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Restaurants on the 1800 block of N. Moore Street (via Google Maps)

An opportunistic thief stole a car that was left parked and unlocked, with the key in the ignition, near the Rosslyn Metro station last night, police say.

It happened around 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, on the 1800 block of N. Moore Street. The crime was initially reported as a carjacking, and a description of the vehicle was broadcast to other local police departments, but officers later determined that the car was simply driven off and not taken forcibly.

The driver of the car was reportedly inside a restaurant — the block includes a McDonald’s, Bethesda Bagels, Nando’s Peri-Peri, and Happy Eatery (recently renamed after formerly being called Happy Endings Eatery) — when the theft occurred.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

GRAND LARCENY AUTO, 2021-12010223, 1800 block of N. Moore Street. At approximately 9:43 p.m. on December 1, police were dispatched to the report of a stolen vehicle. The investigation determined that at approximately 9:40 p.m., the victim parked his vehicle and left it unlocked with the key in the ignition and entered a restaurant. While inside, a witness observed the suspect enter the vehicle and drive away. The vehicle is described as a 2003 Silver Toyota Matrix XR with Maryland license plate 1DB6405. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

Photo via Google Maps. Hat tip to Alan Henney.

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A Connecticut man has been jailed after police say he stole items from two cars and then tried to run from officers.

The arrest happened early Monday morning in the Columbia Forest neighborhood, near Columbia Pike.

Officers initially responded after a man said his car was moved and a man was rummaging through it. The man brandished the gun as the car’s owner approached, according to police.

The suspect allegedly led arriving officers on a brief foot chase before being taken into custody.

More from an ACPD crime report:

WEAPONS VIOLATION, 2021-11290031, S. Frederick Street at 10th Street S. At approximately 3:19 a.m. on November 29, police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious person. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim had left his parked vehicle running and upon returning, discovered it had been stolen. The victim canvased the area of S. Frederick Street and 10th Street S. and located his vehicle parked and the male suspect rummaging through it. As the victim approached the vehicle, the suspect turned and allegedly brandished a handgun before fleeing the scene on foot. Arriving officers canvased the area and observed the suspect walking in the 900 block of S. Columbus Street. As officers attempted to speak with the suspect, he ran and a brief foot pursuit was initiated before he was taken into custody without incident. During the course of the investigation, a handgun, items belonging to the victim and items from a separate larceny from auto in the 5000 block of 10th Street S. were recovered. [The suspect], 21, of Norwich, Ct., was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny Auto, Brandishing a Firearm, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Larceny from Auto (x2), Vehicle Trespassing (x2). He was held on no bond.

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Morning Notes

Grand Opening for Big Rosslyn Development — “Real estate developer Penzance welcomed Arlington County officials to the grand opening of The Highlands, a mixed-use project in Rosslyn at the top of the hill on Wilson Boulevard. The Highlands, a 1.2-million-square-foot development, consists of three high-rise residences — named Pierce, Aubrey and Evo — with views of the D.C. area and several amenities. ‘We’re proud to be here today welcoming these 890 new residences, exciting retailers, Fire Station 10 and the beautiful Rosslyn Highlands Park.'” [Patch]

Reward Boosted in Ballston Murder Case — “The Ratigan family is announcing an increase in their reward fund from $25,000 to $50,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) responsible for Scott Ratigan’s homicide on January 17, 2020. Detectives continue to follow-up on any and all investigative leads in this case and remind the public that any information, regardless of how small it may seem, could be the tip that leads to justice on behalf of Scott and the Ratigan family.” [ACPD]

Retired Police K-9 Dies — “With great sadness, ACPD announces the passing of retired K9 Drago, a 14 year-old old German Shepard, Belgian Malinois mix. He loyally served Arlington from 2008 to 2019 as a patrol and narcotics detection K9. We kindly ask that you keep him and his handler in your thoughts.” [Twitter]

