Arlington, VA

The aftermath of a felony traffic stop on northbound I-395 near Pentagon City last night.

The Arlington County Police Department says that officers used spikes, known as Stop Sticks, to blow out the tires on a stolen vehicle that was spotted by an automated license plate reader. Two suspects each under the age of 18 were subsequently apprehended.

“At approximately 9:43 p.m. on November 16, police received a License Plate Reader hit for a stolen vehicle,” an ACPD crime report said. “An officer located the vehicle traveling northbound on I-395 and activated his emergency equipment as an additional officer successfully deployed stop sticks.”

“The vehicle came to a stop and the two juvenile occupants were taken into custody without incident,” the crime report continues. “The driver was charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle. Charges for the passenger are pending.”

Arlington is in the midst of a wave of vehicle-related crime, including break-ins, thefts and even carjackings.

Last night’s police action on the highway blocked a number of northbound lanes for more than an hour, leading to backups, as seen in the video below.

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(Updated at 12:30 p.m. on 10/30/20) A juvenile suspect is facing a number of potential charges after a reported hit-and-run crash on Columbia Pike overnight.

The crash happened just before 12:30 a.m. Thursday, at the intersection of the Pike and S. George Mason Drive.

“Upon arrival, it was determined that after the suspect vehicle struck the victim’s vehicle, approximately 5-6 juveniles exited the vehicle and fled on foot,” Arlington County police said today in a crime report. “Arriving officers located the subjects in the area and identified the driver of the vehicle at the time of the crash.”

“The two occupants of the victim vehicle sustained minor injuries,” the crime report continues. “During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspect vehicle had previously been stolen from Fairfax County earlier in the evening.”

ACPD says the suspect was also “found to be in possession of a controlled substance” and is now facing petitions¬†for Hit and Run, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle with Intent to Procure or Pass Title.

Separately, on Wednesday evening, S. Carlin Springs Road was blocked near Campbell Elementary School due to an incident involving Virginia State Police. Witnesses report seeing police with guns drawn.

The Arlington County Police Department said officers assisted state police with a suspect search, but referred additional questions to VSP. On Friday, state police provided additional information about the incident — which turns out to be the conclusion of a vehicle pursuit that started on I-395 — to ARLnow:

At 4:57 p.m. on Oct. 28, 2020, a Virginia State Police trooper observed a 2007 Honda Civic traveling on I-395 abruptly slow to 35 mph (55 mph posted speed limit). The trooper pulled in behind to see if the vehicle was experiencing a problem or the driver needed assistance. The vehicle took the Shirlington Exit and kept going well under the speed. The trooper also observed that the temporary license plate tag was unsecured and initiated a traffic stop. The vehicle pulled off the right shoulder on North Quaker Street. But, as the trooper walked up to the vehicle to talk to the driver, the Honda pulled away at a high rate of speed and a pursuit was initiated. The Honda finally stopped in the 600 block of Carlin Springs Road and one of the passengers fled the vehicle on foot.

The driver, Prince Jakim I. Maldonado, 21, of Woodbridge, Va., was taken into custody without incident at the scene.  The passenger, Joshean D. Stokes, 20, of Dumfries, Va., was taken into custody without incident at the scene. Both Maldonado and Stokes were charged for felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, felony possession of Schedule I/II controlled substance with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm while in possession of a Schedule I/II controlled substance, along with several misdemeanor charges. Maldonado was also wanted out on outstanding warrants in Prince William County. Both were transported to Arlington County Jail.

During the course of the short pursuit, the trooper witnessed objects being thrown from the window of the Honda. The trooper returned to that location and recovered a handgun and ammunition.

The search continues to locate the second passenger who fled on foot and left his wallet and ID behind in the vehicle.

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Several vehicles were damaged Wednesday afternoon after a woman in a vehicle that was reported stolen twice tried to ram her way out of traffic stops, according to police.

The incident started shortly after 4 p.m. in the Buckingham neighborhood.

Police say the woman stole a car that was left idling and unattended, near the intersection of N. Henderson Road and N. Thomas Street, and was subsequently spotted driving north of N. Glebe Road near Route 50.

She refused to stop for officers, but was followed through Ballston by police in unmarked vehicles, as witnessed by an ARLnow reporter. Police tried to block her in on N. Monroe Street, near the Arlington Arts Center, but she reportedly hopped the curb and kept driving. The mirror of a parked vehicle, as well as the front of a police SUV, appear to have been damaged in the process.

An Arlington County Police Department crime report details what happened next.

