Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Public Safety Update: Police ask residents to be vigilant, report crimes.

The following is a message from Captain David Falcinelli, Commander, 2nd District, Montgomery County Police

All:

As the holidays draw closer, we have seen an increase in day time (7am-4:30pm) burglaries in neighborhoods adjacent to River Rd. and Massachusetts Ave. Jewelry and electronics have been the targeted items. There have been eight reported events since September. There was only one incident where suspect information was provided to the police. A neighbor observed two black males in their 30’s, one with a beard, to the rear of one of the burglarized homes. In response to this activity, my uniformed officers have been directed to provide increased day time patrol and covert resources have also been allocated. Please pay careful attention to your neighborhood and call the police immediately for suspicious activity at 301-279-800 (non-emergency) or 911 if you observe a crime in progress. Remember to lock your doors and windows and close your garages, even if you are only gone for a short period of time. In one case, the suspects triggered an alarm very shortly after the residents left which indicates that they may have been casing the neighborhood looking for an easy target.

There have been three recent robberies in the business district. Last Friday, a resident of Battery Ln. was attempting to sell electronics via Craigslist. The suspects, described as two black males in their 20’s both with dreadlocks and driving a white Ford Crown Victoria or Lincoln Town Car, attempted to pay for the purchase with counterfeit bills. When the victim realized this and tried to pull away, the suspects assaulted him and took the electronics. Adjacent jurisdictions have reported similar events.

Also on Friday, an employee of a business on Bethesda Ave. was walking to the Bethesda Metro after work (10pm) when he was accosted by three black male suspects that assaulted him and tried to take his back-pack. The victim did not report the offense and we learned about it via a list-serve. We have since identified the victim and assigned his case to our detectives. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of reporting crime. Even if the police are unable to make an arrest, the victim is provided services through our Victim Assistance Coordinators.

During the investigation of the above robbery, a citizen approached the officers and told a story about a robbery she had witnessed on Saturday night where the victim was leaving a bar on Montgomery Ln. and became separated from his friends. As he walked on Hampden Ln., a group of five suspects, described only as black males, demanded the victim’s wallet and pushed him to the ground. The victim received injuries in this attack, but it was also never reported to the police. We were also able to identify this victim and this case has also been assigned to a detective.

Although I have already up-staffed the shopping areas of the district through the Shop with a Cop program and through additional overtime officers, I have now brought in some police resources from outside of my district to step up our presence even further. Just last night, a black male and female were arrested outside of Montgomery Mall for drug offenses and both had significant criminal histories ranging from check/credit card fraud to robbery and possession of a handgun.

Please continue to pay attention to your surroundings and be a smart shopper. Call the police immediately if you suspect something is just not right and allow us the opportunity to investigate it further before a potential crime occurs.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season,

Captain David Falcinelli

Commander- 2nd District