When delivery people are dispatched to someone's home with hot food, they expect a tip in return. What they don't expect is to be greeted by robbers with guns, demanding some cold cash.
UNFORTUNATELY, though, this was the scenario faced earlier this month by delivery people from two, different, Chinese-food restaurants in Centreville. However, Fairfax County police have now arrested the two teen-agers they believe were responsible for the crimes.
One is a 14-year-old Centreville boy and the other is a 15-year-old Chantilly boy. Centre View is not revealing their identities because they're juveniles, but each has been charged with two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and one count each of robbery and attempted robbery.
Police Det. Gary Bailey, with the Criminal Investigations Bureau, detailed the cases against them in a March 20 affidavit for a warrant to seek possible evidence in the Chantilly boy's home.
He wrote that, on March 4, around 8 p.m., someone placed a phone order to the Peking Express and gave a delivery address in the 5300 block of Rosemallow Circle. Then, when a 40-year-old Fairfax woman delivered the food, wrote the detective, "She noticed a male emerge from the rear of the home with gun in hand."
Bailey wrote that the male demanded money from her and she handed him $10. Before fleeing, he also took the food. She later told police the suspect was wearing a red shirt and a face mask.
A similar incident occurred in the same neighborhood, Fair Crest, five days later, on March 9. Someone placed a delivery order, around 10 p.m., to Charlie Chiang's restaurant and gave the delivery address as 13570 Lavender Mist Lane.
When the 36-year-old Manassas man delivering the food arrived, a male flagged him down. "The victim stopped his vehicle, thinking that someone needed help," wrote Bailey. "When [he] rolled down his window to speak with the subject, he noticed another masked male approach with a handgun displayed."
ACCORDING TO the detective, the suspects demanded that the victim get out of the vehicle. But just as he was about to do so, another vehicle approached with its headlights on — and the suspects fled without getting any money. The victim told police one of the suspects was wearing a black jacket, black face mask, gloves and dark-colored shoes with light soles.
Bailey and Det. Eric Deane began investigating these cases and got a tip about the suspects. During an interview, wrote Bailey, one of the teen boys allegedly admitted that he and the other teen committed the robberies. "[One boy] stated that [the other boy] wore a black mask with holes for both eyes and mouth during the March 9 robbery," wrote the detective. "[He] also handed over the gun that was [reportedly] used to conduct the robberies."
Bailey noted that the description of this gun was "consistent with what witnesses reported." Police then obtained juvenile petitions and detention orders against both teens for these offenses. The 15-year-old was arrested March 20, and the 14-year-old was arrested March 21.
In the warrant, Bailey hoped to find the type of clothing the victims reported that the robbers wore, such as sweaters, shirts, face masks, shoes and gloves. The warrant was executed at the Chantilly boy's home and police seized a dark, long-sleeved sweater with a hood; a red, long-sleeved sweater with a hood, a pair of black Timberland sneakers, a red T-shirt and a black jacket.