Arlington County police responded to an armed car theft and an armed assault near Pentagon City on Feb. 21. In one instance, the thief stole a man’s car and led police on a chase before entering Interstate 395 northbound toward D.C. at over 100 mph.
The two incidents are just the latest in a string of thefts and confrontations originating at parking garages in Pentagon City. As a result, police continue to warn residents to limit their distractions, park, lock and leave their cars quickly if they are using Pentagon City parking garages.
The first incident happened at about 10:25 p.m. Friday. A man was looking at his cellphone while parked in a garage on South Hayes Street when he heard a knock at the window. The driver looked up to see a man with a gun. He got out of the car and was confronted by the suspect, described as a black male, approximately 6 feet tall, who weighs 165-175 lbs.
The driver was assaulted during the confrontation. The suspect then ran off. The driver flagged down a police officer who was patrolling the area.
During the post-incident investigation, officers responded to another emergency call, this time originating at a garage on Army Navy Drive. In this instance, the suspect had taken a driver’s car after showing a gun and demanding his keys. The suspect took off in a black Honda Civic.
Officers found the suspect driving nearby and began to follow the car, but they did not maintain the pursuit due to concerns about a high-speed chase. The Honda was last seen running a red light and heading toward D.C. on I-395 at over 100 mph.
The robberies are part of a rash of car thefts and attempted thefts in the Pentagon City area since late January. Three other robberies and car jackings took place from Jan. 19 through Feb. 4. In two incidents, the suspect stole the victim’s car, and in another, their cellphone.
Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the county is investigating at least four of the reported thefts and assaults as being carried out by the same person due to similar descriptions of the suspect.
“We’re investigating them as a series with a single suspect,” she said. “We believe these are related cases.”
Savage said the county continues to devote additional resources to the parking garages and the Pentagon City area, but reminded residents and visitors to park in well-lit, high-traffic areas and limit their use of items that may distract them from their surroundings like cellphones and headphones.
“If you see something suspicious,” she said, “flag down an officer or call our emergency number.”
The emergency communications center’s number is 703-558-2222.
If you think you may have witnessed the car thefts or confrontations, Arlington police are asking that you call the Homicide/Robbery unit at 703-228-4243.