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Thieves Smashed Windows, Stole Airbags from ‘Approximately 35 Vehicles’

Dozens of vehicles were damaged at apartment parking lots in the Pentagon City and Crystal City area this past weekend.

According to police, “approximately 35 vehicles were smashed and [had] airbags stolen.” The damaged cars were discovered Saturday morning.

A resident of the RiverHouse Apartments, whose car was among those damaged, said the large Pentagon City apartment complex was a target for the thieves.

“On Saturday, July 7, I was informed that my car had been vandalized: window busted and driver’s airbag stolen,” she said. “Twenty-four other cars in the RiverHouse Apartments complex had their airbags stolen. All were Honda Accords or Civics.”

“RiverHouse has no cameras filming the parking lots,” the resident added. The apartment complex’s vast parking lots have also been the scene of a number of car wheel thefts.

More on the airbag thefts from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 2018-07070087/07070100/ 07070106, 1600 block of S. Joyce Street/1600 block of S. Eads Street/2000 block of S. Eads Street. Between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. on July 7, police responded to multiple reports of larcenies from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 8:00 p.m. on July 6 and 7:54 a.m. on July 7, the windows of approximately 35 vehicles were smashed and airbags stolen. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

Photo via Google Maps

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Man Leads Police on Wild Foot Chase Through Rosslyn

A 41-year-old man is facing a litany of charges after allegedly leading a police officer on a wild chase through part of Rosslyn.

The incident happened last Thursday around 6:30 p.m. Police say the man, Lamont Witherspoon, was spotted by an officer and identified as the suspect in a theft that had just occurred.

Witherspoon ran from the officer, dodged a taser, took off running again, and engaged in a physical struggle with the officer before finally being taken into custody, according to an Arlington County Police crime report.

The full crime report item is below.

ASSAULT ON LAW ENFORCEMENT, 2018-07050205, 1100 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 6:32 p.m. on July 5, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny in progress. An arriving officer identified the suspect, who was allegedly in possession of stolen goods that were visible in his backpack, based upon a lookout and attempted to stop the suspect. The suspect ignored the officer’s commands and fled the area on foot. A brief foot pursuit ensued and the suspect eventually stopped running. The officer issued lawful commands to the suspect, to which he did not comply and continued to challenge the officer. The officer then attempted to deploy his taser unsuccessfully, however, the suspect complied and got on one knee on the ground. When the officer attempted to handcuff him, the suspect continued to struggle with the officer, knocked the handcuffs away and fled on foot again. A second foot pursuit ensued and the officer was able to take the suspect to the ground. The suspect resisted the officer’s attempts to control him and repeatedly pulled the officer’s hand away from his radio and interfered with his microphone, preventing him from communicating his location to dispatch. The suspect continued to be combative, attempting to strike the officer with a closed fist multiple times. Despite the suspect grabbing the officer’s hand as he attempted to use his O.C. spray, the officer was able to successfully deploy the spray, preventing the suspect from further resisting arrest. With the assistance of an additional arriving officer, the suspect was then taken into custody. The officer sustained minor injuries and was transported to an area hospital for evaluation. Lamont Witherspoon, 41, of No Fixed Address, was arrested and charged with Petit Larceny: 3+ Offense, Possession of Burglarous Tools, Assault on Law Enforcement, Attempting to Disarm a Law Enforcement Officer of a Chemical or Impact Weapon, Obstruction of Justice (x2), Preventing an Emergency Call, and served with an outstanding warrant for Grand Larceny. He was held on no bond.

Photo courtesy ACPD

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Crime Report: ACPD Looking for Pushy Bike Thieves

A woman tried to stop a quartet of bike thieves from leaving her apartment building, but they shoved her out of the way and fled the scene before police arrived.

The incident happened this past Sunday evening on the 1200 block of S. Courthouse Road, just south of Columbia Pike.

The four suspects stole a bike from the building’s storage area despite being discovered by the resident.

