Arlington, VA

A Falls Church man has been arrested after police say he was seen pulling on car door handles in the Bluemont area early Tuesday morning.

The incident happened around 3:30 a.m. on the 5700 block of 8th Road N.

Arlington County Police say Kevin Gomez, 24, “was found to be in possession of alleged stolen items” and is now facing a theft charge. He also had outstanding warrants for his arrest from Fairfax County.

More from an ACPD crime report:

LARCENY (Significant), 2020-03240023, 5700 block of 8th Road N. At approximately 3:36 a.m. on March 24, police were dispatched to the report of suspicious persons pulling on door handles of parked vehicles. Upon arrival, officers canvassed the area and observed a subject matching the description provided by the witness. When stopped by police, the subject provided false information related to his identification. During the course of the investigation, the subject was found to be in possession of alleged stolen items. Kevin Hernandez Gomez, 24, of Falls Church, VA was arrested and charged with Petit Larceny and Providing False Identity to Law Enforcement. He was also served with outstanding warrants out of Fairfax County.

Arlington experienced a string of car break-ins since mid-2019, though police have announced a number of arrests over the past month or so. Many of the break-ins have been crimes of opportunity, involving unlocked car doors or valuables in plain sight.

The police department is continuing to remind residents to take precautions, even as officers step up patrols.

From an ARLnow article on a break-in spree in January:

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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Arlington County Police are investigating the theft of numerous laptops from Arlington Central Library.

The theft was discovered this morning and immediately reported to police.

“At approximately 11:10 a.m. on March 2, police were dispatched to the 1000 block of N. Quincy Street for the report of a late larceny,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow. “Upon arrival it was determined that between 5:00 p.m. on February 29 and 10:40 a.m. on March 2, an unknown suspect stole 12 MacBooks.”

Library spokesman Henrik Sundqvist said the Apple laptops were stolen from The Shop, the library’s recently-opened makerspace.

At this point, police don’t know who stole the computers.

“There is no suspect description,” Savage said. “The investigation is ongoing.”

File photo

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A pair of incidents at Arlington’s two shopping malls led to four arrests and charges against six people.

The first incident happened Wednesday afternoon at the Pentagon City mall. Around 3 p.m., according to Arlington County Police, two juvenile suspects shoplifted from a store and were soon thereafter located by officers at the Pentagon City Metro station. One of the suspects lashed out violently, spitting on and hitting officers, according to police.

More from an ACPD crime report:

ASSAULT ON LAW ENFORCEMENT, 2020-02190151, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 2:56 p.m. on February 19, police were dispatched to the report of shoplifting. Upon arrival, it was determined that suspects allegedly entered a business, stole items of value, and fled on foot. A lookout was broadcast and arriving officers located the juvenile suspects on the metro platform. One suspect actively resisted by pushing, elbowing and spitting on the two arresting officers. Once detained, she continued to resist and kicked two additional officers. Petitions for Assault and Battery on Police (x4) and Obstruction of Justice were sought for Suspect One. Petitions for Petit Larceny, Fugitive from Justice and Identity Theft were sought for Suspect Two.

Later Wednesday evening, four juvenile suspects allegedly shoplifted from a store at the Ballston Quarter mall. A security officer who tried to chase after and stop the group was pepper sprayed by one of the suspects, police say.

In coordination with Metro Transit Police, two suspects were later taken into custody at the Rosslyn Metro station.

From the crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING BY CAUSTIC SUBSTANCE, 2020-02190225, 700 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 7:26 p.m. on February 19, police were dispatched to the report of an assault with injury. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was working as loss prevention for a business when he observed a group of juvenile suspects allegedly selecting and concealing merchandise. When he attempted to stop the group as they exited the business, they fled. The victim attempted to chase the suspects when one suspect allegedly dropped the merchandise he had, then pepper sprayed the victim. A lookout was broadcast and officers located and made contact with the suspects at the Rosslyn Metro Station and, with the assistance of Metro Transit Police, took them into custody without incident. Petitions were obtained for Suspect One for Malicious Wounding by Caustic Agent, Robbery, Grand Larceny and Possession of Burglarous Tools. Petitions for Conspiracy to Commit Felony and Grand Larceny were obtained for Suspect Two. Two additional suspects remain outstanding.

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Two men from the District have been arrested and charged with with breaking into at least three cars and stealing items.

The break-ins and thefts occurred earlier this month on the 1400 block of Key Blvd in Rosslyn. Arlington County Police say they obtained warrants for the suspects after “utilizing various investigative resources, including witness accounts and surveillance video.”

Last week ACPD revealed that 882 cars in Arlington had been broken into since July. Amid the ongoing crime spree, police are continuing to urge members of the public to lock their car doors and remove valuables from plain sight.