APS Getting Ready for Kid Vax Approval — “APS continues to work with the County on plans for rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine to students ages 5-11 once it is approved, which we anticipate very soon. Once approved, we will inform the community about the availability of doses and how to schedule appointments. Arlington County Public Health anticipates holding clinics and scheduling vaccinations by appointment, hopefully by mid-November. We will keep families informed as new information is received.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Man Seen Stealing GOP Signs — “We’ve received reports of stolen yard signs, and — while we appreciate your updates — almost none of those are actionable because the tipsters don’t provide us any physical/visual evidence. But kudos to one resourceful sleuth, who provided us with these fairly clear photos of a guy taking down Youngkin signs in Arlington last night.” [Arlington GOP, Twitter]

In Defense of Audrey’s Age Answer — “Apparently what happened is that the paper wanted candidates to fill out online questionnaires, and the computerized program didn’t allow respondents to skip the ‘age’ question. So Clement wrote in a younger figure as something of a protest in requiring candidates to answer a question she feels is inappropriate. From this, the Post tried to make a big deal. Turns out the Posties, as is often the case, missed the context. Clement wasn’t lying to them, as they contend. She was f*cking with them. A big difference.” [Sun Gazette]

Arlington Artist Performs on NPR — From National Public Radio: “The Tiny Desk is back… sort of. The first concert recorded at Bob Boilen’s desk since March 2020 is 2021 Tiny Desk Contest winner Neffy!” [Twitter]

It’s Thursday — Today will be partly sunny, with a high near 65, getting progressively cloudier throughout the day. Sunrise at 7:31 a.m. and sunset at 6:11 p.m. Tomorrow (Friday) will be rainy and windy, with storms and flooding possible. Expect a high near 63.

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A D.C. man was arrested after allegedly stealing from a vehicle and fighting the victim in a Metro station.

The wild incident happened Tuesday morning in the Pentagon City area.

It started, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report, when a driver who had parked in a garage near the shopping center formerly known as Pentagon Row was alerted to someone breaking into their car.

The suspect tried to walk away after stealing cash and personal items but was followed by the victim into the Pentagon City Metro station, according to police.

They started fighting on the station platform, leading Metro Transit Police to call Arlington County police for assistance, according to a police dispatch at the time. The combative suspect was finally taken into custody after transit police used pepper spray to subdue him, according to the crime report.

The fracas prompted a sizable police response outside the station, even leading to some bus delays.

More from ACPD:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (Significant), 2021-10120080, 1300 block of S. Joyce Street. At approximately 11:35 a.m. on October 12, police were dispatched to the Pentagon City Metro Station to assist Metro Transit Police with an active fight. Upon arrival, officers met with Metro Transit Police who had deployed OC Spray and detained the two individuals involved in the altercation. The investigation determined that the victim had parked his vehicle in the garage in the 1300 block of S. Joyce Street, and was later alerted by a witness that the male suspect was allegedly walking away from the vehicle and the alarm was activated. The victim went to investigate and observed that the suspect had forced entry to the vehicle and stole an undisclosed amount of cash and personal items. The victim located the suspect in the area carrying his personal items and followed him onto the metro platform, where they were ultimately located by Metro Transit Police. The suspect was transported to an area hospital for minor injuries sustained during the incident. Tyrell Washington, 26, of Washington D.C., was arrested and charged with Larceny from Auto. Additional warrants were obtained for the suspect by Metro Transit Police.

Also in the latest crime report, police are investigating a half dozen vehicle tamperings, including the theft of electronics and catalytic converters, that were discovered along Columbia Pike and in the Lyon Park area Tuesday morning.

LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2021-10120034/10120058/10120067, 2200 block of Columbia Pike/1200 block of S. Scott Street/100 block of N. Wayne Street. At approximately 6:02 a.m. on October 12, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim returned to his parked vehicle and observed that the passenger window had been smashed and electronics and personal items had been stolen from inside. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that unknown suspect(s) forced entry into three additional vehicles and rummaged through them. A short time later, two victim vehicles were found to have been tampered with and had the catalytic converters removed. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

Arlington officials are asking residents to keep an eye on the Bon Air Rose Garden in Bluemont after a brazen bush burglary.

“Last Thursday, about a dozen rose bushes were removed from Bon Air Rose Garden,” Susan Kalish, the Public Relations Director for the Dept. of Parks and Recreation, told neighborhood leaders in an email yesterday. “It’s sad enough when someone cuts a bloom or two, but this act of vandalism is very disheartening.”