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

ROBBERY, 2018-07010172, 1200 block of S. Courthouse Road. At approximately 6:55 p.m. on July 1, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was attempting to retrieve her property from the secure storage area of a building when she encountered four suspects attempting to steal bicycles from the storage area. The victim attempted to prevent the suspects from exiting, however, she was pushed away. The suspects fled in possession of one of the bicycles from the storage area. The victim did not require medical treatment. Suspect One is described as a black male, approximately 20 years old, six feet tall, 185 lbs., with a heavy build, a faded high top haircut and a goatee, wearing red shorts and a white t-shirt. Suspect Two is described as a light skinned Hispanic or Middle Eastern male, approximately 20 years old, 5’8″, 130 lbs., with a skinny build and thin mustache, wearing a gray t-shirt, dark blue jeans, white socks and sandals. Suspect Three is described as a black male, approximately 20 years old, six feet tall, 140 lbs., with a thin build, wearing glasses, a gray and red t-shirt, dark sweat pants, white socks and sandals. Suspect Four is described as a black male, approximately 20 years old, 5’10”, 140 lbs., with a thin build, wearing a black t-shirt and navy pants. The investigation is ongoing.

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

MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED DWELLING, 2018-07020028, 800 block of S. Arlington Mill Drive. At approximately 3:55 a.m. on July 2, police were dispatched to the report of a destruction of property. Upon arrival, it was determined that while the victim was inside his residence, a known suspect threw rocks through the window, causing it to break. The investigation is ongoing.

BRANDISHING, 2018-06290101, S. Four Mile Run Drive at Columbia Pike. At approximately 12:21 p.m. on June 29, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was walking in the area when he approached two suspects on foot. During the verbal exchange, one of the suspects brandished a firearm and demanded the victim’s property. The victim yelled for help and the suspects fled on foot. The victim was not injured and nothing was reported stolen. A lookout was broadcast for the two suspects based upon the description provided by a witness and arriving units located the two suspects nearby. Petitions for Possession of a Handgun by a Juvenile, Brandishing a Firearm, Carrying a Concealed Weapon and Possession of Marijuana were obtained for the juvenile suspect. The investigation into the involvement of the second suspect is ongoing.

BURGLARY (late), 2018-06290173, 900 block of S. Columbus Street. At approximately 5:07 p.m. on June 29, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary just discovered. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 6:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m., an unknown suspect(s) gained entry to a residence and stole items of value. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

UNLAWFUL WOUNDING, 2018-06280024, 3100 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 2:20 a.m. on June 28, police were dispatched to the report of an assault with injury. Upon arrival it was determined that the suspect had exited a taxi and was involved in a verbal argument with the driver over the fare. When a witness intervened, the suspect allegedly became aggressive and struck the witness in the face. The victim did not require medical treatment. Responding officers canvased the area and located the suspect. Oscar Castillo, 32, of Arlington, VA was arrested and charged with Unlawful Wounding and Drunk in Public.

BURGLARY, 2018-06280212, 100 block of N. Wayne Street. At approximately 6:34 p.m. on June 28, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary just discovered. Upon arrival it was determined that between 7:25 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., an unknown suspect(s) forced entry into a residence and stole cash. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

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County Police Investigating Series of Thefts at Arlington Elementary Schools

Arlington County Police and school officials are working to track down the people responsible for a series of thefts from local schools over the last few months.

ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage says her department has received 10 reports of larcenies of credits cards or wallets from Arlington schools since May 2017, with the most recent coming last Thursday (May 31).

She says police are investigating thefts from nine schools in all:

  • Ashlawn Elementary School
  • Barcroft Elementary School
  • Campbell Elementary School
  • Carlin Springs Elementary School
  • Drew Model School
  • Glebe Elementary School
  • Jamestown Elementary School
  • McKinley Elementary School
  • Tuckahoe Elementary School

“The investigation into these incidents determined that in the majority of cases, the suspects enter the schools following dismissal and steal unsecured personal belongings to include wallets, credit cards and cash,” Savage told ARLnow via email. “These crimes are organized and believed to be regional in nature. While there is no indication that this individual is linked to this case, similar incidents have been reported in Maryland.”

