tv News4 at 5 NBC December 16, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm EST
pooled together by the reality of what happened in their community. jay grarks nbc news. authorities say pierson bought the ammo the morning of the shooting. right now at 5:00, women attacked near a high school. even students were targeted. we are learning how police made an arrest in this case. plus, we could see snow showers and rain in the next 24 hours. now we can pinpoint when the storm is moving into your neighborhood. >> the mega millions jackpot is growing. if nobody wins this week, there could be $1 billion up for grabs on christmas eve. first after 5:00, a developing story. an arrest in a high profile attack on women behind a high school in prince george's county. >> in one case, the student was raped. police were able to zero in on the suspect who was allegedly involved in crimes in montgomery county. tracee wilkins joins us. she's in hyattsville to explain
how detectives connected those dots. >> reporter: they were thinking they were dealing with the possibility of a serial rapist. you can understand how extreme this was. it happened on the edge of the woods. a man raped one woman and a few minutes later, attacked another. prince george's county police say thanks to cooperation with the neighboring county, they were able to catch their guy. prince george's county police say dna evidence led to the arrest of this man. >> during this investigation, detectives got samples of the suspects dna. that sample matched the dna sample of a teen in a 2013 sex assault in montgomery county. >> reporter: he is the man seen in these sketches and featured on flyers distributed throughout the community. on october 29th, two women were held up at gunpoint in hyat
hyattsvil hyattsville. one of them was raped. the attacker was scared off, according to police. 20 minutes later, a group of teenagers, two boys and a girl were held up at gunpoint, robbed and a 14-year-old girl raped. dna from that case and cooperation between montgomery and prince george's police led to the arrest. >> they compared their photo to the sketch the prince george's county police department sketch artist created. comparing the two, they realized they probably had their man. they brought in the victims of the two sex assaults here and the victims identified the person as the suspect in this case. >> reporter: the one may be wondering why the suspect didn't keep going. well, come to find out, he was arrested about eight hours after the attack. two women held at knife point.
he was picked up on the scene not far from where it happened and held in jail. he remains there. he is facing several unrelated charges for the sex assault that is happened in prince george's county. coming up, more information on those sex assaults and how people here in this community are reacting to news of the arrest. i'm tracee wilkins, news 4. right now, maryland state police are trying to figure out what led to a crash in prince george's county. this is in laurel on the westbound ramp of 1980 southbound i-95. the driver in this case died after the car flipped over on its side. police have not identified the victims, yet. a wild fight outside a d.c. charter school is under investigation. we are told several people were hit with pepper spray. it started around noon. it was outside the public charter school. it's an florida avenue. police tell us, three students
involved in the fight were sent to the hospital. they are expected to be okay. several others were treated at the scene. an apparent hoax that forlsforls forced the evacuation of a high school. bomb sniffing dogs went through the campus after an e-mail said there were bombs inside four buildings. exams today were canceled. all-clear was given two hours ago. the former aid to lamar alexander will be going home to his parents. he will be under house arrest in maryland as he awaits trial on charges related to a child pornography sting. derrick ward has more on a warning handed down from the judge to him in court today. >> reporter: ryan will be getting out of jail, but not out of trouble. a federal magistrate judge is allowing the senate aid to stay at the home of his parents in maryland under house arrest.
there are conditions. he has to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, no access to the internet. he was arrested in his home on wednesday, results of a child pornography investigation involving u.s. and canadian companies. he sold dvds and downloads that show children as young as 5 or 6 years old involved in sex acts. some with other minors, some with adults. the investigation has been under way since 2010. last week, they went to his front door. court documents say he was seen placing a computer hard drive outside the window. when it was recovered, the images of children in sex acts were recovered. he was let go from his position as chief of staff for tennessee republican lamar alexander. appearing in court, he received a stern warning from the judge about staying off the internet. the judge told him, his recent
experience should show him how easy it can be picked up by law enforcement. you will be detected. they had to assure the court he would be kept away from ipads or smartphones for the duration of the case. the case now goes before a grand jury. he has yet to enter a plea. he could face ten years in jail for possessing child pornography and 20 years for attempting to distribute it. derrick ward, news 4.k the defense department's zero tolerance policy includes medical marijuana. a federal judge here in washington says the nsa's data collecting is unkoconstitutiona.
