Newsletter

A 26-year-old Alexandria man arrested in July for robbing EagleBank in Old Town previously spent more than two years in jail for robbing another Alexandria bank.

On July 7, Dagmawee Dawit allegedly walked into EagleBank at 277 S. Washington Street in Old Town just after it opened at 8:30 a.m., implied he had a weapon and demanded cash from a teller.

The teller put money in a clear trash bag, along with a dye pack, which Dawit allegedly dropped in an alleyway after it exploded. He was arrested minutes later.

Dawit, who is being held without bond in the Alexandria jail, was arrested with an accomplice in 2017 for robbing the Wells Fargo Bank at 3624 King Street in the Bradlee Shopping Center. He pleaded guilty to bank robbery and grand larceny and spent two years in jail.

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What an interesting week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.

World champion sprinter Noah Lyles brought home his bronze medal from the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday. In a frank, TED Talk-like speech at Alexandria City High School, Lyles talked about the importance of mental health as he struggled to perform at the games.

“A lot of people will look at the Olympics this year like something was different with the athletes,” said Lyles. “Well, it was a lot of difference because we had so much weight that we had to hold onto — about two years. I was no different.”

On the COVID-19 front, while the transmission level remains high in Alexandria, this week the city tied with Arlington for the lowest seven-day positivity rate in Virginia. Large outdoor public events are still happening, too, and on Monday, a vast majority of local elected officials and candidates converged for the Alexandria Democratic Committee’s annual Labor Day Picnic, which included an appearance by gubernatorial candidate, former Governor Terry McAuliffe.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. Man arrested for spending spree after finding wallet in Bradlee Shopping Center parking lot
  2. COVID-19 Update: Alexandria ties with Arlington for lowest seven-day positivity rate in Virginia
  3. BREAKING: Pedestrian critically injured in Old Town car crash
  4. Mark Center development plans head to Planning Commission this week
  5. Alexandria Police union calls out years of executive mismanagement
  6. JUST IN: Suspects arrested after allegedly firing shots at Alexandria Police
  7. BREAKING: Video shows brawl at Alexandria City High School cafeteria just two days after school starts
  8. Mayor outlines upcoming plastic bag tax plans
  9. Village Brauhaus aims for rooftop expansion
  10. No injuries or arrests after shots fired in Old Town Sunday night
  11. Most expensive homes sold in Alexandria in August

Have a safe weekend!

Via Elijah Walter Griffin, Sr.

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Alexandria Police say that a string of robberies from 7-Eleven convenience stores in the city and in Fairfax County are connected.

The most recent incident occurred just before midnight on August 19 at the 7-Eleven at 1025 W. Glebe Road. The clerk told police that the male suspect was buying a Black & Mild cigar. He handed over cash, but when the register opened he pushed the clerk away, “lunged” over the counter and stole about $30 in cash, police said in a search warrant.

The suspect, a Black male in his 50s, was bald, wore a white cloth face mask, a red T-shirt, blue jeans, black sneakers and a gold-colored bracelet on his wrist. He has not been arrested.

Police believe the suspect is also responsible for robbing two 7-Elevens in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County.

Just after midnight on June 21, the suspect walked into the 7-Eleven at 3100 Lockheed Boulevard and asked for a Black & Mild from the clerk.

Police reported that, “as the clerk opened the register to process the transaction, the offender leaps over the counter assaulting the clerk and then removes cash from the register and flees.”

Another identical robbery was reported five hours later at the 7-Eleven at 2305 Huntington Avenue.

Via Google Maps

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Fingerprints have linked a 59-year-old Alexandria man to a February 25 robbery at the 7-Eleven at 3412 Mount Vernon Avenue in the Arlandria area.

The same suspect, Stanley Rivers, was already in jail for allegedly burgling the 7-Eleven down the road at 2108 Mount Vernon Avenue on Friday, Jan. 22. He was arrested on June 16, nearly five months after DNA evidence linked him to the January incident.