Savage says the department is urging school staffers, particularly in elementary schools, to report suspicious activity and regularly monitor their bank statements. APS spokesman Frank Bellavia said the school system is taking steps to address the issue as well.

“We have been working with police to circulate the images of the suspects,” Bellavia wrote via email. “We are also asking staff to make sure to lock up their personal belongings so that they can’t be accessed. Front office staff as well as other staff members are being asked to be vigilant especially during dismissal when there are a lot of people around.”

A tipster told ARLnow that the thefts bring up larger questions about school safety.

“This put[s] the entire school community at risk,” the tipster said. “It is my deep concern about procedures in APS schools and the failure of the administration to properly address the school safety issue. If attention is not drawn to this now, it is my fear this will escalate into a crisis.”

An email sent to school staff from an ACPD sergeant, an image of which was sent by the tipster, has more details about how the thieves operate. (It also contained a link to an article about similar thefts in Maryland.)

We believe these crimes are organized, regional in nature, and possible based out of the area near the Prince George’s/District line. Most charges are near here and in Silver Spring.

We believe the schools that are targeted are mostly elementary schools and mostly near the outskirts of the county near a highway that links up to DC/MD.

We believe a group arrives at a school near dismissal time and parks nearby.

Some occupants stay inside the vehicle and some wander onto school property and look to enter an entrance that is not the main school entrance. They then look lost, look into open classrooms, and look through purses and only take credit cards. They cards are then maxed out using some type of purchase with money cards at a CVS. This allows the thieves to recover cash from their crimes.

File photo

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Crime Report: Three Men Try, Fail to Snatch Woman’s Purse Near Clarendon

A group of three men tried to take a woman’s purse near Clarendon early last Thursday morning, but were unsuccessful and instead ended up running away.

Police say the group approached the woman, threw her to the ground and tried to take the purse, but she fought back and the suspects fled empty-handed.

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

ATTEMPTED ROBBERY, 2018-05100029, N. Irving Street at Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 2:39 a.m. on May 10, police were dispatched to the report of an assault just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the female victim was walking in the area when she was approached by three male suspects. The victim continued walking and was again approached by the three suspects. One suspect grabbed the victim around the neck and threw her to the ground, while the other two suspects attempted to steal her purse. The victim was able to fight back and the suspects fled the area prior to police arrival. Nothing was stolen from the victim and she did not require medical attention. Suspect One is described as a black male with a thin build and black hair, wearing a black shirt and dark jeans. Suspect Two is described as a heavyset black male, wearing dark clothing. Suspect Three is described as a dark-skinned Hispanic male with an average build, wearing dark clothing. The investigation is ongoing.

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

ROBBERY (late), 2018-05110046, 900 block of S. Dinwiddie Street. At approximately 4:30 a.m. on May 11, police were dispatched to the late report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was walking in the area when he was approached by four suspects who threatened him and demanded his possessions. One suspect brandished a knife during the incident. The suspects stole the victim’s possessions and physically assaulted him before fleeing the area on foot. All four suspects are described as Hispanic males, approximately 18 years old. The suspect who brandished the knife was wearing a yellow shirt and multi-colored jeans and one of the suspects was described as having darker skin than the other three suspects and dark hair that was bleached in the front. The victim was transported to the Virginia Hospital Center with non-life threatening injuries. The investigation is ongoing.

BURGLARY, 2018-05130179, 2900 block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 8:06 p.m. on May 13, police responded to the report of a suspicious subject attempting to gain entry into the victim’s residence. The suspect fled the scene prior to police arrival and responding units were unable to locate the suspect. At approximately 8:40 p.m., police were dispatched to another unit in the same building for the report of a larceny of a purse. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was inside her residence when she heard a knock at her door. When she cracked the door open to see who was there, the suspect pushed open the door and entered the residence. While inside the residence, the suspect began examining the victim’s possessions, requested money from the victim and attempted to engage her in conversation. The victim declined to give the suspect money and he left the residence. Upon his exit, the victim determined that a purse was stolen from inside the residence. The suspect is described as a black male who spoke with an accent, in his early to mid-30’s, approximately 5’3″ to 5’6″, wearing a black v-neck t-shirt. The investigation is ongoing.

