Man Caught Stealing Checks from Church Mailbox

By Natatia Bledsoe, Fredericksburg Police Department public information officer

Fredericksburg Police Crime Report for July 31, 2014

Fredericksburg Police Crime Report for July 28, 2014.

Fredericksburg Police Crime Report for July 28, 2014.

LARCENY:

First Christian Church, 1501 Washington Ave, 7/30 4:00 p.m. A parishioner reported that she witnessed an unknown man stealing envelopes containing checks from the mailbox outside the church. An officer patrolling on Princess Anne Street later located a man matching the description of the suspect and detained him. The suspect led the officer to where he had stashed the stolen checks. Deshon Shelton, 27, of no fixed address was arrested for three counts of felony larceny and two counts of misdemeanor larceny. Shelton was incarcerated at the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond.

600 block Greenbrier Ct, 7/25 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. A resident reported that an unknown person stole his television and damaged a second one. Both TVs had been stored in an unsecured Uhaul truck in the parking lot. No suspects or witnesses at this time.

VANDALISM:

900 block Charles St, 7/28 – 7/30 11:00 a.m. The property owner reported that an unknown person spray painted graffiti on the rear of the building. No suspects or witnesses at this time.

1800 block Caroline St, 6/29 – 7/29 5:00 p.m. A property owner reported that an unknown person cut the locks securing site. No suspects or witnesses at this time.

ARRESTS:
Luis Garcia, 33, of Fredericksburg was arrested for public intoxication.

Washington Post: Fredericksburg is Undergoing a Renaissance

By Susan Larson

Washington Post writer  Jura Koncius said Fredericksburg is undergoing a "renaissance.'

Washington Post writer Jura Koncius said Fredericksburg is undergoing a “renaissance.’

Washington Post home and design writer Jura Koncius praised downtown Fredericksburg as an up and coming destination in her July 30 feature “Destination Design: Fredericksburg.”

“Fredericksburg might want to start hyping itself as Brooklyn on the Rappahannock,” Koncius wrote.  “After spending time in this small historic city 50 miles south of Washington, I can honestly say Fredericksburg, on a much smaller scale, is undergoing a renaissance not unlike that of Manhattan’s coolest borough.”

Koncius gave recognition to “entrepreneurial hipsters” for their businesses in downtown.  She included:

  • Wittingham, 1021 Caroline St.
  • Hooked, 1009 Princess Anne St.
  • Fraser Wood Elements, 820 Caroline St.
  • PONSHOP, 712 Caroline St.
  • Goolrick’s Modern Pharmacy, 901 Caroline St.
  • Colonial Cupcakes, 611 Caroline St.
  • Emporio,703 Caroline St.
  • When Pigs Fly, 1011 Caroline St.
  • LibertyTown Arts Workshop, 916 Liberty St.
  • Beck’s Antiques & Books, 708 Caroline St.
  • Carl’s Frozen Custard, 2200 Princess Anne St.
  • Foode, 1006 C/D Caroline St.
  • Fredericksburg Main Street Initiative

Recent stories confirm Koncius’ praise.  Five businesses will celebrate openings in Fredericksburg the first weekend in August.  FredXchange, a new nonprofit in town, is building a startup community in the region.

Read more:

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5 Businesses Opening this Weekend in Fredericksburg

By Susan Larson

Five businesses will celebrate openings in Fredericksburg this weekend.

Deutschland Downtown, a restaurant and deli at 411 William St. offering Bavarian and European cuisine, opens at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 31.  Owner Denise Antinori and her chef husband have been planning the restaurant since 2012, and selling their homemade bratwurst via a food truck in the meantime.  The restaurant will feature an outside beer garden.

Fraser Wood Elements at 820 Caroline St. in Fredericksburg.

Fraser Wood Elements at 820 Caroline St. in Fredericksburg.

Fraser Wood Elements, 820 Caroline St., hosts its Grand Opening celebration beginning at 5 p.m. Friday and continuing through Sunday.  They’ll have “giveaways, drawings and wood chips,” staff said on FacebookFraser Wood Elements provides reclaimed and recycled wood flooring, furniture and features for your home. The shop is open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily, or as posted.

