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by Dave Emke — October 20, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Chamber: Effort To Woo Amazon ‘Start of Something Great’ — Jim Corcoran, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, says the partnership between Loudoun and Fairfax counties to try to bring Amazon’s new headquarters to Herndon can be “a model for our economic growth,” no matter what the company decides. [Washington Business Journal]

Metro: Fare Evasion is Serious Issue — Metro says its efforts to ensure no one gets on trains without paying has helped curb serious crime on the system by 20 percent. [Metro Transit Police/Twitter]

Early Metro Hours Sunday for Marathon — Trains will begin rolling Sunday at 6 a.m. to help participants in the 42nd annual Marine Corps Marathon. Extra trains will also be running on the Blue and Yellow lines. [WMATA]

A Look at Mixed-Use Developments in Fairfax County — Earlier this week, Bisnow took a look at several large developments in the works in the county, as it says “developers are increasingly turning the county into a walkable, mixed-use environment.” Included in the profile are several Reston developments, including Reston Station and Tall Oaks. [Bisnow]

Police Warn of Criminals Targeting Garage Door Openers — Police departments in Loudoun and Prince William counties are urging residents to keep their garage door openers out of sight as criminals are stealing them from cars and using them to gain access to homes. Police in Reston have previously warned of similar crimes. [WTOP]

by RestonNow.com — October 19, 2017 at 10:15 am 2 Comments

Fairfax County police say a woman who claims she was sexually assaulted in Reston when answering a Craigslist job listing may not be the only victim.

Imtiaz Rauf, a 44-year-old from Gainesville who is a registered sex offender, has been charged by the Fairfax County Police Department with sexual battery. Police say Rauf placed an ad saying he was looking for an administrative assistant. The victim met Rauf for a job interview at 12005 Sunrise Valley Drive, and police say she was sexually assaulted upon arriving.

Rauf was arrested and taken to the Adult Detention Center, where he is being held without bond. FCPD says detectives are looking into other ads they believe were placed by Rauf and are “investigating other similar reports” of assault. Additional charges against Rauf may be forthcoming, police say.

According to Rauf’s entry in the state’s Sex Offender Registry, he was added to the list after being convicted of sexually soliciting a minor in Montgomery County, Maryland in 2011.

Anyone who believes they may be a victim of Rauf, or who has further information about the case, is encouraged to contact FCPD Det. T. Horton at 703-246-7800. Information can also be reported by calling 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), by visiting Crime Solvers online, or by texting “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637). Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards up to $1,000 if their information leads to an arrest.

Mugshot of Imtiaz Rauf/FCPD

by Dave Emke — October 18, 2017 at 9:00 am 8 Comments

Opioid Roundtable Planned — The discussion, scheduled for the Fairfax County Government Center at 2 p.m. Saturday, will be hosted by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Sharon Bulova, chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The event is open to the public. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Reston Woman Pleads Guilty to Role in Gang-Related Killing — Cindy Blanco Hernandez, 19, entered pleas to abduction and gang participation Tuesday as part of a deal with prosecutors. She was among 10 members and associates of the gang MS-13 charged after the January killing of 15-year-old Damaris A. Reyes Rivas. She may face up to 30 years in prison when she is sentenced in May. [Washington Post]

Herndon Adds Parking Enforcement Position — The part-time officer was hired Oct. 3 and will work 30 hours a week, which has at least one resident worried about “end[ing] up like Reston Town Center.” [Connection Newspapers]

Silver Line Phase 2 Hits Two-Thirds Point — More than 5 million hours have been spent on the $2.78 billion project so far, according to updates expected to be presented today to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board. [WTOP]

by RestonNow.com — October 17, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Police in Loudoun County say a Reston man who drives for a ride-hailing service assaulted a customer last week.

The incident took place at about 7:20 a.m. Thursday in the 45600 block of Falke Palza in Sterling, near the Country Inn & Suites off Old Ox Road. A woman told police she got into a confrontation with the driver, identified as 45-year-old Sheikh R. Lamptey. According to the woman, Lamptey grabbed her phone from her during the altercation, and struck her in the head as well.