SEXUAL BATTERY, 2018-05110042, 500 block of N. Quincy Street. At approximately 3:20 a.m. on May 11, police were dispatched to the report of a sexual assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that a known suspect allegedly touched the victim inappropriately. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspect was also wanted out of Henrico, VA. Horace Holland, 61, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Sexual Battery. He was held on no bond.

UNLAWFUL ENTRY (late), 2018-05110333, 300 block of N. Piedmont Street. At approximately 11:41 p.m. on May 11, police were dispatched to the report of a possible break-in to a residence. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim returned home at approximately 10:00 p.m. and heard someone leaving the residence through the front door. Upon investigation, the victim observed an unknown suspect fleeing the residence. Nothing was reported missing from the apartment. The suspect is described as a light skinned male, approximately 5’11”-6’0″, approximately 150 lbs., with short black hair, wearing gray sweatpants, no shirt, and no shoes. The investigation is ongoing.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2018-05100171, 2300 block of Jefferson Davis Highway. At approximately 1:30 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of a fight in progress. Upon arrival, officers located a male victim suffering from a stab wound. The victim was transported to an area hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries. During the course of the investigation, officers determined that the victim confronted the tow truck operator as his vehicle was being towed from a gas station. A physical altercation ensued where the tow truck operator allegedly struck and stabbed the victim. Norman Brawner, 33, of Arlington, VA was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding. He was held on no bond.

INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2018-05080221, 600 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 5:41 p.m. on May 8, police were dispatched to the report of an indecent exposure. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was walking in the area when he witnessed the male suspect masturbating inside of his vehicle. Brian Srey, 29, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with Indecent Exposure.

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Police Release Video of Sneaker Store Theft and Arson Suspect

The Arlington County Police Department has released surveillance video of a man suspected in an arson case along Columbia Pike.

The man is accused of breaking into the Legend Kicks and Apparel store early last Friday morning, stealing merchandise and then setting the store on fire. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the blaze after being alerted to it by a passerby.

In the video released by police (above), the man can be seen ambling down Columbia Pike after exiting the store. A bag full of apparently pilfered merchandise breaks as he approaches the camera. As the man bends down to pick it up, a portion of his rear end is blurred by police.

Legend Kicks is a relatively new store but had quickly grown a loyal customer base, particularly among younger people.

“They were getting quite a following by ‘sneakerheads’ in the area,” one nearby resident told ARLnow.com. “They had some very valuable stock. It’s such a shame.”

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Morning Notes

Secret Service Vehicle Stolen in Arlington — A pair of thieves stole a vehicle belonging to the U.S. Secret Service from an Arlington service center yesterday afternoon. The vehicle did not have any equipment inside that “compromises the Secret Service mission,” the Secret Service told news organizations. It was reported stolen from the 900 block of N. Jackson Street, which corresponds with the location of Arlington Autocare near Clarendon. [WUSA 9, Washington Post]

Arlington and Alexandria Working Together on HQ2 — “The city of Alexandria and Arlington County are apparently working together in their efforts to land Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters… Arlington County’s Crystal City and the Alexandria portion of Potomac Yard south of Four Mile Run are believed to have been jointly offered up in response to Amazon’s September request for proposals.” [Washington Business Journal]

Monday Properties Expands Local Portfolio — Monday Properties, a major property owner in Rosslyn, has acquired a pair of office buildings in Alexandria and Herndon. The properties are both near potential D.C. area landing spots for Amazon’s HQ2. However, Monday’s Rosslyn portfolio itself is being seriously considered for the second headquarters by the Seattle-based online giant. [Washington Business Journal]

