A custodian at Long Branch Elementary School is facing a battery of charges after allegedly making fraudulent purchases with the credit cards of school employees.
Arlington County Police say 25-year-old Kevin Sykes stole personal and banking information by photographing items from a colleague’s purse. The woman, and two other school employees, reported the suspected credit card and identity theft to police.
More from an ACPD press release:
The Arlington County Police Department has charged a suspect following a fraud investigation targeting employees of Long Branch Elementary School. Kevin Sykes, 25, of Washington D.C. has been charged with three counts of credit card theft, two counts of credit card fraud, and two counts of identity theft. Mr. Sykes was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department and is being held in Washington D.C.
At approximately 3:46 p.m. on May 11, police were dispatched to the report of a credit card fraud. Upon arrival, the victim reported her credit cards had approximately 16 fraudulent charges since April. The investigation determined that the suspect, a custodian at Long Branch Elementary School, had stolen the victim’s personal and banking information by photographing documents obtained from inside her purse. Detectives identified two additional victims who were working at the school at the time their personal information had been stolen.
Arlington County Police are reminding residents to regularly check your bank statements. If you notice fraudulent activity, notify the banking institution so they can begin an investigation and file a police report.
This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective G. Gammell of the Arlington County Police Department’s School Resource Officer Unit at [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Arlington County Police were called to an address in the Nauck neighborhood around 4:30 a.m. Sunday for a dispute. A verbal argument between two people who knew each other “escalated into physical violence,” police said.
A 33-year-old woman was arrested, accused of spraying bleach — a “caustic agent” — and injuring another woman, then subsequently striking her with an object.
“It remains under investigation what object caused the victim’s injuries,” county police spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow.
More from ACPD:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2019-01200046, 2100 block of S. Kenmore Street. At approximately 4:36 a.m. on January 20, police were dispatched to the report of a dispute. Upon arrival, it was determined that a verbal altercation between known individuals escalated into physical violence. During the altercation, the suspect allegedly sprayed the victim with bleach before striking the victim with an object. The victim was transported to an area hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. Darcell Harris, 33, of Arlington, VA was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding and Malicious Injury by Caustic Agent. She was held on no bond.
Earlier last week, police investigated a series of thefts from vehicles along Columbia Pike and S. Courthouse Road. Police say thieves stole tires and rims from at least five vehicles.
GRAND LARCENY (series), 2019-01170042/01170062/01170099/01170116, 1200 block of S. Courthouse Road/2200 block of Columbia Pike/700 block of S. Courthouse Road. On January 17, police were dispatched to multiple late reports of larcenies from auto. The investigation determined that between approximately 6:00 p.m. on January 16 and 4:00 a.m. on January 17, the tires and rims of approximately 5 vehicles in the area were stolen from vehicles. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
Below are the rest of the highlights from this week’s crime report, including some we’ve already reported.
Arlington Police said officers were called to the 2600 block of Franklin Road around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Dec. 4), after someone discovered their tires and rims had been stolen.
The street is just behind the Buck & Associates building and the National Capital Bank.
A short time later, police say they spotted two men matching a witness’s description “attempting to affix the tires to their vehicle” in the same vicinity.
They subsequently arrested them and identified them as 27-year-old Victor Flores of Woodbridge and 22-year-old Jafet Herrera of Triangle.
Flores is now charged with grand larceny, theft of motor vehicle parts, marijuana possession and public drunkenness. Herrera is charged with grand larceny, theft of motor vehicle parts and marijuana possession.
Full details from a county crime report:
GRAND LARCENY (Significant), 2018-12040262, 2600 block of Franklin Road. At approximately 10:27 p.m. on December 4, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the reporting party heard noise outside and allegedly observed two male suspects remove tires and rims from the victim’s parked vehicle. The suspects fled in a vehicle prior to police arrival. A lookout was broadcast and two suspects matching the description provided were located in the area attempting to affix the tires to their vehicle. Jafet Herrera, 22, of Triangle, Va., was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny: Theft of Motor Vehicle Parts and Possession of Marijuana. Victor Flores, 27, of Woodbridge, Va., was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny: Theft of Motor Vehicle Parts, Possession of Marijuana and Drunk in Public.
