ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Capital Region, along with other major metropolitan areas across the country, is experiencing an increase in carjacking offenses. Since January 2020, the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit has investigated 18 reports of carjackings in the County. Eight of those cases have been solved with arrest or the identification of a suspect currently held in another jurisdiction. As part of our ongoing investigative efforts into these incidents, detectives are working collaboratively with regional law enforcement partners to identify trends and apprehend suspects.
The Department continues to deploy increased police resources, to include both visible and non-visible assets, in Crystal City and the surrounding neighborhoods to combat this crime trend. At approximately 4:40 p.m. on February 13, officers working in the area were dispatched to the 900 block of Army Navy Drive for the report of a suspicious unoccupied vehicle. The reporting party advised they had observed four subjects exit the vehicle, walk slowly through the parking lot, appearing to be casing vehicles. Using law enforcement resources, officers determined the vehicle had previously been reported stolen from a carjacking in Maryland. Officers established a perimeter and the occupants were taken into police custody as they returned to the vehicle. Jeremiah Diggs, 18, of Washington D.C. was found in possession of the vehicle’s key and was charged with Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. Two other occupants, an adult and juvenile, were charged with narcotics offenses.
Our efforts to prevent crime in Arlington County are enhanced by the active involvement of the community. If you observe suspicious behavior or are the victim of a crime, contact police immediately by calling the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222 or 911 in an emergency.
Method of Operation
Carjacking suspects often approach victims as they are exiting or sitting in their parked vehicles, brandish a firearm and demand the victim’s keys or property. In some cases, the suspects approach the victim on foot while in others, the suspects approach in a vehicle later determined to be stolen. Reported incidents in Arlington County have involved between one and four suspects.
The Department is engaging with community members and businesses in the area to share important crime and safety information. Additionally, the Department is deploying electronic signboards in various locations throughout the County as part of a high-visibility public awareness campaign.
Safety Tips and Crime Prevention Measures
Police are reminding the public to follow these safety tips:
- Exit your vehicle and continue to your destination promptly after parking
- Park in well-lit, high traffic areas.
- Be aware of your surroundings when entering and exiting your vehicle
- Limit your use of devices that may distract you, such as cell phones and headphones
- Don’t leave items unattended or visible in your vehicle
Read More: Additional Crime Prevention Tips