“As you know, Bon Air Memorial Rose Garden is a cherished Arlington institution with more than 120 rose varieties,” Kalish added. “Can you help us by asking everyone to report suspicious activity to the Arlington County Police Department non-emergency number 703-558-2222 or call us at 703-228-6525. This sort of vandalism should not be tolerated in Arlington.”

One civically-involved Arlingtonian who forwarded the email, which was then forwarded to ARLnow, called the caper “more criminal craziness.”

“Probably a good idea to keep an eye out for plants in other Arlington parks,” she wrote. “These looters may not yet be done.”

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You’ve probably seen the headlines about a youth trend called “Devious Licks” that challenged students to steal or damage items at school and post video of the act on TikTok.

Now Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán is warning parents about additional challenges that encourage behavior that could result in the school system seeking police intervention.

Durán said in an email to parents yesterday evening that the theft challenge in September “affected APS schools at every level – elementary through high school.” TikTok banned the trend on Sept. 15.

“We are seeking your help in reminding students of the consequences and serious nature of these challenges,” Durán wrote.

A statement from the superintendent on Friday linked to a WTOP report about additional monthly challenges, which encourage  “destructive and harmful acts at school.”

From WTOP:

  • October: Smack a staff member on the backside.
  • November: Kiss your friend’s girlfriend at school.
  • December: Deck the halls and show your b****.
  • January: Jab a breast.
  • February: Mess up school signs.
  • March: Make a mess in the courtyard or cafeteria.
  • April: Grab some “eggs” (another theft challenge).
  • May: Ditch Day.
  • June: Flip off the front office.

“Any involvement including filming, assisting, and sharing videos could lead to school consequences,” Durán wrote. “Depending on the severity, engaging in the behaviors listed above could lead to law enforcement involvement.”

As described, the above challenges could rise to the level of criminal vandalism, indecent exposure or even sexual battery and assault.

This summer the Arlington School Board voted to remove sworn School Resource Officers from school grounds. The Arlington County Police Department and APS are now working on a new agreement for a “Youth Outreach Unit” that would “have meaningful conversations, answer questions, and build relationships.”

The Friday letter from the superintendent, encouraging parental vigilance, is below.

It has come to our attention that there is a list of social media challenges on TikTok similar to the most recent “Devious Licks” TikTok Challenge that encouraged kids to vandalize and steal random objects from their schools and post them in videos.

September’s challenge to vandalize bathrooms affected several APS schools, so we are sharing the list of upcoming challenges for your awareness and support. We ask that parents and guardians speak to your students about the serious nature of these challenges and help educate them that these are not appropriate for school or in the community.

These challenges could be disruptive and harmful to our school community and present a safety concern. Additionally, any involvement including filming, assisting, and sharing videos could lead to school consequences. Students are encouraged to contact their administrator if they are aware or witness any wrongdoing or harm against students, staff or property. Depending on the severity, engaging in the behaviors listed above could lead to law enforcement involvement.

The safety and security of our students, both physical and emotional, is our priority as we continue to create a learning environment that cultivates a culture of kindness, mutual respect, inclusivity and affirmation for our students and staff.

Thank you for your help as we all work together to be vigilant about our students’ online presence.

Sincerely,
Dr. Francisco Durán
Superintendent

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A man who was arrested for attempting to rob a store in Arlington two days ago had just posted bond for another arrest in Fairfax County on Monday.

Karim Clayton, a 44-year-old D.C. resident, attempted to steal electronics from a pharmacy in the Buckingham neighborhood on Tuesday, according to Arlington County police. On Sunday, a Fairfax County Police Department official said he was arrested for assault and battery and held on a $2,000 secure bond.

He posted bail on Monday at 3:10 p.m., the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office confirmed. The office said it does not have information on how he settled his bond nor is it public information.

After his was released, Clayton tried to rob the CVS on the 200 block of N. Glebe Road at 3 a.m. on Tuesday, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.

“[The] male suspect entered the business and allegedly began placing electronics into a cart,” said the report. “The suspect then attempted to exit the store without paying for the items and was confronted by an employee. The suspect pushed passed the employee, grabbed a few items out of the cart and fled the scene on foot prior to the arrival of police.”