he put his ruling on hold to give the government time to appeal. the judge was appointed by former president, george w. bush. a big deadline tomorrow in the battle over who is going to get the new fbi headquarters. it's the last day to get your bid in. prince george's county and louding county are making a big bid for it. they want to move to a large space. the current building on pennsylvania avenue is just too small to hold the 35,000 employees who work there. the final decision on who gets the fbi is expected in 2015. the news 4 i team learned that the navy will be gutting and reconstructing building 197. that is the sight of the deadly navy yard shooting that occurred in september. we have a time line on it. scott macfarlane broke the story on www.nbcwashington.com just a few moments ago and joins us
now. scott? >> the overhaul of building 197 begins january 31st. they expect to finish in early 2015. the building was so badly damaged in the shooting spree that killed 12 people, the navy secretary deciding to refurbish the building. they will not demolish it. it will include a new cafeteria. it was packed the morning of the shooting. so many people there when the gunshots first started. a new visitor's entrance will be built and a so-called remembrance area will be constructed for a memorial of the victims. aaron alexis killed 12 before he was shot and killed. a large number of the 3,000 employees who worked inside, the headquarters of the command had been relocated to a federal facility at buzzard point.
nearly all are in place by the first week of january. wendy and barbara? >> thank you, scott. we are talking more snow and rain around here, starting tonight. >> let's find out if it's going to be conversational or nothing to fret about. >> we are going to see snow and rainmaking its way in here. it's not going to be a big deal. first off, the chilly temperatures. the temperatures across the region have been in the 30s all day long. temperature up to the north 29. 34 in gaithersburg. very cool there. if we are talking snow, it will fall as snow and stick to the ground. yes, we have light snow coming in. it will move in around 11:00, 12:00. it's toward the north. we'll talk about the system coming through the area, then we are going to talk about a big pattern shift. the pattern shift is going to be a big one. we'll talk about that, when it occurs and what to expect for the rest of the weekend.
>> thank you, doug. we are getting updated results out of fairfax county where the state is now ten hours into the first day of recounting ballots. mark herring gained 20 votes against ob ober o per -- yet another bank robbery in the area. this occurred friday. a man robbed the virginia commerce bank in alexandria friday morning. he is dressed in construction gear. investigators say the suspect handed the teller a note, said he had a gun, got away with cash. he did run off. if you recognize him, call the alexandria police. a brazen attack outside a busy northern virginia shopping center. a man is being held without bond, accused of trying to sexually assault a woman outside
the hhc in po ttomac hills. pat collins is live outside the scene. >> reporter: during the holiday shopping season, you expect to see an increase for certain crimes. nothing like what happened here at the potomac festival shopping center on potomac mills road. >> it's definitely one of the more odd cases we have had to deal with. >> reporter: it happened december 13th. the friday before the friday before christmas. it happened outside hh gregg, here in potomac mills. it happened around 6:00 in the evening. police say a young woman, about 19 years old was walking with a male companion. she was attacked by a man who had his pants pulled down to his
knees. her male cc%ag'ion and other customers came to the rescue. >> luckily, the victim wasn't injured. obviously startled for every good reason. but she wasn't injured, it's a good thing. >> reporter: charged with attempted rape, a 23-year-old, jaguar robert williams palmer. >> you never know. you have to be alert. >> always be alert to your surrounders. he ran up to both of them and assaulted her. but they were able to intervene quickly. >> reporter: coming up at 6:00, reaction from shoppers. live from potomac mills road, pat collins, news 4. shopping for the holidays took a deadly turn. carjackers shoot and kill a man in front of his wife. we'll tell you what police found that could help them catch this killer. as new details are revealed about the alleged rape at a popular pool in the district, news 4 learned of other security
happened after hours. >> they held a meeting and it got a bit heated at times. mark segraves is outside the aquatic center at wilson and northwest. mark? >> reporter: the director of parks and rec was called on the carpet of why after hours parties could go undetected. for the first time, d.c. police went on the record saying they spoke to three victims who alltel similar stories. they were brought here by two men, employees of the pool who used their access codes to bypass security to take them inside where they all say they were sexual aassaulted. >> we are investigating. we don't know if there are more at this point. >> reporter: the first incident happened november 9th. two teenage girls say they were sexual aassaulted. the second incident being investigated happened more than two weeks later.
