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Fairfax County police car (file photo)

Local police are investigating an incident of arson and graffiti that occurred at St. John Neumann Catholic Community Church in Reston yesterday (Sunday).

The graffiti, which was found at the entrance of the church and multiple areas in the back, was related to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which previously guaranteed the federal protection abortion rights, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

Although FCPD did not immediately disclose the specifics of the graffiti, the police department has stepped up patrols at places of worship following the vandalism.

Police are reviewing surveillance footage as the investigation continues. The FCPD is also working with regional law enforcement agencies on the investigation.

In a statement released yesterday, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay strongly condemned the “attack on a house of worship.”

“We will not permit any action that seeks to diminish or silence someone’s point of view, and categorically reject violence or any act of extremism, period,” McKay wrote in the statement.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department arrived on the scene at 6:45 a.m. yesterday after smoldering mulch was discovered at the Catholic church. Fire crews determined an accelerant was used in the fire and discovered graffiti in multiple locations.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the FCPD using the following information:

Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to contact detectives at 703-478-0904. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), by text – Type “FCCS” plus tip to 847411, and by web – Click HERE. Download our Mobile tip411 App “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.

The church did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Goodwill store in Fairfax (photo by David Taube)

A man is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in court on May 25 after allegedly setting the Fairfax City Goodwill store ablaze.

The 20-year-old Fairfax resident is charged with arson of an occupied building following a Jan. 17 fire at the used clothing and goods retailer, located at 9960 Main Street.

While the nonprofit’s insurance covered the damagees, which exceeded $18,500, the blaze required the store’s donation center to close for a day, resulting in lost revenue and much-needed donations, according to spokesman Brendan Hurley of Goodwill of Greater Washington.

“People are holding onto their goods longer, which means they’re donating less,” he told FFXnow.

At the same time, more people are shopping at Goodwill stores in the region, with sales up about 13.5% between the first quarter of 2021 and first quarter of 2022, which represents about 51,000 transactions, according to the nonprofit.

Hurley said in an email that the donations help the organization’s mission of also providing free job training, education, and employment services.

The defendant in the arson case was being held at the Caroline Detention Facility in Caroline County, as of March 7, in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He lives in Fairfax and worked at a pizzeria, according to court documents.

In January, the man allegedly stood in front of the parking area of the store and watched the fire grow for several minutes before leaving the area.

“The suspect in the video was wearing a full zip jacket with a half face ski mask and was periodically smoking a cigarette,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew Bolton wrote in a March 22 court filing.

While fire investigators were on scene, the man allegedly returned and identified himself by name when questioned.

Police used surveillance video from cameras at the store in their investigation and arrested him Jan. 22, according to court documents.

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