Extra Patrols in Place for Holiday Shopping

As shoppers gear up for Black Friday Winchester Police are reminding you to not let your safety get lost in the shuffle. The police department will have extra patrols out as shoppers head to the stores Thanksgiving night and Black Friday. As you make your shopping list, make sure you’re checking it twice and include the following safety tips.Woman with Shopping Bags

  • Park in well-lit areas of store parking lots.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Lock your car doors.
  • Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.
  • Shop with a friend or group.
  • Place shopping bags in your trunk and do not leave packages visible in your car
  • Leave your purse at home to avoid purse snatchers and pickpockets. Carry your ID and credit cards in a front pocket. If giving up a purse is out of the question, choose one with a long strap that can be worn over your head and covered with a jacket for safety. Do not leave your purse in your car.
  • Be extra cautious when driving through parking lots and be aware of people who are walking to and from stores.

Winchester Police have received eight reports of car windows being smashed in and purses stolen since November 3rd. Officers are stressing the importance of taking your valuables out of your car. Residents are reminded to immediately report any suspicious activity or persons to the police department by calling the non-emergency number at 540-662-4131.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for our area on Wednesday, November 26th from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Drivers are reminded to be extra careful as you head out and to allow extra time to get to your destination.

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

Incident with Suicidal Male in Parking Garage Ends Peacefully

Winchester Police responded to the George Washington Autopark located at 131 North Kent Street just after 11 a.m. for a suicidal male. A 55-year-old male from Winchester was on the fifth floor of the parking garage and was threatening suicide. Kent Street was blocked at Piccadilly Street while members of the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) and SWAT Team responded to the scene. A Winchester Police Officer and Winchester City Sheriff’s Deputy who are trained in crisis negotiation were the first units who responded to the scene and started negotiations.

The Winchester Police Department’s SWAT Team utilized less-lethal means to subdue the male and take him into custody. The male was taken into custody at 12:48 p.m. and transported to Winchester Medical Center for a mental health evaluation. The male has active warrants for grand larceny and a capias.

Don’t Leave Valuables in Plain Sight

Detectives Investigate Three Reports of Smashed Windows and Purses Taken

The Winchester Police Department has received three reports of car windows being busted out and purses, that were left in plain sight, being stolen from the vehicles. All three incidents happened in parking lots outside of businesses in the 100 block of Tevis Street. On November 3rd around 4 p.m. a victim reported that she discovered her front passenger window had been shattered and her purse was missing. The incident happened between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The second report was received on November 8th just before 4:30 p.m. The victim in this case reported that between 3 p.m. and 4:23 p.m. someone had broken out the passenger side front window of the vehicle and taken a purse.

The third incident was reported on November 11th at 2 p.m. Again, in this incident the victim found the front passenger side window smashed and a purse was taken.

All of these incidents remain under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division. Lock Doors

In all of these incidents purses were left inside of the vehicles in plain sight. Residents are reminded to not leave any valuables inside of their vehicles. You are reminded to lock your valuables in your trunk or leave them at home.

Anyone with information on these incidents or a possible suspect in these cases is asked to call the Crime Solvers HOTLINE at 540-665-TIPS.

If you are a victim of this crime you are urged to file a police report no matter how small the loss may be.

Woodmen of the World and Jones Funeral Home Make Donation to Honor Guards

On Monday, October 27th Woodmen of the World Chapter 34 and Jones Funeral Home made a generous donation to the honor guards of the Winchester Police Department and Winchester Fire and Rescue Department. The donation will allow the honor guards to purchase equipment to include flags, flag poles, flag pole stands, and harnesses. Representatives from the organization presented checks to both honor guards. The honor guards are available to present colors at community events, high profile special events, funerals for an officer who is killed in the line of duty, memorial services, and parades. To request the Winchester Police Department’s Honor Guard to attend an event visit http://winchesterpolice.org/honor-guard.

Woodmen of the World Donation2

Woodmen of the World Donation3

 

Halloween Safety Tips

Safety is the number one priority as children of all ages head out trick-or-treating on Friday for Halloween. The Winchester Police Department will have extra patrols on the streets of Winchester to ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters. Officers want to remind parents of several safety tips they should keep in mind as their children head out trick-or-treating.

Costumes should be:

  • Light colored or have reflective tape.
  • Flame-retardant so little ones aren’t in danger near candlelit jack-o-lanterns.
  • Short to prevent trips or falls.

Costumes should not:

  • Include masks; instead use makeup. Masks can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Include fake weapons.

