Local police are searching for additional victims after arresting a Falls Church man in connection to two robberies of massage parlors: one that occurred this fall and one from 2021.
Mohamed Tahir, 33, was arrested on Sept. 9 after a reported robbery at Deep Blue Massage (6105 Arlington Blvd) in Seven Corners, the Fairfax County Police Department reported this morning (Friday).
Officers responded to the robbery at 10:52 a.m.
“A man armed with a handgun and taser entered the business, assaulted two employees, and stole money,” the FCPD said. “The two victims were treated for minor injuries at the scene.”
Police identified Tahir as the suspect based on a review of surveillance footage. He was charged with robbery, strangulation and two counts of abduction by force.
According to the FCPD, detectives working on the case realized that Tahir “matched the description and behavior of a suspect in a similar robbery in 2021.”
At 10 p.m. on December 15, 2021, officers responded to a commercial armed robbery at the Blue Therapy Massage, at 5532 Hempstead Way in Springfield. The suspect, armed with a handgun, assaulted and robbed two victims. Through the detective’s investigation, the suspect was not identified.
According to a Fairfax County General District Court clerk, Tahir was released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond granted by Judge Michael Lindner at a Nov. 17 hearing. The bond came with a condition that he be supervised and that his attorney be contacted if needed to address medical needs he may have been experiencing.
Police arrested Tahir again yesterday (Thursday) morning on new charges of robbery, abduction by force, strangulation and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection to the December 2021 robbery.
He is now being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center with no bond, the FCPD said.
A preliminary hearing for the Sept. 9 case has been set for next Tuesday (Dec. 5), while a hearing for the 2021 case will be held on March 4, 2024.
The FCPD says its detectives believe there may be additional victims from both cases.
“Detectives encourage victims to come forward regardless of when a crime may have occurred,” the department said in a news release. “Victims can speak with a Victim Services specialist at 703-246-2141.”
Image via Google Maps
Fairfax County police are looking for a man who allegedly stole a Newington resident’s dog.
Officers were called to the 7500 block of Tralee Woods Court at 7:50 a.m. on Monday (Nov. 27) in response to a reported burglary, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
“The victim was alerted by a family friend that her dogs were running loose in the neighborhood. The family friend was able to retrieve two of the three dogs,” police said.
However, the third dog — a French bulldog named Queen — was not found.
According to the FCPD, detectives believe the suspect went into the home and tried to abscond with all three dogs, but he only managed to get away with Queen.
“Surveillance footage showed the suspect carrying Queen to a four-door Nissan, possibly an Altima or Sentra, and leaving the area,” the FCPD said, describing the man’s clothing as a “white t-shirt, gray shorts, and blue Crocs.”
The department is asking anyone with information about the incident to contact its West Springfield District Station at 703-644-7377. Anonymous tips are also accepted through Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS or online.
Gunshots were reportedly fired near Snakden Branch Trail in the Glade area of Reston shortly after midnight.
A dispatcher told responding officers that at least one caller confirmed they saw a person firing the gun. An area resident said they saw “a muzzle flash about a hundred feet behind his house,” an officer reported at 12:28 a.m.
A spokesperson for the Fairfax County Police Department said evidence was recovered from the scene, but no injured persons were located.
“Detectives from our criminal investigation division are assuming the investigation,” FCPD wrote in a statement.
Fairfax County officials are gearing up to expand the police department’s use of automated license plate readers (ALPR).
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a $136,270 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice today (Tuesday) to further support the program. The Fairfax County Police Department is seeking the expansion in response to a rise in violent carjackings and stolen vehicles, according to county staff.
The FCPD introduced the camera system last year with an eight-week trial period that placed the technology in two locations. This spring, the department installed another 25 readers, extending the trial through Oct. 31.
Over the last 13 months, county officials say the police department has recovered 125 stolen vehicles and 22 firearms using the technology. The system also reportedly helped find 19 missing persons.
“The placement of these systems into neighborhoods will foster new partnerships with the communities that have requested LPR support. It will also increase communications between police and the neighborhoods,” county staff said in a memo to the board.
The camera system comes from Flock Safety, which has installed ALPRs in more than 2,000 localities across the country.
The technology captures a vehicle’s license plate, color, make and model and sends a real-time alert to law enforcement if a stolen vehicle used in a crime matches records in the database.
County officials say the program doesn’t conflict with the county’s public trust and confidentiality policy, which aims to ensure that immigrant residents can utilize county services without the fear that information will be disclosed to federal immigration officials.