in both cases, the suspect used his access code to get inside. any after hours entry shows up on a daily report that should be monitored. the director told the d.c. council hearing, the parks and rec employee likely knew the employees were going into the pool after hours without authorization before the second reported assault and did nothing. >> if they knew that, what is their obligation to do something about it? >> their obligation is to report it to upper management. >> reporter: unauthorized late night use of pools and other facilities could go beyond the wilson pool since dent. >> you can't tell me whether there were other entries into this facility or other facilities? >> i can say that the reports show inconsistencies that we are investigating.
because we are concerned about public safety. >> reporter: as for why the first unauthorized entry was never reported. >> i cannot answer that question with the type of detail you are seeking. we are looking into the situation. that's one of the inconsistencies. >> reporter: now, nobody has been charged with the crime in either of the incidents here at the pool, yet. the two employees, one has been fired. the second one, an assistant manager whose code was used to enter is on paid leave. why there may have been other warning signs that were ignored before the assaults. reporting live, at wilson pool, mark segraves, news 4. officials are calling it a mir cal rescue. a nevada family found after they spent three days trapped in the wilderness with each other and
their overturned jeep. they disappeared near love lock, nevada where they went to play in the snow. they endured freezing temperatures. one night, it got 21 degrees below zero. the family spoke on the "today" show this morning about how they may not have survived if the rescue had come later. >> maybe one more day. i don't think we would have lasted another two days. >> the family went on to say they will be forever grateful to those rescuers. they had little kids with them. >> yeah, i know. >> it's frightening. >> doug is here to talk about the snow we might be getting tonight. >> just a little bit. >> compared to that. >> nothing compared to that. some of you will wake up and the roads will be covered. that's really about it. this is not going to be a big deal at all. if you are south of d.c.,
probably won't see anything. i'll show you what's going on across the area. a nice night. a few of you commenting on the moon. the moon made its way up 45 minutes ago. current temperatures, 38 degrees. another cool afternoon. the winds are on the calm side. we will continue to see calm winds through the night. the next couple days, the winds are kicking up. 29 in gaithersburg or hagerstown. 39 toward fredericksburg. 32 in winchester. i think the areas to the north have the best chance of snow. with temperatures below freezing, it's going to stick anywhere, even the roads. i say grassy, but the roads could have some problems. this is the area we have seen the snow over the past couple weeks, fredericksburg, hagerstown, martinsburg. nothing going on now. you have to go to the west to see where it's coming. one area making its way through. you can't really pick it up. this frontal boundary is going
to come through and enhance the snow as it makes its way in tonight. let's break it down. by the 11:00 hour, we start to see it making its way in. heaviest near the panhandle of west virginia. i use the term heavy very lightly. loudoun, northern fairfax county. inside the district, we may see light snow coming through. the heaviest will stay up around the 270 and 70 corridor. if you live around 70 and to the west, you have the best chance of seeing snow. by tomorrow, it's all out of here. i think we see partly to mostly cloudy skies. another cool day. another system moves in. look what happens this time. this one happening around 5:00, 6:00. warmer. the showers, this time in the form of rain. this is tomorrow night at around 8:00. expect rain to the north and west. frederick to hagerstown to
martinsburg. those temperatures tonight, going to be on the chilly side. 23 in martinsburg. 23 frederick. 24 manassas. temperatures in the 30s to the west. a lot of clouds. snow early. 42 degrees is what we are going for in d.c. i mentioned the pattern change. who is ready for warmer weather? it's coming. 42 tomorrow. 40 on wednesday. it's up to near 60 degrees on saturday and sunday. that, of course comes with a potent storm. we are going to watch that closely. this will be an all rain event for us. some temperatures into the mid-60s. we'll watch this one very close. >> all right, doug. incredible footage out of italy. this is mt. etna. it's europe's most active volcano. a major tourist destination. it started erupting for the 20th time this year. the smoke and ash forced a nearby airport to shut down. a big change for georgetown.