More from a police press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Property Crimes Unit is announcing 18 felony warrants have been obtained for two suspects responsible for a series of larceny from auto cases in the North Rosslyn neighborhood. Deondray Osborne, 30, of Washington D.C. and Raphael Osborne, 28, of Washington D.C. have each been charged with Grand Larceny (x3), Conspiracy to Commit Grand Larceny (x3) and Destruction of Property (x3). Both are being held in Washington D.C. pending extradition to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The investigation determined that on February 2, 3, and 10, the suspects forced entry into three vehicles parked in the 1400 block of Key Boulevard by smashing the cars’ windows. The suspects then allegedly stole personal property, to include a purse, wallet and electronics, before fleeing the scene in a red hatchback sedan. Utilizing various investigative resources, including witness accounts and surveillance video captured in the area, detectives developed information on possible suspects. The suspects were identified and taken into custody by the Metropolitan Police Department on the evening on February 12, 2020.

The identification, apprehension and subsequent charging of these suspects is the direct result of strong partnerships and collaboration between the Arlington County Police Department, Metropolitan Police Department and Arlington’s Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management.

Safety Tips and Crime Prevention Measures

Larcenies from auto are often crimes of opportunity with thieves targeting items left unattended or out in plain view. Members of the public are reminded to close and lock all windows and doors when you park. Pull on the door handle to verify it’s locked. Take all valuables out of your vehicle. If you must leave items in your car, place them out of sight – preferably in your trunk.

Report Information and Incidents to Police for Investigation

In two of these cases, alert members of the public reported suspicious activity to law enforcement or security personnel in the area after observing vehicles with broken windows. Community members are encouraged to remain alert for suspicious activity such as individuals who appear to be looking into parked vehicles or trying door handles. Report information for law enforcement investigation by calling the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.

If you are the victim of a larceny from auto or auto tampering, file an online police report or call the Emergency Communications Center.

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It’s been another busy few days for police in Pentagon City.

The neighborhood has been the scene of at least three armed carjackings in local parking garages over the past month, in addition to armed robberies and the usual steady flow of thefts from stores at the Pentagon City mall and other local shopping centers.

The criminal activity continued Sunday afternoon, when police arrested a man they say was breaking into parked cars in or near the Pentagon Row shopping center. More from Arlington County Police:

GRAND LARCENY (Significant), 2020-02090157, 900 block of Army Navy Drive. At approximately 3:40 p.m. on February 9, an officer on patrol observed a suspicious suspect looking into parked vehicles. The suspect allegedly attempted to enter a vehicle by pulling on the door’s handles before breaking the rear driver’s side door window and stealing a backpack in plain view. The suspect fled the scene on foot and was located by a responding officer inside the metro station. The suspect refused to comply with the officer’s lawful commands and attempted to flee the scene on foot. Upon arrival of additional units, the suspect was taken into custody without incident. Harvey Jones, 24, of Washington D.C. was arrested and charged with Possession of Burglarous Tools, Grand Larceny: Theft from Motor Vehicle, and Destruction of Property. He was also determined to be wanted out of North Carolina. He was held on no bond.

On Monday evening, meanwhile, also in the area of Pentagon Row, a woman was assaulted and robbed of her phone by a pair of young, female suspects. More from ACPD:

ROBBERY, 2020-02100201, 1300 block of S. Joyce Street. At approximately 5:42 p.m. on February 10, police were dispatched to the report of suspicious circumstances. Upon arrival, it was determined that as the victim exited a business, she passed the two female suspects, who began shouting at her. The victim continued walking, however the suspects began chasing her. The suspects assaulted the victim and stole her phone, then fled prior to police arrival. Suspect one is described as a juvenile or young adult female, approximately 14-18 years old, short, thin, with curly shoulder-length hair, wearing black pants, a black jacket and white and black shoes. Suspect Two is described as as a juvenile or young adult female, approximately 14-18 years old, approximately 5’4″-5’8″, with a chubby build, wearing jeans, a white shirt and a black and orange jacket. The investigation is ongoing.

Last night (Tuesday), an incident at the intersection of S. Joyce Street and 15th Street S., near one of the entrances to the mall’s parking garage, drew another large police response. Police said only that an “assault occurred following a dispute” and the activity was unrelated to the carjackings.

As of last week ABC 7 reported that there had been five armed robberies in the Pentagon City area so far this year, compared to 7 last year and 5 in 2018.

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Arlington County Police say they’ve identified three suspects in a string of car break-ins and thefts around the county.

Two juvenile suspects have been arrested, and police are working to apprehend a 18-year-old D.C. man who’s facing 11 warrants on various charges, ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow.

Since July, according to a new ACPD press release, 882 cars have been broken into — and that’s only counting those that have been reported to police. A map of the break-ins show reports from all parts of the county, and a ramp-up in reports since the beginning of December.

Savage says the thefts — which include both larcenies of items from inside cars and thefts of the cars themselves — are crimes of opportunity, most often involving thieves breaking into vehicles by testing door handles and finding those that are unlocked.

Rumors on Nextdoor and local listservs of thieves using sophisticated electronic means to break into cars have not been proven by ACPD or other nearby police departments, she said.

“We don’t have any evidence to support that,” said Savage. To reach that conclusion, police have reviewed surveillance footage and conducted interviews with suspects, she noted.

Police are continuing to conduct public outreach to encourage residents to lock their doors at night, remove keys and valuables from their parked cars, and report suspicious activity. The outreach includes nightly reminders on social media and electronic signboards, currently posted on Lee Highway near I-66 and on Glebe Road near Route 50.