“The FCPD LPR program specifically prohibits users from using the system to identify, alert, or enforce any immigration related warrants, which is a practice that is reinforced in the training class and every time a user logs into the system,” county staff wrote.
The FCPD is permitted to store data for up to one year, but Flock Safety’s system only stores data for up to 30 days, FFXnow previously reported. The issue of data retention has been a subject of legal and legislative debate.
In 2019, a federal court ruled that an FCPD database of photos of vehicle license plates violated Virginia privacy law. A year later, the Virginia State Supreme Court overturned that decision. During its session this year, the General Assembly considered a bill that would limit how data from ALPRs is stored, but it was left in a senate transportation committee.
Three men have been arrested for coercing women into sex work at “high-end” brothels in Massachusetts and Virginia, the Department of Justice announced yesterday (Wednesday).
Locations used for the brothels include units in Hanover Tysons and Avalon Mosaic, apartment buildings in Tysons and Merrifield, according to a court affidavit by a Department of Homeland Security special agent.
Federal prosecutors have charged Massachusetts residents Han Lee and Junmyung Lee as well as California resident James Lee “with conspiracy to coerce and entice to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Massachusetts said in a press release.
According to the DOJ, since at least July 2020, the men enticed primarily Asian women to travel to and work in the brothels, whose clients included “politicians, high tech and pharmaceutical executives, doctors, military officers, government contractors that possess security clearances, professors, lawyers, scientists and accountants.”
Specifically, the defendants allegedly rented high-end apartment complexes as brothel locations, which they furnished and regularly maintained. The monthly rent for the brothel locations were as high as $3,664. It is further alleged that the defendants coordinated the women’s airline travel and transportation and permitted women to stay overnight in the brothel locations so they did not have to find lodging elsewhere, therefore enticing women to participate in their prostitution network.
The locations in Tysons and Merrifield were advertised on a website claiming to be for nude photography models, but the DHS agent says he believes the ads are a “front” for commercial escort or prostitution services.
“Approximately twenty (20) sex buyers were interviewed in connection with this multi-yearlong investigation,” the agent said in the affidavit.
Clients were charged anywhere from $350 up to $600 per hour that they paid in cash, the DOJ says. Prosecutors allege that the defendants concealed “hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash” from the prostitution ring through deposits in their personal bank accounts and “peer-to-peer transfers.”
“Additionally, it is alleged that the defendants regularly used hundreds of thousands of dollars of the cash proceeds from the prostitution business to purchase money orders (in values under an amount that would trigger reporting and identification requirements) to conceal the source of the funds,” the press release said. “These money orders were then used to pay for rent and utilities at brothel locations in Massachusetts and Virginia.”
The defendants could face up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and fines of up to $250,000 under the sex trafficking charges, according to the DOJ.
Han Lee and Junmyung Lee appeared in a federal court in Boston yesterday after getting arrested that morning, while James Lee was arrested in California and “will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
This Halloween brought neither trick nor treat for two men in Vienna who got served instead with assault charges.
Police officers were called to the Vienna Park apartments in the 200 block of Cedar Lane SE around 9:40 a.m. on Oct. 30 after one resident declined to pick up his dog’s feces and another took umbrage, the Vienna Police Department said in its crime recap for the week of Oct. 28 to Nov. 2.
“The man advised that he and his brother confronted the dog’s owner, resulting in an altercation,” the VPD said. “The dog’s owner advised his two neighbors assaulted him while he was picking up the waste, causing minor injury. Rescue responded to treat the small cut, but the man refused transport to a medical facility.”
Police say the dog owner later got court summonses from the Fairfax County Magistrate’s Office that charged both men — a 41-year-old Vienna resident and a 26-year-old from Harrisionburg — with simple assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia that could result in a jail sentence of up to a year or a fine of up to $1,000.
VPD officer Celines Fitchue delivered the summons on Oct. 31. Both men “were released on their signatures,” the recap says.
October also closed on an unpleasant note for a customer of the Popeyes in the Maple Avenue Shopping Center, according to the Vienna police report:
Trespassing and Petit Larceny 23-010041 and 23-010052
325 Maple Avenue, East
October 28 8:19 p.m.
An employee reported a customer was upset with the quality of their meal and threw a stack of disposable cups at them. When the man left the restaurant, he forgot his book bag. The employee requested the man be trespassed from the restaurant. A short time later, the man called the police station, reporting his book bag stolen. The man was advised that he had left the property in the restaurant and could come to the police station to retrieve it. When he recovered his property, he reported that US currency was missing. An officer advised the man he was trespassed from the restaurant and would be arrested if he returned to the premises.