And here are other highlights from the past week of crime reports:
ROBBERY, 2018-12030165, S. Walter Reed Drive at Columbia Pike. At approximately 3:23 p.m. on December 3, police were dispatched to the late report of a robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 11:00 p.m. on December 2, the victim was walking in the area when she was approached by an unknown male suspect who attempted to engage her in conversation. The suspect then grabbed the victim’s purse, attempting to pull it away unsuccessfully before brandishing a knife and cutting it away from the victim. The suspect then fled with the victim’s purse. The suspect is described as a black male with a medium complexion, approximately 5’3″, 35 years old, 170-180 lbs., with a stocky build, a mustache, semi-curly hair, and wearing a black jacket. The investigation is ongoing.
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2018-12020183, 3100 block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 6:44 p.m. on December 2, police were dispatched to the report of possible shots fired in the area. The investigation determined that the victim was walking in the area when he approached an unknown suspect and asked where he could locate a ride. A verbal altercation ensued, which escalated into physical violence resulting in the stabbing of the victim. The victim ran from the scene and was located in the City of Alexandria by Alexandria Police. He was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The suspect is described as a male with long hair. The investigation is ongoing
RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE, 2018-11300191, I-395 SB at Route 110. At approximately 3:23 p.m. on November 30, an officer on routine patrol was alerted to a License Plate Reader hit on a stolen vehicle. With the assistance of additional arriving units, the officer initiated a traffic stop and the suspect was taken into custody without incident. Antoine Hunter, 25, of Washington, D.C. was arrested and charged with Buying or Receiving Stolen Goods, Possession of a Schedule IV Controlled Substance and No Drivers License.
BURGLARY (late), 2018-11300093, 4500 block of Carlin Springs Road. At approximately 10:00 a.m. on November 30, police were dispatched to the late report of a burglary. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on November 29, a known suspect forced entry to a residence and stole items of value. The investigation is ongoing.
BURGLARY (late), 2018-11290171, 1300 block of S. Scott Street. At approximately 2:18 p.m. on November 29, police responded to the late report of a breaking and entering. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 6:00 p.m. on November 28 and 8:00 a.m. on November 29, an unknown suspect(s) forced entry into a business and stole items of value. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.
ROBBERY, 2018-11280203, 200 block of S. Carlin Springs Road. At approximately 4:04 p.m. on November 28, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery by force. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim and two suspects met for the pre-arranged sale of goods. The victim provided one suspect with the item for sale and requested payment, at which point the suspects fled. The victim ran after the suspects for a brief period, until the suspect threatened him. Suspect One is described as a white Hispanic male, approximately 5’2″, wearing a red zip-up coat and carrying a black book bag. Suspect Two is described as a white Hispanic male, wearing a gray zip-up jacket. The investigation is ongoing.
The incident happened in a parking garage on the 2700 block of Jefferson Davis Highway, according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report. That block includes an office building and a large hotel.
Warrants have been issued for the suspect, police say, but as of Wednesday morning there have been no reports of any arrests.
More from the crime report:
GRAND LARCENY (Significant), 2018-10300199, 2700 block of Jefferson Davis Highway. At approximately 5:47 p.m. on October 30, police responded to the report of a hit and run. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect allegedly rummaged through vehicles in a parking garage, stole a vehicle, crashed through a brick wall and struck an occupied vehicle before fleeing the scene. During the investigation, officers developed suspect information and obtained warrants for Grand Larceny Auto, Larceny from Auto, Felony Hit and Run, Driving DUI Revoked, Felony Destruction of Property and Misdemeanor Destruction of Property. The investigation is ongoing.
Last week, a 29-year-old Arlington man was arrested after police say he broke into an apartment in the Rosslyn area and fell asleep. The resident woke up, found the man and called police.
UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 2018-10260087, 1700 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 10:09 a.m. on October 26, police were dispatched to the report of an unlawful entry. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim awoke to find an unknown male suspect asleep inside her residence. Arriving officers located the suspect and took him into custody without incident. Andrew Leonard, 29, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Unlawful Entry.
