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Springfield man charged in sex crimes investigation

Fairfax County police say an arrest has been made as a result of an ongoing investigation conducted by detectives from the Child Exploitation Unit along with agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Washington.

Kenneth A. Brauckmann, 50, of the 7300 block of Calamo Street was arrested and charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, with coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity. It is alleged that Brauckmann was using online chat rooms to attempt to solicit and entice young girls for sex.

Fairfax County Police detectives would like to hear from anyone who might have information regarding this case, or any other case involving alleged child sexual exploitation. Anyone with information is asked to contact Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.

Fatal crash in Merrifield

Fairfax County police say that at around 7 a.m. on March 12, a pedestrian was attempting to cross Gallows Road at Belleforest Drive when he was struck by a 2010 Toyota Corolla in the roadway. The driver of the Corolla remained at the scene, police said. The pedestrian, 64-year-old Leroy Jewell of Falls Church, was transported to a local hospital, where he later died.

The crash remains under investigation. Police said speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash.

Reston townhouse fire causes $150,000 in damage

Fairfax firefighters responded to a townhouse fire at approximately 2:30 p.m. March 9 in Reston.

The single-family home is located in the 1200 block of Vintage Place.

Firefighters said they encountered smoke coming from three sides of the end townhouse unit, and fire in the basement upon their arrival. Firefighters brought the blaze under control in approximately 20 minutes. There was extensive damage in the basement and laundry room, and to the ceiling and flooring above. Fire officials said an upstairs smoke alarm alerted the lone occupant who escaped unharmed with his dog. Damage is estimated at $150,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire originated in the basement laundry room.

Alexandria house fire causes $105,000 in damage

Fairfax firefighters responded to a house fire at approximately 11 p.m. March 11 in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. The single-family house is located in the 6200 block of Driftwood Drive.

Firefighters said they encountered heavy smoke coming from the basement of the ranch-style home upon their arrival, and brought the fire under control in approximately 15 minutes. The single occupant was alerted by smoke and a sounding smoke alarm, called 911 and evacuated with his dog prior to firefighters arriving on the scene. A cat perished in the fire. The single occupant has been displaced. Damage is estimated at $105,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. An electrical panel in the basement caused the fire.

Fairfax County Police update online reporting system

Fairfax County police say online reporting is the quickest, most convenient way of documenting crime, and urge residents to take advantage of an updated online reporting system.

Although the police department has had online reporting capacity for almost a decade, they say a new, easier, more user-friendly system was installed in December 2013 and now is fully operational.

Police remind residents that no crime is too insignificant to report, and that often these figures and incidents are used by crime analysts to detect trends and insert proactive, preventive measures.

Police say residents can use the system to report crimes at any time, day or night. They will be notified of a report number and may use it for insurance purposes. If appropriate, an officer will notify and/or respond to the complainant.

To use the new updated online reporting system, go to:

— Gregg MacDonald