Arlington police are urging caution when buying a used car after two people tried to register one that turned out to be stolen.
Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the victims, who were working for a used car dealership, bought the vehicle near Richmond after responding to an online advertisement.
They found it was stolen when they tried to register it at county government headquarters, apparently not realizing before police showed up that the car was “hot.”
Savage had the following tips for anyone looking to buy a used car.
- “Be extra cautious if the seller is out of the area. Avoid deals where the vehicle cannot be viewed in person.”
- “Be suspicious if the seller has no fixed address, phone number or email and/or they contact you using various methods.”
- “Meet the seller in a public place.”
- “Compare the vehicle’s VIN listed on the vehicle title with the public VIN located on the vehicle. Utilize an online service to check the vehicle’s history report.”
- “Ensure that the title and registration for the vehicle match the name and address of the person selling the vehicle. Ask for multiple proofs of ownership such as the vehicle’s title, insurance cards, service records, finance records which can all demonstrate long-term ownership.”
- “Obtain a photocopy of the seller’s driver’s license or government issued ID and write down the ID number on the Bill of Sale.”
- “Don’t pay in cash.”
- “Trust your gut. If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Police were dispatched to 2100 Clarendon Blvd on Friday afternoon for a report of someone trying to register a stolen vehicle.
Upon questioning the person, it turns out that the pair had apparently bought the used car not realizing it was “hot.”
Police are now looking for the man who reportedly sold the stolen car. More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE, 2017-10270211, 2100 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 4:02 p.m. on October 27, police were dispatched to the report of an individual attempting to register a stolen vehicle. Upon arrival, it was determined that two individuals purchased a used vehicle and while attempting to register it, discovered the vehicle to be reported stolen out of Virginia. The seller is reported to be a black male, approximately 5’8, 160 pounds and between 27 and 33 years old. The investigation is ongoing.
The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, after the jump.
A brief manhunt that closed part of Army Navy Drive in Pentagon City Monday morning happened after two suspects peeled away from a traffic stop on I-395, went the wrong way down a ramp and then bailed out and fled on foot.
The Arlington County Police Department released additional details about the incident in its Tuesday crime report.
An 18-year-old Maryland man and a juvenile were both taken into custody after police established a perimeter and used a helicopter to search for them. Police say the car they were driving was stolen.
More from ACPD:
RECOVERED STOLEN AUTO (Significant), 2017-05080041, 2300 block of Arlington Ridge Road. At approximately 4:08 a.m. on May 8, officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling without its lights on. The vehicle initially stopped, then allegedly accelerated at a high rate of speed and fled the scene by traveling the wrong way on the ramp to I-395. The vehicle continued on and eventually sustained damage that disabled its tires, causing the suspects to flee by foot. A perimeter was established with the assistance of the United States Park Police helicopter. An officer observed the two suspects nearby and they were taken into custody without further incident. Upon further investigation, it was determined the suspects had previously stolen a vehicle and were being investigated by Virginia State Police. Gabriel Neris, 18, of Hyattsville, MD was arrested and charged with GLA x2, 2 Credit Card thefts, Conspiracy, Felony Eluding, Reckless Driving, No Operator’s License and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Charges were also filed on one juvenile suspect.
