Thieves damaged 25 vehicles in several North Arlington neighborhoods over the past few days.
That’s according to Monday’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.
The first theft spree happened last week, overnight Thursday into Friday, in the Waverly Hills neighborhood, not far from the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Langston Blvd.
Thieves damaged five vehicles while stealing the glass from side mirrors, according to police.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series) (Late), 2023-05190101, 4700 block of 20th Road N. At approximately 9:57 a.m. on May 19, police were dispatched to the late report of a larceny from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined between approximately 10:00 p.m. on May 18 and 7:30 a.m. on May 19, the unknown suspect(s) stole the glass from the sideview mirrors of four vehicles and damaged the glass of the sideview mirror of a fifth vehicle. No other items were reported damaged or stolen. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
An even larger spree was reported over the weekend in and around Rosslyn, with some 20 Honda vehicles broken into and their airbags stolen.
From the crime report:
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2023-05210011, 1300 block of N. Fort Myer Drive. At approximately 12:44 a.m. on May 21, police were dispatched to a vehicle tampering. Upon arrival, it was determined the reporting party observed three men in their 20’s breaking into vehicles. When she yelled out to them, they fled the scene in a gray sedan. During the course of the investigation, it was determined approximately 20 parked vehicles in the Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights, Rosslyn and Colonial Village neighborhoods had a window shattered and an air bag stolen. The involved vehicles are Honda models. The investigation is ongoing.
Thieves have targeted Hondas parked in Arlington for airbag thefts numerous times in recent memory, including in March and several times in 2022.
Is crime on the rise in Arlington? It depends on which Arlington County official you ask.
Police Chief Andy Penn told the County Board last Thursday that crime rates rose in 2022, driven by upticks in theft — of cars and from cars — and assaults, largely in Arlington’s most populated neighborhoods. He noted that ACPD is seeing more crimes where a weapon is used.
Arlington started 2023 with a rise in carjackings and student overdoses, and this early data indicates that it ended 2022 with a nearly 23% increase in property crimes over 2021 with, specifically, a 27.4% increase in larcenies. In addition, there has been a nearly 32% increase in vehicle thefts and a 14% increase in thefts from vehicles, especially with unlocked cars or those with keys left inside.
There has also been a 16% increase in crimes against people, such as assault, and a 21.5% decrease in crimes against society, such as drug violations.
Penn noted officers are seeing “more guns than what’s normal,” as officers seized 147 firearms in 2022 — an increase from 126 in 2021 and 104 in 2020. Of the seizures in 2022, 15 were ghost guns.
ACPD does not typically report arrest numbers — as opposed to offense numbers, which are released annually — for the most common group of offenses, which span everything from burglary to murder. A department spokeswoman told ARLnow that that would have to be requested through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The department noted its 2021 annual report, released last summer, that people officers have arrested for these “Group A” crimes are “frequently responsible for multiple cases within Arlington or regionally.”
The question of whether crime is rising in Arlington has implications for the race to determine the upcoming Commonwealth’s Attorney race. Josh Katcher, who used to work for the incumbent top prosecutor, Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, has made his campaign about acknowledging that crime is rising and criticizing his opponent for, he says, not admitting this.
“We can’t begin to address these issues until we are willing to acknowledge and face them head on,” he said in a statement to ARLnow. “Arlington County deserves a Commonwealth’s Attorney who is transparent with those that they are elected to serve. My opponent has repeatedly and publicly stated that crime has not been rising, starting in November of last year.”
Dehghani-Tafti, who won in 2019 on a platform of criminal justice reform, has maintained her position despite crime concerns from some residents and members of ACPD. In a statement to ARLnow in response, Dehghani-Tafti called Katcher’s rhetoric fear-mongering.
“Real leaders don’t engage in right wing fear mongering propaganda, particularly when Arlington remains one of the safest communities in the country,” she said. “Real leaders also don’t use right wing attack lines that prosecutors are responsible for temporary rise or decline in crime. While some categories of assaults have been on the rise since 2018, serious crimes such as homicides have declined in Arlington at the same time as jurisdictions nationwide have seen an increase.”
She noted that Arlington had zero homicides for nearly 18 months — one in February 2022 and none since then.
“Our job is to build on that success to continue to keep our community safe. That’s what I intend to do,” Dehghani-Tafti said.
