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Fairfax County police cruiser with lights on (Photo via FCPD/Facebook)

A burglar broke into a Tysons auto dealership to steal the same car twice over 48 hours, according to police.

A 2021 Dodge Durango was first stolen at 4 a.m. on September 12 from the dealership at 1592 Spring Hill Road. The car was later recovered from another jurisdiction and returned to the dealership.

Two days after the initial burglary the same car was stolen again, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

“Detectives from our auto crime environment unit have been assigned to this investigation,” said Sgt. Lane Hamilton.

Preliminarily, police believe one individual is behind the burglaries.

There are several auto dealerships located on Spring Hill Road. The police department did not disclose exactly which dealership was burglarized.

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Alfaro Rodriguez Juan was arrested in connection with a series of indecent exposure incidents (Photo courtesy FCPD).

Local police have arrested a Herndon man in connection with a series of indecent exposure incidents near the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in Reston and Herndon.

Fairfax County police arrested and charged Juan Alfaro Rodriguez, 42, with five counts of indecent exposure. Rodriguez was arrested on Thursday for warrants from another state.

Detectives believe the suspect was involved with at least 13 cases in Fairfax County and eight incidents in the Town of Herndon. The arrest was made after collaboration between the Herndon Police Department and FCPD.

Rodriguez lived in the Town of Herndon since January, according to FCPD Lieutenant Ryan Lazisky, assistant commander of the violent crimes division. He had an outstanding warrant for attempted rape in New York.

Detective continue to investigate if Rodriguez is linked to other cases.

“We believe there is information out there that could lead us to additional charges,” Lazisky said at a press conference today (Monday).

FCPD received a tip from the U.S. Marshalls last week. The department’s fugitive team acted promptly to arrest Rodriguez, who was attempting to flee the state.

Photo via FCPD

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Fairfax County police badge (via FCPD/Facebook)

A Fairfax County police officer is on administrative leave after he was arrested in Stafford County for driving under the influence. 

Police officer Stephen Copp, who has worked with the police department for 15 years, was arrested while he was off-duty. He was driving a county vehicle at the time of the arrest, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. 

“The county vehicle was found with front-end damage,” according to FCPD. 

An international affairs bureau investigation is underway. Copp was assigned to FCPD’s criminal investigation division. 

Photo via FCPD/Facebook

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An inexperienced driver was cited for driving 90 mph in a school zone (Photo via FCPD).

Local police are urging parents to remind their teenagers about the dangers of speeding after a reckless driving incident on Tuesday.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, on Tuesday an inexperienced driver was caught going 90 mph in a school zone where the speed limit was 25 mph, resulting in a reckless driving charge.

“Parents, take this opportunity to talk to your teens about the dangers of speeding, especially in a school zone. We need to work together to keep our students safe,” FCPD wrote in a statement.

Some residents took to social media to urge the police department to prosecute the individual to the fullest extent of the law.

The teenager was pulled over after a motor squad officer happened to be “in the right place at the right time,” FCPD said.

The police department did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

According to state law, anyone convicted of reckless driving is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Photo via FCPD

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Morning Notes

A path in the Mount Vernon area (staff photo by Brandi Bottalico)

First Case of Monkeypox Hits Northern Virginia — “A Northern Virginia woman likely has monkeypox, the Virginia Dept. of Health announced today.” [ARLnow]

Man Settles Lawsuit with FCPD — “An unarmed Black man who was shocked with a stun gun wielded by a white Fairfax County police officer in June 2020 has reached a settlement in a federal civil rights lawsuit, WTOP has learned.” [WTOP]

Closing Arguments Begin in Celebrity Case — After six weeks of the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial causing some commotion at the county courthouse, it’s set to come to a close soon. Both sides rested their case on Thursday afternoon, and closing arguments are set to begin today. [WJLA]

Virginia Chamber Orchestra Performing at Botanical Gardens — The VCO is holding weekend concerts at the Korean Bell Garden at the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Wolf Trap. The next performance is this Sunday (May 29) from 3-4 p.m. [VCO]

Local Teacher Helps Ukraine — “A teacher from Fairfax County, Virginia, is back from a trip to Poland, where she helped feed refugees who were fleeing Ukraine. Meredith Hedrick, who teaches English as a second language at Annandale High School, took a 10-day trip to participate in humanitarian relief efforts at the busiest border crossing between Poland and Ukraine, which includes vehicle, foot and train traffic.” [WTOP]

Vienna to be Featured on WETA — Vienna will be featured in an episode of “If You Lived Here” on WETA, spotlighting the town. The show is expected to air early next year. [Town of Vienna/Facebook]

FCPD Frees Turtle Stuck Under Tire — Fairfax County police tweeted a photo of an animal protection officer holding what appears to be a “smiling” snapping turtle that was rescued from under a car tire and freed. [FCPD/Twitter]

It’s Friday — Rain throughout the day. High of 70 and low of 65. Sunrise at 5:49 am and sunset at 8:26 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Thefts of auto parts and items inside cars have surged this year.

