May 30, 2014
THE DISTRICT
Former city worker admits stealing money

A former employee of the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue has admitted using personal financial details she acquired at work to steal more than $114,000 from the account of an Armed Forces Retirement Home resident, court files show.

Catyondia Ballard, 48, used money she embezzled while a city tax employee to pay the mortgage on her home in Upper Marlboro, according to her plea Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Ballard electronically debited funds from the victim’s credit union to the loan company that held her mortgage. She is to be sentenced for wire fraud in August.

— Mary Pat Flaherty

VIRGINIA
Man charged after memorial signs found

When a sign memorializing a 7-year-old victim of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School was stolen in Connecticut this month, a reporter in Los Angeles posted an open letter calling out the thief.

The reporter, Chez Pazienza, said someone phoned him to explain his theory that the massacre never happened and to say he had taken the Connecticut sign and one for another victim.

Pazienza demanded proof, and he said he received e-mailed pictures of the signs in a living room.

Pazienza alerted authorities, touching off an investigation that led to the arrest Friday of Andrew Truelove, 28, in the room he rented in the 400 block of Fillmore Street in Herndon, police there said. Police added that signs were recovered.

Truelove is being held in the Fairfax County jail.

— Justin Jouvenal

Purses, wallets taken from shopping carts

Thieves at a local mall have been snatching purses and wallets from shopping carts, Alexandria police said.

Police said at least six such thefts have occurred in the past two weeks at Potomac Yard Center, and they offered this advice: Don’t leave purses or wallets in shopping carts unattended while browsing.

— Martin Weil

maryland
Suspect arrested in attack on local actor

Montgomery County police said they have arrested a suspect in the robbery and beating of a local actor. Police identified the suspect as Elijah Jeremiah Smith, 18, of the District.

Police did name the victim, but friends and associates identified him as Frank Britton, who was assaulted in Silver Spring early Tuesday while leaving the opening night of Forum Theatre’s “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.”

— Martin Weil

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