A day later, police helped F45 Fitness Training (322 Maple Avenue West) trespass a patron who was “talking inappropriately to the employees.”
Officers also took a report on Oct. 25 of someone pouring “syrup on the pickleball court” at Glyndon Park (300 Glyndon Street NE) sometime between midnight and 8:30 a.m., according to the recap.
“[The citizen] also advised that on October 11, she observed another liquid that had been poured on the court,” the VPD said.
Photo via Google Maps
(Updated at 10 a.m.) An Arlington man faces criminal charges after Vienna police learned that a vehicle he reported as stolen had, in fact, been involved in a hit-and-run crash.
The Vienna Police Department got a report on July 30 from a supposed resident who said his vehicle had been stolen out of his garage on Battle Street SE sometime between midnight on July 29 and 9 a.m. on July 30.
“A resident left his vehicle unsecured in the garage with the keys inside overnight,” police said in a summary from its recap of the week of Aug. 4. “Due to a storm and power outage, the garage door was unable to close. The following day, the resident discovered the vehicle was stolen.”
The VPD noted at the time that the vehicle was later located in another jurisdiction.
A subsequent investigation, however, linked the vehicle to a crash in Arlington County where the driver fled the scene with two children, according to an update in the VPD’s latest recap, which covers the week of Sept. 8-14.
“Investigation revealed the driver was the owner of the vehicle who made the stolen vehicle report the following morning,” Vienna police said.
According to the Arlington County Police Department, its officers were dispatched to the 1500 block of North Bryan Street around 10:07 p.m. on July 29 for a single-vehicle crash “with unknown conditions.”
“The preliminary investigation indicated the driver of the vehicle struck a stop sign and utility pole at 16th Street N. and N. Bryan Street before exiting the vehicle with the two juvenile occupants and running from the scene prior to police arrival,” an ACPD spokesperson said.
Vienna police arrested the 42-year-old Arlington man on Sept. 7 after Detective Brad Reedy obtained a warrant charging him with making a false report to a law enforcement officer.
The man has also been charged by Arlington police with two counts each of child neglect and hit and run of unattended property.
“He was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where the warrants were served on him,” the VPD said.
In a separate, more recent incident, Vienna police responded at 7:14 p.m. last Tuesday (Sept. 12) to an assault in the Cedar Park Shopping Center parking lot, according to the weekly recap.
The officers located two men who advised they were getting into an Uber when three or four men approached the vehicle, pulled them out of the vehicle, and began assaulting them. The two men had visible signs of injury, but refused rescue. They reported they did not know the men who attacked them and advised they did not wish to pursue charges against them. Officers searched the area for the suspects but could not locate them.
The Fairfax County Police Department has launched a new unit dedicated to investigating active violence incidents and bomb threats.
The Threat Assessment and Management Unit (TAM) will offer a systemic and multidisciplinary approach to analyzing, tracking and preventing potential acts of targeted violence. The unit would also intervene in cases where individuals are at risk of violence.
The unit’s specialties will include handling red flag cases, where a court issues an Emergency Substantial Risk Order letting police temporarily take away an individual’s gun because they pose a danger to themselves or someone else.
“This specialized team is comprised of highly skilled officers and analysts who possess a unique combination of training in law enforcement, and intelligence analysis,” the FCPD wrote in a press release. “Their main objective is to proactively identify, evaluate, and mitigate potential threats to our community.”
The unit will include personnel from the county and Northern Virginia overall, as the FCPD hopes to create a regional program that could serve as a national model.
Having a standalone team focused exclusively on these cases will improve the quality of the investigations, which require unique expertise, Police Chief Kevin Davis said when announcing the new unit.
“While it is important for law enforcement to be involved to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive approach – and to intervene if the threat escalates – partnerships…are crucial, as the primary goal of this approach is to provide individuals with support services before the threat rises to a level requiring law enforcement intervention,” FCPD wrote.
The number of violence threat events has increased from 30 in 2020 to 153 in 2023, according to police. The number of emergency substantial risk orders increased from five in 2020 to 77 in 2023, though data from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office indicates that over 100 cases have been opened this year.
Similarly, there were 27 bomb threats in 2023, 29 in 2022 and 18 in 2021.
Here’s more from FCPD on the unit:
The goal is to interdict and deter subjects on the pathway to targeted violence and provide appropriate resources to the subject. The TAM Unit will conduct assessments based on an appraisal of observed (or reasonably observable) behaviors to identify potentially dangerous or violent situations, investigate/assess them, and ultimately mitigate them. The overall goal will be to ensure the safety of all involved, while respecting individual privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.
