Huge Apartment Building Proposed for Ballston — A Bethesda-based developer is proposing a huge new apartment building on the western side of the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Glebe Road in Ballston. The building would feature 483 apartments, 760 underground parking spaces and 68,000 square feet of retail including a grocery store. The nearby Bluemont Civic Association has expressed concern about the proposal, including the potential impact of traffic from the grocery store. [Washington Business Journal]
Mall Worker Accused of Stealing Dozens of Shoes — A maintenance worker at the Pentagon City mall has been arrested and accused of stealing at least 77 pairs of shoes and boots and 9 purses. Police say surveillance footage shows Michael Meza-Guevara unsuccessfully trying to disable surveillance cameras. [NBC Washington]
Arlington Tops Regional Teacher Pay List — Arlington Public Schools offer the highest average teacher pay in suburban D.C. The average teacher salary in Arlington was $78,002 a year, compared to $76,029 for Montgomery County, which ranked third. [WTOP]
Editorial Supports I-66 Toll Plan, Widening — A new Washington Post editorial supports Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s plan for adding tolls to I-66. The editorial also supports widening the highway: “The right policy response to the I-66 mess, in addition to promoting mass transit, is to widen the road. Unfortunately, that’s been blocked by Arlington County, whose hostility from the outset is why the road was designed to narrow to four lanes inside the Beltway (from six outside).” [Washington Post]
Freezing Temperatures This Morning — Temperatures reached the freezing mark, dropping down to 32 degrees for the first time this season. The average first freeze in Arlington occurs on Nov. 18. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen
(Updated at 10:05 a.m.) A video on Reddit shows a man allegedly stealing a bike from a porch of home on Key Blvd in Lyon Village.
The video was originally uploaded last week but was posted on a Reddit thread yesterday, with the comment that the thief had not been caught as of that morning.
The video, captured by a home security camera, shows a man with long hair and wearing a backpack, short sleeve graphic t-shirt and pants and sneakers. The camera catches him glancing at a window in the house and then sneaking up the porch. He then walks off the porch with a bicycle.
“Took this video from the listserv. I have seen numerous bikes left on porches/children’s bikes left on front lawns overnight around the neighborhood. Hopefully this video proves that no neighborhood is invincible to theft and that everyone should lock up (if for some reason you decide to leave your bike outside),” the poster said.
Asked about the video, Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said: “We did receive an online report, however, this was the first our detectives had seen the video.”
An American flag that was flying outside of American Legion Post 139 in Virginia Square was apparently stolen earlier this morning.
Sharon Walker, the club manager at the post at 3445 Washington Blvd, said she noticed the flag was gone when she went to check on a mural currently being painted on the side of the building. The POW flag, which flies below the American flag, was lying on the ground and the rope that held the American flag was torn she said.
She first thought that someone had saw it on the ground and picked it up, but that didn’t quite add up, she said.
“If someone had picked it up, they’d also pick up the POW flag,” Walker said.
She asked neighbors if they saw a person take the flag, but so far no one has seen anything, she said. This is the first time in her 31 years at Post 139 that someone has stolen the flag.
A mural of an American flag is currently being painted on the side of the building, and artist Scott LoBaido said there is something ironic about the situation — that the flag was stolen while he was painting the huge mural.
“It just broke my heart,” he said. “It just broke my spirit.”
LoBaido is currently on a mission to paint an American flag on a VFW or American Legion post in every state. The Arlington American Legion is the last stop on his 50-state tour and this is the first time someone stole a flag while he was painting a mural.
“It’s the last one I’m doing. It’s Arlington, Virginia. It’s the Arlington National Cemetery,” he said. “That’s what it is all about.”
LoBaido filed a police report online, but he hasn’t heard back from the Arlington County Police Department. He said he hopes one of the buildings nearby has camera footage of the person stealing the flag. He checked in with the building across the street, but it did not have cameras.
“I consider it a hate crime,” he said. “It’s vandalism. It’s against the law.”
Desecrating the flag from an American Legion post doesn’t make a political statement, he said, it only hurts the service members who fight for it.
