News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, December 6, 2010

This Week in Crime: A 'Biggs' Carjacking Arrest, a Not-So-Big Stabbing, and Jail Time in Last Year's Gold Burglaries

Bruce Delane Johnson.jpegA Reston man who goes by "Biggs" was arrested for carjacking following an exciting foot chase in scenic downtown Martinsburg, West Virginia. Wait, what?

A man wanted in connection with a Virginia carjacking was arrested Friday afternoon in Martinsburg after a foot chase through the downtown area, the Martinsburg Police Department said in a news release.

[The suspect], 31, also known as “Biggs,” of 2040 Winged Foot Court in Reston, Va., was wanted in Williams County, Va., on charges of carjacking, armed robbery and firearm violations in connection with a Nov. 26 incident, police said.

Martinsburg Police were helping U.S. Marshals search for [the suspect] when he was spotted walking in the area of West King and Raleigh streets, police said.

Patrolman A. Garcia and Detective Lt. G.B. Swartwood approached [the suspect], but he did not obey commands to stop and show identification, police said.

“The suspect then began to physically resist arrest and (flee),” the release said. “The suspect was pursued down John Street to Church Street, where he was apprehended” by Garcia and Swartwood.

[The suspect] at first provided a false name, but later said he was in fact the person that was wanted in Virginia, police said.
Closer to home, a Reston woman was arrested following a stabby sort of ending to the Thanksgiving weekend.
A woman was arrested for allegedly stabbing an acquaintance, a 37-year-old man, in the upper body after an altercation on Sunday, November 28 around 10:15 p.m. at a home in the 11800 block of Sunset Hills Road. Both the suspect and victim were transported to the hospital and treated for non life-threatening injuries. The suspect, 30, of 11800 Sunset Hills Road #212 in Reston, was charged with malicious wounding.
Hey, remember that time some burglars from New York (but not the Hamburglar) targeted Indians throughout the county in a series of gold burglaries, only Fairfax County royally screwed up their prosecution? Yeah, that was awesome, especially since the Feds were finally able to land jail time for one of the burglars.
A New York City woman who admitted being part of a ring that burglarized dozens of homes in Northern Virginia, specifically seeking gold and ignoring other valuables, was sentenced Friday to three years in federal prison.

Melinda M. Soto, 34, and her husband, Dagoberto Soto Ramirez, pleaded guilty in federal court in Alexandria to regularly traveling from New York to Fairfax and Loudoun counties, targeting homeowners with South Asian-sounding names. They admitted to burglarizing 37 homes and stealing nearly $600,000 worth of gold heirlooms between January and November of last year, when they were arrested along with a third alleged co-conspirator, Francisco Gray.

The cases against all three were thrown out by judges in Fairfax and Loudoun for lack of evidence, and Gray was deported to Peru. Federal authorities stepped in and indicted the trio in July.

The Sotos pleaded guilty in September to transporting stolen property across state lines. Gray has not been located.

Four of the victims spoke during the sentencing hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema. Raman Kumar told the judge that "our community still lives in fear" and that "the South Asian community is a victim of an economically motivated hate crime."

Soto then spoke publicly for the first time. "I'd like to say I'm sorry to all the victims and all the people that I hurt," she said, still wearing the purple streaks in her hair that captured the attention of some of the neighbors who saw her in the victimized communities. Soto admitted that she would knock on doors, make a phony sales pitch if someone was home, or go back to her car if no one answered and call the home to confirm no one was there.

Her husband and Gray then would break in and seek the gold items that had been handed down through generations of families, and which federal authorities Friday told the victims had been promptly melted down and sold after their removal.

The victims were not happy with the sentence. "Thirty-six months is nothing," said Jaya Sapre of Herndon, who said more than $25,000 worth of property, and a laptop containing all the photos of their children, was taken. "A hardcore criminal knows now, 'I can do something like this.' Thirty-six months is nothing for them."
A twenty-four year-old Reston resident was issued a summons for alleged shoplifting on Nov. 28 in the 400 block of Elden Street in Herndon.

Nine people were treated following a carbon monoxide leak in their Stone Wheel Drive apartment on November 29. A faulty furnace was identified as the culprit, so check those carbon monoxide detectors, kids.

And also some towels were stolen from a business in the 11600 block of Plaza America Drive, there are no words, etc., etc.


  1. How could this be true: "Gray was deported to Peru" AND this be true: "Gray has not been located"

    Either he was ordered deported and it never went through, or he has not been located because he was deported and is somewhere in Peru...

    Not a knock on Restonian - it's the way the birdcage liner reported it.

  2. "The cases against all three were thrown out by judges in Fairfax and Loudoun for lack of evidence, and Gray was deported to Peru. Federal authorities stepped in and indicted the trio in July."

    IF Gray was deported BEFORE federal authorities stepped in, then maybe said authorities contacted Peru to have him extradited and the Peruvian authorities can't locate him now.

  3. I'm confused and have lost interest in the story, but I now crave a Peruvian chicken dinner. Something like Edy's over in Bailey's, with the meat falling off the leg bone and the green and yellow sauces... but nearby. Any recommendations? From crime blotter to Yelp-like dining suggestions... is there anything Restonian can't do?


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