The Feb. 25 incident occurred at around 11:40 p.m. Employees told police that Rivers waited in line holding a makeshift face mask, and that he was offered to buy a mask for $1, according to a search warrant affidavit. Police were told that the suspect fumbled with the pockets of his jacket and then went to the soda machine and poured himself a Mountain Dew with an ungloved hand.

The suspect then allegedly walked back to the employee, placed the drink on the counter, and put his hand under his jacket as if he was holding something and demanded that the employee open the register. She tried to open it unsuccessfully, and Rivers allegedly tried to unsuccessfully grab the till as the employee ran to a back room for help, police said.

The cup that the suspect was carrying in his ungloved hand was collected by Alexandria Police, according to the affidavit. Two of Rivers’ fingerprints were identified on the cup.

Rivers was arrested on June 16 and charged with burglary, assaulting law enforcement, resisting arrest, property destruction and stealing two credit card numbers.

Via Google Maps

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A male suspect has been arrested for the Wednesday morning bank robbery at EagleBank in Old Town.

“Responding officers took a male suspect into custody minutes after the robbery,” Alexandria Police said in a release. “This is an active investigation.”

The incident occurred just before 9 a.m., police tweeted. The bank opens at 8:30 a.m. and is located at 277 S. Washington Street, which is near the intersection with Duke Street.

No suspect description was provided, and police said to expect activity in the area. No one was reportedly injured in the incident.

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Morning Notes

Elo’s Italian pop-up opens in Live Oak space — “The owners of Live Oak in Del Ray have opened a pop-up Italian restaurant in the Live Oak space in Del Ray. Chef Justus Frank is offering family Italian fare Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. Brunch is ‘coming soon’ according to the owners. The menu includes a variety of appetizers, flatbreads, paninis, seasonal pasta dishes, fish, chicken and more. A kid’s menu is available.” [Alexandria Living]

Police asking for help finding robbery suspects — “APD is following active leads and working with neighboring jurisdictions on the investigation into 2 armed robberies that occurred on May 5. One happened at 12:15pm on E. Oxford Ave. The second happened at 12:40pm in the 3900 blk of Courtland Cir… Witnesses and anyone with security video should contact Det. Stephen Riley at [email protected] or 703.746.6225. Even the smallest details can be significant.” [Twitter]

Chamber ALX releases City Council candidate survey results — “The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce recently asked all announced candidates to complete a survey of critical business issues facing our city. In order to ensure our members are informed prior to entering the voting booth, the Chamber is providing the candidate’s responses.” [Chamber ALX]

Alexandria resident Brian Hooks named to Time100 Next list — “Brian Hooks wants to change the country – but not by himself. An Alexandria resident, Hooks was named one of Time Magazine’s next 100 most influential people in the world in February for his work as the chief executive officer of nonprofit Stand Together.” [Alex Times]

City seeks input on American Rescue Plan Act funding — ” The City will host virtual meetings on Saturday, May 8 at 10 a.m. and Monday, May 10 at 7 p.m. to review the funding guidelines and discuss project proposals. The input will be used to inform a spending plan, and the deadline to provide feedback is Thursday, May 13.” [City of Alexandria]

Resurfacing work temporarily closes portion of Mount Vernon Trail — “In a step to prepare for an upcoming $6.5 million Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Trail Project on the south end of the Mount Vernon bike trail, a portion has been blocked off to bicyclists while crews resurface a portion of the trail between the Mount Vernon Plantation and Richmond Highway.” [Gazette]

Today’s weather — “Partly cloudy skies during the morning hours will give way to cloudy skies and rain in the afternoon. High 66F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 100%. Rainfall near a quarter of an inch… Rain showers early with clearing later at night. Low 44F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Temporary COVID POD vaccinator assistant — “Are you a hardworking individual who is eager to join our efforts to augment and expedite vaccinations in the community? Does your passion drive you to commit to a cause that could have a positive impact on many? If this is you, we invite you to apply to one of our temporary City of Alexandria Vaccination site opportunities. One of which is the Vaccinator Assistant who assists the Vaccinator in efficiently dispensing COVID-19 vaccine according to existing protocols at PODs (Points of Distribution).” [Indeed]

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Alexandria Police are investigating an incident where a knife was brandished against a woman outside the La Madeline restaurant in Old Town.

