Wednesday, June 29, 2016

SCAM ALERT - 6-28-16

Abingdon Police Department 


Farris Funeral Service has received several calls from the public regarding a scam linked to their number. The public has informed them that they have received calls from a number showing on caller ID as Farris Funeral Service, and when they answer there is a recorded voice stating “we wish to talk with the person about their credit rating.” The number being used is 276-628-7983, which is not the listed number for Farris Funeral Service.

Farris has contacted BVU and made them aware of the situation. They wanted the public to know that they would never use recorded messages, nor call to discuss personal matters such as credit ratings. Also, they apologize to those who may have received such scam calls attached to their name.

The APD reminds people NEVER to provide any information, such as bank accounts, credit cards, your social security number or birth date, to these callers. If you have a phone provider that will allow you to block these numbers, please do so to prevent future calls. Please notify your family, friends, and neighbors about these scams so that no one falls victim to these predators.


Monday, June 27, 2016

2016 Battle of the Badges Blood Drive


Blood Assurance Hosts Second Annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive

On Friday, July 29, 2016, members of the Abingdon Police Department, Abingdon Fire Department, Washington County, VA Sheriff’s Office, and Washington County Life Saving Crew are joining forces for the Second Annual Battle of the Badges blood drive. A trophy will be awarded to the department with the most blood donors.  The drive will be held in the parking lot of the Abingdon Police Department at 425 West Main Street, Abingdon, from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

“The Abingdon Police Department is excited to host this event again this year,” said Police Chief Tony Sullivan. “Our hopes are to have over 100 donors, to break our donation record from last year.  The need for blood is constant in our local health care systems, and so is the need for donations. Each day, our local hospitals use blood and blood components to treat patients, in both emergency situations and in normal medical procedures. Transfusions of blood and blood components are an essential part of healthcare treatment. Because each blood donation provides three different blood components, each with its own role in treating patients, your donation can help up to three different people.  There is not greater way to make an impact on your community than to donate a gift that can not only change a life, but save a life. With our goal of 100 donors this year, we have a chance to have a direct impact on the lives of 300 people in our region.  I encourage you to stop by on Friday, July 29th and help us break the 100 unit mark!”
Blood Assurance relies on all blood types, but especially those with type O-negative blood as it is the universal blood type. O-negative blood is given to patients in an emergency situation when their own blood type is unknown.

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. The process usually takes about 30 minutes and includes a complimentary snack and a special “Battle of the Badges” t-shirt. Donors should eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of fluids -avoiding caffeine- prior to giving blood.  

The blood drive is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to come donate in the name of your favorite public service agency. 


Friday, June 24, 2016

Hit and Run Traffic Crash on 6-24-16

Abingdon Police Department

For Immediate Release

At approximately 12:26 AM on Friday, June 24, 2016, Abingdon Police were dispatched to the 100 block of West Main Street in reference to a hit and run traffic crash with injuries. Upon arrival, officers observed a vehicle that had been involved in a rear-end crash caused by another vehicle, that the witness stated left the scene. The traffic crash happened at the intersection of Main Street and Cummings Street.

Abingdon Police are looking for a newer model silver Toyota Tacoma, possibly driven by a male subject wearing a neck brace. The first two letters of the Virginia license plate are thought to be “PE.” The vehicle fled the scene eastbound on Main Street. If you have any information as to the identity of the suspected driver or you witnessed this incident, please contact the Abingdon Police Department at 276-628-3111 or the Crime Tip Line at 1-844-200-8477.

Update on Hit and Run on 6-24-16

The driver, Curtis Tuggle, 54, of Saltville, Virginia, was apprehended and confessed to the hit and run crash. He was charged with felony hit and run, in violation of § 46.2-894 of the Code of Virginia. Tuggle was transported to the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail, where he was released on $5,000 unsecured bond.

The passenger, Steven Allison, 46, of Saltville, Virginia, was also charged with Fail to Report Hit and Run, in violation of § 46.2-895 of the Code of Virginia. He was transported to the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail, where he was released on $3,000 unsecured bond. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Abingdon Police Department



As you plan your Independence Day celebrations, it is important to understand the laws regulating firework use in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Abingdon Police Department is providing a list of permitted fireworks and safety tips. 

o Sparklers
o Fountains
o Pharaoh’s serpents
o Pinwheels
o Whirligigs

o Firecrackers 
o Skyrockets 
o Bottle rockets
o Roman candles
o Torpedoes
o Any fireworks which explode, travel laterally, rise into the air, or fire projectiles into the air.

