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A Japan-based ramen chain is gearing up to open a new location in Lincolnia this summer.

Founded in Nagoya, Japan, in 2010, Kajiken is expanding its footprint with an outlet in Pinecrest Plaza at 6550K Little River Turnpike. The restaurant is scheduled to open within the next six months, according to the franchise owner, Maryland-based IVEA Restaurant Group.

The 3,100-square-foot space was filled for the past two decades by Foxfire Grill, a popular establishment that closed its doors on Oct. 31, 2023. Owner Terri Fox told Annandale Today that Edens, which owns Pinecrest Plaza, doubled the rent.

Foxfire Grill’s suite has been cleared out, but Kajiken doesn’t appear to have started its buildout yet. As of last week, no signs had been posted to announce its impending arrival.

Known for its abura soba, a “soupless ramen” dish featuring buckwheat noodles served with oil instead of traditional broth, Kajiken has locations all over the world, including 37 in Japan, 20 in China, five in Singapore, five in New Zealand, and now three in the U.S.

IVEA CEO Edward Yo told FFXnow the company launched its first U.S. franchise in Baltimore, Maryland, before moving into markets in Chicago, Illinois, and San Mateo, California.

Per its website, the company is planning to expand to five additional locations in Rockville, Maryland; Manhattan and Flushing, New York; Bellevue, Washington; and Richfield, Minnesota.

While this will be the first Kajiken location in Virginia, IVEA is no stranger to the region.

In addition to Kajiken, the restaurant group operates dozens of other Asian-inspired eateries throughout the D.C. area, including Genki Izakaya, Urban Hot Pot and Southeast Impression.

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Tropical Smoothie Cafe at Pinecrest Plaza in Lincolnia (via Google Maps)

A teen was hospitalized last night (Tuesday) after getting shot outside Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Lincolnia’s Pinecrest Plaza.

Police officers were called to the 6500 block of Little River Turnpike just before 8 p.m. in response to “multiple calls for a shooting,” the Fairfax County Police Department said today in a news release.

Found “a short distance away,” the 14-year-old boy was shot in the arm and taken to a hospital with injuries considered non-life-threatening.

Based on a preliminary investigation, detectives determined that the teen and another individual were standing outside Tropical Smoothie (6552 Little River Turnpike, Unit A) when the shooting occurred, according to police.

“Both the victim and subject ran a short distance away and called the police,” the FCPD said. “No additional injuries resulting from the gunfire were reported.”

The circumstances of the shooting remain under investigation, but the FCPD says it’s not believed to a random act. Police are seeking additional information or access to home surveillance footage as part of the investigation.

“Anyone with information regarding this shooting to call our Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 5,” the department said. “Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – (703)-246-4676, and by web.”

The incident at Pinecrest Plaza was the second shooting that the FCPD reported yesterday. A woman also reportedly arrived at a hospital with a gunshot wound shortly before 1 p.m. after a possible shooting at the Fairmont Gardens apartments in Annandale.

Fairfax County saw its first homicide of 2024 on Saturday (Jan. 13) from a stabbing in Annandale that killed a 17-year-old boy. Two other teens were injured in the incident.

Image via Google Maps

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Police say these ATMs were damaged in a reported theft attempt and an armed robbery in Lincolnia on Nov. 7 (courtesy FCPD)

Fairfax County police are investigating potential connections between some recent ATM break-ins and armed robberies in the Lincolnia area.

Officers responded to the TD Bank in Pinecrest Plaza at 6566 Little River Turnpike around 3:08 a.m. yesterday (Tuesday) after getting a call that three people were attempting to “forcibly access” the ATM, according to a news release from the Fairfax County Police Department.

The individuals were reportedly unsuccessful, as officers found that the ATM was damaged but no money had been stolen, police said.

However, just minutes later at 3:13 a.m., police were called to the 7-Eleven at 4818 N. Beauregard Street — just outside the Plaza at Landmark shopping mall — for an armed robbery, according to the FCPD.

“The suspects entered the store, implied they had a firearm and threatened the employee,” police said. “The suspects gained access to two separate ATMs at the business and left with an undisclosed amount of money.”