“You don’t desecrate the flag because you’re hurting the men and women who gave you the right to protest,” he said.
He urges anyone who saw something to call police. If the thief is caught, LoBaido says he knows the perfect punishment: the person should spend a week doing community service at a local VA Hospital to see the type of sacrifices military personnel make for the flag.
“The irony is here we are at Arlington. The Arlington National Cemetery is down the street,” he said.
A flag will “absolutely” fly tomorrow at the American Legion, Walker said, but she was not sure how much it would cost to replace it.
Police say the man entered the bar, at 2854 Wilson Blvd, just after 9:00 a.m. and stole six bottles of liquor. An alert employee, however, was able to foil the alleged theft and hold the suspect until police arrived on scene.
Wilber Johnson, 37, was arrested and charged with statutory burglary and grand larceny, according to a crime report.
The theft took place early on the morning of this past Saturday, May 23. Police say the kegs had been purchased on Friday for a wedding celebration on Saturday, and were being stored in the front yard of a house on the 600 block of N. Kenmore Street.
The homeowner’s daughter was the one getting married. Upon finding the kegs missing, the homeowner inquired with the future son-in-law and father-in-law, but found out that neither man had moved the kegs, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Neighbors reported that they had heard a car pull up to the house around 3:00 a.m.
The kegs contained beer from Alexandria’s Port City brewery and had a total value of about $170, Sternbeck said.
File photo via Facebook
Wounded Marine’s Golf Clubs Stolen — Retired Marine Lt. Col. Justin Constantine had a couple of his beloved, custom-made golf clubs stolen from Arlington’s Army Navy Country Club after accidentally leaving them at the driving range. Constantine was shot in the face by a sniper in Iraq in 2006. So far, one of the clubs has been returned while two remain missing. [Marine Corps Times]
Video: iPads in Use at APS — Arlington Public Schools has posted a new “#digitalAPS” video that shows iPads in use in a middle school science class. [Arlington Public Schools]
APS Community Engagement Juggling Act — Arlington Public Schools is planning a community engagement blitz as it seeks to keep up with rapidly rising school enrollment by building new schools. This comes in the wake of the County Board putting the brakes on a plan, unpopular with some residents, to build new elementary school next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School. APS is trying to juggle getting community consensus with the need to build new capacity quickly. [InsideNova]
Dremo’s Owner Dreams Up ‘BeerDisneyLand’ — The owner of the late, lamented Dr. Dremo’s in Rosslyn is proposing to build a two-acre “BeerDisneyLand” on D.C.’s Anacostia River waterfront near Navy Yard. [Hill Now]
Flickr pool by Kevin Wolf
Police: Pair Stole Car, Shrimp, Underpants — (Updated at 2:00 p.m.) A man and a woman allegedly under the influence of crack cocaine and alcohol were arrested in Rosslyn Tuesday afternoon. Police say the pair had stolen a car, men’s underwear and a “large quantity of shrimp.” [MyFoxDC]
Playgroup Controversy in Fairlington — Members of a cooperative playgroup that uses the Fairlington Community Center say that Arlington County is attempting a “takeover of the group.” The parents say the county is trying to buy the playgroup’s toys, take over registration and raise the playgroup fee from $20 to $190. [Patch]
How One Teacher Is Using iPads — There’s some question about just how well Arlington Public Schools has trained its teachers on the use of technology in the classroom — particularly the individual iPads and MacBooks that are being assigned at certain grade levels. One teacher at Carlin Springs Elementary School, however, is taking advantage of the iPads in a big way, using them for various interactive lessons. That, officials say, is indicative of how such technology will increasingly be used in schools. [InsideNova]
ACFD Metro Training — Arlington firefighters are participating in department-wide Metro safety training this month. [Twitter]
Police say the woman had just left her N. George Mason Drive apartment Thursday afternoon when a masked man forced her back into the apartment, bound her hands and stole her money and cell phone. After the man fled the scene, the woman managed to escape, hail a cab and go to a friend’s house, from which she called police.
