect attempted to flee on food but was taken into custody by officers.”

A light pole and pedestrian signal were felled by the crash on the southeastern side of the intersection. The fleeing driver also took out a metal garbage can, which — along with the light pole — were launched a distance down the Glebe Road sidewalk.

The southbound lanes of Glebe were blocked by police while officers arrested the driver and searched the vehicle for other occupants. The driver was evaluated for injuries by paramedics, according to scanner traffic.

At least one southbound lanes remains blocked due to the crash cleanup.

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(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Two more overnight car break-in sprees have been reported, this time in the Courthouse and Douglas Park areas.

Following some 18 cars being broken into in the Arlington Forest neighborhood early Monday morning, a thief of thieves struck early Tuesday morning along several blocks in the Courthouse area, just blocks from police headquarters.

Police say nine vehicles “were found to have had their door handles removed and the air bags stolen.”

More from the Arlington County Police Department:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (SERIES), 2021-08030034/08030041/08030057, 1800 block of N. Scott Street/1200 block of N. Scott Street/1300 block of N. Scott Street/1200 block of N. Taft Street. At approximately 5:30 a.m. on August 3, police were dispatched to the late report of a larceny from auto. The investigation revealed that in total, nine victim vehicles were found to have had their door handles removed and the air bags stolen. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

On Monday morning, another series of thefts was reported along S. Four Mile Run Drive near the Dept. of Motor Vehicles office.

Three cars were broken into, including one from which a cell phone and credit cards were stolen. A Honda Civic was also stolen from the area.

From ACPD:

LARCENY FROM AUTO/GRAND LARCENY AUTO (SERIES), 2021-08030065, 4100 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 8:33 a.m. on August 3, police were dispatched to the late report of a larceny. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 11:00 p.m. on August 2 and 8:00 a.m. on August 3, the unknown suspect(s) entered into and rummaged through approximately three vehicles and stole a cellphone, wallet and credit cards from one victim vehicle. During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that another victim vehicle was stolen from the area. The vehicle is described as a 2014 Honda Civic bearing VA license plate VXK8836. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

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The Arlington Forest neighborhood woke up Monday morning to find numerous cars were broken into overnight.

Cars on at least three blocks of the neighborhood near Route 50 were targeted by thieves, who opened doors and rummaged through the belongings inside, stealing cash. In all, around 18 vehicles were entered, according to the Arlington County Police Department.

Police are now searching for two suspects in the case. From an ACPD crime report:

LARCENY FROM AUTO/GRAND LARCENY AUTO (SERIES), 2021-08020041, 200 block of N. Edison Street / 5100 block of 1st Street N. / 200 block of N. Emerson Street. At approximately 5:02 a.m. on August 2, police were dispatched to the report of suspicious persons. Upon arrival, it was determined that the reporting party observed two unknown male suspects looking into parked vehicles. Arriving officers located a vehicle with open doors and items that had been rummaged through. A canvass of the area located approximately 18 vehicles which has been entered and rummaged through. Several victims reported an undisclosed amount of cash was stolen from their vehicles, as well as personal items displaced. During the course of the investigation, one victim vehicle was reported stolen but was subsequently located in the area and recovered. Suspect One is described as a Black male, approximately 5’10” tall with short hair and a long beard, wearing a white t-shirt. There is no description for Suspect Two. The investigation is ongoing.

Arlington experienced a rash of vehicle break-ins and thefts during the pandemic last year, though some arrests have since been made and — anecdotally, at least — such reports have become less frequent.

Also in Tuesday’s crime report, the police department noted a theft of a half-dozen motorized scooters from a scooter and motorcycle dealership in the Clarendon area.

GRAND LARCENY AUTO (SIGNIFICANT), 2021-08010105, 3200 block of 10th Street N. At approximately 10:19 a.m. on August 1, police were dispatched to the report of a grand larceny auto. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 11:20 p.m. on July 31 and 5:42 a.m. on August 1, three unknown suspects forced entry into the business and stole 6 motorized scooters. No other items were reported stolen or damaged. There are no suspect descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.

