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Week in Loudoun

Laundry Burglary

<bt>The Loudoun SheriffÕs Office Wednesday, July 18, released video surveillance stills of a suspect involved in the late-night burglary of a Sterling business. SheriffÕs investigators are working to determine if the burglary is related to a similar case that occurred at a gas station in the Cascades area.

On July 13, around 12:17 a.m., an unknown subject forced entry into the Sterling Coin Laundry on Sterling Boulevard and removed U.S. currency from a change machine and cash from a safe. There was also an apparent attempt to gain entry into the ATM. The suspect was caught on surveillance video attempting to cover his face with a T-shirt. In the video he is observed climbing up onto a counter to reposition surveillance cameras.

The suspect appears to be a Hispanic male, average height and build, and wearing a blue short-sleeve shirt, blue pants, white shoes, black gloves and a red T-shirt over his head.

According to the SheriffÕs Office, the incident is similar to an overnight burglary at a gas station in the Cascades area of Sterling where cash was taken from a safe and an ATM. On July 11, deputies were called to the Shell gas station located at 46651 Algonkian Parkway around 6 a.m. for a reported burglary. Unknown subject(s) forced entry through a door of The Party Store, which is connected to the convenience store section of the gas station. Inside of the store the subject(s) broke into an ATM and a safe and removed an undisclosed amount of cash. They also disabled the alarm system and the surveillance cameras.

Anyone with information about either of these burglaries is asked to contact Investigator K. Lesesne at 703-777-0475 of the SheriffÕs Office Criminal Investigations Division. If the caller wishes to remain anonymous, contact Loudoun Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919. If the information provided to Loudoun Crime Solvers leads to an arrest and indictment the call could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

<sh>Misisng Teen Found

<bt>A missing Sterling teen was located safe and sound Tuesday, July 17, in Herndon. Kristi Walter, 15, had been missing from her residence on Glenbrook Terrace since the morning of July 1. Walter was located by a police officer from the Town of Herndon.

<sh>Public Hearing

<bt>The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has scheduled a second public hearing for July, to be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, July 31, in the Board Room of the Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison Street, S.E. in Leesburg.

To provide for the board's customary summer recess in August, the board has canceled its regular business meetings, public hearing and board standing committee meetings scheduled for the month of August.

Documents for board meetings, including packets for public hearings, are available on the Loudoun County Government Web site at www.loudoun.gov/bos/documents.htm.

<sh>Tax Holiday

<bt>VirginiaÕs second sales tax holiday is set for Friday, Aug. 3, through Sunday, Aug. 5. During the three-day event, certain purchases will be exempt from the 5 percent state and local retail sales tax. Sales tax will not be charged on school supplies priced at $20 or less per item, or on articles of clothing, including footwear, costing $100 or less each.

The "holiday," approved unanimously by the 2006 General Assembly, will take place each year on the first Friday-Saturday-Sunday period in August. Earlier this year, the Legislature approved two additional sales tax holidays. A four-day tax holiday is set for October that exempts certain energy-efficient appliances. Another weeklong tax holiday will begin in May 2008 for purchasing equipment to prepare for hurricanes.

Information on the three tax holidays is available on the Virginia Department of TaxationÕs Web site at www.tax.virginia.gov. This includes policy guidelines for the tax holiday, a list of frequently asked questions, an all-inclusive list of eligible school supplies, a representative list of eligible clothing, and a PowerPoint presentation.

All shoppers will avoid the sales tax when buying exempt items in Virginia during the tax holiday. There is no requirement that the purchases be made for a student or for school purposes.

In addition to the exempt items, retailers may also choose to pay the sales tax themselves on any nonexempt items they sell from Aug 3-5 and pass the 5 percent savings on to customers.

<sh>Theft Arrest

<bt>An 18-year-old Sterling man was charged Wednesday, July 18, in connection with the theft of property belonging to former Washington Redskins running back Earnest Byner. Petitions are also pending for a 17-year-old juvenile male, according to the SheriffÕs Office. Loudoun SheriffÕs investigators said that a 15-year-old who was house sitting for Byner was not involved in the theft.

