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I-495 South just after the American Legion Bridge (via Google Maps)

A Fairfax County police officer’s attempt to stop a reportedly stolen vehicle on I-495 this morning (Wednesday) prompted a high-speed pursuit that extended from McLean to Woodbridge.

The journey began shortly before 5 a.m., when the Fairfax County Police Department notified Virginia State Police that a 2012 Ford Fiesta had been spotted traveling south on I-495 across the American Legion Bridge.

The vehicle had been reported stolen out of New York, according to a VSP news release.

The Virginia State Police says a Fairfax County officer moved to initiate a traffic stop, but the Ford “sped off” at more than 100 miles per hour, leading to a pursuit by state police:

As the stolen vehicle approached Exit 158 on I-95 in Prince William County, the troopers attempted to slow the vehicle and contain it by positioning their vehicles around it. The Ford rammed one of the trooper’s vehicles twice, which caused the police vehicle to spin out and spark a chain reaction crash among a total of three troopers’ vehicles. The Ford kept going.

State police began searching the immediate area for the stolen vehicle and located it a short time later abandoned in a restaurant parking lot in the 2400 block of Prince William Parkway. State police and Prince William County Police K9 teams responded to this location. Shortly after 8 a.m., a 19-year-old female and a 28-year-old male were taken into custody without further incident. Charges are pending.

According to the VSP, five troopers were treated for minor injuries from the crash at the I-95 exit at a nearby hospital, but there were no other vehicles involved or damaged.

No Fairfax County police units were involved in the actual pursuit, an FCPD spokesperson told Tysons Reporter.

State police are still searching for two men who fled the Ford Fiesta, and they’re working with Prince William County police to determine if there’s any connection to the theft of a Honda Civic reported in Woodbridge around 7:25 a.m. today.

“Anyone with information related to this ongoing incident are encouraged to contact the Virginia State Police at 703-803-0026 or #77 on a cell phone, or by email to [email protected],” the VSP said.

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Deadline to Update Metro Fare Card Looms — “Starting March 1, fare cards issued before 2012 will not function throughout the transit system because Metro upgraded fare gates at most stations that don’t sync with older cards. The transit agency for nearly a year has tried to notify owners of the older cards, but few have switched as ridership hovers at historically low levels.” [The Washington Post]

Tysons Corner Center Celebrates Lunar New Year — The mall partnered with the Asian American Chamber of Commerce to host a Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday (Feb. 5). Traditional musical and dance performances by local groups ushered in the year of the tiger, which began on Feb. 1. [WDVM]

Stolen Vehicle Found in McLean — A 19-year-old Maryland resident was arrested for grand larceny on Jan. 28 after a Fairfax County police officer stopped his 2021 Toyota Corolla on the George Washington Parkway at I-495 around 2:03 p.m. The vehicle had been reported stolen from a nearby jurisdiction. [FCPD]

Fairfax County Introduces Hope Cards — “Fairfax County has joined more than five dozen jurisdictions in Virginia in offering the Hope Card program — a way to enforce a civil protective order and a handy resource for victims of family abuse. A Hope Card is an easy to read and carry laminated, wallet-sized card that contains all the essential information of an existing, permanent civil protection order.” [Fairfax County Government]

Vienna Opens Registration for Spring Classes — “Spring Class registration begins Monday for Town residents and Feb. 14 for people who live outside the Vienna town limits. Check out the Vienna Parks and Recreation program guide now.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

FCPS Mask Requirement Still in Effect — Masks are still required in Fairfax County Public Schools after a hearing in the lawsuit that seven Virginia school boards filed to prevent Gov. Glenn Youngkin from enforcing his optional masks executive order. An Arlington Circuit Court judge did not make a decision in the case yesterday (Wednesday) but said one will be made soon. [FCPS]

Dulles Toll Road Changes Anticipated — With Phase 2 of Metro’s Silver Line expected to open this spring, transportation officials said earlier this week that fares on the Dulles Toll Road will likely rise in 2023 to offset the project’s cost. The road could also switch to an electronic, cash-less system this year, where drivers will pay using their license plate, an EZPass, or a phone app. [Inside NoVA]

No Charges in FCPD Officer Shooting — A Fairfax County police officer who shot and injured a man in Chantilly on Jan. 4 will not face criminal charges, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced yesterday (Wednesday). The prosecutor said the officer “was reasonable” to fear serious injury or death, due to evidence that the resident was wielding a compound bow and arrows. [Patch]

Local Students Speak in Support of Transgender Inclusivity — Some Fairfax County Public Schools students testified in support of policies protecting transgender and gender non-conforming students from discrimination at a General Assembly hearing on Tuesday (Feb. 1). However, a House education subcommittee passed the debated bill, which seeks to halt a requirement that local school boards adopt those policies. [WUSA9]

Registration Begins for Park Authority Classes — “The Fairfax County Park Authority just opened registration for spring classes. Despite an enormous number of available classes to choose from, there are limited spaces available in our facilities, so timely registration via Parktakes Online is recommended to reserve your spot.” [FCPA]

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Village Eye Center in McLean (via NBC4)

It happened again. Fairfax County police say the Village Eye Center at 1471 Chain Bridge Road in McLean was the victim of a smash-and-grab theft early last night (Tuesday).