Morning Notes

High School Graduations Underway — “We are proud of the perseverance our seniors have shown this year. To honor them, we will hold in-person, outdoor events for the graduates of comprehensive high schools and programs, June 11 – June 18, on school grounds.” Wakefield and Washington-Liberty’s graduation ceremonies will be held today, and Yorktown’s will be held on Friday. [Arlington Public Schools]

Arlington Real Estate is Red Hot — “Homes that sold in Northern Virginia in May were on the market for an average of 13 days… In Arlington County, NVAR says sales are happening even faster. ‘When properties hit the market in May they were as good as sold the second they became active on the MLS,’ said Reggie Copeland, president-elect of NVAR and a principal broker at C.R. Copeland Real Estate.” [WTOP]

Twenty-Three ACPD Recruits Graduate — “Family, friends and colleagues gathered on Monday, June 14, 2021, to watch the Arlington County Police Department’s 23 newest officers graduate from Session 144 of the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy. During the graduation, the officers took their oath to serve and protect the Arlington community and safeguard the Constitutional rights of all.” [Arlington County]

Prosecutor Rides Along with ACPD — From Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti: “Good morning peeps. Up since 3am and out with ACPD auto detectives getting their in the trenches perspective on what’s happening with the car thefts, working together on investigations… Seriously, lock your doors please.” [Twitter]

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Thieves are continuing to prowl parts of Arlington for unlocked vehicles.

The most recently reported incidents happened in the early morning hours of this past Thursday, in the Rock Spring and Alcova Heights neighborhoods.

In Rock Spring, a group of suspects stole two vehicles — at least one of which was taken via a key found in another unlocked vehicle — and tried to break into a house.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

GRAND LARCENY AUTO / ATTEMPTED BURGLARY (series), 2021-06100036 / 06100047, 3400 block of N. Edison Street. At approximately 5:37 a.m. on June 10, police were dispatched to the report of a grand larceny auto just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 5:20 a.m., the victim was alerted to noises outside and exited his residence to see four vehicles idling in the street. One of the four vehicles was the victim’s 2011 Ford Explorer bearing VA license plate 745186, which the suspects had gained entry to through keys found in a nearby unlocked vehicle. The victim shouted in the direction of the four suspect vehicles and they fled the scene at a high rate of speed. The investigation determined that another one of the four vehicles, a 2013 Infiniti SUV bearing VA license plate XCM4640, had also been stolen earlier in the night from the 3400 block of N. Edison Street. While investigating the two stolen vehicles, it was discovered that four other vehicles in the area had been tampered with. During one of the tamperings, the suspects unsuccessfully attempted to use a key located inside a vehicle to gain entry into the victim’s residence. Suspect One is described as a male wearing dark clothing and tennis shoes at the time of the incident. There are no other suspect descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.

Also on Thursday, police responded to an incident in Alcova Heights in which at least four vehicles were broken into and an unlocked Mercedes was stolen from a home’s garage.

LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 2021-06100069, 3500 block of 8th Street S. At approximately 9:30 a.m. on June 10, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined that the unknown suspect(s) entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle and rummaged through it. No items were reported stolen. During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the suspect(s) entered and tampered with three other vehicles in the area and attempted to enter an additional three vehicles. While investigating the tamperings, a witness flagged down an officer and stated that a vehicle had been stolen from a residence in the 3500 block of 6th Street S. Officers made contact with the owner of the vehicle and it was determined that the suspect(s) entered the victim’s garage and located the unlocked vehicle, a 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC bearing VA license plate UKT2082, with the keys inside. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

Last week ACPD said it had “increased police resources” in response to a spate of home burglaries north of I-66, in which thieves found keys in unlocked vehicles and used them to steal items from homes.

The police department continues to encourage residents to lock their homes and vehicles, and to keep valuables out of view. Arlington has experienced a wave of crimes of opportunity involving unlocked and unattended vehicles over the past year or so.

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Map of vehicle theft series in North Arlington (courtesy ACPD)

Thieves are prowling Arlington neighborhoods north of I-66 at night, looking for easy theft targets, according to police.

