Quick action from a Centreville car owner last week aided in the capture of the would-be thief, say police. But unfortunately, the suspect crashed the vehicle during his unsuccessful escape attempt. When the dust cleared, Fairfax County police charged a Washington, D.C. man with the crime. He is Josue Villalta, 23, of 7306 Blair Road in the District.
The incident occurred last Wednesday, Sept. 1, around 9:30 p.m., in the 14300 block of Grape Holly Grove in the Newgate community. Police say the owner of the car — a two-door, 1994 Honda Civic — was taking a break from working on the vehicle when he saw it being driven away.
He immediately called police, and cruisers on patrol quickly spotted the stolen vehicle and gave chase. The suspect then crashed into a guard rail while on the exit ramp from Sully Road onto I-66, bailed from the car and fled on foot.
However, he was soon apprehended. Using the Forward Looking Infra-Red system, the police helicopter was able to locate a "heat signature" of the suspect in nearby brush and directed a K-9 officer to make the arrest.
Police reportedly identified the suspect as Villalta and charged him with grand larceny, possession of burglary tools and misdemeanor hit and run. He was taken to the Adult Detention Center and released Sept. 4 on $6,000 bond. He has an Oct. 12 court date.
<tgl> — Bonnie Hobbs