Postal worker is robbed at gunpoint in Middleburg

A postal delivery worker was robbed at gunpoint in Middleburg on Dec. 27 and locked inside his truck for about 15 minutes before a passerby heard him yelling and freed him, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said.

The 27-year-old contract worker arrived at the Middleburg post office on West Washington Street about 6 p.m. and was unloading his truck when he was approached by a masked man with a gun, authorities said. The gunman was accompanied by another man, they said.

The men took the postal worker’s cellphone and locked him inside the rear of the truck. Postal bags and other items were also stolen, authorities said.

The armed suspect was described as black, 5 feet 10 inches tall and with a medium build; he was wearing a mask and hood. The second suspect was described as white, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall and with a thin build.

The sheriff’s office is investigating the case with the Middleburg Police Department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Anyone with information is asked to call M. Bush, sheriff’s investigator, at 703-777-0475 or the 24-hour postal inspection hotline at 877-876-2455.

Sterling man is charged
in 2009 holiday break-ins

A Sterling man sought in several home burglaries in eastern Loudoun County on New Year’s Eve 2009 was arrested last week, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said.

Christian Saenz-Marcalaya, 19, is charged with five counts of burglary relating to home break-ins in the Potomac Falls area, the sheriff’s office said. Two juvenile accomplices are also suspected in the incidents, authorities said.

Five homes were entered in the Algonkian Parkway area between 11 p.m. Dec. 31, 2009, and 2 a.m. Jan. 1, 2010, while the residents were away, authorities said. Items taken from the homes included televisions, laptop computers, video game systems and a firearm, authorities said.

Saenz-Marcalaya was being held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center, the sheriff’s office said.

Loudoun to get $80,000
for watershed restoration

Loudoun County will receive an $80,000 grant for restoration of the Big Spring Branch watershed north of Leesburg, county officials said in a statement.

Loudoun is one of nearly three dozen localities and organizations selected to receive funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants program, which is administered through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The money will be used to improve watershed conditions in Big Spring Branch by planting trees. It will also fund stream and pond restoration projects and public education.

The project will be managed by the county’s water resources team within the Department of Building and Development.

Zoning administrator
to step down next month

Citing family reasons, Loudoun County Zoning Administrator Dan J. Schardein will leave his post at the end of February, county officials said in a statement.

Schardein came to Loudoun in February 2009 from Stafford County, where he worked for more than 20 years in zoning and economic development.

In Loudoun, Schardein administered and enforced the county’s zoning ordinances and headed the zoning administration division within the Department of Building and Development.

Schardein was a founding member and first president of the Virginia Association of Zoning Officials, the statement said.

— Compiled by Caitlin Gibson

and Maria Glod