Arlington County police are on scene at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Cherrydale for a report of a stolen tip jar and a stolen car.
Initial reports suggest that a man swiped the tip jar at the restaurant, located at 3520 Langston Blvd, then hopped into someone else’s car and drove off in the direction of Rosslyn. Police are on scene investigating.
This is at least the second larceny involving a Cherrydale business in as many days.
According to today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report, someone broke into a business and stole tires from 11 cars. The theft happened early Monday morning on the 3900 block of Langston Blvd, an address that seemingly corresponds with the Brown’s Honda dealership.
More below from the ACPD crime report.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Late), 2023-03200059, 3900 block of Langston Boulevard. At approximately 7:43 a.m. on March 20, police were dispatched to the late report of a larceny from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined between approximately 1:15 a.m. and 3:15 a.m., the unknown suspect(s) forced entry onto a lot of a business, caused property damage and stole tires from 11 vehicles. There are no suspect descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.
At least five cars were damaged by airbag thieves in a pair of North Arlington neighborhoods yesterday.
The thieves made off with airbags from three of the vehicles, all of which were Hondas, according to Arlington County police. The thefts were reported Thursday morning along N. Glebe Road, just north of Langston Blvd, and in the nearby Waverly Hills neighborhood.
More from today’s ACPD crime report, below.
LARCENY FROM AUTO/VEHICLE TAMPERING (Series) (Late), 2023-03160084/03160162/03160165/03160186, 2000 block of N. Woodstock Street/4400 block of Cherry Hill Road/26th Street N. at N. Glebe Road/N. Utah Street at Cherry Hill Road/2500 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 10:32 a.m. on March 16, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. During the course of the investigation, it was determined five vehicles had their driver’s side windows shattered and airbags were stolen from three of the vehicles. All involved vehicles are Honda models. No other items were reported stolen. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
It was a busy Monday for Arlington County police, as a string of incidents kicked off the holiday week.
Starting that morning, ACPD responded to a pair of car thefts in the Bluemont neighborhood and what might have been an attempted carjacking in the nearby Dominion Hills neighborhood.
From the lastest police crime report:
GRAND LARCENY AUTO/ATTEMPTED GRAND LARCENY AUTO, 2022-12190049/12190058, 5600 block of 8th Street N./1000 block of N. Liberty Street. At approximately 6:42 a.m. on December 19, police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious person. Upon arrival, it was determined the victim was making a delivery in the 5600 block of 8th Street N. when she observed the suspect vehicle pull up alongside her parked vehicle. The unknown male suspect exited the passenger side of the vehicle and attempted to enter into the victim’s vehicle, during which the victim confronted him. The suspect then entered back into the suspect vehicle and fled the scene. The suspect vehicle is described as a silver SUV. During the course of the investigation, it was determined between approximately 5:13 a.m. and 6:13 a.m., two vehicles with keys inside were stolen in the 1000 block of N. Liberty Street. The vehicles are described as a 2017 silver Ford Explorer and a 2022 white Toyota Prius. The suspect is described as a Black male, approximately 6’0″, wearing a black mask, black jacket, gray jeans and black shoes. The investigation is ongoing.
That evening, in Pentagon City near the mall, an officer conducting a traffic stop was nearly run over by a suspect in a BMW trying to flee from another traffic stop, according to ACPD.
That led to a brief car chase that ended when the suspect crossed the suspect crossed the bridge into D.C. The chase was caught on video by local public safety watchdog Dave Statter.
ATTEMPTED MALICIOUS WOUNDING OF POLICE, 2022-12190190, 800 block of Army Navy Drive. At approximately 4:55 p.m. on December 19, an officer attempted a traffic stop for a vehicle displaying improper registration. The driver refused to stop and fled at a high rate of speed, nearly striking an officer on a separate traffic stop at Army Navy Drive and S. Hayes Street. Officers initiated a pursuit of the suspect vehicle onto I-395 NB. The pursuit was terminated after the suspect vehicle fled into Washington D.C. The suspect is described as a Black male with a medium to slender build wearing a jacket with the hood pulled up. The investigation is ongoing.