Wardian Dominating Global Marathon Event — Arlington resident and running superhero Michael Wardian has won the first two races in the World Marathon Challenge. Wardian, 42, posted a time of 2:54:54 in Antarctica, the fastest marathon ever run on the continent, and a time of 2:45:42 this morning in Punta Arenas, the South American leg of the seven day, seven continent and seven marathon event. Wardian is trying to break the event’s record average race time of 3:32:25. [Facebook, Twitter, Washington Post, Runner’s World]
APS Projected to Keep Growing — Arlington Public Schools is bursting at the seams, building new schools to keep up with rising enrollment — and that enrollment is expected to keep growing over the next decade. According to projections presented at a School Board meeting last week, the APS student body is expected to rise from around 27,000 now to 32,500 by the fall of 2026. In terms of per-student costs, the added 5,500 students could add more than $100 million to the school system’s current $600 million annual budget. [InsideNova]
Northern Va. Restaurant Week Coming in March — The Arlington Chamber of Commerce and other regional business organizations are teaming up for the second year in a row to organize Northern Virginia Restaurant Week. The week of dining discounts and discovery is scheduled from March 20-27. [Arlington Chamber]
Extra Metro Trains for Pro-Life March — Metro says it will run extra trains during mid-day Friday in order to accommodate crowds for the 2017 March for Life in the District. In a press release, Metro also said it “will run more 8-car trains (the longest train length possible), all midday track work will be cancelled, and additional staff will be on hand to assist visitors.” [WMATA]
Nearby: Car Stolen With Baby Inside — Two men stole a car that had been left running near a bank ATM, then abandoned it, apparently after discovering a baby inside. The incident happened Monday afternoon at the Bradlee Shopping Center in Alexandria, across from Arlington’s Fairlington neighborhood. The child was unharmed. [WJLA]
Art Thief Arrested in Arlington — Convicted art thief Marcus Sanford Paton was arrested outside the new Pentagon City Starbucks on Fern Street Sunday. He’s accused of driving a stolen car from Miami to D.C. to try to seek a presidential pardon. [Daily Mail]
Wreath-Laying Ceremony at ANC — President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery around 3:30 p.m. this afternoon, kicking off the inaugural weekend. Afterwards, they will make an appearance at a “Make America Great Again” concert at the Lincoln Memorial. As a result of the inaugural activities, Memorial Bridge was closed at 4 a.m. this morning and will not reopen to vehicular traffic until after the inauguration. [Presidential Inaugural Committee, Newsweek]
Another Win for Arlington Jeopardy Player — Arlington resident John Avila has now emerged as the Jeopardy champion three nights in a row. He will try to make it four in a row tonight. [Sun Chronicle]
Walking Causing Escalator Problems? — The frequent escalator breakdowns in the Metrorail system are well known, but what causes it? It might be uneven wear caused by people standing on the right and walking up the escalators on the left, experts say. [Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle]
Here’s a public service announcement, inspired by this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report: if you’re driving a stolen car, the least you can do is refrain from driving it while drunk.
An Ohio woman was arrested near the Virginia Square Metro station early Monday morning for allegedly doing just that.
RECOVERED STOLEN AUTO, 161024006, 3700 block of N. Fairfax Drive. At approximately 2:32 a.m. on October 24, an officer conducted a routine traffic stop. Upon investigation, it was determined that the vehicle was reported stolen. Maureen Elizabeth Burke, 22, of Xenia, Ohio, was arrested and charged with grand larceny auto and driving while intoxicated. She is being held without bond.
The rest of the past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
Working with the Metropolitan Police Department, Arlington County Police say there were able to locate the vehicle in D.C. and take the suspect into custody.
From an ACPD crime report:
GRAND THEFT AUTO, 160428031, 1400 block of N. Uhle Street. At approximately 1:10 p.m. on April 28, a pizza delivery vehicle was stolen while the driver was on a delivery. Officers were able to locate the vehicle in Washington D.C. With the assistance of the Metropolitan Police Department, the suspect was taken into custody without incident. Warrants were obtained for grand larceny auto for James Lee Thomas III, 38, of Washington D.C.
Samantha, 22, told police she was intoxicated when she took an Uber to District Taco in Rosslyn Saturday night, intent on grabbing some food. Afterward, she walked down to the Hyatt hotel, on the 1300 block of Wilson Blvd, milled about a bit and then allegedly stole a car from the valet.
Samantha’s next recollection, according to police, is waking up in the back seat of the car around 1 a.m., in an unknown location in Arlington. She then drove home, went to sleep, and called police around 9 a.m. to come clean about what happened, said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
Samantha has been charged with grand theft auto and was held on a $2,000 bond, according to a crime report.
RECOVERED STOLEN AUTO, 160214016, 1300 block of N. Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 9:54 p.m. on February 13, an allegedly intoxicated female subject stole a vehicle outside of a HYATT hotel and drove it home. The subject informed police the next morning that she was in possession of a vehicle that was not hers. Samantha [Redacted], 22, of Arlington VA, was arrested and charged with grand theft auto. She was held on a $2000 unsecured bond.