The FCPD believes the incidents were related, and detectives are investigating whether they might also be connected to a pair of ATM thefts, one of them involving a firearm, that occurred in Kingstowne last Thursday (Nov. 2).

On November 2 at 3:42 a.m., three suspects entered the 7-Eleven at 6147 Franconia Road in Kingstowne. The suspects displayed a firearm and stole money from the ATM. That morning, an employee reported someone attempted to steal money from the ATM at the Burke and Herbert Bank at 5519 Franconia Road. Detectives are investigating to determine if these cases are connected to the overnight incidents.

Alexandria police also responded to two robberies on Nov. 2 where the suspects reportedly took ATMs. In one case, they showed a handgun in the process.

The FCPD told FFXnow that “as of now,” it doesn’t have any information on the Alexandria incidents, but it is “diligently pursuing all leads to ensure the safety of our community.”

“Our dedicated detectives are collaborating closely with our regional law enforcement partners to thoroughly investigate any potential connections,” the FCPD said.

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Fairfax County police car (file photo)

A child was shot in the Lincolnia Hills neighborhood this afternoon (Tuesday), police say.

Police are looking for “multiple suspects” who were seen driving away from the 4600 block of North Chambliss Street in a white BMW, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

A man called 911 around 4:19 p.m. to report that his 12-year-old son had been shot by “a group of young boys” who then “went running,” a dispatcher said, according to the police scanner on Open MHz.

An officer told the dispatcher that he spoke with a neighbor who said “several subjects jumped into a white sedan” that drove off in an unknown direction.

The child was shot in the lower body and taken to a hospital, according to the FCPD, which says his injuries aren’t considered life-threatening.

Hat tip to Alan Henney

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Barcroft Plaza in Lincolnia (via Google Maps)

Taco Zocalo has officially moved well past its days as a food truck under the name Chef on Wheels.

The Mexican restaurant is opening another location in Fairfax County. A company representative tells FFXnow that the new location is expected to open in the Lincolnia area within two to three months.

It will open in Barcroft Plaza at 6343D Columbia Pike, according to county permits.

Taco Zocalo currently has locations in Ashburn, Reston and Chantilly.

It was started in 2011 by Afghan immigrant and chef Basir Ahadi, whose love of Mexican food inspired him to start his own food truck. His first brick-and-mortar location opened in Reston in 2017.

Items on the menu include tacos, burrito bowls, chimichangas and elote or Mexican street corn.

Located at the intersection of Columbia Pike and Lincolnia Road, Barcroft Plaza is anchored by Harris Teeter and also home to tenants like Starbucks, Glory Days Grill and Jake’s Ice Cream. Taco Zocalo will occupy 1,532 square feet between Navy Federal Credit Union and New York’s Chopped Cheese, per property owner Federal Realty’s site plan.

The site plan shows only one vacancy: a 2,758-square-foot suite next to Super Pollo and Bubble Nails on the western end of the shopping center.

Photo via Google Maps

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Metropolitan Police Department responds after a girl abducted in Lincolnia was found in D.C. (photo by Henry Bright/Twitter)

A 5-year-old girl who was in the backseat of a sedan when it got stolen Sunday night (Jan. 15) has been reunited with her family, Fairfax County police say.

Detectives believe the girl’s stepfather stopped at a parking lot in the 6200 block of Little River Turnpike that evening, leaving his 2012 Honda Accord running while he went inside a restaurant to pick up food, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

When the man came out of the restaurant, he found that the car was gone. The girl had been waiting in the car’s backseat.

Officers responded to the scene at 6:30 p.m.

“Our helicopter and officers from around the county saturated the area while detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau began the Amber Alert process,” the FCPD said. “A lookout for the car and the child were quickly provided to surrounding jurisdictions.”

The girl was found in downtown D.C. by two community members, who called the Metropolitan Police Department to the intersection of 13th Street and E Street NW around 7:18 p.m.

Fire and rescue personnel were brought in to determine that the kid was unharmed, and the FCPD helped reunite her with her family, according to yesterday’s news release.

The suspect allegedly fled in the stolen Accord, which is still missing.

Detectives continue to search for the stolen 2012 gray Honda Accord with Maryland plates 94667CJ. The car has a black hood with damage to the front and back end. The suspect is described as a black male with dark curly hair. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), and by web – Click HERE. Download the ‘P3 Tips’ App “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.

