For most restaurants with a carryout trade, more than 3,500 telephone calls in five days would be a dream. But for the Cavs Doro Italian Restaurant in Hybla Valley, those calls have been a nightmare.
Since Wednesday, the calls have poured in -- as many as four in a minute. Sometimes the line goes dead, sometimes there is heavy breathing, sometimes a male voice demands $5,000 or $2,000 and sometimes the voice threatens to kill Dmetrios Chronopoulos, owner of the restaurant at 7866 Richmond Highway.
Chronopoulos said yesterday the voice is "kind of familiar but I can't place it." A spokesman for the C&P Telephone Co. said the frequency of calls is "unusually high. The phone company put a tracer on the line last Friday but so far has been unable to pinpoint the source of the calls, the spokesman said.
"It's like looking for a needle in a haystack," the C&P official said. "We have not found out who it is yet but we will continue to try to gather information" for Fairfax County police investigators.
Chronopoulos said a phone company employee had said that some of the calls, which have come mostly at night, were made from a government office building in Washington. He said that police officers had taken some of the calls and had warned the caller that he could be arrested.
Restaurant manager Suzan Holmes, who has kept a minute-by-minute log of the calls that now number more than 3,500, said, "We probably lost $500 in carryout business over the weekend because of calls.
"We've picked our brains and can't think of anybody who is mad at us," she said.
Holmes said the last call had come at 10:17 p.m. Sunday night. "I'd like to think he's stopped but I'd still like to catch him," she said.