Two Hospital ATMs Skimmed
Centreville Fairfax County police responded last week to two reports of skimmer devices attached to ATMs at local hospitals. One was discovered Tuesday, Nov. 27, on the ATM near the lobby gift shop at Inova Fairfax Hospital. A hospital employee noticed that the input slot for the card was loose and wobbly; when she inserted her bank card, the device fell off.
She immediately reported it to security, who contacted police. Detectives believe the device may have been on the machine for weeks and urge anyone who used it to monitor their financial statements closely.
A second device was discovered last Wednesday, Nov. 28, on a machine in the Inova Fair Oaks Hospital lobby adjacent to the cafeteria. A hospital security guard discovered the device after being notified of the prior incident. Neither of these bank machines are either owned or monitored by Inova staff. They’re on hospital property, but banking institutions are responsible for their maintenance and management.
Detectives urge people who may have used either of these machines in recent weeks to check their bank statements closely. If they detect inconsistencies in their transactions, they should contact their bank and the police.
Chantilly High Craft Fair
Chantilly High is holding its annual Holiday Craft Fair this Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The school is at 4201 Stringfellow Road and admission is free. There’s also free face-painting for children from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and shoppers will receive a free raffle ticket with each purchase they make.
There’ll be Christmas crafts and ornaments, handcrafted jewelry, gourmet kitchen items, fashion bags and accessories, scarves, skin-care items and cosmetics, sweaters, blankets, pet items, home décor, children’s books, team-branded items, photography, fragrances, candles and stocking stuffers.
This event is sponsored by the Chantilly Athletic Boosters and provides funding to student-athletes participating in 19 sports on 42 teams. Customer participation supports their efforts.
Encore’s Christmas Show
Featuring dancers from Centreville and Chantilly schools, Encore Theatrical Arts Project’s newest musical production, “All I Want for Christmas,” is for audiences of all ages.
Show times are Dec. 8 and 15 at 1, 4 and 8 p.m.; Dec. 9 and 16 at 1 and 4 p.m.; and Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. at NOVA’s Annandale campus at 8333 Little River Turnpike. Tickets range from $17-$30 at www.encore-tap.org/. Or call 703-222-5511.
Police Collect Children’s Gifts
As the holiday season begins, Sully District Police Station personnel are collecting new, unwrapped gift donations for children in Inova Fairfax Hospital and for children in the community who might not otherwise have a cheerful holiday season. Donations of new toys, books and games will be accepted at the station until Monday, Dec. 10, at 9 p.m.
The motorcycle officers’ “Santa’s Ride” toy collection will be Dec. 11. Gifts will then be distributed Dec. 12 at Inova Fairfax Hospital and Dec. 13 at Georgetown Hospital.
“We need the community’s help,” said PFC Tara Fruecht. “We would greatly appreciate any donations people are able to give.” For more information, contact her at SulCPO@fairfaxcounty.gov or 703-814-7018.
CAC: Holiday Safety Tips
Holiday Safety Tips is the topic of the next Sully District Station Citizens Advisory Committee meeting. It’s set for Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 7:30 p.m. Police officers will discuss safety in the home and while out shopping. Refreshments will be served and attendees are invited to bring their favorite desserts.
Free Carseat Inspections
Certified technicians from the Sully District Police Station will perform free, child safety carseat inspections Thursday, Dec. 13, from 5-8:30 p.m., at the station, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly. No appointment is necessary. But residents should install the child safety seats themselves so technicians may properly inspect and adjust them, as needed.
However, because of time constraints, only the first 35 vehicles arriving on each date will be inspected. That way, inspectors may have enough time to properly instruct the caregiver on the correct use of the child seat. Call 703-814-7000, ext. 5140, to confirm dates and times.
Centreville Elementary Seeks Grant
Centreville Elementary has been nominated by its PTA for a $50,000 Clorox Bright Futures Grant. If awarded, the grant will be used to support the school's healthy movement initiative.The school will install a running/walking track for the students and community. This is a nationwide competition, and the entity with the most votes will win.
Anyone from the community may vote twice a day (once online at https://powerabrightfuture.clorox.com/nominees/detail/?nid=2099 and once by texting 2099pbf to 95248). Anyone 13 and older may vote every day until Dec. 19. So Centreville counselor Lee Kaiser is asking residents to “please vote, and tell your friends and family to do it, too.”
