Newsletter

Alexandria’s Part 1 crime rate is up, and it’s mostly due to an increase in larcenies and thefts from cars.

Police released the city’s Part 1 crime statistics for 2022 on Tuesday, and included are the reported numbers of homicides, rapes, robberies, grand larcenies from vehicles, and aggravated assaults.

Overall, crimes against people and property in the city are up 7%, when compared to the first five months of last year.

There has been one homicide in 2022 — a 25-year-old man who was found dead on the sidewalk in the West End in March. There were two homicides in the city in 2021 and four homicides in 2020.

Below are Part 1 crimes for the period of January 1 – May 11 for the years 2020, 2021, and 2022:

Crime Type 2020 2021 2022
Homicide 0 0 1
Rape 5 2 1
Robbery 32 34 34
Aggravated Assault 73 76 63
Burglary 46 81 54
Larceny 791 753 845
Grand Larceny from Auto 91 77 98
Total 1,038 1,023 1,096

Larcenies are on the rise, with 845 incidents reported in the first five months of the year — a 12% increase over last year. Thefts from automobiles are also up 27%, with 98 incidents reported.

The city saw a 19% increase in Part 1 crime in 2020, which then fell by 2% in 2021:

Crime Type 2020 2021 Change
Homicide 4 2 -2
Rape 14 9 -5
Robbery 88 83 -5
Aggravated Assault 208 241 33
Burglary 126 186 60
Larceny 2,475 2,420 -55
Grand Larceny from Auto 357 268 -89
Total 3,272 3,209 -63 (-2%)
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David Jasante Cunningham was formally indicted on Monday (April 11) for the murder of Melia Jones in her West End apartment last December, and has also been charged with two counts of object sexual penetration.

The 40-year-old has been held without bond in the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center since his Jan. 11 arrest. Jones, who was described as a having a “gentle and sweet spirit” in her obituary, was killed by asphyxiation, according to the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter.

Police found Jones wrapped in blankets, and that she was sexually assaulted and had a bag over her head, according to the Washington Post. Cunningham was Jones’ neighbor at the apartment building in the unit block of S. Van Dorn Street, after moving from New York in 2020.

Jones’ death was the second homicide of 2021.

Cunningham faces a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole for the aggravated murder charge and up to life in prison for the object sexual penetration charges. No trial date has been set.

Via Google Maps

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The Alexandria Police Department is investigating the city’s first homicide of 2022 in West End.

Officers responded around 6:50 a.m. Wednesday to the 4500 block of Raleigh Avenue for an unresponsive person lying in the bushes, police said. When they arrived, they discovered Alexandria resident Elijah Williams, 25, dead on the sidewalk near one of the residences.

The Medical Examiner ruled his death a homicide due to upper body trauma, according to police.

APD asks anyone with information to contact Detective Ryan Clinch by phone at 703.746.6673 or email [email protected] or call APD’s non-emergency number at 703.746.4444. Tips can be anonymous.

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Along the waterfront near Jones Point (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The week was filled with trees blooming across the city during the peak for cherry blossoms.

Aside from picturesque scenes throughout Alexandria, there were some local stories that interested you all — from new pizza places to court updates in crime cases. And at the City Council’s meeting, Dominion Energy said it will invest millions of dollars in Alexandria to prevent future outages like the one at Art on the Avenue last year.

For anyone looking for something to do this evening or who wants to find a way to help Ukraine, locals organized a fundraiser to help refugees. The event is tonight (Friday) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the rooftop of 277 South Washington Street.

And, here are the top stories from the week:

  1. Three men indicted after bystander shot in neck at West End 7-Eleven parking lot
  2. Two juveniles arrested after shots fired in Arlandria
  3. Alexandria man indicted on first-degree murder charge in BJ’s killing
  4. Inova campus concept plans at former Landmark site filed with city
  5. Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana coming to Alexandria Commons Shopping Center
  6. Alexandria officials push back against ACPS ‘cover up’ story
  7. Suspect breaks into Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy through roof
  8. Alexandria police officer arrested, charged with domestic assault and battery
  9. West End murder suspect’s case to go before grand jury next month
  10. Alexandria hotel tailors stay to dogs as industry leans into pet-friendly accommodations

Have a great weekend Alexandria!

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The case against a man suspected of killing his West End neighbor in December will go to a grand jury next month.

David Jasante Cunningham has been held without bond in the Alexandria jail since his January 11 arrest on a second-degree murder charge of 23-year-old Melia Jones. Police found Jones dead in her in her apartment in the unit block of South Van Dorn Street on Tuesday, Dec. 7, at around 2:40 p.m.

Her death was the second homicide of 2021.

On March 18, Alexandria General District Court Judge Sonya L. Sacks found probable cause to send the case 40-year-old David Cunningham to the Grand Jury for indictment on April 11.

Police found Jones wrapped in blankets, and that she was sexually assaulted and died by asphyxiation, according to the Washington Post. Cunningham reportedly moved to the City from New York in 2020, and had a job at Coca-Cola Enterprises on Seminary Road.

More information on the charges and penalties Cunningham faces will be released after the April Grand Jury proceeding.

Via Google Maps

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The Alexandria Courthouse (Staff photo by James Cullum)

A 33-year-old Alexandria resident has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge, a more serious charge than he was previously facing, in connection to a stabbing at BJ’s Wholesale Club in the Landmark area.