From the crime report:
ROBBERY BY FORCE, 150129025, 100 block of N. George Mason Drive. At 2:17 pm on January 29, as a female victim was exiting her apartment she was allegedly confronted by a masked subject. The subject directed back into the apartment, bound her hands together and robbed her of cash and cell phone. Once the suspect fled, the victim ran outside and sought assistance from a cab driver. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 5’5″ – 5’7″ tall and 190 lbs. He was wearing a black jacket and mask.
Also last week, someone smashed the windows of at least 17 cars in a Rosslyn parking garage, stealing “numerous items” from inside.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 150201014, 1900 block of N. Lynn Street. Between 11 pm on January 31 and 8:30 am on February 1, an unknown subject(s) entered a parking garage and broke into and/or damaged at least seventeen vehicles by smashing a window. Numerous items of value were stolen. There is no suspect(s) description.
The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.
Police say 42-year-old Daniel Groseclose of Edgewater, Md. was employed by Kone, a company that does elevator and escalator repair work for Metro, when the thefts were discovered. He’s accused of stealing copper that was located on a construction site near the Rosslyn Metro station. The copper was owned by the electrical contractor M.C. Dean.
Metro Transit Police announced Groseclose’s arrest Friday afternoon.
“It is alleged that on at least two occasions last fall, Groseclose stole sections of copper wire and tubing from the site,” Transit Police said in a press release. “Kone was cooperative with the investigation, and has advised Metro that they have since dismissed Groseclose as an employee.”
“Groselose was arrested by Anne Arundel County Police on MTPD’s arrest warrant in Virginia,” the release continued. “He is expected to face two counts of grand larceny once extradited to Arlington County.”
The incident happened around 5:00 p.m. on January 25 at the Arlington Temple Methodist church in Rosslyn, also known affectionately as “Our Lady of Sunoco” in reference to the gas station below it.
Police say a man was rummaging through the church’s kitchen and trying to steal items when the pastor confronted him. The pastor pulled out his cell phone to call 911, and that’s when the suspect snatched the phone and ran off, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The pastor did not recognize the suspect, who remains at large. From an ACPD crime report item:
ROBBERY, 150125037, 1800 block of N. Nash Street. At 4:59 pm on January 25, an unknown subject entered the Arlington Temple Methodist Community Center and was attempting to steal items from the kitchen. When confronted by a pastor, the subject stole the pastor’s phone and fled the scene. The suspect is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 5’8″ tall and 175 lbs. He was wearing a striped khaki jacket, dark pants and a black ear warmer.
(Updated at 10:50 a.m.) Police tackled and arrested a theft suspect inside the Clarendon Apple Store on Tuesday.
The incident happened around 4:15 p.m., at the store at 2700 Clarendon Blvd. We’re told that the suspect tried to use stolen credit cards at the store, then tried to flee when police arrived. He was tackled and taken into custody.
As police confronted the suspect, one officer erroneously radioed that he had a gun. That prompted a large police response to the scene, but ultimately no gun was found.
“While officers were attempting to arrest the suspect, he resisted arrest violently and during the struggle, one of the officer’s ammunition magazines became dislodged from its carrier,” Arlington County Police Department spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm told ARLnow.com. “The officer, who was still struggling with the suspect, saw the magazine and believed it to be from the suspect so he requested additional backup. After the suspect was taken into custody, they were able to quickly determine that the suspect was not armed.”
Just two hours later, three more suspects were arrested at the Apple Store for “attempting to obtain iPhones through false pretenses,” Malcolm said in an email.
“As the iPhone is viewed by many to be a valuable commodity, there are many attempts to fraudulently obtain or steal them from Apple Stores in the region,” he said. “Because there are a high concentration of Apple Stores in our region, suspects will often travel to the D.C. metropolitan area to perpetrate these crimes.”
No injuries were reported.
Photo (left) courtesy Clayton Lott
There have been numerous reports of package thefts around Ballston this month. Yesterday afternoon, undercover cops patrolling the Ballston area, hoping to nab the suspect, observed a man acting suspiciously.
