Undercover Operation Leads to Arrest of Two Armed Robbers
Major Crimes Bureau – Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau began investigating a robbery that occurred prior to 12 p.m. on May 7 in the parking lot of 6600 Springfield Mall. The victim arranged to meet the suspect through an online marketplace to purchase a tablet computer. When the victim arrived, the suspect entered the victim’s vehicle, displayed a firearm and took cash.
On May 9, a second robbery occurred in the 7500 block of Poinsettia Drive in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County. The victim arranged to purchase a cell phone through the same online marketplace. The victim met the man at 3:45 p.m. in a parking lot. The suspect attempted to enter the victim’s vehicle, but he was denied access. The victim got out of his car to conduct the sale. The suspect then displayed a firearm and took cash. He tried to steal the victim’s car by entering the running vehicle. For unknown reasons, the suspect left the victim’s car, got into an awaiting Toyota Prius, and left the area with a driver.
Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau and Organized Crime and Intelligence Bureau (OCIB) established a coordinated response and were able to link the two social media accounts utilized in both robberies. Through those accounts they were able to contact the offender and arrange an undercover purchase.
Yesterday, when the two suspects arrived at the predetermined location, OCIB detectives took Donavan Rice, 29, of Washington, D.C. and Ronnell Delonte Garris, 28, of Maryland into custody. Rice was found in possession of a stolen firearm. Preliminarily, detectives believe Garris drove Rice to both robberies.
Rice was charged with two counts of robbery with firearm, two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, carjacking, and felon in possession of a firearm. Garris was charged with two counts of robbery with a firearm. The men were taken to the Adult Detention Center and held without bond.
Victim advocates from our Major Crimes Bureau’s Victim Services Division have been assigned to these cases to ensure the victims are receiving appropriate resources and assistance.
Detectives would like to speak to anyone who may have information about this case or other similar cases. Those with information are asked to please call our Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 5. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), by text – Type “FCCS” plus tip to 847411, and by web – Click HERE. Download our Mobile tip411 App “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars if their information leads to an arrest. Those who wish for a detective to contact them, please leave contact information.
The Sully District, Mount Vernon District, Reston District, and West Springfield District stations offer exchange zones for the sale of online merchandise in their parking lots. If you are unable to conduct an exchange there, follow the safety tips below:
- Meet in a public place, never at home
- If someone is trying to rush you into meeting quickly – stop, consider if this is a setup
- Avoid meeting someone at night
- Bring a friend and let someone know your plans
- Only bring enough cash for the purchase or agree to pay via a cash app
- Trust your instincts, if someone feels off it probably is
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