not even a quarterback change can help the washington redskins with a win against atlanta. >> they are 3-11. we have the dallas cowboys coming up sunday. not pretty, dianna. >> reporter: not a lot of drama. mike shanahan talked to us around 3:00. he wanted to make two points clear. a, he's not resigning and b, robert griffin iii is the quarterback of this team and the future quarterback of the washington redskins. no matter how well you thought kirk cousins performs. we were talking football today. in fact, a lot of people were questioning mike shanahan's decision. at the end of the game yesterday, instead of kicking for the tie to go into overtime to go for the two-point conversion. chris cooley says he was screaming from the booth. you have to go for it. you have to go for it. here's his thoughts.
>> the only factor you weigh in is do you think you are going to win in overtime? a lot of fans believe yeah, we would have won in overtime. it was a close game, a sloppy game. there's a lot of turnovers. it's 50/50 whether or not you win in overtime. they were rolling down the field. they converted the entire drive. the other thing that i believe is that mike's coaching for these players right now. i know, for a fact, as a player, i would have wanted to go for two. i thought they were going to get it. they believe they had a good play, kirk liked it, it just didn't work out. >> do you think if robert griffin was in it they would have won the game? >> it's an awesome hypothetical. kirk played outstanding. i was proud of how he played and how he handled himself in the media after the game and throughout the week. i think the team played well and
rallied around the guy. yeah, robert plays a great game. they can win that football game. again, to me, we are in a transition period toward the end at least the training camp where they have to figure out what they have. >> how do you think they handled it knowing there was so much going on? >> when i talk to the guys, they don't care as much as you think about everything going on. ultimately, wins and losses to them. it's been tough to work and practice and continue to knit pick at themselves and try to get better. but, they have handled it really well. the thing i will say, again, is it's not as much them as it is to everyone outside the locker room, especially after talking to guys thursday, friday, later in the week. you think they are going to blow this into a big deal. it isn't. >> reporter: cooley says that may surprise you. what else may surprise you, he
said the team watches the cowboys/packers game, dallas lost in the fourth quarter. they looked at each other saying this dallas team isn't that good. we may be able to beat them. despite the drama surrounding the redskins, they are focused to take down dallas. >> thanks, dianna. right now, at 5:00, questioning antibacterial soap. >> it's supposed to prevent the spread of illness and the spread of infections. why are investigators getting involved? congress is on the hunt for savings for a budget deal. how they are trying to help cut corners. sxz it's story time with the first lady. we'll share more of this classic holiday tradition in washington.
fast forward through the headlines. police say dna led them to a man in prince george's county accused of three sexual assaults. investigators believe he attacked a women, then a 14-year-old girl. he is accused of raping a third victim in montgomery county. the former aid to lamar alexander will be on house arrest for now. he was charged after police say they found child important on computers inside his home. he's being released to the
custody of his parents. a grand jury is considering his case. doug? >> a chilly night after a high only in the 30s. tonight, we run into light snow across the area. i think around 11:00, that is the best chance to see the light snow coming through. the best chances will be north of 66 in virginia and north of 50 in maryland. light snow, waking up to temperatures back on the chilly side tomorrow. a big pattern change is in the making. we'll talk about that in a0pz minute. in fairfax county, new numbers from the official state recount in the race for attorney general. >> mark herring was certified the winner over mark .
