Week in Loudoun

Week in Loudoun

Missing Woman Sought

<bt>Loudoun County Sheriff's investigators are asking for the public's assistance in finding a Sterling woman who has been missing since Friday, March 5.

According to police, family members reported 30-year-old Jennifer Schall missing Friday evening after she did not return home after dropping her child off at a family member's house.

Schall was believed to have left her Dominion Station townhouse around 9 a.m. Friday and was supposed to be at work in Reston that evening.

Schall is described as being 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing approximately 200 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She is believed to be driving a 1996 black, four-door Saturn.

Anyone who has any information about Schall's whereabouts is asked to contact Investigator Fognano of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475

<sh>Undelivered Mail in Sugarland Run

<bt>Residents of Sugarland Run may soon see some old mail that they hadn't received after a search warrant conducted Tuesday, March 2 uncovered more than 700 pieces of undelivered mail in a Sterling home. Members of the Sheriff's Office Community Policing Unit were serving an arrest warrant for 42-year-old Stephen Gonzalez for trespassing when they discovered the mail piled throughout the home. The unit obtained a second search warrant and confiscated 740 pieces of undelivered mail from the home, some dating as far back as 1994. Gonzalez apparently took a majority of the mail from the mailboxes of homes along West Meadowland Lane and Avondale Drive. Sheriff's Deputies began receiving reports of missing mail in the Sugarland Run area in April of 2002 with the latest being filed in February. To date 10 reports have been received from residents in this area who stated they were missing items from their mailboxes.

A majority of the mail will be turned over to the United States Postal Inspector and will be returned to their rightful owners. Some of the mail will be held as evidence in the case. The case will be reviewed by the Commonwealth's Attorney Office and charges are pending. Gonzalez is currently being held at the Loudoun Adult Detention Center without bond on the trespassing charge.

<sh>Jogger Assaulted in Ashburn Village

<bt>A 21-year-old Ashburn man was approached and assaulted by several juveniles Friday evening as he jogged around the lake at the Ashburn Village Sports Pavilion. The victim told authorities he was jogging around the lake around 8 p.m. when several juveniles surrounded him. One of juveniles, described as a 5'7" white male, attempted to instigate a fight and assaulted him. The victim went to Loudoun Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.

According to the victim there were other suspects in hiding in nearby who were shooting projectiles from an air gun. The victim was not struck by a projectile during the incident.

Sheriff's Investigators are trying to determine whether the assault is related to an earlier run-in the victim had with one of the juveniles several weeks ago. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Investigator Fognano of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office at 703-777-0475.

<sh>Free Cab Rides on March 17

<bt>A local non-profit group has announced that free cab rides will be offered throughout eastern Loudoun County during the upcoming St. Patrick's Day holiday (Wednesday, March 17). Offered by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the St. Patty's Day SoberRide program operate from 4 p.m.-4 a.m. as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk holiday. During this 12-hour period, area residents celebrating with alcohol may call the toll-free SoberRide phone number 1-800-200-TAXI and be afforded a no-cost (up to a $50 fare), safe way home.

<sh>Bomb Threats at Stonebridge

<bt>Stone Bridge High School received two bomb threats last week. On Thursday nothing suspicious was discovered after a parent volunteer at Stone Bridge received a call of a bomb threat shortly after 8:15 a.m. The students at Stone Bridge were transported to nearby Broad Run High School after the non-specific bomb threat was called in.

On Friday, the call was received shortly after 9:30 a.m. Students from the school were moved to a safe location on school property as Sheriff's Deputies and canine units searched the building for any suspicious items. Students at Stone Bridge High School returned to class at 11:20 a.m.

Anyone who may have information regarding these bomb threats is asked to call Investigator Notta 703-777-0475. To remain anonymous, call Loudoun County Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919. Information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1000.

<sh>Rental Car Larcenies

<bt>Rental cars appear to be the main target in a series of larcenies from vehicles that continue to plague eastern Loudoun County. Local businesses and rental car agencies are being advised of the larcenies because a majority of the victims are visiting from out of town for work and are using rental cars for transportation. The thieves are targeting the rental cars mostly during the evening hours in parking lots of restaurants in the eastern end of the county, particularly Sterling. In most of the cases the victim's car is entered through the driver's side door, the suspects have also gained entry into the trunk of the vehicle where they have taken items such as laptops and other electronic devices. Sheriff Steve Simpson reminded residents and businesses not to keep valuable items in their vehicle.

The series of larcenies began last November and so far Sheriff's Office crime analysts estimate over $31,500 worth of electronic devices has been stolen from rental cars. Last week seven rental cars were entered in the Sterling area with 12 laptops, a PDA and an MP-3 player stolen in those cases.

<sh>Residents Sign Up for Alerts

<bt>More than 1,650 Loudoun residents are now signed up to receive alerts from the Loudoun Sheriff's Office through the Loudoun Citizen Alert System (LCAS).

The system was started almost a year ago and allows residents and business owners to receive instant notification of road closures, missing and endangered persons, criminal activity, and wanted subjects.

"We think the system is of great value to county residents because whenever there's a major incident it is important they receive the information quickly and accurately," said Sheriff Steve Simpson.

LCAS is free and allows those who sign up to receive the latest news effecting the county. The information can be sent to their e-mail and cell phones or pagers that receive text messaging.

Residents may register by logging onto the county website at www.loudoun.gov and clicking on Citizen Alert System. The alert system can also be accessed at the Sheriff's Office website at www.loudoun.gov/sheriff. The service is available to anyone with an email account.

On the website residents are given various categories to choose from within the Sheriff's Office including Missing and Endangered Persons, Road Closures, Safety Alerts, Wanted Subjects, and Press Releases covering general news and information.