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Alexandria Police are looking for a man who bought a luxury car with a fake driver’s license at Lindsay Lexus of Alexandria.

On August 29, the suspect walked into the dealership and picked out a 2021 Lexus LS400 and provided the salesperson with an Oklahoma driver’s license, according to police. The customer also allegedly told the salesperson that he’d recently relocated from Oklahoma to Richmond.

“The customer provided insurance document(ation) issued by AAA Insurance listing his current residence in Richmond,” police said in a search warrant. “The dealership completed a credit history check using identification for (the victim) and approved the customer for financing to complete the purchase.”

Police added, “The customer purchased the vehicle and drove the vehicle off the dealership’s parking lot.”

The next day, August 30, an Oklahoma man called the dealership asking about a credit check that was made the day before in his name. The man said he didn’t buy a car at Lindsay Lexus of Alexandria and sent along a photo of his driver’s license. The photos didn’t match, as the victim is an older white male and the suspect is a Black male.

The vehicle was later recovered in Henrico, Virginia, and returned to the dealership.

The suspect has not been arrested.

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Alexandria Police are reporting double-digit increases in burglary and drunk driving arrests so far this year.

In an update to the Health and Safety Coordinating Committee, police reported a 35% increase in driving while intoxicated arrests (136 incidents) — as of August 2021.

The DWI arrests were expected, police said, “as COVID-19 restrictions have lightened and nightlife activities expanded their hours and operation this year.”

There has also been a a 63% increase in burglaries, with 135 reported arrests over the 83 at this point in 2020.

“While the rate has slowed from the pace through April, this increase is driven by an increase in Commercial Burglaries due to Asian restaurants being targeted early in the calendar year, a Fairfax County-based juvenile crew heavily targeting Northern Virginia in March through May, stealing currency from registers, and residential burglaries,” police reported.

The theft of vehicle parts also jumped 49%, and the theft of car parts valued at over $1,000 (mostly tires, catalytic converters and airbags) jumped 106%.

There have been 127 aggravated assaults so far this year, down from 136 at this point in 2020; eight rapes reported this year, down from 11 in 2020; and 65 robberies in 2021, up from 63 in 2020.

There have been no homicides so far this year, while there was one homicide by this point in 2020 (three total in 2020) and one homicide in 2019 (two overall for that year).

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A man is under arrest after an armed carjacking in the West End on Tuesday night.

Police did not release the suspect’s name, what he was charged with, or the kind of weapon used. They only tweeted out two messages on the incident, which they say occurred at around 8:45 p.m. and ended at around 10 p.m.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred in the Cameron Run Station area, and ended in the 500 block of Cameron Station Boulevard near Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School.

via Google Maps

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Alexandria Police are investigating thefts from more than 60 vehicles that were made between June 14 and 15 in the West End.

The thefts from 11 areas occurred in the overnight hours, and the suspects broke car windows, and stole wallets, keys, money, and other personal items.

No one has been arrested in connection to the incidents and no suspect descriptions are available, according to APD senior public information officer Amanda Paga.

“This investigation is ongoing,” Paga said in a press release. “Anyone with information or video of these break-ins should call the Alexandria Police Department’s non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. No detail is too small.”

The Arbors on Duke apartment complex on Duke Street was one of the areas that was hit, and a resident told ALXnow that numerous complaints that their parking garage is routinely left unsecured have been ignored by property management.

Police are asking residents to take personal items from their vehicles, not to park them in the same spot for extended periods and to keep them locked.

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Morning Notes

T.C. Williams High School graduation is this Saturday — “We’re counting down to #Titans2021 Graduation on June 12 by highlighting @tcwtitans seniors every day! Stay tuned to meet our first grad!” [Twitter]

Woman shot and car stolen in Alexandria area of Fairfax County — “A woman was shot and seriously wounded in a carjacking in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County Sunday night in Virginia, and the suspect made off with her Mercedes, police said. Fairfax County police said the carjacking happened just before 10:30 p.m. Sunday in the 3100 block of Franconia Road in Alexandria. That’s near the intersection with Telegraph Road and Jefferson Manor Park.” [WTOP]

City Arts District in Old Town North Takes Public Art to the Streets — “The Alexandria Office of the Arts has turned its attention north to the new City Arts District. A call went out this spring for art proposals to decorate the storm drain covers and surrounding cement aprons at up to 24 locations on the streets of Old Town North. Similar projects in London and San Francisco have been praised by the public.” [Zebra]

Racial equity forum on June 9 and 10 — “ACT for Alexandria will host a virtual IMPACT Racial Equity Forum June 9&10. The event provides an opportunity to learn, connect & commit to an equitable Alexandria. City Leaders will speak at the event. For more information & registration follow link.” [Twitter]

Today’s weather — “Cloudy early. Scattered thunderstorms developing later in the day. High 89F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%… Scattered thunderstorms in the evening, with mostly cloudy skies overnight. Low 71F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Pet sitter — “Passionately Pets, a local In-Home Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Company, is currently hiring exceptional pet sitters and dog walkers to join our wonderful team. This position is fun and rewarding as you get to enjoy the outdoors, get exercise and be loved by amazing local dogs, cats and other companion animals!” [Indeed]

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Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown says that he’s on the level about his surprise retirement announcement, and that he and his wife will soon pulling up stakes for the West Coast in the near future to take care of urgent family business.