According to the SheriffÕs Office, Shamsud-Din Tariq Akbar is charged with burglary with intent to commit larceny and grand larceny. The 17-year-old from Ashburn is facing the same charges. The SheriffÕs Office learned from Byner that several items had been stolen from his Ashburn home while he was on vacation during the first week of July. Among the items stolen was a pendant that was an exact replica of his 1992 Super Bowl ring.

During this time the two suspects allegedly entered the home and removed property from the house. Since the discovery of the larceny some of the property has been returned. Other missing items include several collectible figurines, a pair of diamond earrings, a Rolex watch, a gold ring with a cross and a tennis bracelet.

Akbar was being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on a $5,000 bond.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of these items is encouraged to call Investigator D. Orr of the Loudoun County SheriffÕs Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475. If the caller wishes to remain anonymous, call Loudoun County Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919.

<sh>Teenager Assaulted

<bt>A 17-year-old South Riding-area teenager was assaulted by a man who allegedly identified himself as a police officer, according to the Fairfax County Police. She was driving westbound on Route 50 around 11:50 p.m., Thursday, July 19, when she saw a car behind her with a flashing blue light in the dashboard. The woman pulled to the right shoulder near Plaza Lane, across from the Greenbriar Shopping Center in Chantilly. A man approached her driver-side window and ordered her out of the car. The woman questioned him and the suspect quickly flashed some sort of badge or identification. He again demanded that she exit the car. The victim got out and the suspect pushed her against the door and touched her inappropriately. The victim screamed, reached into her car in an attempt to blow the horn and the suspect drove off. The victim was not injured.

The suspect was described as white, in his 30s. He was about 6 feet tall and weighed approximately 160 pounds. He was wearing dark clothing. The suspect was driving an older model Chevrolet Caprice with dull, black paint. The car had a flashing blue light in the dash and tinted windows.

Anyone with information or who was in that area at the time of the assault, call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131 or Fairfax County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

If an unmarked vehicle displaying flashing blue lights attempts to stop you and you are uncertain as to the authenticity of the vehicle: activate your vehicleÕs emergency flashers; drive carefully and immediately to the nearest well-lighted and populated area or a police or fire station; dial 9-1-1 if possible; give your location and ask the call taker to stay on the line; beep your horn to attract attention; lock your doors and stay in your vehicle and wait for the officer to approach; you may ask for a uniformed officer operating a marked police vehicle to respond to the scene.

<sh>Theft Warning

<bt>A recent rash of Ôcar hoppingÕ has the Loudoun SheriffÕs Office sending a reminder to county residents to lock their vehicles when left unattended.

In the past week, an estimated $14,170 in property has been removed from vehicles in Sterling, Ashburn and the Dulles South area. All of the vehicles were left unlocked. Items removed include satellite radios, cell phones, digital cameras and MP3 players.

According to the SheriffÕs Office, larcenies from vehicles are most often a crime of opportunity. Residents are advised to park in well-lit areas, activate vehicle alarms system or use antitheft devices and report any suspicious activity to the Loudoun SheriffÕs Office at 703-777-1021. According to the agencies Crime Analyst Unit these types of thefts often take place at night and are most often committed by juveniles.

Anyone with information about the perpetrators of these crimes is asked to contact the Loudoun County SheriffÕs Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475. If the caller wishes to remain anonymous, call Loudoun Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919. If the information leads to an arrest and indictment the caller could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

<sh>License Checkpoints

<bt>The Loudoun SheriffÕs Office continues its crackdown on unlicensed drivers in the county with two recent checkpoints in Ashburn and CountrySide. The locations for the checkpoints were selected after deputies patrolling these areas came across a number of unlicensed drivers during daily traffic stops.

On Wednesday, July 18, deputies conducted a driverÕs license checkpoint on Ashburn Farm Parkway at Sanders Corner Elementary School from 3:15-7 p.m. During the checkpoint, 1,826 vehicle passed through with 74 summonses issued. Fourteen drivers were caught driving without an operatorÕs license and three were driving on a suspended license. Another driver was charged with driving under the influence and a juvenile was apprehended in connection with a recent burglary of an Ashburn restaurant.

A similar checkpoint was conducted last week in CountrySide. On July 11, deputies worked the area of CountrySide Boulevard and Minor Road from 4:15-7 p.m. In total 1,635 vehicles passed through and 68 summonses were issued. The summonses included 16 drivers cited for driving without a license and four drivers who were driving on a suspended license.