In a press release Tuesday afternoon, Arlington police said they’ve seen a rise in home and vehicle thefts that occur overnight when suspects find garage door openers in unlocked cars. The department said its started assigning additional officers to the area last week and arrested a group of suspects on the first night of deployment.

The police department is encouraging residents to lock their homes and vehicles, and to keep valuables out of view.

The full ACPD press release is below below.

The Arlington County Police Department is deploying increased police resources, to include both visible and non-visible assets, to address an increase in residential burglaries connected to larcenies from auto and resulting in auto thefts. Since February, police have investigated five reports of suspects entering garages through garage door openers found in unlocked vehicles or open garage doors and stealing vehicles from the property. In three of the cases, the suspects entered occupied residences connected to the garages, rummaged through items and stole personal property. Additionally, police have investigated two incidents where the suspect forced entry by smashing a window to the residence and stole a vehicle from the property. These incidents have occurred in residential neighborhoods north of I-66.

Arrest Made on First Night of Deployment of Additional Resources

At approximately 3:32 a.m. on June 4, an officer observed a group of suspects trying door handles of parked vehicles in the 1900 block of N. George Mason Drive. Upon seeing the officer, the group separated and ran from the area. The Emergency Communications Center then broadcast the report of a tampering in progress and officers began to saturate the area. Responding officers located a vehicle stopped in the 5000 block of Lee Highway attempting to pick up an unknown male who then fled once he saw police. The two occupants of the stopped vehicle were detained. As officers were conducting their investigation, a black Honda Civic drove past them at a high rate of speed, nearly striking their parked marked police vehicles with emergency lights activated. The unoccupied Civic, which was later determined to be stolen from Fairfax County, was located crashed near N. George Mason Drive and N. Florida Street. Officers continued to search the area and three additional suspects were located and detained. As a result of the criminal investigation by Detectives assigned to the Property Crimes Unit, one juvenile suspect was arrested and charged with Felony Eluding, Grand Larceny Auto and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony. The investigation into this incident is ongoing and charges are pending against three additional suspects.

Method of Theft

Larcenies from auto and vehicle thefts are often crimes of opportunity with suspects taking advantage of unsecured doors and windows to steal items left unattended or out in plain view. Based on surveillance video, witness accounts, interviews with victims and interviews with suspects apprehended in past cases, the evidence suggests that multiple suspects work together, often using a stolen vehicle, to travel into residential neighborhoods and try door handles of parked vehicles. The suspects will enter vehicles that are found to be unlocked, rummage through items and steal vehicles with accessible spare keys and fobs. In recent cases, suspects have also entered garages that have been left open or when a garage door opener is located inside an unlocked vehicle. Once inside the garage, suspects have entered occupied residences through unlocked doors and stolen personal property from the victims.

When and Where Thefts Occur

While recent cases tied to residential burglaries have occurred in neighborhoods north of I-66, larcenies from auto and vehicle thefts have been reported in nearly all neighborhoods across Arlington County, typically during the overnight and early morning hours and can occur on any day of the week. Suspects will often commit a series of larcenies from auto by targeting numerous vehicles at a time and steal those found with keys or fobs inside.

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A man is facing a battery of charges after police say he jumped on the hood of a stopped car and then assaulted officers.

The incident started around 7:45 p.m. Saturday, at the intersection of N. Glebe Road and N. Quincy Street in the Ballston area.

From Monday’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2021-05220227, N. Glebe Road at N. Quincy Street. At approximately 7:46 p.m. on May 22, police were dispatched to the report of a destruction of property. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was inside his vehicle at a red light when two individuals ran into the intersection. The suspect then allegedly jumped onto the hood of the victim’s vehicle and smashed the windshield. The suspect fled the scene on foot and was located by responding officers at N. Glebe Road and Carlin Springs. As officers attempted to detain the suspect, he became physically combative and spat at them. Following a brief struggle, he was taken into custody. An officer was transported to an area hospital for a minor injury sustained during the struggle. At booking, the suspect complained of a previous injury and was transported to an area hospital for evaluation. While at the hospital, the suspect kicked, scratched and threatened officers. Wade Westmoreland, 37, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Assault on Police (x4), Obstruction of Justice (x2) and Destruction of Property. He was held without bond.

