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Morning Notes

FCPS to Highlight Need for Safe Gun Storage — “Fairfax County Public Schools will notify parents and guardians about Virginia’s new secure firearm storage law, why secure storage is essential, and other ways to prevent gun violence or seek help for a child who could be a threat to themselves or others. The communication will be sent in January and then annually before the start of each school year.” [Karl Frisch]

Lawsuit Accuses FCPD Officers of Sexual Assault and Complicity in Sex Trafficking — “The woman, who is referred to only as Jane Doe because she is a trafficking victim, alleges that the Fairfax County, Virginia, police department, including its former chief Edwin Roessler, knew that some officers were possibly participating in and protecting the ring, but allowed the officers to retire with full pensions rather than prosecute them.” [Reuters]

County Awarded for Mosaic Autonomous Shuttle — “The @fairfaxcounty Relay Shuttle project was presented the Fairfax County TAC Transportation Achievement Award on December 7, 2021. The award is given to the person or group that has made the most significant contribution during the year. The Relay project team accepted the award” [Virginia DRPT/Twitter]

Meet the Tysons Corner Center Santa — Tennessee resident Mike Graham has been serving as Santa at Tysons Corner Center for the past 34 years. He was first sent to the mall by a photo company that was looking for more Santas, and that initial appearance got such “a tremendous response” that the management team asked if he’d like to work with them exclusively. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

McLean 7-Eleven and Merrifield BMW Center Burglarized — Two men entered the 7-Eleven at 8110 Old Dominion Drive around 1:36 a.m. on Dec. 11, implied they had a weapon, and took property. Another commercial burglary was reported on Dec. 12 at the BMW Collison Center at 2730 Dorr Drive after someone forced their way into the business and took property around 10:30 a.m. [FCPD]

Winners of Vienna Holiday Lights Contest Announced — For the 2021 Light Up Vienna contest, first place in the business category as voted on by the town business liaison committee was split between Vienna Rexall Drug Center and Judd Tile. Public voters awarded the People’s Choice prize to Vienna Pet Spaw on Church Street, and 121 Casmar Street SE (also known as Casmar Street Lights) came out on top in the residents category. [Town of Vienna/Facebook]

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Pizza figured into a citizen’s unsettling encounter on the W&OD Trail in Vienna last week, as reported to police (via Heather Barnes/Unsplash)

On the eve of Election Day, the political agitation that has animated many a recent school board meeting, both locally and nationally, reportedly spilled out onto the streets of Vienna.

According to the Vienna Police Department’s latest weekly crime round-up, officers responded to the 500 block of Maple Avenue West at 3:39 p.m. last Monday (Nov. 1) after getting a report of a possible assault involving a business owner and political protestors.

Covering the week of Oct. 28 to Nov. 4, the report says witnesses told police that “a Virginia-based parents group” was behind the protest:

Officers responded to the report of a possible assault between political protestors and a business owner. The business owner advised that he got into a verbal altercation and was pushed by one of the protestors. Other witnesses advised that the rally was being held by a Virginia-based parents group and that the business owner pushed his way into their group and began verbally abusing them.

The report doesn’t contain any further details about what the group was protesting.

Last week, police also responded to a resident’s report that a driver “yelled derogatory remarks and made a profane gesture” at her children while they were waiting for their school bus.

The incident occurred around 7 a.m. on Wednesday (Nov. 3) at a bus stop on the corner of East Street and Hine Street SE.

That same day, another citizen reported an unnerving encounter that occurred between 8 and 8:44 p.m. on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail near the 100 block of Maple Avenue:

A citizen reported a suspicious event on the bike trail when a man repeatedly offered him a pizza and produced what appeared to be a gun when the citizen refused. The man then ran westbound on Maple Avenue. The citizen appeared to be emotionally disturbed but refused police assistance. Officers searched the area and found no one matching the description of the man the citizen described.

Photo via Heather Barnes/Unsplash

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Vienna police arrested a teenager from Maryland earlier this week when he reportedly attempted to steal a gun that he had agreed to purchase, only to be stopped when the seller drew another firearm.

According to the Town of Vienna Police Department, officers were dispatched to Vienna Arsenal (386 Maple Ave. E) at 4:08 p.m. on Wednesday (March 10) when they received a call about a robbery in progress.

The incident involved a citizen who had posted an online advertisement about a gun for sale and agreed to meet the responding buyer at the Maple Avenue gun shop in order to finish the transaction.

The exchange did not go as the seller planned, as detailed in the VPD’s weekly summary:

The citizen stated that the suspect picked up the gun, said he needed to get the money from his car and began to run away with the weapon. The citizen chased the man into the bank’s parking lot next door, drew his firearm, ordering the man to stop, and walked him back to where the incident occurred. The citizen held him until police arrived.

The VPD says that the suspect initially gave officers false information about his identity, but they later identified him as a 16-year-old juvenile from Maryland.

The suspect was transported to the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center, where he was charged with grand larceny and false identification.

“He was remanded to the custody of the staff, and the juvenile’s parents were notified,” Vienna police say.

Photo via Vienna Police Department/Facebook

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Vienna police are urging people to send in tips for their investigation of a burglary at a local gun store on Maple Avenue.

Deputy Chief of Police Dan Janickey told the Vienna Town Council last night that detectives are working “nonstop” on the case.

