Vienna residents who own a Hyundai can now obtain a free steering wheel lock from the town’s police department.
The Vienna Police Department has “several” wheel locks on hand from Hyundai Motor Company, which launched a national campaign in response to a TikTok challenge that has inspired an increase in thefts of Hyundai and Kia vehicles.
“The Town of Vienna Police Department is taking a proactive approach to combat the uptick in thefts of Hyundai and Kia vehicles across the United States,” police said in a news release. “Owners of these cars may be wondering how to make their vehicles less appealing to thieves. Locking a vehicle’s doors is a very effective deterrent but, adding a steering wheel lock may provide an additional layer of protection.”
The locks are available to Vienna residents in the zip code 22180 who own a Hyundai vehicle with a key ignition that was made in 2010 to 2021.
Starting today (Monday), the devices can be picked up in the lobby of the police station at 215 Center Street South from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
Thefts began to surge in 2021 when TikTok users started posting videos under the hashtag “Kia Boyz” encouraging teens to steal Kia and Hyundai vehicles by taking off their steering wheels and hotwiring them with a USB cable, according to CNBC.
The videos revealed that models manufactured from 2010 to 2021 that use mechanical keys — rather than push button ignitions — are vulnerable to theft due to their lack of immobilizer systems, which prevent hotwiring using computer chips in key fobs that communicate with the engine.
The Fairfax County Police Department reported 28 carjackings last year, up from 16 in 2021, and seven to open 2023, as of Feb. 10. The data that the department shared with FFXnow didn’t specify how many incidents involved Hyundai or Kia vehicles, but it confirmed those were targeted in a series of stolen or damaged vehicle reports in Lorton on Jan. 14.
At that time, the FCPD said its officers had taken 24 reports for stolen Hyundai vehicles and 13 reports for stolen Kia vehicles between Nov. 22 and Jan. 17.
Hyundai and Kia announced in February that they will provide free software upgrades for approximately 8.3 million vulnerable cars.
An alleged attempt to shoplift a pair of designer sunglasses from Tysons Corner Center’s Nordstrom ended in a fatal police shooting on Wednesday (Feb. 22).
The man shot and killed by two police officers near a mall parking lot that evening was D.C. resident Timothy McCree Johnson, the Fairfax County Police Department reported yesterday (Thursday). He was 37 years old.
According to the department, officers in its Tysons Urban Team went to Nordstrom around 6:30 p.m. after getting a report of a theft.
“Asset protection reported a man was concealing designer sunglasses,” the FCPD said. “An officer observed the man exiting the store near a parking garage. As he exited the store, an anti-theft alarm was activated as he fled.”
As Police Chief Kevin Davis indicated in an initial briefing that night, two officers chased Johnson through the garage, across a parking lot and into a wooded area, where they both fired their guns and hit him once in the chest.
Johnson was transported to a hospital, where he died.
The FCPD says the officers “gave [Johnson verbal] commands to get on the ground.” The officers were both assigned to the Tysons Urban Team, one as a uniformed officer and the other in plainclothes.
One of the officers has been with the department for seven years and the other for eight, according to the FCPD, which says their names will be released within 10 days.
“As per department policy, the officers have been placed on restricted duty status, pending the outcome of the criminal and administrative investigation,” police said.
Criminal and administrative investigations into the use of force are underway. Davis said on Wednesday that police were searching the scene for potential evidence, including any weapon that may have been discarded, but the press release doesn’t indicate whether anything was found.
Davis said the man shot by police was “well known” to local law enforcement in the D.C. region and had “a violent criminal history.”
However, Johnson’s mother has disputed that characterization, telling the Washington Post that he “was trying to get on the right track” after landing in custody for a parole violation. She described him as a father of two, “a loving person” and an artist who planned to go to barber school.
Melissa Johnson told the Post that she believes her son was unarmed when police shot him.
There are no cases involving a Timothy McCree Johnson in Fairfax County General District Court records.
A search of D.C. courts turns up a record for a 2017 civil wrongful death lawsuit involving a defendant with the same name. Stemming from a fatal vehicle crash, the complaint was dismissed after two months.
A federal district court in D.C. also convicted a Timothy McCrae Walker — who was apparently also known as Timothy McCree Johnson — in 2006 on felony gun charges.