Gabe’s celebrates its Grand Opening beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday with with a ribbon cutting  just before doors open.  The first 200 guests receive a free Gabe’s T-shirt. Free breakfast will be served, starting at 8 a.m. — while supplies last.  The party continues all day with giveaways and face painting for the kids.  Gabe’s is located in the Spotsylvania Crossing Shopping Center at 3501 Plank Rd. (Rt. 3) in Fredericksburg.  The discount retailer sells clothing, accessories, housewares and small electronics.  The company is based in Pa.  This is their second Virginia store.  Hours are 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday, and 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Huckleberry’s, a secondhand furniture and home decor store, opens Friday at 316 Forbes St. in the former Lane Auto Parts building.  Owners Robbie and Karen Pitts said they source their inventory from estate sales and independent sellers.  They plan to carry more upscale items. Huckleberry’s is open 10 a.m. – 5 p .m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Kickshaws Downtwon Market scavenger hunt card.

Kickshaws Downtown Market scavenger hunt card.

Kickshaw’s Downtown Market, 101 William St., will celebrate its recent opening with a Grand Opening weekend of special events.  The celebration begins Friday with a scavenger hunt.  The game card (pictured) is available in the store.  Locate all the clues, then return the card to the store for a prize Friday between 12 and 7 p.m. (Please, please, please do not share the answers on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram,” owner Kathy Craddock said.)   Saturday and Sunday events include cooking demonstrations, samples from vendors, gift basket raffles, and Alex and Lily’s Lemonade Stand to benefit the Fairy Godmother Project.

Related Stories:

Armed Robbery at Fredericksburg Apartment

By Natatia Bledsoe, Fredericksburg Police Department public information officer

Fredericksburg Police Crime Report for July 30, 2014

Fredericksburg Police Crime Report for July 28, 2014.

Fredericksburg Police Crime Report for July 28, 2014.

ROBBERY:

1100 Townsend Blvd, 7/30 1:45 a.m. The resident of an apartment, a 33-year-old male, reported that he answered a knock at his door and someone asking for his roommate by name. When he opened the door, three male subjects pushed their way inside and ordered him to the floor at gunpoint. They also forced his roommate, a 48-year-old male, out of the bedroom where he had been sleeping and then stole a quantity of cash that was inside the apartment. Two additional occupants of the apartment, 19-year-old female and a 22-year-old male, also witnessed the incident. The offenders were described as black males in their 20s, approximately 6’ and 175 pounds. One of the offenders had a mustache and was wearing a red baseball cap and a blue or black windbreaker. The offenders fled from the scene prior to police arrival. The investigation is ongoing.

BURGLARY:

Nader’s Grocery, 508 Caroline St, 7/29 3:30 a.m. The owner reported that an unknown person broke the glass in the front door, entered the business and stole merchandise. Surveillance video showed the suspect as a white male 18-21 years of age, approximately 5’9” and 140 pounds. He was wearing a white or light gray hooded sweatshirt with a zipper and dark colored pants. The investigation is ongoing.

VEHICLE TAMPERING:

Parking Garage, 600 Sophia St, 7/28 5:50 a.m. – 5:50 p.m. A patron reported that an unknown person entered her locked vehicle and pulled down the lower dashboard covers inside the car. Surveillance video showed a male subject using a tool to gain access to the vehicle. The investigation is ongoing.

LARCENY:

Walmart, 1800 Carl D Silver Pkwy, 7/29 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. A shopper reported that an unknown person stole her wallet from her cart inside the store. The victim’s credit cards were later used to make purchases at area stores. The investigation is ongoing.

VANDALISM:

Boys and Girls Club, 200 Gunnery Rd, 7/25 – 7/29 8:00 a.m. The director reported that an unknown person broke out the rear window of the club’s transport bus. No suspects or witnesses at this time.

200 block Morningside Dr, 7/28 – 7/29 9:15 a.m. A resident reported that an unknown person broke out the driver’s door window on her vehicle. No suspects or witnesses at this time.