Watch: Brief @ArlingtonVaPD chase just before 5. BMW fled #police near the Fashion Center. Officer reported driver tried to run him over. Chase halted crossing into DC in the express lanes. @ARLnowDOTcom @matthewyoung31 @RealTimeNews10 @HCBright10 #395cam #traffic #vatraffic pic.twitter.com/XhR5L9ce2s
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) December 20, 2022
A short distance away in Pentagon City, around 7:30 p.m., police found four stolen vehicles in the parking lot for Virginia Highlands Park. They then chased six potential suspects on foot, arresting and charging four in connection to the stolen vehicles.
All of the charged suspects were between the ages of 18-20 and from either D.C. or Maryland.
From the crime report:
RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLES, 2022-12190216, 1600 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 7:29 p.m. on December 19, police received an alert for a stolen vehicle in the area and located it parked and unoccupied. During the course of the investigation, officers determined three additional vehicles in the parking lot were also reported stolen. Officers approached a group as they returned to the vehicles and the group ran. A foot pursuit was initiated and officers detained six individuals. Based on the investigation, four of the individuals were arrested and charged. Aziyah Johnson, 18, of Washington D.C. was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny of a Motor Vehicle and Possession of Burglarious Tools. Malik Blocker, 19, of Temple Hills, MD was arrested and charged with Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle. Xavier Mitchell, 18, of Laurel, MD was arrested and charged with Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and Receiving Stolen Goods. Marquis Hailstorks, 20, of Washington D.C. was arrested and charged with Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and Possession of Burglarious Tools.
The apparent aftermath of the chase and arrests was also posted online.
Not sure what is going on, but there is a major @ArlingtonVaPD presence at the @AuroraHighlands library parking lot area, near the soccer field at 15th + S. Hayes. @STATter911 @ARLnowDOTcom @WTOP @NationalLanding pic.twitter.com/m8768r5Iv7
— CartChaos22202 (@CartChaos22202) December 20, 2022
(1) @ArlingtonVaPD had a lot of action in Pentagon City yesterday. These were some of the people #police report they ran after when staking out multiple stolen cars in a parking lot. Arrests were made around 8:30 pm. (more) @CartChaos22202 pic.twitter.com/flld9i0uzZ
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) December 20, 2022
Arlington County police are investigating a pair of vehicle thefts along the Langston Blvd corridor.
The incidents happened Friday night or early Saturday morning. Two thieves wearing facial coverings stole cars in Cherrydale and near Courthouse, according to an ACPD crime report. Both stolen vehicles were later located in Alexandria, police said.
The thieves also allegedly attempted, unsuccessfully, to steal a car at an apartment complex on Spout Run Parkway.
From the crime report:
GRAND LARCENY AUTO/VEHICLE TAMPERING, 2022-12160312/12170013/12170061, 1900 block of Key Boulevard/3000 block of Spout Run Parkway/2100 block of N. Monroe Street. At approximately 11:32 p.m. on December 16, police were dispatched to the report of a stolen vehicle. The investigation determined between approximately 6:30 p.m. on December 16 and 4:23 a.m. on December 17, the two unknown male suspects broke rear windows, tampered with the ignition and stole two vehicles in the 1900 block of Key Boulevard and the 2100 block of N. Monroe Street and attempted to steal a third vehicle in the 3000 block of Spout Run Parkway. The two stolen vehicles were subsequently located and recovered in the City of Alexandria. No items were reported stolen from inside the vehicles.
Also on Friday, teens driving around in an SUV allegedly fired a pellet gun at at least one person walking by near the intersection of George Mason Drive and Langston Blvd.
Similar incidents were reported earlier this year and earlier this month. This particular pellet gun drive-by happened after dismissal on the last day of school before winter break for APS students.
More from ACPD:
ASSAULT & BATTERY (Significant), 2022-12160182, N. George Mason Drive at Langston Boulevard. At approximately 4:10 p.m. on December 16, police were dispatched to the report of suspicious circumstances. The investigation indicates unknown male suspect(s) discharged a water pellet gun from a vehicle, striking at least one victim. The victim did not require medical attention. The suspect vehicle is described as a black SUV with three juvenile male occupants. The investigation is ongoing.
Scanner: Police investigating report of teens driving around parts of N. Arlington, shooting a pellet gun out of the window.
Of note, today is the last day of school before winter break for APS.
