A continuing wave of burglaries appears to have settled on neighborhoods just outside of downtown Bethesda.
The Town of Somerset, and the patchwork of communities that make up Chevy Chase, have been the hardest hit. Multiple burglaries - sometimes on the same block, as on Dorset Avenue - have occurred in subdivisions off the "Green Mile" stretch of 355, between downtown Bethesda and Friendship Heights, over the last several weeks.
Saturday's break-in in the 5400 block of Uppingham Street was the 5th burglary in Somerset, the 8th in "ring neighborhoods" outside downtown Bethesda, and the 19th overall since the crimes began July 17.
Termed the "Bling Ring" for the burglars' focus on old-money, wealthy neighborhoods, their break-ins began in Spring Valley, then moved into similar enclaves in Montgomery County days later. Kenwood, Green Acres, Bethesda, Potomac, Chevy Chase, and Foxhall in DC have been among the victimized areas.
But as crime data for the last few weeks demonstrates, the burglary wave seems to have narrowed to a relatively small area south - and, in one case, east - of downtown Bethesda.
This would suggest that the burglars are casing homes in that area in the daytime. Residents should not only lock their doors, but take note of suspicious vehicles or persons in the neighborhood, who don't appear to have business there. If such activity takes place, contact police, and write down tag numbers and descriptions of the people.
As with the Green Acres burglary spree this summer, a confined area of activity will make it far easier for citizens and police to notice suspicious activity. And hopefully, bring a close to the Bling Ring spree.