Funland, 1351 Central Park Blvd, 7/29 12:30 p.m. An employee reported that an unknown person broke out a window on his vehicle. No suspects or witnesses at this time.

La Petite Auberge, 311 William St, 7/27 – 7/28 1:00 p.m. The owner reported that an unknown person spray painted graffiti on the transformer box at the rear of the business. No suspects or witnesses at this time.

ARRESTS:

Laqueta Webb, 21, of Fredericksburg was arrested on a warrant from King George charging her with assault and battery.

Ladonna Mason, 40, of Fredericksburg was arrested for shoplifting from CVS. Catherine Burt, 54, of Colonial Beach was arrested for trespassing.

Deangelo White, 24, of Fredericksburg was arrested on warrants from King George charging him with possession of a forged bank note and possession of marijuana.

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Family Displaced by Fire, Pets Perish

By Susan Larson 

Firefighters battle an early morning blaze at 306 Hunter St. in Fredericksburg.

Firefighters battle an early morning blaze at 306 Hunter St. in Fredericksburg.  Photo courtesy of the Fredericksburg Fire Department.

A Fredericksburg family has been displaced from their home following an early morning fire Wednesday, July 30.

“No injuries were reported to civilians or firefighters, but two family pets — one dog and one cat — did perish in the blaze, said Fredericksburg Deputy Fire Chief Mike Jones.

Fredericksburg Emergency Communications received the first 9-1-1 call at 12:20 a.m.

“Fredericksburg Fire Department units and one unit from Stafford County arrived at 306 Hunter St. and found the rear of the home well involved in flames, with fire extending into the living portion,” Jones said.  All family members had already evacuated the home.

“Due to the volume of fire, extensive checks were made to find any hidden areas of fire and make sure the roof and attic were extinguished,” Jones said. “This fire occurred at the same time as a fire in southern Stafford County.  Our area fire resources were taxed.”

The Fire Marshal’s Office of the Fredericksburg Fire Department determined the fire had originated on the rear porch of the structure. The cause is still under investigation.

The one-story single home with a half basement was constructed in 1939. It has an assessed value of about $130,000.  Damage is estimated in excess of $65,000. The occupants were leasing the property from the Pitts Estate.

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Help ‘Stuff the Bus’ for Spotsylvania Students

By Susan Larson

Stuff the Bus school supplies drive for Spotsylvania students is August 1, 2014.

Stuff the Bus school supplies drive for Spotsylvania students is August 1, 2014.

Parrish Learning Zone is hosting their second annual Stuff the Bus School Supplies Drive in partnership with Spotsylvania County Public Schools and UMW Athletics.

Supplies will be collected 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, outside the Southpoint Wal-Mart, 10001 Southpoint Pkwy., Fredericksburg.  Super Hits 95.9 will be broadcasting live from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

“As current and former public school teachers, we know firsthand there are many students in our area who can’t afford all of the school supplies required at the beginning of a new school year,” said Jay Parrish, owner of Parish Learning Zone. “The need for school supplies in Spotsylvania County is quite high.”

Supplies will be donated to the Spotsylvania County Public Schools Treasure House to be distributed throughout the county to students in need.  In 2013 the Spotsylvania Treasure House served about 700 homeless students and 2,000 students and family members in the county, Parrish said.

Parrish Learning Zone is a family and teacher owned tutoring service that provides K-12 customized tutoring and SAT Prep.

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Suspects Sought for Library Fire

By Susan Larson

Fredericksburg police are asking the public’s help to identify two young men pictured in surveillance at the time a fire was set.

Central Rappahannock Regional Library staff reported they found fire debris on the rear loading dock of the Library Services Distribution Center, 125 Olde Greenwich Dr., on July 25.

“There is evidence the fire had been purposely set,” said police spokesperson Natatia Bledsoe. Photos from a surveillance camera show two suspects who are believed to be involved in the incident.

Anyone with information about the identity of the individuals should contact Detective Patrick Lamb at 540-654-5740.

Police are seeking the people pictured for questioning in relation to a fire July 25 at the Library Services Distribution Center in Fredericksburg.