The man was seen “opening packages he took from doorsteps and removing the contents.” Keith Moore, 22, of District Heights, Md. and Washington D.C., was arrested and is now facing numerous criminal charges.
Police say Moore’s alleged Grinch-like behavior actually dates back before the holiday season.
“It is believed that the suspect is responsible for at least 40 thefts of packages over the last several months,” police said in a press release.
The police arrested Moore just in time for the holidays, it seems. ACPD spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm told ARLnow.com that some of the items Moore has stoled have “been recovered with their owners identified.” Many more unclaimed items were found, so the ACPD is encouraging those who have been victims of package theft to contact the department at its non-emergency number, 703-558-2222.
The full release, after the jump.
Murphy Finalist for Superintendent of the Year — Arlington Public Schools’ Dr. Patrick Murphy is one of four finalists for national superintendent of the year from the School Superintendents Association. Murphy, who was hired in 2009, has previously been recognized as Virginia’s superintendent of the year. [Washington Post]
Optimism for Office Vacancies in Arlington — There’s good news for owners of commercial office buildings in Arlington. Despite high vacancy rates, “Arlington’s location close to D.C. and its numerous transportation amenities give property owners an advantage in attracting potential tenants from other locations in the region,” especially Millennials, writes Keara Mehlert, a business development manager for the county-run Arlington Transportation Partners. [Mobility Lab]
Additional Package Thefts — Arlington County police say additional package thefts occurred in Arlington overnight. That’s after a number of package thefts were reported in Ballston last week. [Twitter]
Kindergartner Makes a Run for It — A five-year-old kindergarten student at Randolph Elementary ran away from school yesterday afternoon, prompting a response from Arlington County police. The student reportedly led staff members on a chase and made it to the area of Four Mile Run as police began arriving in the area to look for him. The youngster was finally nabbed by school staffers who had hopped into a Honda to find him. “He is safely back at school with his mother,” a school spokesman told ARLnow.com after the incident.
The thefts took place on Monday the 1100 blocks of N. Randolph Street and N. Vermont Street, and on the 4100 and 4400 blocks of Washington Blvd.
Police say as many as 10 packages sent to those addresses were found opened and tossed into nearby bushes. The perpetrator may have been spotted by a local resident, but was able to flee the scene.
“A witness told police he observed a subject walking around in a narrow walkway typically used by residents only,” according to a crime report. “The witness initiated contact with the subject who provided vague answers then left the area quickly. The subject is described as a black male, early 20’s, 6’01”, thin build, wearing a dark colored winter hat with a thin white line around the top, and carrying a large black or blue duffel bag.”
A man roughly fitting that description was spotted by a resident in Ballston this afternoon, running with an Amazon.com box. Police are on the scene, looking for the suspect.
ACPD spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm says package thefts seem to be prevalent during the holidays.
“Our District Team is aware of these cases and will be working on notifying the community to be vigilant during the holidays for this type of criminal activity,” Malcolm said. “I have seen several stories in the media recently about ‘package thefts’ so these are not uncommon thefts during the holiday season.”
Malcolm noted that the call to police on Monday was placed too late, and asked residents to report suspicious activity when they see it.
“Unfortunately there was a substantial delay in reporting the suspicious person,” he said. “We would like to remind members of our community to report suspicious activity to the Emergency Communications Center, 703.558.2222, whenever they see something.”
The wallet went missing between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Sunday, on the 2600 block of Jefferson Davis Highway, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm. Initial reports suggest police were searching for clues in the Holiday Inn hotel at 2650 Jefferson Davis Highway.
(An earlier version of this story cited incorrect information regarding the timing of the wallet going missing.)
There was little additional information available about the incident. Malcolm was unable to provide the name of the congresswoman or the circumstances surrounding how the wallet went missing.
“We can confirm that a congresswoman’s was possibly stolen,” he told ARLnow.com “We notified U.S. Capitol Police.”
U.S. Capitol Police have thus far not responded to a request for more information.
Photo via Google Maps