New Tenant for 1812 N. Moore Street — “Monday Properties has found a neighbor for Nestle USA in Rosslyn. International health IT juggernaut Cerner Corp. has signed on for 38,000 square feet at 1812 N. Moore, according to Bisnow.” [Bisnow, Washington Business Journal]

Snagajob Rebrands as ‘Snag’ — “Eighteen years in, Snagajob is rebranding. The Arlington, Va.-based company that provides a platform to find jobs is now called Snag, CEO Peter Harrison said on Tuesday. With the rebrand comes a new product. The company plans to expand a platform that can help connect to on-demand shifts.” [Technically DC, Washington Business Journal]

Bunny Needs Foster Home — A bunny dubbed Cherry Blossom is in need of a foster home. “Cherry Blossom was found outside, cold, skinny, and urine-scalded — now she needs a friend to help her gain her strength back,” said the Animal Welfare League of Arlington via social media. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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The Italian Store’s Vespa Has Been Recovered

The 1966 celeste green Vespa scooter that was stolen from Westover’s The Italian Store in December has been recovered.

It was found by a man walking his dog this morning (April 3) far off the Lubber Run Trail, near the intersection of N. Carlin Spring Road and N. George Mason Drive. The man called Bob Tramonte, the Italian Store’s owner, and the Vespa was quickly back in the family’s possession.

Given the widespread publicity around the theft, Tramonte told ARLnow that he thought the vehicle was “too hot” to try to sell or even use — though he also believes that the thief didn’t know how to use the scooter’s shifter, as there is some damage to the clutch.

A Facebook post from The Italian Store shortly after the theft had urged residents to come forward with any information they might have had regarding the stolen Vespa, and security camera footage was released showing what employees said was a man loading the Vespa into a red Ford Focus before driving away down N. Longfellow Street.

The family and store employees received dozens of tips, with several calls a day at times since the Vespa went missing. While a few tips led Tramonte on wild goose chases, he called the recovery “truly a community effort,” and expressed gratitude for the tips, concern, and over 1,000 Facebook post shares.

“For being in the leaves for four months, I think it looks good,” Tramonte said. He noted that his sons helped to clean it up this morning, though it will need some minor mechanical work to make it rideable again.

The Vespa is important to the family, not just as an iconic Italian charm but as a part of the family’s history. Tramonte taught his sons how to drive it, and it was a centerpiece at his daughter’s graduation celebration. It’s been in the family for over 20 years.

Though the Vespa was taken outside for photos late this morning, it won’t be staying there long.

“I think we’ll keep it inside for now, but maybe eventually it’ll make it back outside,” said Tramonte.

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Morning Notes

More Stuff Coming to Ballston — Even more hip food-and-drink spots are on the way for Ballston. A 3,000 square foot Union Kitchen Grocery store is coming to the ground floor of the revamped Ballston Quarter mall, at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street, while a Compass Coffee cafe will also be opening in the mall. [Washington Business Journal]

Wheels Stolen Off the Lot at Dealership — Someone stole tires from three vehicles parked in the lot of a car dealership on Lee Highway just after midnight Wednesday. “An unknown suspect(s) removed the tires from and tampered with multiple vehicles in the parking lot of a business,” police said in a crime report. There is no suspect description and no surveillance footage, we’re told. There is a Toyota dealership on the 4000 block of Lee Highway, where police said the crime occurred, but also a Honda dealership nearby. [Arlington County]

Garvey Confident About Amazon — Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey is optimistic about Amazon coming to the area. “I think Amazon is very likely coming here,” she said at a Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce conference, shortly after it was announced that Northern Virginia, D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland were among the top 20 finalists for Amazon’s HQ2. “We have got everything here.” [Washington Business Journal]

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Hope Bill in Va. House Would Raise Grand Larceny Threshold

Del. Patrick Hope (D) proposed a bill in the Virginia House of Delegates to raise the minimum value of stolen money or goods that constitute a “grand larceny.”

Hope, who represents Arlington in the House of Delegates, filed HB 17 to raise the threshold from its current minimum of $200 to $500. Under current law, stealing goods or money worth less than $200 is a petit larceny.