Police are seeking the people pictured for questioning in relation to a fire July 25 at the Library Services Distribution Center in Fredericksburg.

 

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FredXchange: Building a Startup Community in the Fredericksburg Region

By Susan Larson

Every Friday morning a growing number of people gather for coffee and conversation. It’s jokingly called Happy Hour, and the networking is more like a reunion of long-time friends. Conversations are so animated, it takes organizers several minutes to corral everyone to seats for the morning’s presentation.

This is FredXchange Open Coffee.

Center: FredXchange founders Christine Goodwin and Matt Armstrong with board member Matt Norris (far left) and family members.

Center: FredXchange founders Christine Goodwin and Matt Armstrong with board member Matt Norris (far left) and family members.

Just over a year ago, entrepreneurs Matt Armstrong and Christine Goodwin launched FredXchange from a desire to create the opportunity for people to live where they work. Their goal was to build an entrepreneurial community where people could share ideas, find moral support and barter resources.

“We had a deep, deep, deep sense of the problem, and for both of us it was unsatisfactory to be community members that weren’t trying to solve the problem,” Armstrong said. The problem? A majority of the Fredericksburg region’s talented human capital commute out of the region everyday.

“We have one of the largest –- if not the largest –- out commuting populations anywhere in the nation,” Armstrong said. “I know what’s its like to do that, and I feel the impact it takes on the quality of life in our community is unacceptable.”

He and Goodwin began brainstorming. They saw untapped potential. “Economically it made sense to me that we’re too dependent on the government and we need to diversify,” Armstrong said.

“We’re looking at a Fredericksburg that in many ways embodies an old economy. We can fight to protect that economy or we can lean into the future and transform our region so we remain relevant and a place where people can live.”

Goodwin had started her own company in 1999, on the eve of the dot-com bust.

“I managed to pry through for a couple years, but could never grow. I did not have resources I could access,” she said.

After ten years back in the corporate world, she realized the climate had changed. “The market for startups and the idea of a startup were more well socialized than in 1999,” Goodwin said. The Internet had helped, providing open source resources that help small businesses.

“When you look at the advances of technology, especially just in the last five years, what it means to be an economy went from being a country to a state to a local municipality to one person can create an economy.   Local businesses are the backbone of our economy nationally and locally,” she said.

The first big success for FredXchange came in January 2014, with the first Startup Weekend in Fredericksburg.

Startup Weekend is a global movement of business leaders and entrepreneurs helping others share ideas and start a business in 54 hours. January’s event helped launch, for example, Fredericksburg entrepreneur Adrian Silversmith’s company Sprelly, “a mobile eatery which specializes in gourmet Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches and crepes.”  Silversmith will be opening a brick and mortar location in the fall at 920 Caroline St. in Fredericksburg.

A second Startup Weekend is scheduled September 26 – 28, 2014. Registration is available online.

Germanna Community College has been a big supporter of FredXchange. “We’ve gotten this far down range because of their carte blanche participation,” Armstrong said. Germanna partnered with Startup Weekend and has launched a workshop series geared to entrepreneurs.

In its first year, FredXchange grew from two people to some 700 participating in more than 100 different meetups.  “Our big goal is to create critical mass quickly,” Goodwin said.

FredXchange meetups include:

  • Founder’s Ale, a 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. gathering of entrepreneurs and local startup business founders on the first Tuesday of every month at Capital Ale House 917 Caroline St., Fredericksburg.
  • FredDev, a 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. meetup geared toward developers and designers on the second Tuesday of every month at Deedod Studio, 3308 Bourbon St., Fredericksburg.
  • FxbgDesign, a 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. meetup for or local designers and creatives on the third Tuesday of every month in Studio 15 at LibertyTown Arts Workshop, 916 Liberty St., Fredericksburg.
  • FredX, a 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. discussion on building a sustainable startup community in the region on the fourth Tuesday of every month at Deedod Studio, 3308 Bourbon St., Fredericksburg.
  • Open Coffee, 8 – 9:30 a.m. every Friday at The Center, 1514 College Ave., Fredericksburg.