An officer pulled Clayton over a couple of blocks away while trying to drive off and arrested him “without incident,” the report said. He was held on no bond.

The charge listed for this incident is accessory to robbery using force, per Arlington court records.

Meanwhile, yesterday (Wednesday), Clayton was set to appear in Alexandria General District Court for a grand larceny charge he is facing there. It appears he could not be located, however, as the courts marked Clayton on “fugitive file.”

A tipster described Clayton as being “a one-man petty crime wave in Northern Virginia over the last year.”

He was found guilty of petit larceny on June 8, 2020, according to the Fairfax County Police Department, just three days before he robbed a CVS in the Fair Oaks section of Fairfax County and led Virginia State Police on a high-speed chase through part of Arlington.

On June 11, Clayton attempted to elude police and during his flight from police, he hit a parked car and kept driving, FCPD said. State troopers pursued on I-66 him until he crashed near N. Ohio Street in Arlington.

Clayton was charged with grand larceny, larceny with intent to sell or distribute, speeding to elude law enforcement, a hit and run and driving without a license.

He was only prosecuted in Arlington on the charges of eluding police, and sentenced to 180 days in prison with 171 days suspended, according to court records. His license was suspended for 30 days and he was fined $572. The fine is now past due, along with three others levied in Arlington General District Court over the past year or so, records show.

Between then and his alleged attempted robbery on Tuesday, he’s been charged with five counts of grand and petit larceny.

He has been found guilty three times so far, with one case pending. In those cases, he was sentenced to two 180-day stretches in prison, each with 135 days suspended, and one 90-day sentence fully suspended.

He is next due in court on the latest robbery charge on Nov. 15.

Morning Notes

Firefighters Recount 9/11 Horror — “Arlington County firefighter Matthew Herrera was racing to a call for an apartment fire in Rosslyn, Virginia, 20 years ago, when his crew was rerouted. Their new destination: the Pentagon, for a report of a plane down in the area. It was Sept. 11, 2001. Herrera, now a captain, struggled to get through piles of debris inside the building, right where the plane had hit, to fight the blaze. ‘The first time I fell, I got up real quick and I remember (thinking), ‘I hope I’m not stepping on somebody.’ And I knew that I probably was,’ Herrera told WTOP.” [WTOP]

More Recollections of Sept. 11 — “What they encountered was catastrophic, unprecedented and unforgettable. ‘There was just one piece of the plane I could see,’ recalls Scott, who today holds the rank of Captain II with Arlington Fire/EMS. ‘It was the letter C, from American Airlines.’ Along with countless other responders, Scott spent hours working to suppress the fire raging on the Pentagon’s west side.” [Arlington Magazine, WJLA, NBC 4]

Car Break-ins Around Arlington Ridge — “2300 block of S. Arlington Ridge Road / 1200 block of Oakcrest Road. At approximately 9:52 a.m. on September 3, police were dispatched to the report of multiple larcenies from auto. The investigation determined that between 10:30 p.m. on September 2 and 9:52 a.m. on September 3, the unknown suspect(s) entered approximately four vehicles and rummaged through them. A variety of tools and personal items were reported stolen from the victim vehicles.” [ACPD]

First Hurricane Dog Adopted at AWLA — From the Animal Welfare League of Arlington: “Over the weekend, the first of our Louisiana dogs was adopted! We think Milo is very happy with his new family . More of the dogs from Louisiana will be available in the coming days/weeks so keep an eye on our website!” [Twitter]

Yorktown Football Undefeated So Far — “When it come to his team’s execution on offense, Bruce Hanson is hard to please. The longtime head coach of the Yorktown Patriots has a 2-0 football team already this fall that has scored 19 and 43 points in each of those high-school contests. Yet Hanson isn’t satisfied with what he says is sloppy and uneven performances, including during Yorktown’s 43-17 blowout of visiting Wilson on Sept. 2.” [Sun Gazette]

A Capital Problem Along Route 50 — “@VaDOTNOVA: Please fix the capitalization error on this sign. Should read ’14th Street,’ not ’14Th Street.’ Has annoyed me for years. On WB Arlington Blvd (US 50) near the Marine Corps Memorial.” [Twitter]

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(Updated at 6:15 p.m.) Police and firefighters are on scene of an overturned vehicle in Pentagon City, near the Costco and the Amazon HQ2 construction site.