“This was a personal decision that my wife and I came to manifest in me having to retire,” Brown told ALXnow.

Brown has given a recommendation on who should be the acting chief until a permanent replacement is chosen at the conclusion of a national search. His last day is June 25. Right now he’s worried about summer crime, although says that crime levels are now returning to pre-pandemic levels.

The department is currently dealing with critical staffing issues, namely temporarily filling available street assignments for patrol officers by reassigning other officers.

“We’re meeting our staffing needs on the street,” Brown said. “We’re very concerned about what may happen this summer.”

APD is funded for 311 positions, and effective July 1 the department will have 305 officers on duty. Of those, six are on administrative duties pending the outcome of an investigation after a chase suspect died in D.C., and there are a number of officers on family medical leave and other various reasons, Brown said.

“In order to supplement provide some stability for those temporary shortages, we pulled other officers in to kind of fill the gaps for patrol,” he said. “And that’s normally customary in this business when you have these kinds of situations taking place.”

Brown added, “We’re seeing crime revert back to what was normal, with some minor suggestions to prior to the pandemic. We’re not seeing the same thing in terms of, for example, auto thefts, that we once saw. The shootings are also lower in number than we had last year, especially towards the summer.”

On the bright side, he said, three APD officers who were previously on administrative duties after a shootout in Old Town North have been cleared for duty by Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter. Additionally, APD will be reassigning six officers previously assigned to the School Resource Officer program, which Council eliminated last month.

As for the SROs, Brown said that he supported the program, but would not offer an opinion on Council’s decision.

“I thought there was value in the SRO program,” he said. “But then again, I don’t have the authority to make that decision. My job is to carry out the decision that was made by our elected officials.”

Brown also left six months before being vested in the city’s retirement system, although Brown says it doesn’t bother him and that the decision wasn’t about money. After a 46-year career in law enforcement, this isn’t his first retirement.

“The fact of the matter is, I’ve had several retirements,” he said. “I took this job because I cared about this police department.”

Brown started as a police officer in Los Angeles in 1977, and was the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol from 2004-2008. He was later California’s deputy secretary for public safety from 2008 to 2009, and then for six years was the director of the Office of Impaired Driving and Occupant Protection at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration before being hired as Alexandria’s police chief in 2017.

Brown led the police department through a restructuring, as well as social unrest after the 2020 murder of George Floyd, the COVID-19 pandemic, and an uptick in shooting events and other crime throughout the city. He restructured the department from four to three divisions, and took away deputy chief of police positions and added an assistant chief. He also says that under his leadership the department made strides with its 21st Century Policing effort.

“Some would argue differently, but we became very transparent ,” Brown said. “We put all of our policies, we put all of our reports on use of force on our website so that people could see that information and be critical of it.”

Brown continued, “Policing is never stable. Policing will always change, and it will change based upon events; it will change upon public discourse; it will change because the community, or… the nation at large has other questions, or other expectations… The real challenge for the law enforcement community is to be able to listen and to be able to adapt in order to survive, because if we don’t survive the public will get rid of you.”

Brown’s tenure was punctuated by dramatic events, starting with the Simpson Field Shooting, and culminating with the pandemic and social unrest after the murder of George Floyd. He would later pen an op-ed saying that the video of Floyd’s death appalled him, and he spoke with city leaders to the public and later joined protestors at a demonstration outside police headquarters.

Brown said his laundry list of people to thank is long.

“I admire this department for what it does,” he said. “It’s a good department, filled with great people, and they are out there every day taking care of the citizens, the residents of this city. It was a blessing to have the opportunity to work with them.”

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More details have been released on a string of 130 smash-and-grab burglaries at businesses in Alexandria and throughout the region.

A number of juveniles from around Alexandria have been arrested in connection to the incidents.

Last month, Alexandria Police said that one juvenile suspect was arrested.

In most cases, the suspects broke windows with rocks or bricks and drove away in stolen vehicles. During one three day stretch in February, there were approximately 35 incidents in Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax County and Fairfax City, according to a police search warrant affidavit.

At least three of the suspects were identified as members of the “Culmore City Gang,” which has ties to Fairfax County, police said.

One of the juvenile suspects, a D.C. resident, has been documented as a member of the gang for several years. He was identified on security camera footage from one of the incidents and was eventually tracked down in a stolen vehicle on March 18. Police said the suspect was arrested for probation violation but “fled from court-ordered custody at the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Facility.”

Numerous additional burglaries followed the juvenile’s escape. Hours after another incident on April 8, Arlington County Police tracked down the suspect who escaped with another juvenile (later issued a juvenile arrest warrant) in a stolen 2010 Ford Explorer.