Holiday Lighting Safety Tips
While festive and joyous, the holiday season can also be dangerous. Authorities say more than 400 lives are claimed, more than 1,600 injuries occur, and more than $990 million in property damage occurs. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, taking simple, common-sense, life-saving steps will help ensure a safe and happy holiday:
Look for the Underwriters Laboratories label on all holiday light sets to ensure UL standards are met. Buy lighting sets according to indoor or outdoor use, or both. Before attaching lights, check for fraying wires, damaged sockets or cracked insulation. If defects are found, replace the entire set.
To minimize fire and shock danger, make sure a bulb is in each socket. If a bulb burns out, leave it in and unplug the light set; then replace the bulb. Don't connect more light strings than the manufacturer recommends. Keep indoor extension cords and lights away from water. All outdoor cords, plugs and sockets must be weatherproof. Have a working smoke alarm on every level of the home, have an escape plan and practice it.
Adopt a Shelter Animal
The Fairfax County Animal Shelter is offering a free spay or neuter for the first 100 cats, kittens, dogs or puppies adopted from the shelter through Dec. 31. The special offer is part of the shelter’s annual Home for the Holidays adoption celebration to help homeless animals leave the shelter for stable, new homes in time for the holidays.
The shelter has cats and dogs available for adoption, in addition to rabbits, small mammals, reptiles and birds. To view animals available for adoption, visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/animalservices/ and click on adoption. The shelter is at 4500 West Ox Road in Fairfax. Regular adoption hours are Tuesday-Friday, noon-6:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more information, call 703-830-1100.
Christmas Tree Fire Safety
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department crews distributed Christmas tree safety tags to holiday tree lot vendors during the week before Thanksgiving. These tags provide valuable, fire-safety tips for residents when purchasing a tree.
Residents should keep the tree base immersed in water; not allow smoking near the tree; use only lights approved by Underwriters Laboratories (U.L.); use flame-retardant decorations and paper; inspect lights for frayed or cracked wiring, broken plugs and defective sockets; unplug lights at night and when leaving the home; and remove the tree soon after the holidays, before the needles dry out.
Home Child-Care Facilities
Fairfax County now has a new Web page available with information on home child-care facilities. It includes public hearing dates and background information on the upcoming Zoning Ordinance Amendment, current zoning requirements, the application package for special permits for home child- care facilities, plus links to other pertinent information. Go to
WFCM Seeks Food, Volunteers
Western Fairfax Christian Ministries’ (WFCM) food pantry urgently needs donations of oil (48 oz. or smaller); flour (2-5 lb. bag); sugar (2-5 lb. bag); rice; canned meats; salad dressing, jelly; jam; peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, Ramen Noodles, canned fruit; canned beets and collard greens; canned soup and beans; dry pasta and beans; ketchup, mustard, pancake mix and syrup; hot and cold cereal and coffee. In addition, the Food Pantry would appreciate fresh produce, such as tomatoes, from local gardens.
Also needed are laundry detergent, toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper and diapers (sizes 4, 5 & 6). WFCM clients are also in great need of gasoline cards.
Bring all items to WFCM’S food pantry at 13981 Metrotech Drive (near Backyard Grill and Bar) in Chantilly. Volunteers are also needed:
Thrift store: Volunteers are needed Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., to receive donations. Contact Volunteer Manager Annette Bosley at 703-988-9656.
Food pantry: Regular volunteers are needed needed to pick up donated food from Costco on Thursday mornings and from Harris Teeter on Fridays between 9-10 a.m.
Meals on Wheels Volunteers
Fairfax County needs Meals on Wheels drivers in Chantilly and group Meals on Wheels coordinators in both Chantilly and Fairfax. Contact Volunteer Solutions at 703-324-5406, TTY 711, VolunteerSolutions@fairfaxcounty.gov or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/olderadultservices/volunteer-solutions.htm.
Women's Self Defense Program
The Fairfax County Law Enforcement Foundation is partnering with the Fairfax County Police Department to offer the Women's Self Defense Training program. It’s based on the SAFE program formerly provided by the Police Department, but now being taught by C&J Security Corp.
The program is a two-day class that will meet on consecutive Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:15-9:30 p.m. It’s currently offered free and all class materials are included. Program funding is provided through the Fairfax County Law Enforcement Foundation.
The course is offered to females, age 13 and older. A female guardian must accompany girls 13-18. No men other than the instructors are permitted to be present during a class. For more information, call 703-246-7806, e-mail WSD@fairfaxfoundation.org or go to www.fairfaxfoundation.org.