Last year, Fairfax County police found 1,019 incidents involved larcenies of vehicle parts and theft of personal property inside autos.

Just in the first three months of this year, there have been a total of 1,325 incidents, Fairfax County Police Department told FFXnow on Thursday (March 31).

In response to the uptick in thefts, the police have partnered with the auto repair shop G&C Tire and Auto Service to provide free anti-theft labels, Sully District Supervisor Kathy Sullivan said in a March 30 tweet.

On Saturday (April 9) and May 15, the Chantilly-based shop will install free labels for catalytic converters to track the true owner of the part. It includes a unique code and the URL of a database of owners.

“It will break into pieces if an attempt is made to remove them,” the business says in the Facebook post for the event. “In addition, a fluid that etches into metal is applied to the labels so that even if they are removed, the code and URL will remain clearly readable.”

In a Jan. 28 video, FCPD Second Lt. James Curry described one overnight incident on Jan. 5 where catalytic converters were removed from vehicles from a dealership, resulting in a chase.

“Catalytic converter thefts are common in the early morning hours, and often occur in parking lots where cars are stored overnight or apartment complexes that allow for easy access to thieves,” Curry said.

Police encourage community members to park in well-lit areas and contact their homeowners’ association or property manager if lights are not working properly.

“Always remove valuables, to include car keys, from vehicles and lock your cars,” police told FFXnow. “If you see anything suspicious, please call 911 or our non-emergency number, 703-691-2131.”

Authorities also advise people to hide valuables and not store firearms, garage door openers, or house keys in vehicles.

County resident Desiree Donaldson and her family live next to a school, but sometimes their dogs will bark for no reason. After one incident, her husband checked outside and learned about attempted break-ins.

On March 28, she found that sunglasses were stolen from her car. She posted about the incident on the social media site Nextdoor, urging community members to lock their doors.

“I have a neighbor, that lives about a minute or so away from me and she caught this on camera,” Donaldson told FFXnow. “The same thing happened to her, but her cars were locked and nothing was stolen.”

That resident, Lynn Green, has posted videos of incidents on March 5 and 22 captured by her Ring camera. The first time, her vehicle was accidentally left unlocked. The second video showed two people going to vehicles and trying to open doors of vehicles in the neighborhood.

“I have been walking my [neighborhood] and sharing what happened with anyone who is outside,” Green said in an email. “It is amazing how many people are unaware of what is happening.”

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A reward flyer regarding an alleged robbery
A reward flyer regarding an armed robbery of one mailman and attempted robbery of another in Fairfax County (via USPS)

The U.S. Postal Service is offering up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of two suspects following an armed robbery of a mail carrier in Groveton.

The incident occurred around 11:35 a.m. in the 6800 block of Deer Run Drive on March 7. According to the Fairfax County Police Department, a man approached a USPS employee, displayed a knife and “demanded property.”

A resident who appeared to talk with police said on a Nextdoor post suggested that mailbox keys were stolen. Michael Martel, a U.S. Postal Inspector Service spokesperson, didn’t address questions regarding details of the incident.

“The US Postal Inspection Service is working closely with our partners at the Fairfax County Police Department to investigate this incident,” Martel said in an email to FFXnow.

In another incident just minutes earlier in the 6000 block of Sandlin Court, a man approached another USPS employee and implied he had a weapon, police said.

The worker ran away without giving up any property. Authorities listed that incident as an attempted robbery.

“We believe the two incidents…are related, involving the same subjects,” Martel wrote, a belief that detectives also share.

The suspects were described as wearing black hooded sweatshirts and ski masks and were last seen fleeing east on North Kings Highway in the direction of I-495, USPS said.

They allegedly fled in a four-door, black sedan believed to be a 2015-2017 Hyundai Sonata.

The pair was described as 5 foot 7 inches to 5 foot 9 inches in height with thin builds and aged 18-25 and should be considered armed and dangerous, according to USPS.