The incident occurred at around 1 p.m after the victim was eating lunch with her son at the restaurant at 500 King Street. The woman noticed that the strap to her purse, which was on the back of her chair, was moving. When she turned around, her purse was no longer on the back of her chair and her wallet was gone. There were two unknown men sitting at the table behind her, and she saw one of them fumble with her wallet.

“Give me my wallet back!” the woman demanded, according to police.

The suspects reportedly threw the woman’s wallet back and then made for the door. The woman cried out for someone to call the police and followed the suspects outside.

“Once outside, exiting through the northern door onto King Street, the male subject who had taken her wallet turned back towards her with a knife now in his left hand and stated, ‘Get away lady, you’re crazy!'” according to a police search warrant affidavit.

The suspects, who were seen getting into a black Infiniti, have been identified and not arrested. Both suspects have been positively identified through photo lineups, according to police.

Map via Google Maps

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Alexandria Police are investigating two armed robberies that occurred within a half hour of each other in Del Ray and Arlandria on Tuesday (May 4) afternoon.

A male victim was robbed of his cell phone at gunpoint by two male suspects at around 12:15 p.m. in the unit block of E. Oxford Avenue in Del Ray. Then at around 12:40, another male victim was robbed of his cell phone and wallet at gunpoint by two male suspects in the 3900 block of Courtland Circle in Arlandria.

“The suspects fled both scenes in a vehicle,” APD Senior Public Information Officer Amanda Paga told ALXnow. “Suspect descriptions are still being developed.”

No one was injured in the incidents.

E. Oxford Avenue map and Courtland Circle map via Google Maps

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A man was robbed at gunpoint in a residential area of the West End on Tuesday night, according to Alexandria Police.

Police tweeted that at around 11:20 p.m., the victim was walking in the 200 block of Century Place when he was approached by a suspect, who displayed a handgun.

The suspect allegedly stole personal items and the victim was not injured.

No suspect description was provided.

Map via Google Maps

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Alexandria Police say the COVID-19 pandemic had a lot to do with a 19% crime surge 2020.

Police released the city’s Part 1 crime statistics for 2020 on Tuesday, and included are the reported numbers of homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults.

“2020 provided a unique set of challenges,” Police Chief Michael Brown said in a statement. “Our officers dedicated themselves to protecting the City and community members, while working through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, both at home and on the job, as well the fallout and questions brought on by the death of George Floyd. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Violent crime reportedly increased 3.33% over last year. There were three three homicides in 2020, up one death over 2019, and aggravated assaults increased 6%, with 208 incidents reported.

Residential burglaries fell “drastically” while commercial burglaries climbed nearly 50%, “likely due to stores being temporarily closed or having limited hours,” according to police.

Vehicle thefts also increased 54%, and police said the cause is largely from owners leaving cars unattended and unlocked during the pandemic. Police also reported that few thefts from vehicles involved use of force.

“There are simple steps vehicle owners can take to reduce their risk of becoming victims. Check on your vehicle daily, make sure the doors are locked and there are no valuables inside,” Brown said. “You should also move the vehicle periodically to reduce the appearance it is not being used.”

Below are the 2020 and 2019 Part 1 crime stats for Alexandria:

Crime Type 2019 2020 Change
Homicide 2 3 1
Rape 20 12 -8
Robbery 82 87 5
Aggravated Assault 196 208 12
Burglary 117 126 9
Larceny 2,093 2,473 380
Auto Theft 233 359 126
Total 2,743 3,268 525
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