— Arlington Now (@ARLnowDOTcom) December 16, 2022
(Updated at 4 p.m.) Two weeks before Christmas, someone has apparently stolen a nativity scene from a church in the Barcroft neighborhood.
But the pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church (825 S. Taylor Street), Wayne Fredericksen, is turning the other cheek.
“My focus is fresh hope and fresh encouragement,” he said. “This is where my head and heart are going, to remind us of the Bible story and see how it provided hope and encouragement before the birth and also still for us today.”
He was still processing the news when ARLnow spoke with him Monday morning. Fredericksen says he wished whoever stole the scene, if the intent was to resell, would instead connect with the resources that the church support, including Path Forward, Bridges to Independence and Arlington Food Assistance Center.
“Since we don’t know the circumstances or the situation, we wish the best for that person,” he said. “We’re sad they thought that was an action we thought was good for them. We wish them good in other ways and we move forward in forgiveness.”
Police were called but do not have much to go on at this point.
“Between December 11 at 12 a.m. and December 12 at 12 a.m., the unknown suspect(s) stole an outdoor nativity set,” Arlington County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow via email. “There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.”
Fredericksen called the loss of the scene, which was a gift to the church, “disappointing.” He says the decoration contributes to the communal celebration of Christmas and reminds people to support the ministerial work of houses of worship as well as local nonprofits that help people in need.
“It can feel overwhelming, but when you see how many people are at work trying to do good, it doesn’t take a lot to come alongside and support in some way, whether it’s with a gift, or a gift of time,” Fredericksen said.
(Updated at 11:10 a.m.) A theft suspect in a U-Haul managed to flee from police in Pentagon City last week.
The theft happened just before 4 p.m. at or near the Pentagon Row shopping center. The suspect, a woman, reportedly stole a large quantity of clothing and beauty items before fleeing in a rental truck driven by second suspect, a man.
An Arlington sheriff’s deputy then spotted the truck stopped near Virginia Highlands Park and took the driver into custody, at which time the female suspect allegedly started driving off. Arlington officers followed the truck onto I-395 but did not give chase after the driver refused to pull over, given police department policies about chasing non-violent suspects.
Virginia State Police appear to have caught up to the truck as it traveled south in the I-395 Express Lanes, based on traffic camera feeds viewed by ARLnow at the time, but it is unclear what happened after that.
A Virginia State Police spokeswoman deferred to Arlington County police for comment. An Arlington police spokeswoman deferred comment on the actions of the VSP troopers.
“I can’t speak to specifics regarding Virginia State Police and would defer to their agency for additional information,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
ACPD released the following report about the incident.
LARCENY, 2022-12080166, 1100 block of S. Joyce Street. At approximately 3:57 p.m. on December 8, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined the female suspect allegedly entered a business, concealed merchandise and exited without paying. An employee observed the female suspect enter a rental truck, driven by the male suspect, and flee the area. A responding officer located the vehicle stopped in the area of 15th Street S. and S. Hayes Street and took the male suspect, who was outside the vehicle, into custody without incident. The female suspect, who had [remained] inside the rental truck, then fled the scene in the vehicle. A lookout was broadcast and an Arlington County Sheriff’s deputy observed the suspect vehicle traveling on S. Hayes Street and attempted a traffic stop. The female suspect refused to stop and fled onto I-395. The suspect is described as a White female, 30 – 40 years old, with brown curly hair, wearing jeans, a multicolor sweater and black shoes. Attempts to identify the male suspect were unsuccessful and he was booked as a John Doe on charges of Grand Larceny, Identity Theft and Public Intoxication. The investigation is ongoing.
A man tried to steal a gun from an Arlington gun store last week but was chased down by a store manager as he tried to flee.
The incident happened Thursday around 6:30 p.m. at Nova Armory, which is now located at 2607 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon.
“At approximately 6:37 p.m. on December 8, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “Upon arrival, it was determined the unknown suspect concealed a firearm and exited the business without purchasing the item. An employee confronted the suspect outside the business and recovered the firearm. The suspect then pushed the employee and fled the scene on foot.”
Though the gun was recovered, the suspect remains at large.
“The suspect is described as a White, Hispanic male in his early 20’s, approximately 6’1″ tall wearing overalls, a black hat and brown shoes,” Savage said. “The investigation is ongoing.”