Lamptey was handed a simple assault charge by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

Meanwhile, the Fairfax County Police Department reported the following crimes in the past week:

LARCENIES

1700 block of Ascot Way, purse from vehicle

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, cellphone from school

11900 block of Democracy Drive, property from vehicle

11400 block of Commerce Park Drive, property from vehicle

11400 block of Esplanade Drive, airbag from vehicle

13400 block of Farm Crest Court, tires from vehicle

1800 block of Fountain Drive, cash from residence

2200 block of Hunters Woods Plaza, cigarettes from business

2500 block of John Eppes Road, airbag from vehicle

900 block of Locust Street, cellphone from school

1500 block of North Point Drive, cellphone from business

11600 block of Plaza America Drive, merchandise from business

10200 block of Wendover Drive, property from residence

12100 block of Windsor Hall Way, property from vehicle

STOLEN VEHICLES

None reported

Two more thefts of airbags listed in the larcenies include another in the same area south of Herndon as several such reports a few weeks ago. The other, though, was in North Reston.

FCPD also reported that a man from Georgia unlawfully entered a private school on Sunrise Valley Drive twice in recent days.

Anyone with information about any of the crimes reported by FCPD should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

The Herndon Police Department also reported in its weekly crime report a pair of malicious wounding cases.

  • On Friday, a man was stabbed in the abdomen in the 1200 block of Elden Street. The victim was taken to Reston Hospital Center with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect in the crime, 57-year-old Pedro Quintero Gonzalez, of Herndon, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding.
  • On Sunday, a man was struck in the face with a pint glass during an altercation in the 200 block of Elden Street. The suspect, 31-year-old Bakari Kamau George, of Reston, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding.

In each case, police report the victim and the suspect were acquainted.

by RestonNow.com — October 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm 1 Comment

The Fairfax County Police Department says a man was caught on surveillance video inside a private school outside of normal hours.

Walter Elsey, 27, of Georgia was arrested Saturday after police say he was spotted on camera inside Good Beginnings School (11501 Sunrise Valley Drive). The incident took place just before 11 a.m., and he was located by police near the school after he was seen on video.

Further investigation revealed Elsey had also unlawfully entered the building a few days earlier.

The man was taken to the county’s Adult Detention Center and charged with two counts of unlawful entry.

by Dave Emke — October 16, 2017 at 3:45 pm 7 Comments

The man police say murdered Nabra Hassanen in June will face charges of capital murder and rape, the Associated Press reports. According to the AP, the grand jury ruling against 22-year-old Darwin Martinez-Torres in Fairfax County Circuit Court came down today.

A capital murder charge can be punishable by death. Virginia state code allows prosecutors to pursue a death penalty under certain conditions, including premeditated murder during a rape. The county’s prosecutor indicates that he will seek the death penalty in the case.

Hassanen was part of a large group of teenagers walking and biking on Dranesville Road at about 3:40 a.m. Sunday, June 18 after a Ramadan service at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society. The suspect allegedly approached the group in a car and argued with a teenage boy. The group scattered, but police say Martinez-Torres caught up a short time later armed with a baseball bat. Hassanen was struck and taken in the car. Her body was discovered later that day in a Sterling pond.

Days after Hassanen’s death, Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler said the possibility of sexual assault during the attack was being investigated. Monday’s grand jury ruling, however, is the first official indication that it is believed a rape was committed.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer was lodged against Martinez-Torres immediately following his arrest. The 22-year-old native of El Salvador was living in Sterling illegally. While rumors circulated that he is a member of the gang MS-13, FCPD has said there is “no credible information” pointing to that.

Police say Martinez-Torres committed the crime as part of an extreme case of road rage. Members of the community, including Hassanen’s friends and family, have suggested the crime was fueled by a bias against Muslims.

A vigil at Lake Anne Plaza in honor of Hassanen, just days after her death, drew thousands of mourners.

A preliminary hearing for Martinez-Torres last week was disrupted when Hassanen’s parents began shouting at the suspect and threatening him. The suspect ultimately waived his right to the hearing, allowing the case to proceed without further delay.

by RestonNow.com — October 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm 7 Comments

Those seeking justice for the murder of Nabra Hassanen, whose death rattled the Reston community this summer, will have their first day in court this week.

A preliminary hearing for the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s prosecution of murder suspect Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, will be on Friday in Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

Judge Kimberly Daniel will preside over the hearing for the court, according to Rae Ann Stein, who works for the Fairfax County Court Services Administration in records management. The Juvenile and Domestic Relations court has jurisdiction over juvenile matters, including offenses committed by adults against juveniles under the age of 18.

Torres is charged with killing 17-year-old Hassanen of Reston on June 18 in what the Fairfax County Police Department calls a deadly case of road rage. She was a sophomore at South Lakes High School.