Goodwin said the Fredericksburg area is capable of transformation.  “If you’re starting a small business, you’re a startup. It’s easier to do when you have a community that can help you – a community that can point you toward resources and help you think differently about the business model you have, or your value proposition or where your customers are.”

“It’s great being in a room full of people that get it,” Goodwin said. “We have formidable lifestyle obstacles telling us not to change. But you don’t have to quit your job. You just have to know how to start.”  FredXchange provides opportunities to do just that  … and more.

For more information on FredXchange, visit these online resources:

Related Stories:

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Sales Tax Holiday for Back-to-School

By Susan Larson

Virginia's sales tax holiday for school supplies and clothing is Aug. 1 - 3, 2014.

Virginia’s sales tax holiday for school supplies and clothing is Aug. 1 – 3, 2014.

Parents can save money August 1 – 3 during Virginia’s 2014 back-to-school sales tax holiday.

During this three-day period (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), purchases of qualifying school supplies selling for $20 or less per item, and purchases of qualifying clothing and footwear selling for $100 or less per item will be exempt from sales tax, according to the Virginia Department of Taxation.  Online purchases are included.

The list of all eligible school supplies also says, “Items need not be intended for use in school or in connection with a school activity to be eligible for the exemption.”

Clothing eligible for the sales tax holiday does not include sporting equipment or footwear designed primarily for athletic activity or protective use, and not usually considered appropriate for everyday wear.

Guidelines for shoppers and retailers are available online.

Virginia’s other two sales tax holidays are for hurricane preparedness in May, and for energy-efficient appliances and water-saving items in October.

The first day of the 2014-15 school year is Tuesday, Sept. 2 in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford.

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Spotsylvania Arrest Report July 21 – 27

By Capt. Jeff Pearce

Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office badges.

Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office arrest report for  July 21 – 27, 2014.

Theft

On 7/27/14, Deputy Morris arrested Aurora Conners, 21 of Warrenton on an open warrant for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. The stolen vehicle was also recovered by Deputy Morris at Wilderness Campgrounds.

On 07/24/14, Deputy Baugh obtained a Grand Larceny arrest warrant for Terrell Lee, of Spotsylvania for Shoplifting at Kohl’s. Deputy Baugh arrested Terrell at his residence a short time later.

On 07/24/14, Deputy Collins obtained warrants for grand larceny and destruction of property for Darnell Bailey, 29 of Ruther Glen, after the stolen property was tracked to his residence. Deputy Collins arrested Darnell a short time later at his job.

On 07/22/14, Deputy Moore arrested Christopher Dempsey, 23 of Spotsylvania in the 400 Block of Hudgins Road for Fraud, Forgery, Petit Larceny, Uttering and Obtaining Money by False Pretenses.

On 07/21/14, Deputy Buccola released Yovanny Abreu, 22 of Culpeper on a summons for Shoplifting in the 10000 Block of Southpoint Parkway.

On 7/21/14, Deputy Lamont arrested and released Kyle Huffman on a summons for Shoplifting at Wal-Mart.

Assault

On 7/27/14, Deputy Hodges arrested Clarence Davis-Whyte, 19 of Spotsylvania for Assault and Battery. Also arrested was Gianini Toral, 19 of Spotsylvania for Obstructing a Legal Process. Markazha Washington, 18 of Spotsylvania was released on a summons for Obstruction. This occurred in the 11100 block of Sunburst Lane.

On 7/27/14, Deputy Tavarez arrested Heather Hughes, 33 of Orange for Assault and Battery on Towles Mill Rd.

On 07/22/14, Deputy Durbin arrested Chelsea Renee Cole, 21 of Spotsylvania in the 13000 Block of Fox Gate Drive for Assault and Battery.

DUI

On 7/27/14, Deputy Polliard arrested Kevin Pitt, 53 of New Port News for DUI, Refusal, and Driving Suspended on Jefferson Davis Hwy near Purvis Ford.

On 7/27/14, Deputy Woodard arrested Jerry Payne, 34 for DUI and Refusal in the area of Jefferson Davis Hwy and I-95.