Photo by Henry Bright/Twitter

Fairfax County Public Schools (file photo)

Fairfax County Public Schools will require all workers to undergo “regular” background checks after a now-terminated counselor remained employed at Lincolnia’s Glasgow Middle School despite being convicted of a sex crime.

The new policy is one of several changes announced yesterday (Tuesday) by FCPS Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid in response to an independent investigation into why the school system continued to employ Darren Thornton after he was convicted on March 11 of soliciting prostitution from a minor in Chesterfield County.

Conducted by outside legal counsel, the investigation found that Chesterfield officials didn’t notify FCPS of Thornton’s arrest on Nov. 19 or about his subsequent conviction, according to a summary of the report.

The Chesterfield Police Department has said that its emails to FCPS bounced back as undeliverable after ending up in a spam folder.

Once informed about the conviction, the Fairfax County School Board “acted without delay,” FCPS says. Reid told the community on Aug. 18 that she and the board had ordered an outside, independent investigation into what happened.

The investigation found systematic human resources issues related to hiring, licensure, leave, dismissal, and resignations, according to FCPS. Among the issues are a pattern of suspending employees without pay after felony convictions, rather than “consistently and promptly dismissing” them.

“These have been exacerbated by factors such as significant leadership churn,” FCPS wrote in the summary. “As we plan to work with identifying and implementing strong systems of accountability, it will be important that we implement these actions with fidelity and have frequent accountability checks.”

Reid said in her message to families that she has “begun to take appropriate disciplinary actions” but didn’t detail which personnel are being disciplined or how.

Reid shared results of the investigation with Glasgow parents at a community meeting yesterday, but said that the full report won’t be made public “because parts of it are protected by attorney-client privilege,” WTOP reported.

In addition to requiring regular background checks of current employees, Reid said FCPS will add more steps to the hiring process, including reference checks with former employers and more timely verifications of their licensure status. It will also seek to dismiss and get licenses revoked for any employees convicted of “barrier crimes.”

The school system is also looking at joining the FBI’s Rap Back program, which notifies employers if a worker’s fingerprints are entered into its database in connection with criminal activity. However, FCPS says it won’t be able to enroll in the program until it’s made available in Virginia.

Reid says FCPS is working with state lawmakers and federal, state and local law enforcement “to ensure timely and robust information sharing and notice regarding employee arrests and convictions.” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay and School Board Chair Rachna Sizemore-Heizer sent a letter to the county’s General Assembly delegation in August proposing a centralized, statewide notification system. Read More

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A Fairfax County police car with lights flashing (file photo)

(Updated at 5:20 p.m.) Fairfax County police arrested a 22-year-old man yesterday evening (Wednesday) after he allegedly tried to abduct a kid in Lincolnia’s Crystal Woods apartment complex.

Identified as Kevin Moran-Perez from Centreville, the man approached three kids playing near an apartment building in the 5000 block of Caryn Court, the Fairfax County Police Department reported today (Thursday).

According to police, the man showed a knife and grabbed one of the kids, a pre-teen, by the hand. The kid was able to break free, and all three ran away with no injuries.

The FCPD says officers who responded to the scene at 4:23 p.m. found Moran-Perez nearby and arrested him. Charged with assault and possession of a drug, he’s currently being detained without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

The father of the girl who was grabbed told WUSA9 that she had just returned home from school when the man approached the group and took her by the arm and backpack.

The police department is still investigating the case. Community members can contact its detectives at 703-256-8035 or through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) and online.

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Fairfax County Public Schools (file photo)

A counselor at Glasgow Middle School in Lincolnia has been fired after Fairfax County Public Schools officials learned he was convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor, Superintendent Michelle Reid said in a letter to families.

While not named in the letter, which went out on Aug. 18, FCPS identified the counselor in a statement to media as Darren Thornton, as previously reported by FOX5, NBC4, and WTOP.

“Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has been informed that while Darren Thornton was working at one of our schools he was convicted of solicitation of prostitution from a minor outside of Fairfax County,” the school system wrote. “He was already an FCPS employee at the time of his arrest and subsequent conviction. He has been relieved of all duties, dismissed, and will not be returning.”