Police say Hassanen was part of a large group of teenagers walking and biking on Dranesville Road at about 3:40 a.m. after a Ramadan service at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society. The suspect allegedly approached the group in a car and argued with a teenage boy. The group scattered, but police say Torres caught up a short time later armed with a baseball bat. Hassanen was struck and taken in the car. Her body was discovered later that day in a Sterling pond.

Torres, who is a citizen of El Salvador and was living in Sterling without legal permission, had a detainer request lodged against him by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Hassanen was laid to rest as a martyr of her Muslim community on Wednesday, June 21. Later that same day, the community packed into Lake Anne Plaza for her vigil.

Torres was incarcerated at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bail, according to police. Authorities are seeking the harshest punishment, while many in the community are calling for the murder charges to be elevated to a bias-related crime.

by RestonNow.com — October 10, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Herndon Police say a pocket watch was stolen from a business last week.

According to HPD, “an unknown number of suspects” entered the business in the 1000 block of Sterling Road on Oct. 3, “possibly through an unlocked window.” The missing watch is valued at approximately $250. The case remains under investigation, HPD says.

HPD recently launched an Instagram account where it shares information about police activity and initiatives.

LARCENIES

11800 block of Breton Court, packages from residence

1800 block of Fountain Drive, headphones from business

9800 block of Georgetown Pike, purse from business

700 block of Leigh Mill Road, driver license and credit cards from vehicle

13100 block of Parcher Avenue, wallet from business

12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, merchandise from business

1800 block of Wiehle Avenue, headphones from business

STOLEN VEHICLES

None reported

Anyone with information about any of the crimes reported by FCPD should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

by Fatimah Waseem — October 6, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Date Announced for 2018 Polar Plunge — The 11th annual Virginia Polar Dip at Lake Anne will take place Saturday, Feb. 3. [Lake Anne Plaza/Facebook]

Boston Properties Residential Project Nears Completion — Designed as a gateway to Reston Town Center, The Signature apartments on Freedom Drive and New Dominion Drive are set to become available in January. The 508-unit project will include two towers, two six-story buildings, a specialty grocer and 4,600 square feet of retail. [Washington Business Journal]

Children Left in Car Rescued by Police — The Fairfax County Police Department says a 26-year-old Falls Church woman brought her three children (ages 5, 6 and 7) to work but left them in the car because she didn’t want to bring them inside. FCPD was called to the scene and got the kids out of the car. They were taken to the hospital for treatment of heat exhaustion, and their mother was hit with three counts of felony child abuse. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Fairfax County Promotes Domestic Violence Awareness Month — On a monthly basis, domestic violence hotlines in Fairfax County receive 200 calls and victims request 75 family abuse protective orders. The county is encouraging residents to help prevent and end domestic violence by volunteering with the county’s Office of Women and Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. Volunteers work on special events, help run a 24-hour hotline, among other duties. [Fairfax County Government/Facebook]

Fairfax County Worker Found Not Guilty in Fatal Stabbing — Kempton Bonds, 20, was found not guilty Wednesday of fatally stabbing 35-year-old Tyonne Johns, a caterer at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly. Bonds was working as a seasonal employee with the Fairfax County Park Authority when the incident occurred last year, according to officials. [FOX 5]

by Dave Emke — October 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

A series of airbag thefts reported recently near Herndon is part of a countywide and national trend, police say.

The past week’s crime recaps from the Fairfax County Police Department included four reports of airbags being stolen in the area, as well as one report of a stolen steering wheel. All of the reports came from the same area off Frying Pan Road, near Fox Mill and Coppermine roads.

Pfc. Emmilie Cherry, of FCPD’s media relations bureau, said there isn’t a lot of information available about the thefts, but they aren’t limited to this area.

“There have been thefts throughout the county of airbags being stolen from vehicles,” Cherry said. “We don’t know the exact reasons they are being stolen, but a guess would be re-selling it to auto-part stores.”

This isn’t the first time this issue has arisen. In the early months of 2014, the Washington Post reported, more than 50 such incidents took place in Fairfax County. It’s is an issue that has been of concern for as long as airbags have been an aspect of car safety, as evidenced by a 1995 New York Times article featuring the headline, “As Automotive Air Bags Become Common, So Does Stealing Them.”

As automobiles are laden with more expensive accessories, thieves have become more specialized and crafty, quickly outwitting both car owners and dealers. And air bags, which can fetch hundreds of dollars on the black market, have become a prized prey. They are easily removed, portable and sought by disreputable repair shops that can profit by installing the stolen part — in some cases in cars whose original bags were stolen.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau says airbags retail at about $1,000, while they can be purchased on the black market for between $50 and $200. The disreputable repair shop pockets the difference, the NICB says.

