Crime Briefs

Crime Briefs

Woman Victim of Con

Near noon on March 9, a 79-year-old woman was leaving a post office on Belle View Boulevard when a stranger approached her and drew her into a conversation. He brought out a wallet he claimed to have found, and opened it to show her it contained a substantial sum of money. A second man then joined the group. The first man suggested they visit a bank where he claimed to work in order to seek advice on how they could best take advantage of the unexpected windfall. The three drove in a white Lincoln town car to a BB&T bank in the Beacon Hill Shopping Center on Route 1. The finder of the wallet entered the bank alone. When he returned, he told the woman he had been advised to purchase a bond. However, they would need the woman to contribute money. The woman agreed to the request, and they drove to her bank, where she withdrew several thousand dollars. They returned to the BB&T. The first man again entered alone. This time, when he returned he told the woman she needed to speak to someone inside the bank. The woman entered the bank alone. Almost as soon as she walked through the doors, she knew she had been conned.

The first suspect is described as a 50 year-old black man, about 5’7" and 135 pounds. The second subject was also a black man in his 50’s, about 5’9" and 150 pounds. The first suspect said he was from Ethiopia and the second from Jamaica. Both had corresponding accents.

Officer Gregory Kotteman, of the Mount Vernon District Station, said that several frauds of this kind have been committed in Fairfax in the last month. He added that many more are probably going unreported. Victims are "not likely to report it because they’re embarrassed."

He said another common con is to knock on people’s doors masquerading as a tree service employee or a chimney cleaner. Often they will do real jobs at neighbors’ houses in order to establish their credibility. "Any time you have someone coming to your door, even if it’s a charity group, they all must be licensed. If they are not, or you ask them to produce it and they don’t, we would ask you to call the non-emergency number" for the police. But even if they produce a license, this simply means they have applied to the county for a license, not that they are a real business. "If you need something done, do the research… and find someone reputable," Kotteman advised.

In all of these instances, he said, it’s "the classic case of, if something sounds too good to be true, it is."

Sexual Assault Suspect Sought

On Tuesday, April 4 around 11:30 p.m., a 47-year-old Alexandria-area woman was approached by a man in the 8100 block of Richmond Highway. The two walked together toward Buckman Road. When they walked by a wooded area on Buckman Road the man dragged the victim into the woods and sexually assaulted her. The victim was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital where she was treated for non life-threatening injuries.

The suspect was described as a Hispanic man 20 to 30 years old, approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall, stocky build, with a mustache. He was wearing a blue shirt, jeans, a beige, hooded jacket and a black baseball cap.

Officer Beth Funston of the Public Information Office advised "women and men alike to be very conscious of their surroundings and to be cautious of people you don’t know. If there’s ever any doubt, just call the police."

Alcohol Sting

During 42 attempts to buy alcohol by police cadets, nine sales clerks were charged with selling alcohol to a minor. The Traffic Safety Services Unit, along with Mount Vernon District neighborhood patrol officers, conducted an operation to check compliance with the legal purchase of alcohol at 42 locations within the Mount Vernon and Alexandria areas of Fairfax County on Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8. This operation is part of the ongoing youth alcohol enforcement campaign conducted using underage Fairfax County police cadets, dressed in plain clothes, who attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages. Each clerk who sold alcohol to a cadet was issued a summons for violation of Virginia State Code 4.1-304 (illegal sale of alcoholic beverage to a minor).

The following nine locations improperly sold alcoholic beverages according to police:

*Shoppers Food, 6228-D Kings Highway, Alexandria

*7-Eleven, 2405 Fairhaven Avenue, Alexandria

* Huntington Market, 5834-E North Kings Highway, Alexandria

* La Latina, 5838-C North Kings Highway, Alexandria

* Shoppers Food, 7660 Richmond Highway, Alexandria

* Eckerd Drug Store, 6211 North Kings Highway, Alexandria

* 7-Eleven, 6327 South Kings Highway, Alexandria

* Margarita’s Grocery, 8512 Richmond Highway, Alexandria

* 7-Eleven, 8434 Frye Road, Alexandria

Man Killed in ATV

Darrin Bennett, 41-year-old Mason Neck-area resident, was killed on April 7 in an all terrain vehicle (ATV) accident.Police were called to 9900 Gunston Road around 4:45 p.m. Family members directed the officers to a location on their property where they located the body. An investigation determined that Bennett had been riding alone when he collided with a chain barrier he had recently erected. The chain struck him in his upper body and killed him.

Prostitution Sting

According to Fairfax County police, female police officers dressed as prostitutes stood by the road outside the Alexandria and Brookside Motels on Route 1 on the afternoon of March 24. They convinced 33 men to offer them money for sex. The men were all arrested for solicitation. One man was also charged with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of heroin.


Fairfax County Crime Solvers is asking for the public’s assistance identifying the person or person responsible for vandalizing more than 80 vehicles with BB guns this month. Most of these vandalisms occurred during the overnight hours of Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26. The windows of the vehicles were shot out with BB’s, causing more than $60,000 in damage. Anyone with information can call 1-866-411-8477. A $1,000 award will be paid for information that leads to an arrest.

— by John Teschner