The rest of this week’s crime report, which may include some items that have already been reported, is below.
Fairfax County Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying suspects in a credit card theft case with an Arlington connection.
FCPD says credit cards were stolen from a vehicle in the Kingstowne community south of the Beltway — home to the “Alexandria” Top Golf and the Kingstowne Towne Center shopping center — but were then used to buy prepaid gift cards at a Harris Teeter store in Arlington.
The suspects were caught on surveillance cameras at the grocery store. More from a police press release:
Several credit cards were stolen from a vehicle in the Kingstowne area. This happened last week on Tuesday, October 9. The suspects used the stolen credit cards to purchase prepaid gift cards at a Harris Teeter store in Arlington County. If you recognize the suspects, or have information about this crime, please contact Detective R. Burke at 703-922-0894.
Tips can be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by visiting http://www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org, or calling 1-866-411-TIPS. They can also be sent in via text by texting “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES (274637). Text STOP to 274637 to cancel, or HELP to 274637 for help. Message and data rates may apply. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1000 if their information leads to an arrest.
A theft near the Ballston Metro station this afternoon led to Metro trains briefly being halted on the Orange and Silver lines.
The suspect reportedly fled into the station and possibly ran down the Metro tunnel from Ballston to Virginia Square. Metro Transit Police is checking the area but it is unclear whether the suspect has been located.
The victim did not wish to prosecute, according to an Arlington County Police spokeswoman.
Trains were halted for at least a few minutes due to police activity.
— Rail Transit OPS (@RailTransitOPS) October 3, 2018
Flickr pool photo by Dave Bentley
Police say the thefts occurred overnight. There is no description available of the suspect or suspects.
More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 2018-09130067/09130079, 700 block of S. Courthouse Road/2800 block of 8th Street S. At approximately 6:20 a.m. on September 13, police responded to the report of a destruction of property to a vehicle. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 10:00 p.m. on September 12 and 6:00 a.m. on September 13, the windows of approximately ten vehicles were smashed and airbags stolen. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
Additional highlights from this week’s crime report, including some we’ve already reported, are below.
GRAND LARCENY (significant), 2018-09150139, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 12:11 p.m. on September 15, police responded to the report of a larceny. Upon arrival, it was determined that two suspects entered a business, selected multiple pieces of merchandise, concealed them on their persons and exited the store. A lookout was broadcast, and Suspect One was observed exiting the mall. The suspect ignored commands by officers to stop and a brief foot pursuit ensued before he was taken into custody without incident. Suspect Two was located by officers inside the Pentagon City Metro. He was stopped and taken into custody without incident. Anthony Adams, 27, of Clinton, Md., was arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Commit Larceny, Grand Larceny: Shoplifting, Identity Theft and Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance. He was held on no bond. Kenneth Burley, 30, of Washington, D.C., was arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Commit Larceny and Grand Larceny: Shoplifting. He was held on no bond.
ELUDING, 2018-09120075, 900 block of Army Navy Drive. At approximately 9:50 a.m. on September 12, an officer on routine patrol observed a vehicle with illegal window tint and attempted a traffic stop by activating their emergency equipment. A routine check indicated that the registered owner of the suspect vehicle was wanted for a felony probation violation. The suspect did not stop and fled the area at a high rate of speed. Shortly after, the Emergency Communications Center was notified of a hit and run accident that occurred when the suspect vehicle traveled northbound in the southbound HOV lanes of I-395 and struck one vehicle causing significant damage but no injuries were reported. United States Park Police officers located the disabled suspect vehicle in the 900 block of Ohio Drive SW, Washington D.C. and took two passengers into custody. The driver fled the scene on foot, a perimeter was established and following a search that was aided by United States Park Police Helicopter, the suspect was taken into custody. Dennis Chase, 26, of Washington D.C., was arrested and charged with felony eluding, felony hit and run, abduction and the outstanding warrant for felony probation violation was served. Damion Courtney, 31, was taken into custody on an outstanding United States Marshal Service warrant for parole violation.
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
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
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.
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.