A group of four men armed with hammers entered the shop around 5:41 p.m. and began to bust open the display cases to steal eyeglass frames, Fairfax County Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Ian Yost said. He said he did not have any information on how much the thieves stole. They fled in a white SUV.

He said at this point, the incident will be categorized as a larceny since the bandits did not directly confront the store employees.

This is at least the fourth eyeglass smash-and-grab heist in the past few weeks. The others were in Arlington, Alexandria, and Montgomery. Yost says this was the first he’s aware of in Fairfax County.

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Morning Notes

Idylwood Shooting Was a Suicide — Fairfax County police confirmed community reports that they responded to a shooting in the 7600 block of Virginia Lane near the W&OD Trail over the weekend. A spokesperson told Tysons Reporter that an individual died by suicide in a backyard, explaining that the department generally doesn’t publicly report suicides. [FCPD]

Funding for New 911 Model Approved — A budget review approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday (Jan. 25) included Covid relief funds for 26 positions to support the first phase of a permanent program where police work with behavioral health specialists when responding to 911 calls. The county began piloting the co-responder model last year. [Jeff McKay]

“City View” Tysons Site Sold to Developer — An affiliate of D.C. developer Four Points LLC bought the former Association for Manufacturing Technology building site at 7901 Westpark Drive for about $10 million in late December. AMT was poised to build a 10-story office tower on the lot east of Tysons Galleria, but the site’s future under Four Points, which generally works on primarily residential mixed-use projects, is unclear. [Washington Business Journal]

McLean Gift Shop to CloseThe Artisans will close in February after 32 years of selling handmade clothing, home decor, and other items, starting in 1990 at Marketplace of McLean before moving to its current location in the Langley Shopping Center. The owners plan to retire and are selling everything for 20% off. [Patch]

County Retains AAA Bond Rating — “On Wednesday, Jan. 19, Fairfax County completed a successful bond sale, generating $300 million to fund various project areas, after once again affirming its AAA bond rating with all three major rating agencies.” [Fairfax County Government]

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Morning Notes

FCPS Schedules Virtual Town Halls on Masks — Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand reaffirmed the system’s plans to continue requiring face masks in a message to the community on Friday (Jan. 21). FCPS will hold a virtual town hall on the subject in English at 7 p.m. today (Monday), followed by a Spanish town hall tomorrow. Both events will stream live on Facebook. [FCPS]

Abduction Reported in Merrifield — “2900 block of Caribbean Court, 1/18/22, 7:51 p.m. A man approached the victim, displayed a firearm, and demanded to be driven to a residence in D.C. After dropping the man off, the victim reported the incident to police. No injuries were reported.” [FCPD]

Route 7 Widening Still on Track — The $313.9 million project to widen seven miles of Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive remains on schedule to finish in July 2024, despite supply and labor challenges. Light traffic in 2021 enabled the project team to extend lane closures, the Virginia Department of Transportation says. [Reston Now]

Wren Stands Out Among Tysons Dining Spots — The Washington Post’s food critic calls Tysons “one of the least interesting places to find yourself for a meal,” but Wren is an exception. The Japanese restaurant-bar, which opened in The Watermark Hotel in September, earns praise for its artfully crafted food and interest in providing a personal experience for both guests and staff. [The Washington Post]

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Morning Notes

The Lofts at Park Crest apartments after snow (photo by Tripp Piot)

Winter Weather Advisory in Effect — “The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory in effect from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 20. Snow accumulations of up to two inches with locally higher amounts around three inches are possible, which could impact the Thursday morning commute.” [Fairfax County Emergency]

Tysons Vaccine Site Delays Opening — The Tysons Community Vaccination Center will open late today (Thursday) due to this morning’s expected winter weather. The site will operate from noon to 5 p.m., and anyone whose appointment has been affected by the change in hours can walk in to get a vaccination today. [Fairfax County Health Department/Twitter]

Police Identify Suspect in Cold-Case Murders — Fairfax County and Prince George’s police believe a man currently serving life in prison for a 2002 murder was behind two decades-old, unsolved crimes. Officials say Charles Helem confessed to killing a woman in Mount Rainer in 2002 and gave details about a 1987 Herndon murder that only the killer would know. [WTOP]

Food Left on Stove Starts McLean Fire — Two adults were displaced by a house fire that occurred around noon on Sunday (Jan. 16) in the 2000 block of Great Falls Street. Investigators determined that the fire was started by food left on a stove burner that ignited cooking oil and “nearby combustibles,” resulting in $93,750 in damages. [FCFRD]