Today’s crime report also includes several items involving thefts of or from vehicles in various parts of North Arlington, including Ballston, Donaldson Run, Williamsburg and Riverwood.

From ACPD:

GRAND LARCENY AUTO / VEHICLE TAMPERING / LARCENY FROM AUTO / BURGLARY (series), 2021-05230071 / 05230079 / 05230084 / 05230089 / 05230109 / 05230121, 4300 block of 31st Street N., 3500 block of 25th Street N., 4000 block of 25th Street N., 2700 block of N. Randolph Street, 6400 block of 29th Street N., 3200 block of N. Ohio Street. At approximately 6:02 a.m. on May 23, police were dispatched to the report of vehicle tampering in the 4300 block of 31st Street N. Upon arrival, it was determined that a witness observed two vehicles occupied by four suspects approach the victim’s residence. Two suspects exited and tried the door handles to the vehicles parked in the driveway before fleeing the scene at a high rate of speed. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the two involved vehicles, a 2018 Ford Expedition bearing VA tags UNX8251 and a 2018 Honda Accord bearing VA tags JDM4288, had previously been stolen from the 3500 block of 25th Street N. and the 4000 block of 25th Street N. While investigating this incident, officers identified six additional vehicles that had been tampered with and rummaged through, but no items were reported stolen. During one of the tamperings, the suspects unsuccessfully attempted to use a key located inside a vehicle to enter the victim’s residence in the 3200 block of N. Ohio Street. Suspect One is described as a Black male with a skinny build, wearing a bright orange reflective vest, a green hoodie, red skinny pants, white shoes, black socks, purple latex gloves and a dark colored mask. Suspect Two is described as a Black male with an athletic build, wearing a black t-shirt, black jeans, black shoes and blue latex gloves. There are no descriptions for Suspect Three and Four. The investigation is ongoing.

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Morning Notes

Rent Rising in Arlington — “Of the 10 top apartment markets in the D.C. metro tracked by Apartment List, average rents are lower than a year ago in six of them. Arlington County, Virginia, remains the most expensive apartment rental market, with an average monthly rent of $2,144. Arlington County rents are still 9.7% lower than a year ago, but rents have bounced back the most, rising by 2.7% over the past month.” [WTOP]

Local Spots on Spring Dining Guide — Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema’s prestigious Spring Dining Guide includes three Arlington or Arlington-connected restaurants: Cafe Colline on Lee Highway, Spice Kraft Indian Bistro in Clarendon, and the soon-to-open Lucky Danger in Pentagon City. [Washington Post]

Arlington, D.C.’s Factory District? — From WAMU’s Martin Austermuhle: “Apparently the idea of re-retroceding Arlington and Alexandria to D.C. was being debated in the late 1800s and early 1900s in Congress. Some believed it would give D.C. a bigger tax base, others said Arlington would be a good place for factories. (Not of cheesecake variety.)” [Twitter]

Thieves Steal Cars With Found Keys — “Between 10:00 p.m. on April 25 and 9:38 a.m. on April 26, the suspect(s) gained entry into the victims vehicle parked in their driveway where a garage door opener was located. The suspect(s) allegedly used the garage opener to gain entry into the victims garage where a second vehicle was located with keys for both vehicles inside. The two vehicles, along with the victims personal property and an undisclosed amount of cash, were stolen.” [ACPD]

New Glebe Turn Lane Open — Northbound N. Glebe Road now has an added left turn lane at Lee Highway, after a year of construction. The project is expected to wrap up in the fall. [Twitter]

F.C. Lowers Tax Rate, Renames Schools — The City of Falls Church has lowered its real estate tax rate by 3.5 cents, the first time it has reduced the rate since 2006. The city’s School Board also selected new names for George Mason High School and Thomas Jefferson Elementary. [Falls Church News-Press, InsideNova]

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