Safety Tips
o When lighting fireworks - Set family boundaries. Have a designated adult light all fireworks. Use eye protection. Light one at a time, move away quickly, and keep at a safe distance until the display is finished. To prevent injuries, never throw fireworks and never hold fireworks in your hand. Never re-light a “dud” firework.
o Always read and follow the directions on the label. 
o Only use fireworks outdoors and away from anything flammable.
o Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
o Use fireworks in parking lots, driveways, and gravel/dirt areas.
o Do not use under the influence of alcohol
o Have a rake or shovel as well as a bucket of water, wet towel, and a garden hose nearby.
o Monitor the area for several hours after using fireworks.

Be mindful of neighbors, especially veterans. 
o For military veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), multicolor pyrotechnics, and unexpected blasts can trigger memories of combat and induce anxiety. 
o Please advise neighbors and veterans in your area of firework usage, so they can plan accordingly.  

Keep pets safe
o Loud noises associated with fireworks make dogs nervous. Frightened dogs feel more secure in small, familiar spaces. If pet owners crate their dogs, they should put them in the crate during a fireworks display. If not, pet owners can prepare a small, dimly-lit room, and can leave on the television or radio to drown out the fireworks. Dogs should never be left alone outside during a fireworks display. The noises could prompt them to run away to get away from the noise.
o Also many dogs think the fast moving twirling, spinning fireworks are something they should go fetch and bring back to their owners, this could harm the pet. Also, pet may be prompted to carry the flaming fireworks off into the dry grass or woods, and start a fire.

The Abingdon Town Code addresses fireworks through the following code sections:

Sec. 34-81. - When manufacture, transportation, sale, storage, use of fireworks unlawful.
Except as otherwise provided in this article, it shall be unlawful for any person to transport, manufacture, store, sell, offer for sale, expose for sale, or to buy, use, ignite or explode any firecracker, torpedo, skyrocket, or other substance or thing, of whatever form or construction, that contains any explosive or inflammable compound or substance, and is intended, or commonly known, as fireworks and which explodes, rises into the air or travels laterally, or fires projectiles into the air, other than sparks or those fireworks excepted under the provisions of subsection (a) of section 34-83. (Code 1985, § 7-14)

State Law reference— Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 59.1-142.

Sec. 34-82. - Permit for exhibition or display.

Any person desiring to conduct or present a display of fireworks may do so if he has obtained a permit for such display from the town manager. It shall be unlawful for the holder of such a permit to fail, neglect or refuse to comply with the terms of such permit in conducting or presenting an exhibition or display of fireworks pursuant thereto. (Code 1985, § 7-15)

Sec. 34-83. - Article inapplicable to certain fireworks; use of such fireworks. 
This article shall not apply to the use or the sale of sparklers, fountains, Pharaoh's serpents, caps for pistols, or to pinwheels commonly known as whirligigs or spinning jennies.
The fireworks listed in subsection (a) of this section may only be used, ignited or exploded on private property with the consent of the owner of such property. (Code 1985, § 7-16)

State Law reference— Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 59.1-147.

Sec. 34-84. - Penalty.

Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, be punished by confinement in jail not to exceed 12 months, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000.00, or both such fine and imprisonment. (Code 1985, § 7-17)

State Law reference— Penalty for violation, Code of Virginia, § 59.1-145.

Remember, no matter how breathtaking fireworks are or how easy they appear to use, they are potential fire starters. The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries and property damage is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Flag Retirement Ceremony

Mark your calendars!

The VFW Post 1994 will be assisting Boy Scouts of America Troop 1 in a Flag Retirement Ceremony on July 26th, 2016 at 6:00 PM at the Wesley Clinic (18416 Lee Hwy, Abingdon). The ceremony is being designed and conducted by the Scouts themselves, as part of their citizenship training. For more information on the ceremony, contact the VFW at

Friday, June 17, 2016

Merchants Beware of Quick Change Artists

Abingdon Police Department


For Immediate Release

Merchants Beware of Quick Change Artists
Quick-change artist, or change raising, is a common short con that involves an offer to change an amount of money with someone, while at the same time taking change or bills back and forth to confuse the person as to how much money is actually being changed.
It often starts with a small purchase from a large bill and ends with no sale and a short cash register till. The con man seeks to confuse the employee by requesting multiple transactions, then walks away with almost double the amount originally presented for payment or change.
This crime usually happens so fast, most people don't realize they've been ripped off until hours later or when they balance the cash drawer at the end of a shift.
Many salespeople or clerks, especially younger employees, fall victim to this because they are trying to provide good customer service and are not as assertive in handling situations like this as more experienced employees. Their inexperience makes them excellent targets for the fast-cash scam.
Most quick change artists target convenience stores or fast-food restaurants where there are young employees who get rattled easily and don't want to slow down a long service line. The quick-change artist will always attempt to get two or three transactions ahead so the clerk forgets how much change is actually needed.
Quick-change cons usually do not involve a lot of money.  Based upon bill size it is difficult for the store to lose more than $100.00. However, hitting several businesses with the same scam in a short period can be quite lucrative.