The crash happened around 3:45 p.m. at the intersection of 15th Street S. and S. Elm Street. Photos from the scene show only a single vehicle: a black SUV resting on its side, with its windshield smashed. Bystanders could be seen standing around it, before police arrived.

“Driver looked ok but banged up,” said one witness, via Twitter.

The crash is reportedly related to a theft nearby. A vehicle with a similar description sped off after two people tried to steal shoes from the DSW Shoe Warehouse at 1301 S. Joyce Street, at the Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) shopping center, leaving boxes of shoes strewn about the roadway outside the store, according to initial reports.

Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed that the vehicle that crashed is believed to be the suspect vehicle.

“At approximately 3:41 p.m. a larceny in progress was dispatched in the 1300 block of S. Joyce Street,” Savage said. “Two suspects allegedly entered a business and stole merchandise. An officer in the area observed Suspect One enter a vehicle and flee the scene. The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop, however, the suspect fled at a high rate of speed.”

The officer did not pursue the vehicle, per department policy, but the crash was reported shortly thereafter. Police responded to the scene and apprehended the driver, who’s now being treated for injuries at a local hospital.

“The suspect subsequently crashed in the area of 15th Street S. and S. Elm and is being transported to an area hospital,” Savage said. “Suspect Two, who fled from the business on foot, remains outstanding and is described as a White male, bald, 5’8″ – 5’10” tall. Police remain on scene investigating.”

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Airbags were stolen from a number of vehicles in several Arlington neighborhoods overnight Friday.

The thefts were reported in the Buckingham, Bluemont and Westover neighborhoods. In all, seven vehicles were “forcibly entered into and had their air bags stolen,” according to the Arlington County Police Department.

Airbags are a lucrative target for thieves, who can reportedly sell them on the black market for a couple hundred dollars. Arlington has been no stranger to even larger airbag theft sprees over the years.

More on last week’s series of thefts, from and ACPD crime report:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 2021-08130066/08130067/08130078/08130083, 4400 block of N. Pershing Drive/5700 block of 11th Street N./700 block of N. Kensington Street/5600 block of 5th Street N. At approximately 6:54 a.m. on August 13, police were dispatched to the late report of a larceny from auto. The investigation revealed that in total, seven victim vehicles were found to have been forcibly entered into and had their air bags stolen. Additionally, tools were stolen from one of the vehicles. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

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(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Two more overnight car break-in sprees have been reported, this time in the Courthouse and Douglas Park areas.

Following some 18 cars being broken into in the Arlington Forest neighborhood early Monday morning, a thief of thieves struck early Tuesday morning along several blocks in the Courthouse area, just blocks from police headquarters.

Police say nine vehicles “were found to have had their door handles removed and the air bags stolen.”

More from the Arlington County Police Department:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (SERIES), 2021-08030034/08030041/08030057, 1800 block of N. Scott Street/1200 block of N. Scott Street/1300 block of N. Scott Street/1200 block of N. Taft Street. At approximately 5:30 a.m. on August 3, police were dispatched to the late report of a larceny from auto. The investigation revealed that in total, nine victim vehicles were found to have had their door handles removed and the air bags stolen. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

On Monday morning, another series of thefts was reported along S. Four Mile Run Drive near the Dept. of Motor Vehicles office.

Three cars were broken into, including one from which a cell phone and credit cards were stolen. A Honda Civic was also stolen from the area.

From ACPD:

LARCENY FROM AUTO/GRAND LARCENY AUTO (SERIES), 2021-08030065, 4100 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 8:33 a.m. on August 3, police were dispatched to the late report of a larceny. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 11:00 p.m. on August 2 and 8:00 a.m. on August 3, the unknown suspect(s) entered into and rummaged through approximately three vehicles and stole a cellphone, wallet and credit cards from one victim vehicle. During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that another victim vehicle was stolen from the area. The vehicle is described as a 2014 Honda Civic bearing VA license plate VXK8836. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

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