Updated at 4:30 p.m. — Jeff Overand, an attorney for the suspect, says that Samantha was “involuntarily intoxicated and had been the victim of a sexual assault.” Police were called to a local hospital and took a report of a sexual assault Sunday evening, after the suspect was released from jail, ACPD confirmed after an inquiry from ARLnow.com. “That case is ongoing,” said Savage, the police spokeswoman. In light of this information, ARLnow.com has decided to redact the suspect’s last name.
Photo via Google Maps
Brief Ebola Scare at EPA HQ — Hazmat and EMS teams were dispatched to the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Crystal City this morning for a possible Ebola patient. After an assessment by a doctor, it was determined that the patient — a man in his 50s — did not have the likely symptoms of Ebola.
Arlington Launches Startup Competition — Arlington County is partnering with the website Tech.Co to run a contest to attract new startups to Arlington. Starting today, startups can apply for the chance to receive three months of free work and living space, plus free legal advice and public transit funds. [Tech.Co, Arlington Economic Development]
Stolen Car Crashes in Fairlington — A stolen car crashed in a quiet Fairlington neighborhood early Tuesday morning, after fleeing from a traffic stop. The suspects fled the scene and police were unable to track them down. [Patch]
Arlington Artist Survey — Arlington Cultural Affairs is surveying local artists about their needs for space to create art. “We would like to understand the space requirements of artists so that we can optimize the use of our current facilities and plan for future growth… Arlington Cultural Affairs is working both internally and externally to ensure that Arlington’s cultural scene remains vibrant and engaging.” The survey deadline is Sept. 30. [Arlington Arts]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Other than a notable bar fight in Ballston, this past week has been a rather slow one in Arlington crime-wise, at least according to the weekly county crime report.
One standout is a reported stolen vehicle. For some reason, someone stole an old purple van a couple of blocks from Campbell Elementary.
01/12/15, VA TX134307, 1996 Ford Econoline, Purple
5600 block of S. 7th Place
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
The Arlington County Police Department has released video showing would-be thieves getting arrested after getting into a police bait car.
According to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, Arlington was the first jurisdiction in the D.C. metro to start using bait cars, back in 2002. Since its inception, the bait car program has helped police levy 200 criminal charges, with a 100 percent conviction rate.
When a potential thief enters the car, it triggers an alarm that signals police, and the hidden camera starts recording. Sternbeck said most of the individuals are startled when approached by an arresting officer, and are usually compliant.
Police target certain parts of the county based on crime rates, and use vehicles popular with car thieves. The program is fully funded through insurance companies.
The youngest individual police have picked up in Arlington for allegedly attempting to steal a vehicle was 10-years-old. The youngest caught allegedly attempting to steal items from inside the vehicle was 7-years-old.
The incident happened just before 5:45 p.m., when police received a call for a truck that had crashed into a fence and a utility pole on the 1500 block of N. Lincon Street. The crash happened in front of Hayes Park and across from Arlington Science Focus school, in the Virginia Square neighborhood. The driver of the truck ran off after the accident, police were told.
After a short investigation officers determined that the truck’s owner had parked it with the keys still inside, and had just noticed that it was missing, according to police radio traffic. Police dogs were called in to try to track the suspect, but as of this morning there was no report of an arrest in the case.
Six people were detained by police at the Columbia Pike Days Inn motel yesterday after a tip about prostitution led officers to a stolen vehicle.
Officers investigating a tip about prostitution activity at the Days Inn discovered an SUV that had been reported stolen out of Pennsylvania in the parking lot, according to Arlington County Police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal. Officers kept an eye on the SUV and, when several people got in and started to drive off yesterday afternoon, police swooped in in dramatic fashion, blocking the vehicle in and handcuffing the occupants.
Six people — four women and two men — were detained. As of this morning, charges have still not yet been filed against the six suspects, we’re told.
NBC4 — which had a photographer on the scene within minutes of the arrests — led its 11:00 p.m. newscast with the story. The station’s website says the arrests were related to a “suspected prostitution ring in Arlington.”