These tips may help employees spot a prospective con artist and avoid being scammed:
·         Look for people wanting to purchase an inexpensive item with a large bill.
§  Employees should be free to ask if the customer has a smaller bill for the purchase. If the customer insists on breaking a large bill and you suspect he has smaller denominations, don’t be afraid to decline the transaction. 
§  Smaller businesses can take it a step further by keeping no bills larger than $20 in the register, and posting signs stating that policy.
·         Be cautious of a customer asking for multiple transactions while keeping the money in hand.
§  For example, a customer buys a carton of drinks with a $50 bill, asks for the change in 10s, then changes his mind to 5s and a 20. Before you know it, he pulls out a bill, asks for change in quarters, and demands the original change which he has asked for in several different denominations.
·         The best way to avoid this problem is to take the money presented, keep it in the open but in the hands of the cashier
·         Do not put money from the customer in the register until the change has been made. This way employees can see exactly what was given to them and know how much change to make.
·         Handle each requested transaction separately.
§  This means make change as requested and closing the drawer. If the customer asks for another transaction, take his money first, then make change for it.
·         If a customer's requests for change start to sound confusing, ask the customer to slow down or simply stop the transaction completely and start over.

·  If all else fails, direct the customer to the nearest bank and ask them to return to complete the transaction once they have denominations needed to complete the sale. 


TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Hops and Howlers Craft Brew Fest

Tomorrow, June 18th, Remsburg Drive will be CLOSED from 10:00 AM-11:00 PM from Cummings Street to Wall Street for the Hops and Howlers Craft Brew Fest. Please use an alternate route and be cautious of pedestrians in the downtown area.  

Thursday, June 9, 2016

VFW Post 1994 Flag Collection

The VFW Post 1994 will be collecting U.S. Flags in need of retirement on June 14th, 2016 (Flag Day) from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM in the Abingdon Police Department parking lot (425 West Main Street). Anyone wishing to ensure proper and respectful disposal of our nation’s most honored symbol are welcome. The retirement ceremony will be conducted by the Boy Scouts of America Troop 1 on June 21, 2016. For more information, email the VFW at

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Railroad Safety Tips

Abingdon Police Department

For Immediate Release

Due to recent incidents on the railroad tracks in Abingdon, Virginia. The Abingdon Police Department would like for the community to follow the advice of Operation Lifesaver with these railroad safety tips.

·       The only safe place to cross is at a designated public crossing with either a crossbuck, flashing red lights or a gate. If you cross at any other place, you are trespassing and can be ticketed or fined. Cross tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.
·       Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property and trespassers are subject to arrest and fine. If you are on the rail road tracks, you are trespassing and subject to criminal prosecution.
·       It can take a mile or more to stop a train, so a locomotive engineer who suddenly sees someone on the tracks will likely be unable to stop in time. Railroad property is private property. For your safety, it is illegal to be there unless you are at a designated public crossing.
·       Trains overhang the tracks by at least three feet in both directions; loose straps hanging from rail cars may extend even further. If you are in the right-of-way next to the tracks, you can be hit by the train.
·       Do not cross the tracks immediately after a train passes. A second train might be blocked by the first. Trains can come from either direction. Wait until you can see clearly around the first train in both directions.
·       Flashing red lights indicate a train is approaching from either direction. You can be fined for failure to obey these signals. Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing, and DO NOT cross the tracks until the lights have stopped flashing and it's safe to do so.
·       Stay off of railroad trestles. There is only enough clearance on the tracks for a train to pass. Trestles are not meant to be sidewalks or pedestrian bridges! Never walk, run, cycle or operate all terrain vehicles (ATVs) on railroad tracks, rights-of-way or through tunnels.
·       Do not attempt to hop aboard railroad equipment at any time. A slip of the foot can cost you a limb or your life.
·       Be aware trains do not follow set schedules. Any Time is Train Time!
·       Know the law: Crossing anywhere other than at approved grade crossings is a crime in Virginia.
Code section § 18.2-159 states:
“Any person who goes upon the track of a railroad other than to pass over such road at a public or private crossing, or who willfully rides, drives or leads any animal or contrives for any animal to go on such track except to cross as aforesaid, without the consent of the railroad company or person operating such road, shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. A second violation of the provisions of this section occurring within two years of the first violation shall be punishable as a Class 3 misdemeanor. A third or subsequent violation of the provisions of this section occurring within two years of a second or a subsequent violation shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. This section shall not apply to any section of track which has been legally abandoned pursuant to an order of a federal or state agency having jurisdiction over the track and is not being used for railroad service.
For purposes of this section, track shall mean the rail, ties, and ballast of the railroad.”