Janickey said that police showed up at the Vienna Arsenal (386 Maple Ave E.) right around when the store’s owner was checking on an alarm that sounded around 6 a.m. last Monday (March 2).

“We responded and found a forced entry into a second-story window where they were able to gain entry and steal approximately 25 guns,” he said.

The police department received some “useful information” through NextDoor, Janickey said, urging people to reach out to the police department if they have any information.

Janickey said that the police department is working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the store’s owner to determine what types and models of guns were stolen.

The Vienna Arsenal has alarm and camera systems, along with metal bars on its windows, he said.

People with any information about the case are asked to contact Detective Leroux at 703-255-6322 or email him at [email protected]

Image via Town of Vienna

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Fairfax County police said they recently arrested a woman for allegedly trespassing with a gun in a truck near the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station.

The incident happened shortly before 3 p.m. in the 2600 block of Prosperity Avenue yesterday (Thursday).

“The victim saw a woman inside of his truck and confronted her,” police said. “The woman displayed a gun then left the area and was found by officers a short distance away”

Police charged the 24-year-old woman from South Carolina with brandishing a firearm, concealed carry weapon violation and vehicle trespassing.

File photo

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Vienna police say a gun store along Maple Avenue was recently burglarized.

The incident happened at the Vienna Arsenal (386 Maple Ave E.) around 6 a.m. on Monday (March 2).

“Investigation revealed that the suspects forced entry into the establishment and stole approximately 25 firearms,” according to the press release.

Vienna Police Detectives and Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are investigating the case, the press release said.

People with any information about the case are asked to contact Detective Leroux at 703-255-6322 or email him at [email protected]

Image via Google Maps

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A McLean man linked to a neo-Nazi group has been sentenced for possessing firearms as a drug user and lying to buy a semiautomatic rifle.

Andrew Thomasberg, a 21-year-old who is a member of the Atomwaffen Division, purchased a semiautomatic rifle for a third party, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

“He transferred that firearm to that third party after purchasing it,” the press release said. “Thomasberg also possessed at least four firearms while unlawfully using controlled substances, including marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms and opium.”

Thomasberg pleaded guilty in November to possessing firearms while being an unlawful drug user and making a false statement in order to illegally purchase a firearm

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia announced today that he was sentenced to one year in prison.

More from the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia:

According to court documents and testimony, Thomasberg, who has a prior criminal conviction for a dangerous firearms offense, was associated with white supremacist organizations, such as Vanguard America, Atomwaffen Division, and Patriot Front.

In text message communications, while Thomasberg possessed firearms and was a regular drug user, he glorified racially motivated violence and referred to mass shooters as “saints.”

Additionally, Thomasberg informed law enforcement that only one day before he was arrested, he had submitted an application to join Patriot Front. Patriot Front is “a white supremacist group whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them alone.”

Photo via Joe Gratz/Flickr

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A McLean man linked to a neo-Nazi group pleaded guilty today (Tuesday) to possessing firearms as a drug user and lying to buy a semiautomatic rifle

Andrew Thomasberg, a 21-year-old who is a member of the Atomwaffen Division, is accused of purchasing a semiautomatic rifle for a third party, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

“He transferred that firearm to that third party after purchasing it,” the press release said. “Thomasberg also possessed at least four firearms while unlawfully using controlled substances, including marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms and opium.”

“In federal court in Alexandria on Friday, FBI Special Agent Shawn Matthews, who testified that his focus is domestic terrorism, said Thomasberg took part in the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017 with a neo-Nazi group called Vanguard America,” The Washington Post reported.

Thomasberg was arrested in September, according to The Washington Post story.

More from the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia:

“Lying to the FBI is a federal crime, and Thomasburg lied to hide an additional crime,” said Timothy R. Slater, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “The FBI works with our partners to take criminals possessing illegal firearms off the streets.”

According to court documents and testimony, Thomasberg has association with white supremacist organizations, such as Vanguard America and Atomwaffen Division.

Thomasberg pleaded guilty to making a material false statement in relation to the purchase of a firearm and to possessing firearms while being an unlawful user of or addicted to controlled substances…

Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Timothy R. Slater, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady accepted the plea. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony W. Mariano and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Walutes, Jr. are prosecuting the case.

Thomasberg will be sentenced on Feb. 28, 2020 and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Photo via Joe Gratz/Flickr

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Fairfax County police say a McLean man cleaning his gun may have accidentally injured his eye.

The incident occurred on the 6600 block of Holland Street near Langley High School yesterday (Tuesday) at 3:40 p.m, according to a recap:

A resident was cleaning his target rifle when his finger depressed the trigger, causing the gun to go off. Debris from the bullet bounced off the floor and lodged into his eye. The man was taken to the hospital and treated for his injuries. Charges will be determined pending consultation with the Office of the Commonwealth Attorney.

File photo

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A Maryland man picked up drug and weapon charges at a CVS Pharmacy in McLean, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

Police say the man was arrested for obtaining drugs by fraud, along with other charges, after calling in a fraudulent prescription.

According to the police report, the incident occurred at the McLean CVS (1452 Chain Bridge Road) on Sunday (May 19) morning:

A pharmacist received a fraudulent prescription and notified our officers. The man arrived to pick up his medicine and was arrested. A loaded handgun with an extended magazine was found concealed in his backpack. [The man] was charged with obtaining drugs by fraud, carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a loaded firearm in certain specified localities and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

Photo via Google Maps

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