While not in response to any current pattern of calls to police, according to Savage, ACPD is also reminding residents to only report suspicious activity, without regard to a person’s race or ethnicity.

“Factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious affiliation alone are not suspicious,” the police press release says. “The public should report only suspicious behavior and situations rather than beliefs, thoughts, ideas or expressions.”

The full ACPD press release is below.

The Arlington County Police Department is announcing numerous charges have been sought against suspects responsible for multiple auto theft and larceny cases throughout the County. This week, 11 warrants were obtained for Michael A. Brunner III, 18, of Washington, D.C. His charges include felony Stolen Auto, Grand Larceny and Credit Card Larceny, as well as misdemeanor Vehicle Trespassing and Petit Larceny. The Department also recently sought petitions for two juvenile suspects for Grand Larceny Auto.

The identification and apprehension of these suspects is just one step in reducing crimes of opportunity in Arlington County. Thieves are looking for easy, low effort opportunities to steal from hardworking members of the public. Reported incidents indicate that thieves often target multiple unlocked vehicles parked on streets, in driveways and in garages to rummage through personal property and steal items of value as well as vehicles with keys left inside. To help residents keep their vehicles and property safe, the Arlington County Police Department is sharing ways we can work together to reduce and prevent property crimes in our community.

Method of Theft

Larcenies from auto are often crimes of opportunity with thieves 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 the suspect(s) are trying door handles and entering those vehicles that are found to be unlocked. Arlington County Police, as well as our regional law enforcement partners, do not have any confirmed cases in which thieves have entered vehicles using sophisticated electronic technology.

When and Where Thefts Occur

Larcenies from auto have been reported in nearly all neighborhoods across Arlington County, typically during the overnight 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.

Public Education

The Department is deploying electronic signboards in various locations throughout the County as a high-visibility community reminder to lock vehicles and safeguard personal property. The signboards are part of a public awareness campaign and will be periodically moved to different neighborhoods to help spread important crime prevention messaging. A signboard deployed in your neighborhood doesn’t necessarily mean that larcenies from auto have been reported in the area.

Take Action with these Crime Prevention Tips

No matter where you live, follow these crime prevention tips to help reduce the likelihood for criminal activity. Never assume your home or neighborhood is immune from criminal activity as criminals will purposely seek out homes or neighborhoods that they believe present easy targets.

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Two D.C. men were arrested and are facing a number of charges after allegedly stealing items from a local store.

The incident happened just before midnight Saturday on the 3600 block of Columbia Pike, which is the same block as a 7-Eleven store. (Arlington County Police have a policy of not explicitly identifying businesses that were victims of crime.)

“Three suspects were observed allegedly entering a business and selecting merchandise, then exiting without paying,” according to an ACPD crime report. “The suspects, who matched the descriptions of suspects in a prior case, entered a vehicle and fled.”

An alert officer on patrol saw the vehicle in question in a parking lot and “attempted to make contact with the occupants.”

“The driver of the suspect vehicle then struck two vehicles in the lot in an attempt to leave the location,” said the crime report. “One suspect was removed from the vehicle and taken into custody without incident. The other two suspects fled the scene on foot. The second suspect was located nearby and taken into custody. The third suspect remains outstanding.”

“During the course of the investigation, officers located stolen merchandise from the business inside the vehicle and Suspect One was determined to have been involved in a prior larceny case,” the crime report continues. “Kentrell Devaughn, 26, of Washington, D.C. was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny (x2), Conspiracy to Commit Grand Larceny (x2), Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Destruction of Property (>$1000). He was held on no bond. Jeffrey Keith, 54, of Washington, D.C. was arrested with Grand Larceny and Conspiracy to Commit Grand Larceny. He was held on no bond.”

The investigation is ongoing, police said.

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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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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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Someone broke into about 19 vehicles in the county-owned parking garage next to Ballston Quarter mall early Friday morning.

The break-ins were reported around 1 a.m. Police say windows were smashed and items of value were stolen.

Police did not provide additional details about the investigation.

More from an Arlington County Police crime report:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 2020-01030014, 4200 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 1:01 a.m., police were dispatched to the report of a larceny. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect(s) smashed the windows to approximately 19 vehicles and stole items of value. The investigation is ongoing.

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A D.C. man has been arrested after police say he pepper sprayed an employee while trying to steal from a store in Ballston on Christmas Day.

The alleged crime happened on the 4200 block of Wilson Blvd — Ballston Quarter mall — around 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Arlington County Police say a man who was trying to conceal merchandise was confronted by an employee, who he subsequently sprayed with a caustic substance. Undeterred, the employee “tackled the suspect and detained him until police arrived on scene.”

More from an ACPD crime report:

ROBBERY, 2019-12250074, 4200 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 6:00 p.m. on December 25, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect was observed allegedly concealing merchandise from a business. When approached by an employee of the business, the suspect produced a bottle of pepper spray and sprayed the employee. The employee tackled the suspect and detained him until police arrived on scene. Patrick Riley, 54, of Washington D.C. was arrested and charged with Robbery and Malicious Wounding by Caustic Agent. He is being held without bond.

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