Thursday, April 11, 2013

Crime Updates from the Bethesda District

Dear Residents of the 2nd District:

CRIME:

We are off to a good start for the first quarter of 2013 with crime being down in all major categories except one, as compared to the same time last year.

The big issue facing us now is commercial burglaries/office thefts. Since the beginning of 2013, there have been twelve office burglaries in the downtown Bethesda area, as well as the areas in and around White Flint. The suspects are removing laptops and cash.

On February 1st, video surveillance captured a black male suspect exiting an elevator towards a suite and later returning to the elevator carrying a laptop bag.

On April 5th, a black male suspect gained entry to a suite in the 11100 block of Rockville Pike and was seen on the 3rd floor rummaging through a desk. A photo of the suspect in this event is attached. From the photo, this suspect has a beard and is wearing a baseball hat with a white logo on the front and a dark colored jacket. This suspect has been seen by staff, but they delayed calling the police hampering our efforts to make an arrest.

PLEASE DIAL 911 IMMEDIATELY IF A SUSPECT MATCHING THE DESCRIPTION ABOVE IS OBSERVED IN AN OFFICE BUILDING AND HE IS UNKNOWN TO YOUR STAFF.

Officers from the 2nd District recently made another arrest for juveniles stealing and breaking into cars. This arrest was a direct result of an alert citizen calling in a suspicious situation in their neighborhood. You are our eyes and ears. Please keep up the good work!

TRAFFIC:

The Traffic Operations Division, in partnership with Maryland State Police, recently conducted “Operation NINJA (Nighttime injury avoidance)” targeting drivers not wearing their seatbelts. Officers were stationed at exit ramps from 270 and 495 and issued over 500 citations, arrested 13 drunk drivers and made several criminal arrests also. Although the state boasts a 92% seatbelt usage rate, this percentage drops significantly during the evening hours. In the month of March, officers from the 2nd District arrested 54 drunk drivers. Please be careful when you are driving at nighttime and always remember to buckle up.

The Street Smart Pedestrian Safety Initiative will occur between April 15-30. Officers will be conducting enforcement of pedestrian laws at various intersections/crosswalks in the Bethesda area. This is a comprehensive program targeting drivers, especially those that fail to stop and yield before turning right on red and those that fail to yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks. Pedestrians and cyclists violating their rules of the road will also be stopped. Please stay off the phone and pay attention to your driving, especially in the downtown areas.

For those in the River Rd. corridors, be aware that the Mid-Atlantic Tournament at TPC at Avenel is scheduled to occur May 27-June 2nd and may cause some traffic delays. The AT&T national at Congressional Country Club is scheduled for June 24-30. You will experience delays in this area, especially on peak tournament days.

Once again, our success is based upon the quality of the partnership that the police have with each of you. Please be alert and report all suspicious activity immediately. Drive patiently and with due diligence – traffic is bad enough without having our major arteries clogged with avoidable crashes. Many thanks to each of you that patiently tolerated the road closures on Connecticut Ave. due to the large water main break last month.

Stay safe!

Captain David Falcinelli

Commander – 2nd District