On 7/26/14, Deputy Polliard arrested Isabela Francisco-Birbes, 25 of Fredericksburg for DUI and Refusal. The incident took place at Fas-Mart on Salem Church Rd.

Narcotics

On 7/27/14, Deputy Smeal arrested Michele Lynn, 36 of Culpeper for felony Distribution of Oxycodone.

On 7/27/14, Sergeant Assur arrested Raymond Harris, Jr., 24 of Stafford County for Possession of Marijuana and a felony Probation Violation from Prince William County. The arrest occurred pursuant to an investigation on Salem Church Rd.

On 7/27/14, Sgt. Wahl charged Christopher Hash, 22 of Danville and Tiffany Valvo, 22 of Fredericksburg with Possession of Marijuana at the Knights Inn.

On 7/26/14, Deputy Woodard charged Jackie Phommasy, 21 of Rhode Island with Possession of Marijuana at Country Inn and Suites.

On 7/26/14, Deputy Tavarez arrested Logan Drexler, 19 of Stafford for Possession of Marijuana, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, Unreasonable Refusal, and Expired Registration. The arrest stemmed from a traffic stop on Brock Rd.

On 7/26/14, Deputy Jones conducted a traffic stop at Courthouse Rd. and Courthouse Bypass for Defective Equipment. Timothy Carter, 21 of Spotsylvania and Justin Carter, 25 of Spotsylvania were both charged with Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute.

On 7/25/14, Sergeant Assur arrested Todd Schwartz, 23 of Stafford County for Possession of Marijuana and Drunk in Public.

On 7/25/14, Sergeant Assur arrested Reginald Silver, 18 of Spotsylvania for felony Possession of Cocaine resulting from a traffic stop on West Catharpin Rd.

On 7/25/14, Deputy Warren released Kevin Curtis, 25 of Arizona on a summons for Possession of Marijuana in the 10400 block of Heather Greens Circle.

On 7/23/14, Deputy Polliard arrested Hope Williams, 40 of Spotsylvania for Driving Suspended, Possession of Marijuana, False Identity to Law Enforcement, Identity Theft, Possession of Schedule I/II, an open warrant for Theft, and Obstruction of Justice on a traffic stop at Leavells Rd and Courthouse Rd.

On 7/22/14, Deputy Jones charged Johnnelle Perrin, 29 of Spotsylvania with Possession of Marijuana. The incident stemmed from a traffic stop at 5227 Jefferson Davis Hwy.

On 7/21/14, Deputy Woodard arrested Glen Lipscomb, Jr., 35 of Ruther Glen for Possession of Schedule I/II Narcotics. The incident stemmed from a traffic stop for defective equipment at Jefferson Davis Hwy. and Morris Rd.

Arrests

On 7/27/14, Deputy Smeal arrested Melissa Thurston, 21 of Spotsylvania for Public Intoxication at Holiday Inn Express in Thornburg.

On 7/26/14, Deputy Woodard charged Jeremy Corbin, 34 with Driving Revoked, Speeding, Possession of Marijuana and Receiving Stolen Property. The incident stemmed from a traffic stop at Plank Rd. and Brock Rd.

On 7/26/14, Sgt. Wahl arrested Mariah Rollins, 22 of Spotsylvania for felony Eluding and Reckless Driving in the area of Leavells Rd. and Oak Grove Dr.

On 7/24/14, Deputy Gerber and Deputy Samuels arrested Jesus Fuentes. Fuentes was wanted out of New York for a Parole violation on a weapons offense.

On 7/23/14, 1st Sgt. Harvey arrested Sheila Crichlow, 46 of Spotsylvania for Public Intoxication in the 500 block of Olde Greenwich Cir.

On 7/21/14, Deputy Hodges arrested Yolanda Quiroga, 18 of Spotsylvania for Public Intoxication on Corter Ave.

Remember your phone call or Text-A-Tip can make a difference.
1-800-928-5822 or 1-540-582-5822
www.spotsylvaniacrimesolvers.org
Text a tip: Text SEE911 to CRIMES (274637)

Editor’s Note:  Suspects are assumed innocent until proven guilty.

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