The FCPD didn’t immediately respond to FFXnow’s comment request seeking to confirm whether Johnson was the person in those cases.
The Virginia State Police is seeking the public’s help to identify a driver who died after crashing an allegedly stolen car into a cement wall on the I-495 Express Lanes near I-66 this morning (Friday).
The black 2018 Maserati Quattroporte sedan was headed “the wrong way at an excessive rate of speed” when it hit the cement jersey wall in the northbound express lanes at Exit 49 at 4:30 a.m., police said.
“The impact of the crash caused the vehicle to immediately catch fire,” VSP said. “The driver did not survive the crash and the body is being transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Manassas for autopsy, examination and positive identification.”
The driver was the only occupant of the sedan, which had been reported stolen in Prince George’s County, according to police.
The state police asks anyone who might’ve seen the Maserati driving south in the northbound toll lanes before the crash or who has information on the driver’s potential identity to call 703-803-0026 or email email@example.com.
Police from three different jurisdictions are on the lookout for suspects in an armed carjacking reported in Vienna Saturday night (Jan. 28).
An individual told the Town of Vienna Police Department around 10:30 p.m. that their vehicle was rear-ended about half an hour earlier near the intersection of Park Street and Moore Avenue SE, according to a news release published yesterday (Sunday).
The citizen exited their vehicle to make contact with the striking vehicle. The occupants of the striking vehicle exited their vehicle, presented a firearm and demanded the citizen give over control of their vehicle. One suspect entered the victim’s vehicle; the second suspect got back into what was described as a black Dodge Challenger and fled the area. The victim’s cell phone was left in their vehicle, preventing them from calling 911.
No injuries were reported, and the firearms weren’t discharged, according to police.
The Vienna police department says it alerted other jurisdictions to the stolen vehicle, which was ultimately found abandoned in Baltimore. The Baltimore Police Department provided assistance in locating the vehicle.
VPD’s criminal investigations section is now working with D.C. and Baltimore police to try to identify the suspects.
“Vienna Police Department asks for the public’s assistance to locate any eyewitnesses or video of the incident,” the department said. “Please call 703-255-6366 and ask for MPO Juan Vazquez to provide information.”
Photo via Vienna Police Department/Facebook
(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) A carjacking in Groveton led to a police pursuit that concluded near the Capital Beltway this morning, Fairfax County police say.
Fairfax County Police Department officers have arrested an individual who they believe is responsible for a carjacking that occurred this morning at the intersection of South Kings Highway and Woodstone Place.
When the officers located the stolen vehicle, they were led on a chase along I-95/I-495, according to the department.
Charges are now pending for the suspect, who was armed, police said. The man had carjacked a Honda in D.C. before traveling to Fairfax County and taking the Chevy Tahoe that was involved in the pursuit.
“Officers remain on scene and are working to clear the roadway,” the FCPD said.
UPDATE: Suspect in custody. Officers remain on scene and are working to clear the roadway.
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) January 23, 2023
Carjacker arrested! This man carjacked a Honda in DC, drove into Fairfax, carjacked the owner of a Chevy Tahoe & took off, leading officers in a pursuit across the Beltway. Our officers were able to stop him & safely take him into custody. Charges pending. Great job #FCPD pic.twitter.com/kWBg4sPRsT
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) January 23, 2023
Fairfax County police have arrested a 40-year-old woman from Alexandria who allegedly stole a vehicle with a girl in the backseat on Sunday (Jan. 15).
According to police, the woman was connected to a second vehicle theft incident in the 6200 block of Little River Turnpike in Annandale that occurred around 6:50 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday).
Officers in the area for a separate investigation were approached by a driver who said their 2012 Honda Pilot was stolen while they were inside a restaurant. They had left the SUV running.
“The victim returned, and the SUV was missing,” the Fairfax County Police Department said.
A 2012 Honda Accord was stolen from a parking lot in the same block around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. That car had a 6-year-old girl in the backseat, who was waiting while her stepfather went into a restaurant to pick up food, police reported.
The girl was located in D.C. less than an hour later and reunited with her family, but police didn’t find the stolen sedan.
According to the FCPD, the driver of the stolen SUV tracked a phone that had been left in the vehicle and traced it to the 80 block of South Bragg Street, just inside Alexandria’s city limits. Officers were notified just before midnight yesterday.
