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Fatal crash in Oakton

Fairfax County Police are investigating an early morning crash on Monday that left one man dead.

Police said Trung Hieu Tran, 24, of Clifton was traveling east on Jermantown Road near Borge Street about 1:35 a.m. As he approached a curve, he failed to negotiate the turn and lost control of his 2006 Acura RSX Coupe. Police said the car traveled across a grass median and struck a tree, causing the vehicle to rotate and strike a second tree, where it came to rest.

Tran was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and later died. Speed appears to be a factor in the crash, according to police.

Fatal crash in Centreville A 20-year-old man is dead after a Nov. 20 crash with another vehicle.

Fairfax County Police said they responded around 2 p.m. to the report of a crash on Va. 28 at Old Centreville Road.

Police said a 1996 Ford station wagon, driven by a 16-year-old Centreville girl, was stopped at a red light in the westbound through lane of Old Centreville Road at Va. 28. When the light turned green, her car started moving into the intersection. A 2004 Chevrolet pickup truck, driven by 20-year-old Ronald Matthew Kendrick of Warrenton, was northbound on Va. 28, approaching the intersection of Old Centreville Road. The Chevrolet proceeded into the intersection against the red light and struck the front of the Ford. Police said the impact caused the Chevrolet pickup truck to rotate and flip.

According to police, Kendrick did not appear to be wearing his seat belt and was ejected from the pickup and landed in the roadway in front of it. He was taken by helicopter to Inova Fairfax Hospital and was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police said the 16-year-old female driver of the Ford station wagon and a 16-year-old female passenger received only minor injuries. Detectives are trying to determine if speed or alcohol were factors in the crash. The investigation is ongoing.

Criminal enterprise allegedly targeted region’s Hispanic community

A 25-count indictment was unsealed Nov. 22 in federal court charging five defendants — Rosita Vilchez, 39, of Lima, Peru; Armando Pino, 53, of Centreville; Edgar Vilchez, 38, of Manassas; Lorene Chittenden, 57, of Centreville; and Rocio Benavides, 28, of Manassas — with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud affecting a financial institution and operating a continuing financial crimes enterprise.

According to the indictment, between August 2005 and August 2007, the alleged conspiracy generated nearly $7.4 million in fraudulent proceeds.

The indictment alleges that Rosita Vilchez and her brother, Armando Pino, operated real estate firm Vilchez & Associates, title insurance company Pino Title, and the branch of a loan brokerage business, Mount Vernon Capital Corporation, in Manassas.

According to the indictment, the defendants and their co-conspirators submitted fraudulent loan documents that falsified their real estate clients’ income, employment, and assets so that they could obtain loans to buy property through Vilchez & Associates, which received commissions of as much as six percent of the selling price of every home. Many of these transactions involved loans that allegedly were originated fraudulently by Lorene Chittenden, a loan officer who, according to the indictment, received thousands of dollars in loan commissions as a result of the fraud.

The indictment also alleges that the defendants targeted Hispanic clients who were not proficient in spoken or written English and who therefore often were unable to read and were unaware of the false statements made on the loan documents submitted to the lenders on their behalf.

According to court filings, the fraudulent loan applications made it possible for the borrowers to qualify for loans they could not afford to repay. Most of the borrowers later lost their homes to foreclosure.

Rosita Vilchez originally was indicted on Sept. 6, 2012, and she remains a fugitive in Peru, according to the FBI. On Oct. 31 the FBI announced a reward of up to $6,000, for information leading directly to the location and arrest of Vilchez.

Shih tzu rescued from Franconia doing fine

Biscuit, the shih tzu-breed dog that survived on his own for more than two years in the Franconia community and was rescued by Fairfax County Animal Control Officer Enna Lugo, staff and volunteers of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter in April, has been adopted and is adjusting well to life in his new home, according to Fairfax County Animal Control officials.

According to animal control officials, after being rescued last April, Biscuit spent several months in foster care with Lugo and was eventually adopted by Faisal and Mary Ann Rashid of Oakton, and their two school-age children, Julia and Sam.

According to Mary Ann Rashid, Biscuit has become comfortable and even protective of his family over the past several months.

“He and I walk the kids to the bus every morning and he waits for them to come home,” she said.

Police report that Biscuit’s favorite activity is cuddling with the family during TV time and that he sleeps under the parents’ bed, much like he slept underneath a porch during his two years roaming free.

Lugo is thrilled with the match. “I can’t believe how much he’s bonded with his new family! He’s found the loving home we always wanted for him,” she said.

Police to enforce seat belt usage during holiday season

Motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts — beware. That is the message being sent by Fairfax County Police, who are participating in the “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement effort this holiday season to help save lives by cracking down on those who don’t buckle up.

Fairfax County Police say they are joining with other state and local law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates across the country to help save more lives by strongly enforcing seat-belt laws around the clock this holiday season.

U.S. Marshals arrest bomb threat suspect

U.S. Marshals have arrested a man suspected of making a bomb threat against the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

According to U.S. Marshal Robert Mathieson, William Wyatt Raum of Capitol Heights, Md., was wanted by the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office in connection with a bomb threat communicated earlier this month.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, on Oct. 29, the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center received a bomb threat from an unknown suspect. On Nov. 4, the Sheriff’s Office requested their deputy sheriff assigned to the U.S. Marshals Service’s fugitive task force to investigate the threat. U.S. Marshals said the investigation determined that Raum as the alleged offender.

The case was adopted by the U.S. Marshals task force located within the federal Eastern District of Virginia. At approximately 6 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, task force officers and Deputy U.S. Marshals located and apprehended Raum in an apartment complex located on Marlboro Pike in Capitol Heights. Raum was transported to the Prince George’s County Police Department and is awaiting extradition to Fairfax County.

Thanksgiving is busiest day for firefighters

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reminds residents that Thanksgiving Day is the busiest day for the fire service. More property damage and lives are lost in residential structure fires on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year. According to fire and rescue officials, the increase applies mostly to cooking fires in family homes. Nationwide, an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated average of 5 deaths, 25 injuries, and $121 million in property loss. Over the last several years, turkey fryer fires have contributed significantly to the increase in cooking fires. The use of turkey fryers by consumers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries and destruction of property.

The following safe cooking tips can help to make your holiday safer:

• Always use cooking equipment tested and approved by a recognized testing facility.

• Stay in the kitchen when you are frying or grilling food. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove.

• Keep anything that can catch fire — potholders, towels, or curtains away from the stovetop.

• Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove.

• Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.

• Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when cooking.

• When placing the turkey into the oven or turkey fryer, be extremely careful.

If having a fried turkey is a must for Thanksgiving, consider purchasing a prepared turkey from a commercial source. Supermarkets and restaurants accept orders for fried turkeys during the holiday season.