The Threat Assessment and Management (TAM) Unit employs a multifaceted approach to assess various types of threats, ranging from individuals displaying concerning behaviors to organized criminal activities. By leveraging their expertise and utilizing advanced technology, they conduct thorough investigations, analyze patterns, and assess potential risks to determine the most appropriate course of action. This unit actively collaborates with other law enforcement agencies, mental health professionals, and community partners to gather comprehensive information and develop proactive strategies to address emerging threats effectively. Through their diligent efforts, the TAM plays a crucial role in preventing potential incidents, promoting community trust, and fostering a secure environment for all.
Shoplifting and assaults have gone up in Fairfax County so far this year, the county police department’s mid-year crime data shows.
The department released the report in coordination with the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), which ranks the nation’s 70 largest police departments by four crime categories: homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The report covered data from January to June.
Of all the reported offenses, shoplifting saw the largest uptick in the county, with numbers up by 50% to 3,736 incidents. There were 2,489 shoplifting incidents reported in the same time frame last year. Residential burglaries also increased by 20 incidents.
The county reported 15 carjackings — a small increase from 13 last year. There have been 45 more auto thefts, but thefts from vehicles and of vehicle parts have both declined. The Fairfax County Police Dpartment targeted those crimes last month as part of a summer-long crime prevention initiative.
“Our unwavering commitment to public safety drives our efforts to implement targeted patrols and deploy advanced crime prevention strategies, ” a news release read.
The number of assault offenses increased more than 13%, jumping from 4,348 to 4,931. In addition, about 15% more people have been charged this year with assaulting family members, a category that increased from 702 by the end of June in 2022 to 816 in 2023.
However, murders and forcible sex offenses decreased from 12 to 10 and 194 to 192, respectively.
Despite upticks in some categories, the police departments said the county is still the safest of its size.
“When all MCCA police departments are ranked by violent crime rating, we are proud to say Fairfax County remains the safest jurisdiction of its size,” the FCPD said.
Late night drinks ended in a round of fisticuffs at Vienna’s Pazzo Pomodoro last Wednesday (July 12).
Officers were called to the Italian restaurant at 118 Branch Road SE around 1:30 a.m. after getting a report of a fight, the Vienna Police Department said in a summary of notable incidents from the week of July 7-13.
According to the report, bystanders told police that the conflict began when a man made “comments about a couple” at the restaurant’s bar, which is open until 1 a.m. on Sundays through Thursdays.
“One of the other patrons was offended by the comments and asked the man to stop,” the VPD said. “When the man continued with the comments, a fight ensued between the man, the patron, and the patron’s adult son.”
Other customers and employees were able to break up the fight before the police arrived and advised those involved of the process for pursuing charges, should they opt to go that route, according to the VPD.
In a separate, belatedly documented incident, police went to the 200 block of Harmony Drive SW on June 2 to settle a dispute between a resident and a group of teen boys.
Officers received two calls about the incident: one from the resident and another from a caller who claimed the resident had brandished a handgun.
The resident advised she heard a loud banging at her front door and she observed several teenage boys standing by the curb. The resident yelled at the boys, swearing and using racial slurs. When the boys began cursing back she called the police. The boys advised they left the local pool and were waiting for a ride when an unknown boy ran up to the resident’s door, knocked, and ran away. The resident then began yelling at them and emerged with a gun.
The resident told officers that she was holding her phone to call the police, not a gun — an assertion confirmed by a cell phone video that the boys recorded of the encounter, the VPD said.
Also in the department’s latest round-up, a traffic stop on June 30 led to the driver — a 30-year-old Herndon man — getting charged with carrying a concealed firearm without a permit, and a resident reported on July 13 that her dog got sick from ingesting rat poison while in her backyard.
“It is not known how the poison could have gotten into the resident’s yard,” police said.
At the Westwood Country Club on July 7, a “disgruntled” employee was trespassed after “breaking several plates, shoving the manager, and placing several employees in fear.”
In addition, a resident in the 1100 block of Moorefield Hill Court SW called police on July 10 to report that his dog walker had seen another woman who claimed to be a dog walker enter his home around noon that day:
At 7:30 p.m., a resident reported an incident from earlier in the day when his dog walker observed a woman walk through the carport and into his home. The woman immediately left saying she had the wrong house. The dog walker provided the resident with the woman’s description and the tag number from her vehicle. Officers went to the woman’s home and she advised them that she is a dog walker and accidentally walked into a home thinking it was her client’s address then quickly realized she was at the wrong house.
Photo via Google Maps