Grand larceny, a felony, typically carries a sentence of at least a year in prison, while petit larceny is a misdemeanor so generally results in probation, fines or lesser prison sentences.

State Sen. David Suetterlein (R-Salem) has filed identical legislation — SB 105 — in the Virginia State Senate.

Earlier this year, research by the nonprofit Pew Charitable Trusts found that raising the threshold does not impact overall property crime or larceny rates, and that states that increased their thresholds reported “roughly” the same average decrease in crime as 20 states that did not.

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Crime Report: More Catalytic Converters Stolen

Another series of catalytic converter thefts has been reported in Arlington.

This time around, two thefts were reported on the outskirts of Rosslyn. Both occurred some time Monday morning or early afternoon.

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

LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 2017-12120142, 2017-12120130, 2500 block of 20th Road N. and 1700 block of N. Troy Street. At approximately 12:00 p.m. on December 12, police were dispatched to the report of two larceny from autos. Between 8:30 a.m. 2:45 p.m. on December 11, an unknown suspect(s) removed and stole the catalytic converters from two vehicles. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

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

LARCENY (Series), 2017-12110069, 2017-12110071, 2017-12110081, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. Between 11:00 p.m. on December 9 and 9:00 a.m. on December 11, an unknown suspect(s) tampered with three kiosks. Cash and merchandise were reported missing from two of the businesses. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

BURGLARY, 2017-12090213, 2700 block of Washington Boulevard. At approximately 8:56 p.m. on December 9, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery by force just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that two male suspects forced entry to a business and stole items of value. The suspects fled in a vehicle prior to police arrival. Suspect 1 is described as a black male, approximately 5’5-6’0, 200-225 pounds, wearing a black jacket, an olive colored shirt, black pants, black and white gloves, black shoes and a black ski mask. Suspect 2 is described as as a black male, approximately 5’5-6’0, 200-225 pounds, wearing acid washed jeans, black boots, a black jacket, black gloves and a black ski mask. The vehicle is described as a dark green, older model, four door sedan. The investigation is ongoing.

ROBBERY, 2017-1207256, 4800 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 8:44 p.m. on December 7, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery by force. Upon arrival it was determined that a male suspect entered a business, brandished a knife and demanded money from the cash register.The victim resisted and suffered a minor laceration during a brief struggle with the suspect. The suspect was unsuccessful in attempting to force entry to or remove the cash register from the business and fled on foot. The victim was treated by medics on scene. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 6’1, with a very skinny build, wearing a black jacket, black pants, black gloves, a black mask and tennis shoes. The investigation is ongoing.

BURGLARY (late), 2017-12070162, 4400 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 2:54 p.m. on December 7, police were dispatched to the late report of breaking and entering. Upon arrival it was determined that an unknown suspect forced entry to an apartment building on December 4 and December 5 and stole packages. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

BURGLARY, 2017-12070188, 1500 block of S. Randolph Street. At approximately 4:51 p.m. on December 7, police were dispatched to the late report of breaking and entering. Upon arrival, it was determined that Between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., an unknown suspect(s) forced entry to a residence. Nothing was reported missing. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

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Police Investigating Thefts from Mall Kiosks

Someone tampered with vendor kiosks at a shopping center in Pentagon City this past weekend.

Three kiosks were tampered with and two had cash and merchandise stolen.

Police are now investigating the thefts, which happened during the key holiday shopping season.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

LARCENY (Series), 2017-12110069, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. Between 11:00 p.m. on December 9 and 9:00 a.m. on December 11, an unknown suspect(s) tampered with three kiosks. Cash and merchandise were reported missing from two of the businesses. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

File photo

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Video Footage Appears to Show Man Stealing Italian Store’s Vespa

(Updated at 11:25 a.m.) Surveillance video appears to show a man loading The Italian Store’s Vespa scooter into his car and then driving away.

The still-missing 1966 Celeste Green Vespa scooter disappeared Saturday evening from outside The Italian Store’s Westover location around 5 p.m., the business said.

