Police Arrest Suspect in Centreville Carjacking

Police Arrest Suspect in Centreville Carjacking

Safety tips offered for exchanging merchandise with strangers.

Police detectives from the Fairfax County Police Department’s Major Crimes Bureau have charged a 25-year-old Maryland man in connection with a recent carjacking and abduction in Centreville.

On June 5 at 10:09 p.m., officers responded to the 14600 block of Seasons Drive, off Stone Road in Centreville, for a report of a carjacking. Police say the suspect had contacted the victims, both adult men, and expressed interest in buying a vehicle they’d listed for sale on Facebook Marketplace. 

The three people then made arrangements to meet at night in the dark. And that’s when things turned dicey.

According to police, “While the suspect was inspecting the vehicle’s interior, he told the victims to exit. They refused to [leave] the vehicle and a struggle ensued. The suspect fled the area prior to police arrival. One victim was treated for minor injuries at the scene.”

After conducting a thorough investigation and finding evidence at the scene, officers identified the suspect as the 25-year-old man of Maryland. They then charged him with one count each of carjacking and attempted carjacking, plus two counts of abduction by force/intimidation. He’s being held without bond in Fairfax County’s Adult Detention center and has a Sept. 9 court date.

Anyone with information about this event or who may have witnessed it is asked to call the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 5. Tips may also be submitted anonymously via Crime Solvers by phoning 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477) or going to http://www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org/

Use Safe-Exchange Zones for Online Purchases

Fairfax County police detectives would like to remind community members that several of the police district stations offer safe-exchange zones for online purchases. FCPD encourages buyers to use these zones to ensure the safety of both buyers and sellers. Below are some additional, safety tips to consider when buying and selling from online marketplaces:

* Always arrange to meet the seller/buyer in a safe, public location, such as a coffee shop, shopping center or police-station parking lot. Avoid secluded areas and don’t invite strangers to your home.

* Whenever possible, bring a friend or family member with you when meeting a seller/buyer. Having someone else present can deter potential scams or unsafe situations.

* Complete the transaction during daylight hours whenever possible. 

* Before finalizing the purchase, carefully inspect the item you’re interested in. Check to ensure it’s what you intended to purchase.

* If the seller/buyer seems suspicious, the item appears too good to be true, or you feel uncomfortable during the transaction, trust your instincts and consider walking away.

* Verify the seller’s identity: Before meeting, ask the seller/buyer for their name and contact information. Cross-reference this information with their social media profile or other online platforms to ensure they’re who they claim to be.

* Avoid sharing personal details such as your home address, phone number or social security number. Stick to exchanging essential information related to the transaction only.

* Avoid carrying large amounts of cash: For more expensive items, consider using secure payment methods such as PayPal or Venmo, which offer buyer protection.

* Be wary of sellers who insist on wire transfers or money orders as payment methods. These methods are often associated with scams and provide little to no recourse if something goes wrong, so avoid using them.

* If you encounter a suspicious seller or notice any fraudulent activity on Facebook Marketplace or any platform, report it to the platform’s support or customer service immediately. This helps protect other users from potential scams.

Safety is the priority when buying or selling on any online platform. By following these tips, people may reduce their risk of falling victim to scams and enjoy a safer shopping experience. For anyone with further questions or needing more assistance, contact your local district police station’s Crime Prevention Unit.