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Police Beat

<sh>Fatal Accident Near Fort Belvoir

<bt>A man died last week when his car crossed into oncoming traffic in the Fort Belvoir area. On Wednesday, Nov. 24, around 1:23 p.m., Virgil Fonseca, 77, of Willow Lane in Woodbridge, was driving southbound on Richmond Highway in a 1992 Dodge Caravan. For unknown reasons, Fonseca drove over the double yellow lines and struck a 2003 Dodge Durango, which was traveling northbound on Richmond Highway. The Durango was then struck by a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban. Fonseca was dead at the scene. Speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash; however the victim’s health prior to the crash may have been a factor, according to police. Four individuals were injured and transported to Fairfax Hospital and Dewitt Army Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The investigation continues.

<sh>Auto Theft Ring Discovered

<bt>Detectives in the Fairfax County auto theft squad, with information and assistance from New York City Police Department (NYPD), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Virginia State Police and the National Insurance Crime Bureau, have recovered over $600,000 of stolen vehicles in Fairfax County. An investigation of a multi-state automobile theft ring, conducted by the NYPD and the FBI has led Fairfax County Police to 12 stolen vehicles in the county.

The thieves stole cars in the New York City tri-state area (New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania). They replaced the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) on the stolen cars with legitimate VINs from cars registered in other areas, mostly Canada, and then resold the cars, with the “cloned” VIN, in other locations, including Virginia. Investigation in Fairfax County has determined that the sellers were Latinos and targeted other Latinos.

The cars, six Cadillac Escalades (one 2003 model; three 2004; and one 2005); two 2004 GMC Yukons; one 2003 Yukon Denali; one 2001 Toyota Camry; one 2002 Toyota Sequoia; and one 2003 GMC Envoy were mostly sold through word of mouth or by placing a sign in the car and setting the car on the side of the road. The buyers purchased the vehicles at a steep discount from the current value. For example, a 2004 Cadillac Escalade which retails (without extras) at $56,385 might be sold for $30,000 or less. The investigation into the sellers in Fairfax County is still continuing and arrests and further recoveries are expected.

<sh>Man Robbed in Woodlawn Area

<bt>On Monday, Nov. 29, around 8:30 p.m., a 29-year-old Alexandria area man was robbed in the 8400 block of Graves Street in the Woodlawn area. The victim had just left a nearby convenience store when he was approached by three men who demanded money. One of the suspects displayed a handgun. The robbers stole an undisclosed amount of cash from the victim and fled on foot. There were no reported injuries.

All of the suspects were described as black and in their 20s. The first suspect was described as about 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighed about 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing all black clothing. The second suspect was about 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed about 130 pounds. He wore a black mask and all black clothing. A description for the third suspect is not available.

Anyone with information on the above incident or the person or persons involved is asked to call Fairfax County Crime Solvers at 1-800-673-2777. A $1000 cash reward will be paid for information which leads to an arrest. Callers do not have to give their names or appear in court.

Compiled by Gale Curcio