A spokesperson told FFXnow that the statement had been shared “with media” who requested one on July 28. FCPS didn’t immediately respond to follow up questions about when exactly Thorton was fired.

It’s also unclear how long he was employed by FCPS, but he was mentioned by Glasgow’s student newspaper in a February 2021 post expressing appreciation for the school’s counselors.

FCPS didn’t confirm where the crime and conviction occurred beyond that it was not in Fairfax County.

There’s no indication at this time that any Fairfax County children or students were involved, according to Reid.

In her letter, Reid says she and the Fairfax County School Board took action to dismiss Thornton as soon as they learned about the situation. FCPS is now petitioning the state to revoke his license, and Reid has commissioned an outside legal counsel to conduct an independent investigation.

The school board has directed Reid to deliver an “accountability report with a timely corrective action plan so that this never again occurs within FCPS,” she said.

“There is no higher priority than the safety of our students and, on behalf of the School Board and myself, I want to make this very clear: this entire situation is unacceptable from any perspective,” Reid said. “We are deeply concerned about how this happened in one of our schools.”

Reid said anyone with concerns or information can contact the FCPS Office of Safety and Security’s safety tip line or the Fairfax County Police Department at 703-691-2131.

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Morning Notes

A car at the Franconia-Springfield Metro station pick-up line (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Sidewalk Projects Planned to Address Route 7 Pedestrian Safety — Virginia and Fairfax County officials are working to add sidewalks along Route 7 in the Culmore area of Bailey’s Crossroads. Prioritized sites include the Liberty gas station where a pedestrian was hit and killed by a vehicle in December, prompting safety advocates to campaign for improvements. [Annandale Today]

Person Rescued from Lincolnia House Fire — “Units arrived on scene with smoke visible and fire on the second floor. Two of three occupants evacuated the home prior to fire department arrival. One occupant was trapped in a bedroom. Crews rescued the occupant via a ground ladder — unharmed!” [FCFRD]

Former FCPD Officer Sentenced in Daughter’s Death — Jason Michael Colley pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree assault in Frederick County Circuit Court last week in connection to his 6-month-old daughter’s death in 2017. Sentenced to a combined 50 years, he will serve eight in private home detention and serve five years of supervised probation on the condition that “he not engage in physical punishment of children.” [ABC7]

Old Dominion Drive Closed for Two Days — “Old Dominion Drive (Route 738) will be closed to through traffic between Balls Hill Road (Route 686) and Route 123 (Dolley Madison Boulevard), weather permitting, from 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 8 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9 to replace stormwater pipes…Traffic will be detoured via Balls Hill Road, Lewinsville Road (Route 694) and Route 123 back to Old Dominion Drive.” [VDOT]

Two Charged in McLean Church Burglary — Two men were reported forcing entry into the Faith Bible Presbyterian Church (6901 Haycock Road) through a window at 5:17 p.m. on July 31. Officers found the 18-year-olds inside the church, taking property. They were both charged with burglary and property destruction, and one of them was charged with providing false identification to law enforcement. [FCPD]

Reston Assault by Teens Under Investigation — “Officers from the Reston District Station of the Fairfax County Police Department are investigating an assault that occurred Wednesday night in the South Lakes area, according to the weekly crime report. Around 10:45 p.m., a group of teens stole property and assaulted a person in the 11900 block of Barrel Cooper Court…The victim was treated for non-life-threatening injuries” [Patch]

Renovation of Merrifield Fire Station Complete — “After a little over two years, the renovation at Station 30, Merrifield, is complete. [Thursday], crews moved back in. Station was totally operationally during the renovation with a trailer for personnel in back. The reno included an addition of 440 square feet.” [FCFRD/Facebook]

Graffiti by Soldiers Revealed at Historic Fairfax Farmhouse — “Between March 1862 and June 1863, hundreds of Union soldiers left their enduring marks in charcoal, graphite or crayon on the walls of the attic and first and second floors of Historic Blenheim, a brick 1859 farmhouse and 12-acre estate on what is now Old Lee Highway.” [WTOP]

It’s Monday — Humid throughout the day. High of 91 and low of 76. Sunrise at 6:17 am and sunset at 8:13 pm. [Weather.gov]

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