News from around the region

Maryland

Pr. George’s to move

police headquarters

The Prince George’s County Council on Tuesday voted 7 to 1, with one abstention, to approve a two-year, $4.9 million lease to move the county police department’s headquarters from an aging facility in Palmer Park to a more modern complex in Upper Marlboro, despite concerns from some council members about the cost of the deal.

The police training academy in Lanham also would relocate to the new site.

The administration of County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) anticipates buying the leased property on Presidential Parkway, owned by developer Dean Morehouse, for $25 million in the next few months.

Council member Mary A. Lehman (D-Laurel) cast the dissenting vote.

— Miranda S. Spivack

THE DISTRICT

Council focusing on routine disclosures

District legislators in the coming weeks will start making a more thorough and public effort to disclose gifts, including invitations to banquets and other events.

The D.C. Council’s top lawyer, V. David Zvenyach, told lawmakers at a breakfast meeting Tuesday that council rules passed last year required them to disclose all gifts in excess of $50, including tickets to events they might consider part of their council duties.

Monthly disclosures, he said, would be made to the Office of the General Counsel and eventually be posted on the council’s Web site. “My hope is that we’re going to get really good [at disclosing gifts] in June, and we’ll start posting these things in July,” Zvenyach said Tuesday.

The council’s public disclosure of gifts has historically been spotty. In the most recent round of personal financial disclosures, which were due last month, only Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) and Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) indicated they had received gifts in 2012.

The suggestion Tuesday that members need to do a more thorough job of reporting their gifts encountered some resistance. About event tickets, Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) said, “I consider them a donation to the council.” Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) suggested that the value of those gifts might not match the ticket price: “It can be like a $600 ticket, but you just show up and shake some hands” without actually eating dinner.

— Mike DeBonis

VIRGINIA

UPS worker charged with embezzlement

A 31-year-old man who worked at a United Parcel Service facility in Springfield was arrested last month and accused of stealing 60 Apple products from shipping packages, Fairfax County police said Tuesday.

Dumfries resident Stephen Owens, who worked as a sorter, was charged with embezzlement, police said.

Police said an investigation was launched after several customers called to report missing deliveries of Apple products and the complaints were traced to the UPS facility on Alban Road in Springfield.

The suspect was apparently hiding the products in his pants “or otherwise concealing them” before sneaking them out of the facility, police said. They said he was working with others to sell the goods online at bargain prices.

The scam involved MacBooks, iPhones, iPods and iPads that had been shipped directly from Apple, police said.

— Trishula Patel

Four arrested

in home invasion

Four people have been arrested in an April 16 home invasion robbery in which a family of five was held captive in a home in Taylorstown, Va., authorities said Tuesday.

Roman S. Monzon, Mark A. Hoy Jr. and John A. Dey, all 19, and an unnamed fourth suspect who was a juvenile at the time of the robbery but is now 18, all face charges stemming from the robbery, according to the Loudoun County sheriff’s office.

The home invasion occurred on Loyalty Road near Taylorstown, a rural community near the county line with Frederick. A resident went to answer the door about 11 a.m., and a man claimed to have a delivery before forcing his way into the house along with three others, authorities said.

The robbers displayed a gun, and the family of five, including two small children, were held against their will as the robbers removed items from the home, according to the sheriff’s office.

No one was hurt during the robbery, authorities said.

— Caitlin Gibson

Officials identify Herndon fire victim

A man who died in a fire in a Herndon home last week has been identified as Richard Jacobi, 71, Fairfax County fire officials said.

Firefighters responded to a call for a garage fire in the 12800 block of Willow Glen Court shortly before 11 p.m. May 29, officials said. They found the garage engulfed in flames upon arrival.

After dousing the flames, firefighters discovered the badly burned body of a man, officials said. Firefighters rescued 25 of the family’s 37 cats from the home. The rest of the cats were missing.

— Justin Jouvenal

 
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