The indictment, which a Grand Jury returned March 14, charges Rakibul Islam Fakir on the one felony count of first-degree murder, which is punishable by life in prison, according to a news release from the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

On Sept. 25, Alexandria Police responded to the store next to Van Dorn Plaza around 7:45 p.m. and discovered Maryland resident Abiy Zemene, 29, suffering from stab wounds. Zemene died from the injuries.

Police said at the time that Zemene and Fakir knew each other and Fakir remained at the scene until police arrived. He was then arrested without incident and charged with second-degree murder.

He’s being held at William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center without bail as he awaits trial. A trial date has not been set.

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Busy week with big things afoot in Alexandria.

Plans for the GenOn power plant and the redevelopment of Minnie Howard are moving forward through the city review process, with both projects working out the details on how to make them more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly.

It was also a busy week in terms of local crime. A pair of Fairfax residents were arrested for the murder of an Alexandria man, and another local man was convicted of a 2019 rape.

Top stories

  1. Alexandria man convicted of raping coworker
  2. Woman apprehended after allegedly slamming 19-month-old boy to ground at Inova Alexandria Hospital
  3. BREAKING: Alexandria man murdered in Lincolnia, Fairfax County man and juvenile arrested
  4. JUST IN: Sheriff says deputy was wrong in interaction with YouTuber filming outside city jail
  5. ACPS receives 88,000 KN95 masks after ignoring Governor Youngkin executive order
  6. Suspect not charged for West End shooting, arrested for other gun-related offenses
  7. Goth overhaul and rebranding planned for North Old Town Holiday Inn
  8. A bunch of new restaurants are coming to Alexandria this year
  9. Restaurant Depot plans expansion in Alexandria into neighboring open space
  10. Matt & Tony’s to open at former Charlie’s On The Avenue at the end of March
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A 20 year-old Alexandria man was shot to death in his car in Lincolnia, and a 20-year-old Fairfax County man and a 17-year-old alleged accomplice have been arrested for his murder.

The body of Ahmed Hasheem Ebrahim has still not surfaced since it was put in a dumpster on January 16, according to Fairfax County Police. He was last seen leaving his home for a friend’s house the previous evening, Saturday, January 15. Ebrahim’s car was found on January 18 in Alexandria and towed to an impound lot.

Detectives found blood inside the car, and then discovered that Joel Antonio Sarabia, 20, of Fairfax, was seen driving Ebrahim’s car shortly after his disappearance. Sarabia was arrested for unauthorized use of a vehicle and driving without an operator’s license, and detectives found that he knew the victim.

“Sarabia and a 17-year-old associate planned to rob Mr. Ebrahim on Jan. 16. Sarabia shot Mr. Ebrahim in the upper body while Mr. Ebrahim was in his vehicle in a parking lot near the 6200 block of Lachine Lane in Lincolnia,” Fairfax County Police said in a press release. “Sarabia and his associate then drove the victim in Mr. Ebrahim’s vehicle until they disposed of his body later on Jan. 17 in a dumpster.”

Sarabia, who is being held without bond in the Fairfax County jail, was later charged with first degree murderrobbery resulting in deathconcealment of a dead body and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He was arrested with a firearm, and police are searching for a second gun, “which is believed to be in the City of Alexandria,” according to Fairfax County Police.

The juvenile, who is being held in the Juvenile Detention Center, was arrested on January 25 and charged with robbery resulting in death and concealment of a dead body.

The dumpster where Ebrahim’s body was placed has been identified, but the body has not been found, police said.

“Detectives identified the dumpster where Mr. Ebrahim’s body was disposed,” police said. “They have since been in contact with the disposal services company to determine the potential location where Mr. Ebrahim’s body may have been taken. Detectives have coordinated several searches with our Search and Rescue Team to locate Mr. Ebrahim.”

This is the second murder of the year in Fairfax County.

Anyone with information on this incident is urged to call Fairfax County detectives at 703-691-2131, or call 911. Callers can remain anonymous.

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A 40-year-old Alexandria man has been charged with the Dec. 7 murder of a woman in the West End.

David Cunningham was charged with the second degree murder of 23-year-old Melia Jones in her apartment in the unit block of South Van Dorn Street. Police have not released how she was killed, and said that Cunningham is being held without bond in the Alexandria jail.

Police found Jones dead in her apartment on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at around 2:40 p.m. Her death was the second homicide of 2021.

The incident is still under investigation, and anyone with information on it is asked to reach out to Detective Michael Whelan at 703-746-6228, or [email protected]. Callers can remain anonymous.

Via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

NOVA Parks Ice + Lights welcomes 50,000th visitor — “Ice & Lights in Alexandria was an all-new attraction for the public when it opened in 2019. New displays and attractions are added every year to keep it fresh and appealing.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Alexandria sees COVID cases surge, locals urged to reduce risks — “Those precautions, the city specified, include considering moving holiday celebrations virtual, testing, getting a booster shot and avoiding travel if possible.” [WUSA9]

COVID-19 booster shots: where to find them in Alexandria — “Boosters available in Alexandria help protect against omicron and delta variant infections, and lessen the symptoms if you do get sick.” [Patch]

Jury convicts marijuana trafficker of drug-related murder — “A federal jury convicted an Alexandria man yesterday of murdering another man in retaliation for robbing him of an ounce of marijuana, and trying to convince a witness to lie for him to cover it up.” [Department of Justice]

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