After murder, area shop owners fearful

WASHINGTON – A Friday afternoon robbery that left a jewelry store owner dead has made business owners in the Arlington neighborhood fearful.

Capital Jewelers at 3219 Columbia Pike was robbed at about 4 p.m. Friday. The shop owner was found dead.

Police have not released the name of the owner, but Desmond Wong, 25, tells The Washington Post that the man was his father, 52-year-old Tommy Wong of Herndon, Va.

“Right now, we’re so scared,” says Nichapa Thanomsing, an employee at Thai Square Restaurant next door to the jewelry shop. “Our customers are scared and don’t come to eat here.”

Thanomsing says the police cars in front have also taken away parking spaces.

Thanomsing says the restaurant was very quiet Saturday and Sunday because the sidewalk in front was covered in yellow police tape. Investigators were in and out of the crime scene.

Restaurant employees knew the victim and saw him regularly.

“He was really kind to us,” Thanomsing says.

Occasionally, restaurant employees would leave work at the same time as him and they’d say goodbye to one another.

A businessman, who gave his name as Amin, used to have an office directly above the jewelry store.

“My heart goes out to his family,” Amin says. “He’s a very nice guy. He used to park right next to me.”

He has since taken his business a few buildings to the east on Columbia Pike. What’s most unsettling, he says, is the time of the armed robbery Friday afternoon.

“It was disturbing – it was like 4 p.m.,” he says. “It’s kind of alarming to me and my wife is freaked out as well.”

Anyone with information about the suspect can call Arlington police at (703)228-4193 or email

WTOP’s Andrew Mollenbeck and Lacey Mason contributed to this report. Follow Andrew, Lacey and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)