The suspect who escaped custody was arrested after five separate incidents that occurred at businesses on S. Pickett Street in the West End on April 23. He was arrested the following day while allegedly fleeing a burglary incident at an Arlington pharmacy. On his phone police found photos and videos of the suspect and other juveniles holding large sums of money, drugs, firearms and ammunition — all while wearing clothing that was captured on security videos.

As of April, it is believed that the suspects “have stolen ignition keys from vehicles, utilized them in a burglary,” police said in the affidavit. “After utilizing the vehicle in the burglary, the suspect returns the vehicle to the owner, but keeps the ignition key, returning to the vehicle to commit more thefts.”

Police arrested another juvenile outside his home in Fairfax County on April 27, and he was allegedly was in possession of a stolen firearm.

On May 13, another juvenile suspect was arrested after a brief chase in Arlington. The driver was taken into custody, and inside the vehicle police found a stolen firearm and a blue canvas beg containing “approximately $10,000 of electronic cigarettes similar to ones reported stolen in ongoing regional burglaries.”

Anyone with information on the incidents is asked to contact Detective Walter Boyd at 703-746-6245 or [email protected] or Detective Edmund Dougherty at 703-746-6697 or at [email protected].

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Virginia State Police lost track of a stolen white U-Haul pickup truck that was chased through Arlington, Alexandria and D.C. on Tuesday afternoon.

At around 4 p.m., police spotted the 2019 U-Haul Chevrolet Silverado traveling northbound on Interstate 395 near the Little River Turnpike exit.

“The vehicle had been reported stolen out of Fauquier County,” VSP public relations director Corinne Geller told ALXnow. “Once the trooper confirmed it was the stolen vehicle, the trooper activated his lights and siren to initiate a traffic stop on the Silverado. The driver refused to stop, sped away and a pursuit was initiated.”

The suspect was chased down Arlington Ridge Road in Arlington, continuing down Mount Vernon Avenue in Arlandria before the Silverado ended up driving on the wrong side of the street at Glebe Road and West Glebe Road and nearly rammed a VSP cruiser. The suspect veered out of the way and struck a road sign, which was knocked into the middle of the street, and has since been cleared away.

“His vehicle got damaged,” the investigating officer said via dispatch. “Pretty heavy damage… His vehicle nearly struck my cruiser.”

The truck was then involved in a crash with two trucks on northbound 395 on the 14th Street Bridge as it drove into D.C. A tweet from a former reporter and volunteer firefighter who runs a fire and EMS news website even showed the chase going into D.C.

“Once the suspect vehicle got back to I-395 north and crossed the 14th Street Bridge into Washington, DC, the troopers lost sight of it and the pursuit was terminated,” Geller said.

Photo via ARLnow/Twitter

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Alexandria Police are investigating a spike in the number of airbags being stolen from vehicles in the middle of the night.

The most recent incidents were reported on Feb. 28, when up to nine vehicles were broken into and airbags were stolen from the Southern Towers apartment complex in the 4900 block of Seminary Road in the West End. There were also up to 15 airbags stolen at the end of last October in the 5000 block of Eisenhower Avenue.

It appears that these are two isolated incidents, according to police.

“They’re not particularly targeting Southern Towers for larcenies,” APD officer Bennie L. Evans told the Southern Towers community in a Zoom chat last week. “It’s just something that happened, partly because of the locality and access to the interstate.”

Police Chief Michael L. Brown said airbags are easy to steal, and their thefts are part of increasing regional and national trends.

“Those are very expensive parts, and they’re easy to move in a secondary market,” Brown said.

Police are asking residents to file a report if their airbags are stolen, and advise folks to lock their vehicles, take out valuables and call 911 in case of suspicious activity.

Map via Google Maps

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A young child is safe after the vehicle they were sitting in was briefly stolen on Tuesday afternoon in Arlandria.

The child was left alone in the car for a few minutes and the engine was left running in the 3900 block of Executive Avenue. When the car owner returned from inside an apartment, he saw a man stealing his car with the child sitting in the back seat.

“The suspect stopped the vehicle about a block away, jumped out and ran away,” according to Alexandria police. “The victim chased the suspect for several blocks until the suspect brandished a firearm. The victim then returned to the scene of the incident. The suspect got away.”

The child was uninjured.

The theft occurred around the corner from where a man was stabbed in the leg on Wednesday, March 3.

The incident is the third reported theft of a vehicle this year with the keys left inside the car. In the first incident, local business owner Allison Priebe’s car was stolen while she pumped gas in Old Town on Feb. 7, followed by a second incident at a gas station in Crystal City on Feb. 18.

The incident has prompted a number of city departments to ask residents not to leave children unattended in cars.

“Remember, never leave a child in a vehicle unattended,” police said. “Always lock your vehicle’s doors. Keep your keys, key fobs and valuables either on your person, hidden or locked up in a safe place.”

Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact Detective Anthony LaRusso at 703-746-6618. Callers can remain anonymous.

Map via Google Maps

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