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Accidental death on VRE tracks in Burke

A Manassas woman was killed in Burke after being struck by a commuter train on Jan. 15.

Fairfax County police said that shortly after 7 a.m., officers were called to the Virginia Railway Express station at 10399 Premier Court in Burke for the report of a pedestrian who had been hit by a train.

Police said officers were met immediately by VRE officials who directed them to the scene.

Police said a preliminary investigation determined that a locomotive was traveling southbound en route from Washington, D.C., to Manassas. Police said conditions were foggy and dark and visibility was greatly reduced.

“As the train passed the Burke station and rounded a slight curve, the engineer saw a pedestrian walking across the tracks from left to right,” said police spokesman Don Gotthardt. “The engineer immediately applied the emergency brake and sounded the horn. The train slowed but hit the pedestrian in the middle of the southbound track.” Gotthardt said Danyelle Lynn Anderson, 22, of Manassas, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police urge residents to report ‘lost’ bird sightings

Fairfax County police are urging residents to report any sightings of Eared Grebe birds that they say may have been thrown off their migratory track due to recent frigid weather and mistakenly landed in Fairfax County.

Police say Animal Control officers have received several reports of “downed” birds and ask residents to be alert and aware of the issue.

Police say the birds have webbed feet and typically are birds that swim and fly, and are not accustomed to walking, so when they do they may appear wobbly or injured. Police are coordinating with local veterinarians and the Wildlife Rescue League for a humane relocation of the birds.

Anyone who thinks they may have seen any Eared Grebes should call the Fairfax County Animal Control Office at 703-691-4131.

Van set on fire in Annandale

Fairfax County firefighters responded to a vehicle fire at approximately 1:30 a.m. Jan. 10 in the Annandale area. Fire officials said neighbors discovered the blaze and called 911.

The vehicle was located in the 9200 block of Ashmeade Drive. Firefighters said they encountered a Honda Odyssey van on fire in a driveway and extinguished it upon arrival. There was minor damage to the nearby garage; however, fire officials said the house was cleared to be reoccupied. There were no injuries, and damage to the house is estimated at $8,000. The van was a complete loss. According to investigators, the fire was caused by a Molotov cocktail. The investigation continues.

Herndon bank robber suspect in custody

Herndon Police have a suspect in custody for a Dec. 27 bank robbery.

Police said that at approximately 2:30 p.m. Dec. 27, a man entered the Wells Fargo Bank at 1099 Elden St. in Herndon, jumped the counter and robbed a bank teller. During the course of the investigation, several tips were called in by the public after they had recognized the subject in bank security photos. Herndon Police Department detectives then were able to positively identify a suspect as 22-year-old Jonzel M. Bailey of Sterling. Police said a robbery warrant was been obtained and that Bailey has been located and taken into custody in Florida. He is awaiting extradition back to Virginia.

Police seek suspects in recent Chantilly theft cases

Fairfax County Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying suspects they say broke into a construction building and trailers in Chantilly and stole property.

Police say the incidents were reported to police around 6 a.m. Dec. 21.

Police said an investigation determined the suspects forced entry into the construction building and three trailers that were located in the 4300 block of Blue Spring Drive in Chantilly. It appears the incident occurred during the overnight hours the night before, according to police.

The suspects stole at least $15,000 in copper wire and caused about $60,000 in damage to the structures. Other items were taken from inside the trailers as well.

Anyone with information about these thefts is asked to contact Crime Solvers by phone at 866-411-8477.

Lorton townhouse fire

Fairfax County firefighters responded to a townhouse fire at approximately 9:15 a.m. Jan. 7 in Lorton. The single-family home is located at 8584 Enochs Drive.

Firefighters said they found smoke coming from two floors of the three-story middle unit townhouse upon their arrival, and quickly extinguished the fire. Firefighters performed extensive overhaul and salvage operations in the living room area. The single occupant escaped the home unharmed, fire officials said. The displaced occupant is being assisted by the Red Cross. There were no injuries. Damage is estimated at $60,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. A match discarded into a trash can caused the fire.

Police, FBI investigate Oakton bank robbery

Fairfax County police are investigating a bank robbery that took place in Oakton.

At approximately 11:30 a.m. Jan. 8, police said a man entered the BB&T Bank located at 2941 Chain Bridge Road. Police said the man approached a teller, handed the teller a note demanding money and implied a weapon, although no weapon was seen. An undisclosed amount of cash was handed over and the suspect fled the bank on foot. There were no injuries.

Police described the bank robber as black, and approximately 29 to 34 years old. He was between 5 feet 9 inches and 6 feet tall and wearing all dark clothing, they said.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of this bank robber. The FBI and the Fairfax County Police Department are investigating the robbery and request that anyone with information call the FBI at 202-278-2000 or Fairfax County police at 703-691-2131.

Annandale mortgage broker pleads guilty to fraud

Annandale mortgage broker Kil Seok Seo, 49, pleaded guilty in federal court Jan. 14 to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges in connection with his involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme.

Seo was indicted on Dec. 10, 2009, by a federal grand jury on charges related to a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders. Seo faces a maximum penalty of 32 years imprisonment, which includes a mandatory two-year term, when he is sentenced on April 3, 2014.

According to court records, Seo defrauded lenders by transferring titles to residential properties to the names of victims without their knowledge or consent and then opening home equity lines of credit in victims’ names, again without their knowledge or consent.

Court records state Seo and others then opened bank accounts in the victims’ names for the purpose of receiving the fraudulently obtained loan proceeds. As part of the scheme, Seo obtained from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles an identification card in the name of a victim, but with Seo’s photo. He used that fraudulent ID to take out a home equity loan in the victim’s name. In total, the scheme resulted in losses to lenders of nearly $900,000. Seo has lived in South Korea since 2009, and he was extradited to the U.S. in November 2013 to face the criminal charges contained in the 2009 indictment.

— Gregg MacDonald