>> reporter: let me bring the latest numbers now. democrat mark herring has 183 additional votes and republican mark obenshain has 192. i'm going to step out of the way and show you the courthouse. this is where a lot of the activity is still going on at this hour. we were actually allowed inside a short time ago. show you what it looks like inside. you are looking at the fourth floor jury assembly room that's been turned into the recount headquarters. at 7:00 this morning, these volunteers began recounting the 300,000 fairfax county ballots. the folks are grouped in teams of four. two election officials supervised by a representative from each of the campaigns. 40 teams are inside this room. one of the questions you may have, why are there so many new
ballots? >> these were ballots that were under votes election day either weren't counted or there was an issue or folks were able to determine what the voter chose to vote that day. >> reporter: election officials are focused on potentially problematic ballots, those with ovals that weren't fully filled out. they are going to be sealed and sent to richmond with a virginia state trooper. i can tell you, at this hour, they have had no challenged ballots here in fairfax county. that's the good news for officials as of now. coming up at 6:00, we are going to bring ewe fresh tally of the votes and talk to both campaigns. you are going to hear from representatives from both sides. that's the latest from fairfax. i'm david culver, news 4. a proposed spending plan. governor bob mcdonnell submitted it this morning.
the plan is about $10 billion more than the current budget. the additional spending goes toward mental health and safety initiatives and includes money for the state's rainy day fund. no new taxes or fees in it. he consulted with terry mcauliffe before submitting the plan. set to expand into the residential areas. the residents get to weigh in on it. the association in georgetown will take proposals from the residents to have cameras installed on certain blocks in exchange for getting that camera, the association and the residents of the block would split the cost of it. the cameras wouldn't be monitored live, but could be assessed in the event of a crime. bicycling is growing every day from casual riders to people who commute 20 miles or more to work. some say the city's efforts to promotorcycling are not as
aggressive as thesy should be. tom? >> could they be doing more? for cyclists in the nation's capitol the last ten years, the city has become one of the most bike friendly cities in the nation. bike signs are common, if not always accepted on the city's main streets and neighborhoods. bike activists say the city can do more. >> cycle tracks are a critical component in the bicycle infrastructure. >> reporter: she's a bicycle and chairman of the bike advisory council. >> there's a huge demand for cycling and a need to make it safe. >> reporter: at the cathedral avenue in rock creek park, one cyclist testified she calls it suicide drive. >> the cyclists and pedestrians risk their lives crossing four lanes of fast moving traffic.
>> reporter: denise commutes 20 miles a day as a legal assistant downtown. >> there's nothing to calm or mitigate the traffic. we have to rush across there while cars are catapulting down. >> reporter: at a council hearing on the master bike plan, there was concern a lot was done to improve cycling in the city, but too many slowed. >> we really should be aiming at a higher use of bicycles as other forms of transit. >> reporter: concerns on the bike trails. you can leave your shoes on and leave your computer in its bag. trying to make airport security easier. three new pre-check centers, including one in alexandria. after you apply online, go get fingerprinted and get a background check. if approved, you can use the express lines at the airport.
membership is 85 bucks and it lasts five years. >> if you fly out of bwi marshall, you have a couple new travel options. southwest is offering flight toss portland oregon starting in june. it means more flight options for business and leisure between the east and west coast. a manhunt is under way for carjackers who killed a man in cold blood in front of his wife. a clue that could lead to a break in the case. if you are not the only one making a run to the post office, what the holiday rush means.