Trick-or-treaters should:

  • Be accompanied by an adult.
  • Carry a glow stick or flashlight.
  • Stay within the neighborhood.
  • Never enter a stranger’s house or car.
  • Watch for traffic.
  • Look both ways, and only cross at corners or crosswalks, not between parked cars.
  • Only accept wrapped or packaged candy.
  • Go only to houses with exterior lights on.

Residents welcoming trick-or-treaters should:

  • Turn on your porch light.
  • Move lit jack-o-lanterns off the porch as they could pose a safety risk to children.
  • Remove any objects from the yard that may present a hazard.

Trick-or-treating will take place in the City of Winchester on Friday, October 31st. Winchester Police recommend your children conclude trick-or-treating by 9 p.m. Residents are reminded to drive slowly all evening and look for children crossing the road. If you see any suspicious activity, report it immediately to the police department.

The Winchester Police Department is teaming up with the Winchester Fire and Rescue Department for a Public Safety Truck-or-Treat on Wednesday, October 29th from 6 to 8 p.m. at Friendship Fire Company on North Pleasant Valley Road. The event will include games, prizes, and fun for everyone.

As the weekend approaches the Police Department is also reminding residents who may be going to Halloween parties to call a cab or designate a driver if you will be drinking.

We wish everyone a safe Halloween!

Trunk or Treat 2014

Surveillance Video Captures Shoplifting Suspect

The Winchester Police Department is investigating a shoplifting from Skyline Paintball and Laser Tag. On October 17th around 4:30 p.m. officers responded to the 2000 block of South Loudoun Street in reference to a paintball gun that was stolen. Video surveillance shows a male suspect come into the front door, take a paintball gun off the shelf, and then run outside to his vehicle and drive away. The incident happened on October 14th. The suspect is described as a white male, with dark hair and facial hair driving a golden or tan Chevy Trail Blazer.    Skyline Paintball2 Skyline Paintball1

Anyone with information on the suspect in these pictures is asked to call the Crime Solvers HOTLINE at 540-665-TIPS. Individuals who are able to provide information that leads to an arrest in the case could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.Skyline Paintball3

Phone Scams Target Local Residents

The Winchester Police Department is educating local residents on two phone scams targeting people in our area. On October 16th an officer responded to a call in reference to a phone scam. The victim reported receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to be from Criminal Investigations with the Internal Revenue Service. The victim was told she would be arrested for not properly filing her taxes. The caller told her that in order to avoid being arrested, she needed to wire $1,000. The victim did not comply. If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS you should hang up and call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.Phone Scam Pic

On October 6th a Winchester resident called the Winchester Police Department to report being a victim of fraud. The individual stated he received a phone call from a person claiming to be his grandson who was supposedly involved in an accident. The victim says the caller sounded just like his grandson. The caller told the victim to send $1,300 to bail him out of jail. The victim got a money gram and sent the money to an individual in the Dominican Republic.

There are a number of variations of these scams and fraudsters put a lot of time into being convincing. The Winchester Police Department reminds residents of these tips to prevent from becoming a victim of phone scams:

  •  If you receive a call, and have caller ID, look at your caller ID. If it is a number that you don’t recognize or if the number is blocked it is best not to pick up the phone. If it’s someone who needs to get in touch with you they will leave a message.
  • Be suspicious of any request for you to wire money or load money onto a prepaid card.
  • Never give your personal information to anyone over the phone.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you believe you have been a victim of a phone scam contact the police department to make a report.

 

Arrest Made in Vandalism at Taylor Hotel

Winchester Police have arrested a man in connection with vandalism found at Taylor Hotel in August, after forensic evidence linked the suspect to the crime. On October 14th around 11 a.m. officers arrested Dale Marchant, 21, of Winchester and charged him with vandalism. Marchant is charged with spray painting several swastikas outside of the Cajun Experience at the Taylor Hotel on North Loudoun Street. Marchant was taken to the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center where he was given a $2,000 secured bond.

Dale Marchant

Dale Marchant

Bank Robbery Suspect Arrested

A 24-year-old Winchester man was arrested early Friday morning in connection with two bank robberies at United Bank. Robert Austin Scott was taken into custody around 7:30 Friday morning. He was arrested after the Winchester Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) executed a search warrant, earlier in the morning, at a residence in the 700 block of Pennsylvania Avenue. A firearm and clothing were taken from the residence. A second search warrant was executed by detectives on a truck at the residence and clothing was taken. Scott is charged with two counts of armed robbery and use of a firearm in commission of a felony. An investigation led detectives with the Criminal Investigations Division to Scott. He was taken to the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center and is being held without bond.

Robert Austin Scott

Robert Austin Scott

Scott is charged with robbing United Bank at 2252 Valley Avenue in Winchester on September 18th and again on October 6th. During both of the robberies he displayed a gun and demanded money.