For more information, visit the Operation Lifesaver website-

Train Incident on 6-7-16

Abingdon Police Department 

For Immediate Release

On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, at approximately 8:30 PM, Abingdon Police were dispatched to the areas of Preston and Fuller Street railroad crossings in reference to a pedestrian being struck by a train. Upon arrival, officers searched the area and found the victim located on the railroad tracks, adjacent to the 600 block of West Main Street. The victim, Brian Kenneth Jessee, 44, of 16287 Mary Street, Abingdon, Virginia, was found deceased.

The Abingdon Police Department, Abingdon Fire Department, Washington County Life Saving Crew, and the Washington County, VA Sheriff’s Office all responded to the incident. The Highlands Regional Crash Team was activated to document the incident, and their findings will be turned over to Norfolk Southern Railway Company Police to aid in their investigation.

The incident occurred at a location where there is no grade or pedestrian crossing. The closest grade/pedestrian crossing is at the intersection of Preston Street and Main Street, approximately 1000 feet from where the incident occurred.

The incident is still under investigation by Norfolk Southern Railway Company.

Norfolk Southern Railway Company opened the rail crossings at 11:00 PM at Preston and Fuller Streets. 


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bear Sightings in Abingdon, Virginia

Abingdon Police Department

For Immediate Release

Bear Sightings in Abingdon, Virginia

The Abingdon Police Department has received two reports of black bear sightings in the areas of Crestview Drive/Court Street and Russell Road.

The first report was received Wednesday (6/1/16) at approximately 6:00 AM in the 400 block of Russell Road. The caller advised that a black bear was observed in the area of the Little League Fields. Officers responded to the area and checked for the bear, but were unable to locate it.

The second report was received Thursday (6/2/16) at approximately 1:00 PM in the Crestview Drive and North Court Street area. The caller advised that a black bear was observed near the condominiums in the area. Officers responded to the area and checked for the bear, but were unable to locate it. 

The APD would like to provide the following tips, should you encounter a bear:

  • ·         Remain calm if you encounter a bear. Do not run from it.
  • ·         Make the bear aware of your presence by speaking in an assertive voice, singing, clapping your hands, or making other noises.
  • ·         Make sure the bear has an escape route.
  • ·         Avoid direct eye contact, which may be perceived by a bear as a challenge. Never run from a bear. Instead, slowly back away.
  • ·         To scare the bear away, make loud noises by yelling, banging pots and pans or using an air horn. Make yourself look as big as possible by waving your arms. If you are with someone else, stand close together with your arms raised above your head.
  • ·         The bear may utter a series of huffs, make popping jaw sounds by snapping its jaws and swat the ground. These are warning signs that you are too close. Slowly back away, avoid direct eye contact and do not run.
  • ·         If a bear stands on its hind legs or moves closer, it may be trying to get a better view or detect scents in the air. It is usually not a threatening behavior.
  • ·         Black bears will sometimes "bluff charge" when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground, avoid direct eye contact, then slowly back away and do not run.
  • ·         If the bear does not leave, move to a secure area.
  • ·         Black bear attacks are extremely rare. If a black bear does attack, fight back!

Black bears have a natural distrust of humans, are shy, and usually avoid people. However, bears may be attracted to food sources in residential areas.

  • ·         Remove the bird feeders. It is best not to put out food for birds from April–November. Instead, plant native seed-bearing plants or use water features to attract birds to your home.
  • ·         Secure your garbage. Store garbage indoors, in a shed or garage, or in a bear-proof container. Put garbage out on the morning of pickup, not the night before, or take it to the dump frequently.
  • ·         Pick up pet food. Feed pets only what they will eat in a single feeding or feed them indoors. Remove all uneaten food. Do not leave food out overnight.
  • ·         Do not put meat scraps in the compost pile. Keep compost away from house.
  • ·         Pick up and remove ripe fruit from fruit trees and surrounding grounds.
  • ·         Clean the grill often. Do not dump drippings in your yard. Run the grill an extra 5 minutes to burn off grease.
  • ·         Install electric fencing to protect beehives, dumpsters, gardens, compost piles, or other potential food sources.
  • ·         Don't store food, freezers, refrigerators, or trash on porches.
  • ·         Use harassment techniques in conjunction with removing the attractant to get the bear to move off your property. Paintballs are a great tool for hazing. They are nonlethal, won't harm the bear if shot at the rump, but are painful enough to get the bear moving away from homes.
  • ·         Talk to your neighbors. Make sure your neighbors and community administrators are aware of the ways to prevent bears from causing problems.

Deliberate & Inadvertent Feeding of Bears is Illegal

It shall be unlawful for any person as defined in § 1-230 (Code of Virginia) to place, distribute, or allow the placement of food, minerals, carrion, trash, or similar substances to feed or attract bear. Nor, upon notification by department personnel, shall any person continue to place, distribute, or allow the placement of any food, mineral, carrion, trash, or similar substances for any purpose if the placement of these materials results in the presence of bear.

Please refer to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries at for additional information. If you are, or observe someone else in, immediate danger, call 911.