the range rover stolen during a carjacking outside a mall was found today. it happened around 9:00 last night. a 30-year-old man was shot and killed before two men jumped into his suv and took off. the man's wife was with him but was not hurt. police discovered the stolen truck eight miles from the mall. police say the teenager who opened fire outside a colorado high school was apparently heavily armed. he has a shotgun, a machete and three molotov cocktails. they believe he was trying to hunt down his former debating
coach. one of his friends said pierson has be kicked off the team after a run-in at a national competition. >> he threatened to kill him half jokingly. he brought it to the administration and he got suspended for it. >> he turned the gun on himself after he shot a 17-year-old girl at point-blank range. she's in stable condition, but in a coma. the school will be closed until after the start of the year. federal investigators are getting involved in antibacterial soap. when to ship the holiday
just in time for the cold and flu season, the debate over the effectiveness of antibacterial soaps and body washes. >> fda announced they doubt antibacterial soaps are better than regular soap. >> we have the details. >> reporter: are antibacterial soap better at keeping us healthy than regular soap and water? fda is expressing doubt. come clean or pull your product.
>> we have no evidence the presence of these ingredients in these soaps and body washes actually prevent the spread of infection. >> reporter: the fdas role applied to soaps and body washes, not the alcohol based sanitizers and hand wipes. they are looking at an active ingredient in the soap. it's regulated by the e.p.a. as a pesticide. some experts believe the risk posed by consumer antibacterial soaps outweigh the benefits. there's some thought it creates resistance in the bacteria. manufactures say they are confused. they have given the fda plenty of evidence showing they work. >> we believe the evidence has been clear for decades and it's clear today. antibacterial soaps are
effective, they do what they say they will do and kill germs that make us sick. >> reporter: they have a year to prove it. they are giving manufacturers and the public six months to weigh in on the debate. brian moore, nbc news, washington. the center of the bipartisan deal. 4% of their pay to pensions. those hired this year pay 3%. federal workers on the payroll before 2013 would not see a change. the budget deal that prevents 35 billion in automatic spending cuts already made its way through the house. lawmakers in the senate are expected to vote this week. breaking news on a bill that could change the lives of workers. we have that at the live desk. >> we are getting it from county executives. they will sign the minimum wage bill passed by the council into
law according to prince george's county bureau chief, tracee wilkins that says there was a possibility of baker vetoing the bill. he says he will sign it tomorrow. it will raise the minimum wage to $11.50 by 2017. it is currently $7.25 an hour. i'm scott macfarlane. doug, when is it going to start getting messy? >> messy is a big word. i don't think we will see anything messy around the area through the night. not in d.c. to the north, messy, maybe during the day tomorrow. i think more pretty might be the word out there. right now, the current temperature, 30s. 38 degrees at the airport. the winds are calm. as far as the rest of the area goes, we are seeing the temperatures around 34 in rockville, 31 in bowie and 33 toward camp springs. another cool night. it's what we expect. nothing on the radar in the immediate area. we go to the west to see
anything moving our way. it is a storm system that will bring more clouds and yes, a little in the way of snow. le's talk about that and time it out for you. 6:00, nothing going on. by 11:00, 11:30, the western areas see the snow coming down around winchester, martinsburg and frederick. leesburg and gaithersburg, light snow falling. notice manassas, quantico, waldorf, nothing going on for you. can't rule out flurries. we are not going to see snow south of 66 or 50 through maryland. it's through the north. our pennsylvania counties are going to have a winter weather advisory in effect. tomorrow, we'll see a mixture of sun and clouds early. tomorrow night, the showers move in. we see a lot in the way of rain late tomorrow night into tomorrow evening. some of us pick up a tenth to quarter inch of rain.