Inova to Close Covid Testing Site — “Due to decreased volume in appointments at Inova’s Vehicle-Side COVID-19 Testing Center – Falls Church, the testing site will close on Fri, Jan 21. The testing site will remain open Wed, Jan 19 – Fri, Jan 21, 8am-2pm for symptomatic patients with appointments.” [Inova Health/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Fairfax County Police Bust International Burglary Ring — “The pattern was quickly becoming familiar to Fairfax County police: an expensive home; Asian or Middle Eastern residents; a rear door or window smashed; and jewelry and luxury goods taken but expensive electronics left untouched.” [The Washington Post]

I-66 Lane Closures in Vienna Start Tomorrow — I-66 East will be reduced to a single travel lane approaching Cedar Lane in Vienna during overnight hours, starting at 10:30 p.m. tomorrow (Friday). Lasting until 5 a.m. Thursday (Jan. 20), the closures will allow workers to install bridge beams for a new access ramp to the future I-66 Express Lanes. [VDOT]

FCPS Turns to College Students for Substitute Teachers — Fairfax County Public Schools has opened substitute teaching positions to college students in a response to high vacancy rates. The school system’s substitute teacher fill rate is typically about 80%, but it has hovered around 70% during the pandemic, dropping to 55-60% during the current COVID-19 surge. [WTOP]

Original Fairfax County Chief Fire Marshal Dies — “It is with great sadness that the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department announce the passing of retired Fire Administrator, and first Chief Fire Marshal, Willis H. “Bill” Burton, Jr. Chief Burton passed away peacefully of natural causes, surrounded by family, on Sunday, January 9 at the age of 91.” [FCFRD]

Electoral Board Gets New Member — “Christopher P. Henzel was recently appointed and sworn in by the Fairfax Circuit Court as a member of the Fairfax County Electoral Board for a three-year term. He replaces Steve Hunt, whose term ended after serving eight years on the board.” [Fairfax County Government]

McLean Central Park Revision Meeting Set — “The public is invited to attend an information meeting on the McLean Central Park Development Concept plan on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held online so that members of the public can participate safely and conveniently from their homes.” [FCPA]

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Morning Notes

Police Investigate Reported Unlawful Filming — The Fairfax County Police Department is looking to identify a person of interest in the unlawful filming of a minor at the Surf N Suds laundromat at 5715 Columbia Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads. A teenage girl reported seeing a phone with a camera coming from the ceiling of the women’s bathroom around 7:50 p.m. on Dec. 12. [FCPD/Facebook]

Tysons Retail Enters New Phase of Development — “The face of the retail market in Tysons is changing. A series of new moves in the market, from longtime store closures to first-time openings to mall redevelopments, highlight how the Northern Virginia edge city is entering a new generation of its retail life cycle.” [Bisnow]

FCPS Criticizes Thomas Jefferson Admissions Bill — Fairfax County Public Schools denounced a bill proposed for the Virginia General Assembly’s upcoming session that challenges its new admissions process for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. FCPS says the legislation “rests on the fiction that any action taken to increase access for underserved or underprivileged groups is discrimination.” [FCPS]

The PARC to Host “Shop Local Saturday” Markets — “New Year, New Events! Join @CelebrateFFX, this Saturday, Jan. 15, for the 1st Shop Local Saturday Market of the year at The PARC in Tysons! This event is free to attend & will feature 25+ local business and makers who offer a variety of goods!” [Tysons Partnership/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Person Stabbed at Tysons Metro Station — An individual was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after a man reportedly stabbed them around 5:30 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 7) at the Tysons Metro station. Metro Transit Police officers responded to the incident, and Fairfax County police later arrested a man believed to be the suspect. [WTOP]

No Injuries in McLean House Fire — “At 10:43 pm last night, crews from #FCFRD and Arlington County Fire Department dispatched to house fire in 1500 block of Dominion Hill Ct, McLean. Units arrived to find home fully involved in fire. 2nd alarm requested. Fire out. All occupants safe. No reported injuries.” [FCFRD/Facebook]

Police Identify Serial Killer Victims — “The Fairfax County Police Department identified two badly decomposed bodies found in a large plastic container near a shopping cart on Dec. 15 in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County as a woman from Washington, D.C., and a woman from California, police officials said at a news conference Friday night.” [Patch]

FCPD Recovers Stolen Vehicles — Fairfax County police recovered two vehicles during traffic stops in late December that had been reported as stolen. One was found on I-495 at Arlington Boulevard on Dec. 30, and the other was obtained on Dec. 31 after the driver attempted to get out of a traffic stop on I-495 at Leesburg Pike by striking a police cruiser with his vehicle. [FCPD]

FCPS Survey on Next Superintendent Now Open — “Please weigh in by participating in the Superintendent Search Survey today. The survey allows FCPS parents/guardians, staff, high school students, and community members to share their thoughts on the leadership characteristics and qualities of the next superintendent.” [FCPS]

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