Hat tip to Alan Henney
(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Police swarmed the Rosslyn neighborhood after an alleged thief led an officer on a brief foot pursuit.
The incident happened just before 2 p.m. An officer chased a suspect who had stolen a large quantity of laundry detergent from a store in Rosslyn, according to scanner traffic, before finally detaining the person near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Pierce Street.
An ambulance was dispatched to the scene to evaluate the officer for a possible minor injury.
“At approximately 1:56 p.m., an officer in the 1500 block of Wilson Boulevard observed a larceny in progress from a business and approached the suspect,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “The suspect fled the scene on foot and a foot pursuit was initiated. Near the intersection of Wilson Boulevard and N. Pierce Street, the suspect assaulted the officer and resisted arrest. With the assistance of additional arriving units, the suspect was taken into custody.”
“The officer is receiving medical treatment for injuries sustained during the incident,” Savage continued. “Charges are pending against the suspect.”
Traffic on Wilson Blvd was at least partially blocked in the area immediately after the arrest, as numerous police units arrived on scene to assist the officer.
(Updated on 11/30/22) The carjacking and pursuit we reported yesterday was far from the only car theft in Arlington over the long Thanksgiving holiday.
It was a busy few days for police, who handled a half dozen other vehicle thefts, as well as a pair of attempted carjackings in the Colonial Village area. One series of thefts claimed five vehicles in parts of residential North Arlington between Thanksgiving afternoon and the morning of Black Friday.
More from the latest ACPD crime report:
GRAND LARCENY AUTO, 2022-11230126/2022-11230160, 2800 block of Washington Boulevard/N. Jackson Street at Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 2:55 p.m. on November 23, police were dispatched to the report of an attempted larceny from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined the victim witnessed the unknown male suspect rummaging through his vehicle. When the victim approached, the suspect began to flee the scene on foot. The victim followed the suspect during which the suspect brandished a knife and fled the area. At approximately 3:20 p.m., police were dispatched to an additional call in the 2800 block of Washington Boulevard for a suspect matching the description of the previous incident who had stolen a running, unoccupied vehicle. The vehicle was later located unoccupied in the 2200 block of 19th Court N. The suspect is described as a Black male, approximately 30 years old, 5’6-5’7, with long curly hair, wearing a black jacket, white t-shirt, dark colored pants and a dark colored baseball hat. The investigation is ongoing.
GRAND LARCENY AUTO/LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2022-11250027/2022-11250029/2022-11250035/2022-11250043/2022-11260096, 5300 block of 27th Street N., 5000 block of 36th Street N., 2300 block of N. Nottingham Street, 6000 block of 27th Street N., 6000 block of 28th Street N. At approximately 7:54 a.m. on November 25, police were dispatched to the late report of a grand larceny auto. During the course of the investigation, it was determined between approximately 2:30 p.m. on November 24 and 7:45 a.m. on November 25, five vehicles were reported stolen from the area. The stolen vehicles are described as a 2017 Toyota Rav4, Gray, MA License Plate: 50DC38, 2020 Kia Telluride, Gray, VA License Plate: VXY4222, 2017 Honda Odyssey, Black, VA License Plate: 1265SC, 2021 Range Rover Sport, Blue, VA License Plate: UGF2051. Additionally, one vehicle in the area was rummaged through and cash and sunglasses were stolen. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.
ATTEMPTED CARJACKING, 2022-11260179, 1700 block of N. Uhle Street. At approximately 6:37 p.m. on November 26, police were dispatched to the report of an attempted carjacking. Upon arrival, it was determined Victim One was inside her parked vehicle when the suspect approached, opened the door and ordered her to exit. Victim One exited the vehicle and the suspect entered but Victim One still had the keys. The suspect then fled the scene and approached Victim Two who had just parked in the 2100 block of Key Boulevard. The suspect grabbed the victim’s arm and demanded her keys. When she refused, he fled the scene on foot. No injuries were reported and no items were reported stolen. The suspect is described as a Black male, approximately 5’6, 30 years old, skinny build, wearing a knit cap, black jacket and black/gray jeans. The investigation is ongoing.
Also in the crime report were some gun crimes, including an apparent road rage gun brandishing on I-395 and an armed robbery north of Columbia Pike.