People with information are encouraged to contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455, say “law enforcement” on the audio prompt and reference case no. 3687960.

Brenda Dreesbach, president of the Deer Run Crossing Homeowners’ Association said yesterday (Tuesday) that the association has notified the neighborhood and suggested that all members of the community check their mailbox on a regular basis.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the USPS has changed locks for residents’ mailboxes. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service declined to answer various questions, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

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Morning Notes

A boat on Lake Audubon in Reston (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Trucker Convoys Could Affect Capital Beltway — Traffic on the Capital Beltway could become clogged in the coming weeks as truck drivers plan to descend on D.C. to protest Covid-related health rules. One convoy reportedly left Scranton, Pennsylvania, yesterday (Wednesday), but the organizer has backed off plans to shut down the Beltway. [NBC4]

Police Union Unhappy with Proposed Budget — The Virginia Police Benevolent Association Fairfax County Chapter president criticized the proposed county budget for not giving officers 15% raises, saying this could worsen vacancies. Board Chairman Jeff McKay countered that the plan presented on Tuesday (Feb. 22) increases the average police pay by 8%. [ABC7]

Peloton Closes Franconia Warehouse — The New York-based exercise equipment company has shut down its operations in Fleet Industrial Park at 6304 Gravel Avenue, affecting 81 employees, according to a notice filed with the Virginia Employment Commission on Feb. 8. [Washington Business Journal]

Ad for Next FCPS Superintendent Ready — “This week, our superintendent recruitment consultant finalized the outline of what the FCPS community is looking for in the next superintendent based on feedback from families and staff. You can read the qualities in a recently released advertisement.” [FCPS]

Herndon Seeks Applicants for Diversity Committee — The Town of Herndon is now looking for applicants to fill 11 seats on its newly created Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. The group will recommend policies and activities to foster diversity as well as ways to address concerns of minority residents and businesses. [Town of Herndon]

Vienna Issues Bonds for Capital Projects — The Vienna Town Council issued $12.5 million in general obligation public improvement bonds on Tuesday (Feb. 22) that will be used to fund sidewalk, paving, parks, and water infrastructure projects. Work on those projects could begin as soon as the winning bid is closed on March 8. [Town of Vienna]

How Chantilly School Is Using Covid Relief Funds — “Rocky Run [Middle School] educators reviewed standardized testing data, teacher recommendations and work samples to decide which students to target for services and materials funded by the federal money.” [FCPS]

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The Fairfax County Police Department continues to investigate a fatal shooting in Centreville Monday (via FCPD/Twitter)

Fairfax County police identified the man killed in a shooting in Centreville on Monday night (Feb. 21) as a 37-year-old Leesburg resident.

Police officers responded around 10 p.m. to a townhouse in the 14800 block of Bodley Square in the London Towne area and found Amaru Amin Shabazz inside the home with multiple gunshot wounds, the department said in a news release. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Shabazz was visiting the home when an altercation occurred between him and others, which resulted in the shooting, police said. Detectives found multiple guns at the scene and determined numerous rounds were fired inside.

A witness told police a man ran from the residence after the gunshots.

Detectives ask anyone with information to call 703-246-7800, and hit option 2. 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 on the Crime Solvers website.

Photo via FCPD/Twitter

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Reston is experiencing an uptick in thefts of auto parts, including tires (via Jaye Haych/Unsplash)

Reston appears to have become a frequent destination for vehicle part thefts.

The Reston District Station has seen a record 16 thefts of auto parts this year alone, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. Last year, the station reported just two incidents.

Police believe that the target appears to be cars parked in residential areas overnight. Officials note that removing car parts like catalytic converters, wheels, and tires — three apparently sought-after parts in Reston — can take several hours.

“We recognized these incidents have commonalities and continue to explore if they are connected,” a FCPD spokesperson told FFXnow.

FCPD says it continues to investigate these cases and has not ruled out any possibilities. No other information was immediately available.

The department is encouraging residents to use the following measures to reduce the chances of becoming a target:

  • Keep your vehicle locked at all times
  • Remove all valuables from the vehicle
  • Install anti-theft devices
  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Report suspicious activity in your neighborhood

In January, FCPD also issued a community message on YouTube to educate residents about the issue.

Earlier this year, three men were seen on cameras attempting to steal catalytic converters from a dealership in Springfield.

Police apprehended the men after a high-speed chase. Two of the three men were arrested.

Photo via Jaye Haych/Unsplash

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