The NICB offers these tips to avoid becoming a victim of such fraud when an airbag is being replaced:

  • Use a reputable automobile collision repair shop that employs ASE-certified mechanics
  • Inspect the invoice to ensure the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer or recycler
  • If possible, inspect the airbag prior to installation. If new, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer
  • The trim cover over the steering column should be the same color as the remaining trim interior. If not, it is an indication that the original airbag has been replaced
  • When you turn on your vehicle’s ignition, a red SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) indicator should light up and flash in the instrument panel display, indicating the airbag system is activated. No SRS light indicates a problem with the airbag system that could result in no airbag activation

Media reports from around the nation indicate the thefts often occur from Honda vehicles.

Image via Wikimedia user Janipewter

by Dave Emke — October 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm 6 Comments

Deputies from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office had their hands full Sunday with a pair of chases involving local residents.

At 3:14 p.m., on Route 50 near Aldie, a deputy saw a vehicle speeding. When the officer turned on his lights, the driver sped off. The pursuit ended in the area of Eagles Landing Place, in the Lenah Mill community. The driver was identified as 43-year-old Rama K. Grandhi, of Herndon. He was arrested and charged with eluding police and reckless driving, 20 mph or more over the posted limit. He was later released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on a secured bond.

That same day, at about 8:04 p.m., a deputy spotted a black SUV going through a stop sign at the intersection of Loudoun County Parkway and Ryan Road in Ashburn “at a high rate of speed and almost [causing] the deputy to crash.” The deputy turned on his lights and pursued the vehicle. According to the report:

The vehicle then ran several stop signs and stop lights before striking a parked unoccupied vehicle on Olympia Drive before turning onto Regal Wood Drive. The driver fled on foot from the vehicle in the area of Regal Wood Drive and Vickery Park Drive. After a period of time, the driver was located in the nearby area and was taken into custody without incident.

The driver was identified as 18-year-old Alexander E. Fisher, of Reston. He was charged with auto theft, felony eluding police, destruction of property, reckless driving and driving without a license. He is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center without bond.

Meanwhile, in Fairfax County, FCPD’s Reston District Station reported the following crimes in the past week:

LARCENIES:

2400 block of Alsop Court, credit cards from vehicle

11000 block of Burywood Lane, phone from person

11200 block of Chestnut Grove Square, laptop computer from residence

2400 block of Clover Field Circle, airbag from vehicle

13400 block of Coppermine Road, beer from business

2500 block of Cornelia Road, airbag from vehicle

2400 block of Fieldcreek Drive, steering wheel from vehicle

1800 block of Fountain Drive, merchandise from business

1800 block of Fountain Drive, merchandise from business

13100 block of Kidwell Field Road, airbag from vehicle

13100 block of Plotner Farm Road, airbags from vehicle

1800 block of Presidents Street, cellphone from business

11800 block of Spectrum Center, liquor from business

1100 block of South Lakes Drive, liquor from business

12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, merchandise from business

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

Elsewhere in the county, police have arrested a man in connection with a series of assaults on women using trails in the Fairfax area in recent weeks. Jeremiah Whitmore Tolley, 21, of Fairfax has been charged with eight counts of sexual assault. In each case, women said a man — who police say is Tolley — grabbed them from behind and groped them. Tolley is at the Adult Detention Center, being held without bond.

As we reported earlier today, a pair of Reston men were also charged in Loudoun County with vehicle tampering and an auto theft. The men, ages 21 and 19, and also suspected to be involved in a series of gunfire complaints in the area in recent weeks.

Anyone with information about any of the crimes reported by FCPD should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

No major incidents were listed in the Herndon Police Department’s weekly press report.

Mugshot of Tolley courtesy FCPD

by Fatimah Waseem — October 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm 4 Comments

A pair of Reston men are among four people charged in connection with a car theft and several larcenies last month in Loudoun County.

Police believe the suspects are also involved with a series of gunfire complaints and personal property thefts over the past several months in Loudoun and Fairfax counties, according to a Tuesday news release announcing the charges.

On Sept. 11, Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report about suspicious entry of cars in the Willowsford community of Ashburn. Police located and arrested Justin E. Rubianes, 21, of Reston, along with a juvenile after an extensive search of the area, according to the police department.