“Our officers and the City of Alexandria Police Department found the vehicle and saw a woman exit the SUV,” the department said. “The woman, Tanisha Hall, was immediately taken into custody.”
The officers also located the missing Accord nearby and “discovered evidence linking Hall to the abduction.”
Hall has been charged with two counts of grand larceny, abduction, credit card theft, obstruction of justice, and giving a false identity to law enforcement officers. She is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond.
The FCPD says that anyone with information about the two incidents can contact its Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, or submit anonymous tips through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) and online.
Police have seen an increase in vehicle theft calls around the county, often involving Hyundai or Kia models, according to the FCPD.
“Our officers and Auto Crimes Enforcement Unit have increased their presence throughout the county. We are also asking for our community’s help to reduce auto theft,” the department said, advising people to park in well-lit areas, lock all doors, and never leave their vehicle unattended, among other tips.
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
(Updated at 4:35 p.m.) A Fairfax County Public Schools instructional assistant has been arrested after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars worth of cash and goods from a Target in Chantilly.
Fairfax County police arrested Denise Pitkin-Tilson, 55, of Chantilly yesterday and charged her with felony embezzlement for taking more than $10,000 in cash, gift cards and merchandise, the department announced today.
Pitkin-Tilson works as an instructional assistant at Eagle View Elementary School in the Fairfax Corner area. She’s also employed as a cashier by the Target at 4391 Chantilly Crossing Lane, according to the FCPD.
Police say they were contacted at 7:52 p.m. Monday by a Target loss prevention officer who was alerted by the retail company’s headquarters that money was missing after Pitkin-Tilson’s shift.
“Pitkin-Tilson worked as a part-time cashier and was recorded for more than a month,” the FCPD said. “She was seen embezzling money from registers as well as stealing gift cards and merchandise.”
After being questioned at the Sully District Station, Pitkin-Tilson was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. The police department says she has been released on a $2,000 unsecured bond, though no record appears yet in the general district court’s online information system.
“This individual is currently on administrative leave,” FCPS said in a statement.
Here’s more from FCPD on how to contact detectives with any additional information about the case:
Anyone with information about this case, or others possibly related, is asked to contact detectives 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 and follow the steps to “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.
Photo via Google Maps
Four cars were stolen early Wednesday morning in the Rose Hill neighborhood, according to police.
The cars were taken near South Van Dorn Street and Franconia Road. A resident reported that a group of men attempted to enter several vehicles in the area around 5 a.m.
But the individuals left he area before police officers arrived on the scene.
Two of the four vehicles were found in Washington, DC. An unidentified number of other vehicles were also entered — all of which were unlocked.
Police published the following surveillance video — taken from a home-based system — in hopes of finding more information.
Here’s how to contact FCPD with information about the incidents:
Anyone with information about this case, or others possibly related, is asked to contact detectives at 703-691-2131. 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 and follow the steps to “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.
A driver nearly hit one vehicle, rammed into a Virginia State Police trooper’s vehicle, and crashed into a third vehicle head-on during a police pursuit last night (Thursday) that extended from I-395 in Arlington to South Kings Highway in Groveton.
According to state police, a trooper saw a vehicle headed northbound on I-395 nearly hit another vehicle traveling in the same direction around 10:27 p.m. yesterday. When the trooper attempted to make a traffic stop, the vehicle instead “sped away,” a news release says.
As the pursuit continued east onto the Capital Beltway (I-495), the trooper learned that Fairfax County police were searching for the vehicle in question, which had been reported stolen in the county.
“The suspect vehicle exited I-495 at Telegraph [Road] and continued through Fairfax County,” the VSP said. “At one point, the suspect vehicle intentionally rammed the trooper’s vehicle and continued to flee.”
After exiting the Beltway, the chase turned onto South Kings Highway. As it neared Telegraph Road, the pursued vehicle “struck the raised median and crossed into oncoming traffic where it struck head-on another vehicle,” according to the news release.
“The impact of the crash caused the suspect vehicle to overturn twice before coming to rest on its side,” state police said.
The pursued vehicle’s driver, an adult man, was transported to Fairfax Inova Hospital for treatment of injuries that VSP described as serious, while the driver of the vehicle that was hit went to the hospital with minor injuries.
No injuries to state police were reported.
An investigation into the incident is underway with charges forthcoming, VSP said.