“Officers briefly lost sight of the vehicle, but located it again when the suspect backed into a parking spot in the 3300 block of 2nd¬†Street S.,” near Thomas Jefferson Middle School, according to the crime report. “The suspect refused to exit the vehicle and began to drive again, striking a cruiser blocking it into the spot.”

“Spike sticks were deployed as the driver attempted to flee again by reversing the vehicle onto the curb behind it,” the crime report continues. “Following multiple attempts to have the suspect exit the vehicle, officers forced entry and took her into custody without incident.”

“Latia Hill, 27, of No Fixed Address, was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny: Motor Vehicle Theft, Eluding Police and Reckless Driving, and held on no bond,” the crime report concludes. “During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspect also struck a parked vehicle in the area of Wilson Boulevard and N. Monroe Street.”

A Virginia State Police trooper assisted with the final traffic stop, according to scanner traffic. No injuries were reported.

Arlington County police recently warned residents of a wave of thefts of unattended vehicles, many of which are delivery vehicles.

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Four juvenile suspects were taken into police custody after a wild series of events in Crystal City Monday afternoon.

Police say a car left idling and unattended was stolen on the 2600 block of Crystal Drive, by a suspect who hopped out of a car occupied by four other suspects. Later, police located both vehicles near Route 1 and S. Eads Street and conducted a traffic stop.

One suspect was arrested at the scene, while three others were arrested following foot pursuits through parts of Crystal City and Pentagon City. A fifth suspect remains at large.

The crime is the latest in a string of carjackings, car break-ins, and thefts of vehicles left idling or unlocked — often delivery vehicles.

More from an Arlington County Police Departmentment crime report:

RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE,¬†2020-08100143, 2600 block of Crystal Drive. At approximately 4:24 p.m. on August 10, police were dispatched to the report of a stolen vehicle just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim left his Nissan Maxima idling unattended, during which time Suspect One allegedly exited a Chevrolet Cruze, occupied by four other suspects, and stole the victim’s Maxima. Officers canvassing the area located the Cruze and Maxima in the area of Richmond Highway and S. Eads Street and effected a traffic stop. Suspect One exited the Maxima, which then struck another vehicle, and fled the scene on foot. The other four suspects exited the Cruze and attempted to flee on foot. Suspect Two was stopped as they exited the Cruze. Suspect One and two other suspects were apprehended in the area following brief foot pursuits. The fifth suspect remains outstanding. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the Cruze was reported stolen out of Washington D.C. earlier in the day. Petitions for Grand Larceny Auto, Hit and Run, and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony were sought for juvenile Suspect One. Petitions for Grand Larceny Auto and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony were obtained for the other three juvenile suspects. The investigation is ongoing.

File photo

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Arlington police have a public service announcement that’s right up there with “don’t hit the car in front of you” — don’t leave your keys in your car.

Just over two thirds of the 31 vehicle reported stolen in Arlington this month have either been left running unattended (9) or unlocked with keys inside (12), according to ACPD.

Thieves, the police department says, have learned that Arlington is fertile ground for easy crimes of opportunity. The victims are often those who can least afford the loss: food delivery drivers.

“Reported incidents indicate multiple suspects will travel together as they search the area for cars left running unattended,” ACPD said in a press release today. “When they observe an unattended vehicle, the suspects pull their vehicle alongside it, one individual exits the suspect car, immediately enters and flees the scene in the victim’s vehicle. The act of stealing the vehicle takes only seconds. The victims are often food delivery drivers who return from their delivery to find their vehicle has been stolen.”

Criminals also prowl the county during early morning hours, looking for cars that have been left unlocked with keys inside, police say. Even when keys are not found, sometimes other items are taken, as happened in the East Falls Church neighborhood this morning.

More from ACPD:

LARCENY FROM AUTO/VEHICLE TAMPERING (series),¬†2020-07280029/07280031, 1800 block of N. Van Buren Street/1800 block of N. Tuckahoe Street. At approximately 4:00 a.m. on July 28, police were dispatched to the report of a tampering with auto. Upon arrival, officers observed a suspect lying in the roadway. As they made contact with the suspect, he fled on foot into Falls Church. A perimeter was established and a search of the area returned with negative results. The investigation determined the suspect allegedly entered approximately seven unlocked vehicles, rummaged through their contents and stole items of value. He is described as a Hispanic male in his teens, approximately 5’7″, 145 lbs., with a facial tattoo. The investigation is ongoing.

Auto crimes are rising in Arlington and are not just confined to non-violent thefts. Five carjackings have been reported since June 22.

The full ACPD press release is below.

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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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