Further investigation led to the arrests a pair of 19-year-olds: Bryan Sandoval, of Reston and Onan Nunez, of Ashburn.

All suspects were charged with auto theft, receiving stolen property and personal property theft from a vehicle, according to the release.

Detectives with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the Fairfax County Police Department have conducted several search warrants in both counties since Sept. 11, leading to the recovery of firearms, ammunition and other items police believe were stolen from cars.

The investigation is ongoing and several other arrests have been made in Fairfax County, according to the release.

by Dave Emke — October 2, 2017 at 10:15 am 1 Comment

Crime reports provided by Fairfax County Police Department in the month of September, plotted in the interactive map above, show a wide variety of incidents through the Reston District Station. Use the icon in the top left corner of the map to toggle the types of crimes displayed.

In total, FCPD’s September reports included the following breakdown of criminal incidents in the area:

  • 65 larcenies
  • 7 burglaries
  • 3 robberies
  • 1 stolen vehicle
  • 1 case of shots fired (gunfire exchanged near the Southgate Community Center)

The 65 larcenies marks a continued trend, as the number increases from 64 in August and 61 in July. In both May and June, the number was below 50.

The seven burglary reports include multiple incidents of people being awakened by strangers in their home. Another burglar took a man’s wallet, car keys and laptops before stealing in his car.

The three robberies include the armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver in Deepwood, a teen jumped in the area of Glade Drive and Pinecrest Road, and a theft from a Herndon gas station.

Residents also continue to report the sounds of late-night gunshots, though police have found nothing of interest in many investigations.

We interviewed Capt. Ron Manzo, commander of the Reston District Station, in September. He maintained that it is important to keep perspective, as the number of crimes that take place within the Reston District Station is relatively small.

“Reston is a safe community, [and] Fairfax County is a safe county,” Manzo told us.

Anyone with information about any of these crimes should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

The Reston District Station of FCPD covers Reston, Great Falls and portions of Herndon and Vienna.

Fairfax County’s police reports are not comprehensive lists of every police event in the stated time frame. Addresses shown indicate blocks and not specific locations, unless otherwise noted. This data was compiled using the reports released by police between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30, meaning some of the incidents occurred in late August.

by Dave Emke — September 27, 2017 at 9:00 am 8 Comments

Alzheimer’s Walk Raises More Than $267K — The event Sunday at Reston Town Center saw family members, caregivers, friends and colleagues of Alzheimer’s victims rallying to support finding a cure for the devastating disease. [Connection Newspapers]

Reston Boy Gets New Sight — Felix Regis, 10, has had severely impaired vision his entire life. This summer, he received a pair of augmented-reality glasses that have “open[ed] up his world.” [NBC Washington]

Reston Man Gets 1 Year in Prison for Embezzlement — Michael Patrick Ziegler, 49, was convicted in April of seven offenses, including forgery, passing forged documents and obtaining money by false pretenses. He stole nearly $150,000 from Garrett Development Co. in Stafford County while working there as the vice president. [Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star]

Police: 45-Year-Old Shined Laser at Helicopter — A Centreville man hit the Fairfax One chopper with a laser three times Saturday night, police say. The helicopter’s crew was able to use its infrared camera to direct officers to the suspect. He faces a misdemeanor charge, and the Federal Aviation Administration will also investigate. [Fairfax County Police]

by RestonNow.com — September 26, 2017 at 4:30 pm 3 Comments

A Leesburg man has been charged in the shooting death of a Reston man 16 years ago.

Police in Prince George’s County, Maryland, say 36-year-old Antwan Green faces murder charges in connection with the case, which took place in October 2001 in the P.G. County neighborhood of Temple Hills. According to PGPD:

On October 9, 2001, at about 11:45 p.m., patrol officers were called to the 3400 block of Brinkley Road for the report of a shooting. When officers arrived, they located the victim, 24-year-old Taj Noble of Reston, in a field suffering from several gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Based on information from a witness, detectives developed Green as the suspect and subsequently charged him in this case. Detectives believe the fatal shooting may have stemmed from a dispute over money. Green is charged with first- and second-degree murder.

Green, of the 400 block of Evans Ridge Terrace in Leesburg, is currently in custody in Fairfax County on unrelated charges. He is awaiting extradition to Prince George’s County.

Anyone with information on this case should call the Prince George’s County homicide unit at 301-772-4925; use Crime Solvers online or by calling Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477); or text “PGPD” plus the message to CRIMES (274637).

Mugshot courtesy Prince George’s County Police Department

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