The footage shows a man allegedly loading the Vespa into a red Ford Focus before driving away on N. Longfellow Street. The video is from behind the nearby Ayers Variety & Hardware Store (5853 Washington Blvd).

In a recent Facebook post, The Italian Store said they are waiting for the case to be assigned a detective by the Arlington County Police Department for more examination. They also urged anyone with surveillance cameras along N. Longfellow Street to share any footage they may have from that day.

There was a possible sighting of the car at around 10:30 a.m. yesterday (Wednesday) at the nearby intersection of 10th Street N. and N. Kensington Street, prompting a police response.

A woman said she saw a “suspicious” red car in the neighborhood and posted about it on an app. Someone who saw that post told the store owner, who then called the police. The woman thought the car was suspicious because she had never seen it before.

Several police units responded to the scene but the car was nowhere to be found and there was no evidence that it might have been the same suspect vehicle.

Vespa Update:We have obtained video of a man loading up the Vespa into the red Ford Focus shown behind Ayers Hardware…

Posted by The Italian Store on Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Photos via Facebook

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Police: Robbery Suspect Arrested While Trying to Steal Car

A man suspected of robbing a store on Columbia Pike was arrested while trying to steal a car in the Rosslyn area, according to a pair of ACPD crime reports.

The alleged crimes happened over the weekend.

Around 9:15 p.m. Saturday, police say 54-year-old Arlington resident Donnell Cook held up a store on the 5500 block of Columbia Pike by implying to the clerk that he had a gun, before fleeing on foot. The store was not named in the police report.

The next day, just before midnight, police say they responded to the 1800 block of N. Quinn Street, in western Rosslyn, for a report of a man tampering with a vehicle. They say they found Cook inside a car that had “extensive damage,” and identified him as the previous night’s robbery suspect.

Cook is now facing a litany of charges, including robbery, attempted grand larceny auto, destruction of property and providing false identification to law enforcement. Earlier this year Cook was arrested and charged with public intoxication.

More from the Arlington County Police Department crime reports:

ROBBERY, 2017-12020258, 5500 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 9:15 p.m. on December 2, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect entered a business and approached an employee behind the counter, implying he had a gun. The suspect forced his way behind the counter and stole money from the cash register, before fleeing on foot. Units set up a perimeter and a K-9 track yielded negative results. During the course of the investigation, officers developed a suspect identification and obtained an arrest warrant. Upon hearing the broadcast suspect lookout in the below attempted grand larceny auto (2017-12030251) case, officers responded and confirmed he was wanted on the outstanding robbery warrant. Donnell Cook, 54, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with Robbery and Providing False ID to Law Enforcement to Avoid Arrest.

ATTEMPTED GRAND LARCENY WITH APPREHENSION, 2017-12030251, 1800 block of N. Quinn Street. At approximately 11:57 p.m. on December 3, police were dispatched to the report of a suspect tampering with a vehicle. Upon arrival, a suspect was located inside of the vehicle, which had extensive damage. Arriving officers identified the suspect as being wanted in a robbery case that occurred on December 2. Donnell Cook, 54, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with Destruction of Property, Possession of Burglarous Tools and Attempted Grand Larceny Auto.

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Italian Store Seeking Return of Stolen Vespa

Arlington, we need your help! Yesterday (12/2) between 3-6pm the 1966 Celeste Green Vespa was stolen from the Westover…

Posted by The Italian Store on Sunday, December 3, 2017

Long-time local business The Italian Store has lost a piece of its history to a thief.

The restaurant’s 1966 Celeste Green Vespa scooter, which “has welcomed customers to the store for the past 20 years,” was stolen Saturday evening around 5 p.m. from its Westover location, the business said on Facebook.

The Italian Store also released a screenshot from a surveillance video (below) showing the alleged Vespa bandit absconding with the vehicle down N. Longfellow Street.

The restaurant said it has contacted the Arlington County Police Department but it is seeking the public’s help in getting the Vespa back. Dozens of people have commented with words of sympathy and encouragement on the Facebook post.

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