Friday, July 24, 2015

Police helicopter chase nabs 3 thieves in Bethesda - Crime update

Daily readers of crime reports on this blog are well aware that we've been experiencing a crime spike, particularly in thefts from vehicles, vehicle break-ins and stolen vehicles this summer. But the Montgomery County Police have been getting results on their efforts to deal with the spike. According to 2nd District Police Commander Captain David Falcinelli, 3 suspects were apprehended in Bethesda on Wednesday, after a hours-long effort that included K-9 units and a helicopter chase.

Falcinelli said undercover officers targeting thieves were working a neighborhood off Old Georgetown Road that has had a lot of thefts recently. At 3:00 AM Wednesday morning, they spotted a stolen car on Greentree Road. They noticed the occupants testing door handles on cars in the neighborhood. Officers surrounded the suspects and arrested two. A third suspect fled. Four hours later, police had their man with the assistance of dogs and a helicopter.

One suspect was so brash, he was still wearing a court-ordered ankle bracelet related to his past crimes. Falcinelli reports that all 3 had extensive criminal records.

Falcinelli said "Bethesda needs to 'harden the target' and make it less inviting for the criminal element." The steps he mentioned are the same ones I often advise here on the blog: Lock your car doors, lock your home/garage, and report suspicious persons, vehicles or activity to police immediately at 301-279-8000 (or call 911 if a crime is in progress).

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on July 21, according to crime data:

Assault. 8100 block Woodmont Avenue.

Theft. 4800 block Bethesda Avenue.

Theft. 4800 block Bethesda Avenue.

Vehicle burglary. 4500 block Chase Avenue.

Vehicle burglary. 4500 block Highland Avenue.

Vehicle burglary. 7800 block Stratford Road.

Stolen car. 5500 block Lambeth Road.

Burglary. 3800 block Village Park Drive.

Vehicle burglary. Cedar Parkway at Grove Street (Chevy Chase Village).

Burglary. 4400 block Willard Avenue.

Vehicle burglary. 6000 block Sonoma Road.

Burglary. Baltimore Avenue at Earlston Drive.

Vehicle burglary. 3100 block Black Chestnut Lane.

Theft. 8600 block Burdette Road.

Drug arrest. 7100 block Democracy Boulevard.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is such welcome news. I grew up in a neighborhood much rougher than Bethesda. I'm sure serious crime was far worse. But on the plus side residents had baseball bats to protect their property. I never once heard of a petty crime spree like this because after a week or so the perpetrators would have been lovingly escorted to a hospital emergency room. But in genteel Bethesda no one chases after guys like this with tire irons. You need a police sting of some sort to put an end to it. It's good to see that the county finally allocated the resources even though there are probably other spots with more serious issues.

JAC said...

Many friends live in Alta Vista area off Old Georgetown Rd and they say vehicle burglary and car theft is out of control. How bout a bait car? It works on Cops on TV. Lock these kids up. They clearly are no alter boys. One idiot still had his anklet on. That's a question. Couldn't they track that guy's whereabouts? It should be easy to catch dumb crooks with ankle braclets on.

JAC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

There's more than just that.

Wednesday mid-day, they apprehended some suspects on Honeywell near Wilson Lane. I saw it when driving by for lunch -- they had a guy in cuffs and a bunch of police cars including K=9. A neighbor nearby said it was burglars. I think this is a different incident from the one on Greentree based on the timing.

Then Thursday (yesterday) evening around 6:30pm on Roosevelt Street, another set of police activity, and it looks like a car ended up in someone's front lawn -- the result of a police chase? The ratio of police vehicles to MCFRS vehicles was high, so that's why I think this wasn't just a typical car accident.

Any more details on those? I commend MCP on their excellent efforts to cut down on this crime spree. On Wednesday evening, I even saw them stationing a car in my neighborhood, presumably on the lookout for such activity.

JAC said...

That's good observation. I would have liked to have seen them in action. My future brother-in-law is MoCo Police as is a friend from church.
I should ask them about this. They could clean this up in no time given resources dedicated to it which it seems they are now allocating. Tough policing and strict penalties are the way to go. Lock someone up for a good amount of time and they'll think again about doing the crime. Slap them on the wrist and let them go and they go right back to it. I don't ever remember this kind of rash in mostly vehicle crime in this area as a lifelong resident. Bethesda district isn't as safe anymore as most people think.

Steve D. said...

Yeah, theft seems to be booming these days. I guess many Bethesdans are down on their luck.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 5:43 am said, "But in genteel Bethesda no one chases after guys like this with tire irons."

That's because a tire iron is no match for a knife or a gun and because under Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 3-202, aggravated assault can land you in prison for up to 25 years even if you're a righteous self-appointed street vigilante saving the world from crime.

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