still some snow to the north. 40 degrees on wednesday. 49 on thursday. here comes the pattern shift. 59 degrees on saturday. look at 60 degrees on sundays. finally, getting mild air in here. it comes at a price in the form of showers. maybe not just showers. we could see one of those days, sunday night with heavy rainmaking its way in. >> all right. well, you bought the gifts, when do you need to ship them off? >> from fedex to the postal service, liz crenshaw breaks down the all important shipping deadlines you need to know. >> the u.s. postal service expects to process 15 billion pieces of mail between thanksgiving and new year's eve. here is when to ship to ensure they receive their gifts on time for christmas. it's already too late for standard mail shipping but you can do first class mail by this friday, december 20th so it gets
there in time for christmas. if you want to use fedex, you have to get your package to fedex by tomorrow, december 17th. with u.p.s., ground shipping can take one to five business days, ship out as soon as possible if you want to get packages to loved ones before christmas. all the services pick up as late as the 23rd for christmas deliveries. that shipping price, that one goes way up. okay, if you are shipping gifts directly from online stores, wait until wednesday to shop, if you can. hundreds of retailers will be taking part in free shipping day. no minimum purchase required and delivery by christmas eve. just visit freeshippingday.com for a list of all those stores. for all this information, head to our website, www.nbcwashington.com/liz
crenshaw. meanwhile, the post office is in the act of processing 607 million pieces of mail today, making it the busiest day of the year compared to 528 million pieces on an average day. this is the day they hope to get the holiday cards in the mail. delivery services are picking up packages being mailed out as well. a long time holiday tradition. she visited youngsters and staff in northwest d.c. and brought first dog bo along. she read the classic holiday book, 'twas the night before christmas and took questions from the patients. >> my favorite christmas treat to eat. oh, that's good. that's a hard one. i like pumpkin pie.
is that considered christmas? what? that's your favorite? pumpkin pie. do you like whipped cream on it? yeah. the president loves pumpkin pie. >> when asked what she was getting the president, she said he asked for workout clothes. she continued the holiday tradition for first ladies dating back to truman. holiday shoppers may be focused on getting gifts, but we'll tell you about the crooks that may be focused on you. star power has its perks at the national zoo. how the new baby panda got a special visitor.
we are learning of an apartment fire in northwest washington. scott macfarlane is at the live desk. >> two alarm fire at an apartment fire in calvert street, northwest. it's at the intersection of calvert and connecticut in northwest not far from the hotel there. we saw reports of heavy fire and smoke coming from the fifth floor of the building. no details on injuries. d.c.s fire union says residents are being evacuated from the area. 2500 block of calvert in northwest d.c. a fire. we have a crew on the way. at the live desk, i'm scott macfarlane. well, the mega millions
jackpot is, wow, it's nearing a record. it's more than half a billion at this point and could go higher before the drawing. the last time someone won mega millions was in late october. since then, 21 drawings have come and gone and no big winner. the odds of winning, 1 in 259 million. if no winner is selected on tuesday and on friday, the jackpot could surpass $1 billion for the christmas eve drawing. covering prince george's county, students at riverdale elementary have a lot to tell their parents. santa was escorted by police officers and firefighters to hand out candy canes to the younger students. this is the 29th year they delivered food baskets for families who need extra help for the holidays. the opportunity to give back. we are always in a reactionary
mode. the opportunity to be out here and giving back to the people we serve every day is important for them to see us as human beings. >> the program provides 3,000 food baskets this year. santa and his team visited emmerson house today. a warning from prince george's county police, as you finish up your christmas shopping, thieves are looking to play the role of the grinch. zachary kiesch has what you need to know. >> reporter: gifts for the kids. letting the car run while you run inside. shopping ramps up and so do mistakes during the holiday season and criminals know it. >> every day you come out, be thinking about ways of not being a victim. >> reporter: today, shoppers got a lesson in theft from autos, an education police say could prevent them from becoming a victim. >> it givesdytu something to think about. it makes you re-evaluate the way
you doing things and with the holidays being what they are and people being who they can be. it will -- it will jolt you to make you realize you prove yourself. >> reporter: for most of us, you think holidays and the season of giving. it's also a time police see a spike in theft in vehicles. that's why they are out handing out flyers and letting folks know there are a few things to do to protect yourself. >> remove all items from your vehicles. when you go shopping, if it's nighttime, park where people can see your vehicle. if you are buying things, purchase ahead of time. pay attention to your surrounding. >> reporter: there have been 7400 thefts from autos. it's fewer than last year. police say education, keeping residents informed like today is part of the sharp improvement. >> they need to be reminded