Detectives Investigate Commercial Burglary in Bethesda; Surveillance Video of Suspect Released

Suspect who committed a commercial burglary at the Target store in Bethesda

Detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – 2nd District Investigative Section continue to investigate the August 3 burglary of a Target store in Bethesda.  Today, investigators are releasing surveillance video of the male suspect and are asking for the public’s help in identifying him.

On Monday, August 3, 2nd District officers responded to a burglar alarm at the Target store located at 6831 Wisconsin Avenue.  Responding officers observed that an exterior window to the Target had been broken.   A review of the business’ surveillance video showed that the suspect entered the Target at approximately 1:10 a.m., remained inside for approximately one minute, and then fled without stealing any property.

Approximately 30 minutes later, detectives with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in Washington, D.C., believe that this same suspect forced entry into a T.J. Maxx store located at 5300 Wisconsin Avenue in Northwest, Washington, D.C.

Anyone with information regarding this suspect or this burglary is asked to call the Montgomery County Police –  2nd District Investigative Section at 240-773-6710. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest in this case.

Armed Bank Robbery Suspect Stopped by Officer as Suspect Exits Bank; Suspect Responsible for Six Bank Robberies in County

James Wersick, age 71, of an unconfirmed address, has been arrested and charged with committing six armed bank robberies in Montgomery County.  The six bank robberies committed by Wersick are as follows:

  • January 27, 2012, approximately 9:35 a.m., M & T Bank, 10100 River Road, Potomac
  • January 8, 2014, approximately 9:15 a.m., Capital One Bank, 7340 Westlake Terrace, Bethesda
  • December 9, 2014, approximately 12:00 p.m., M & T Bank, 10420 Montgomery Avenue, Kensington
  • February 13, 2016, approximately 9:18 a.m., PNC Bank, 10211 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda
  • February 13, 2016, approximately 9:46 a.m., M & T Bank, 10420 Montgomery Avenue, Kensington
  • August 4, 2020, approximately 10:09 am, PNC Bank, 10150 River Road, Potomac

On August 4, 2020, at approximately 10:09 a.m., the Emergency Communications Center (911) received a call from an employee at the PNC Bank located at 10150 River Road in Potomac, who stated that the bank was being robbed by a suspect armed with a gun.  The employee was able to provide a description of the male suspect which was broadcast to officers via police radio.

A patrol officer who was close to bank at the time of the call arrived at the bank as a male matching the suspect’s description was exiting its front doors.  The officer ordered the male to stop.  The male refused and replied, “I’m a customer.”  The officer caught up to the male and held him in order to prevent him from reaching into his pockets and potentially retrieving the gun that witnesses described the suspect as possessing during the robbery.  At the same time, an employee exited the bank and shouted to the officer that the male he had stopped was the bank robbery suspect.  As the officer took the suspect into custody, a handgun fell out of the suspect’s pant pocket.  A white bag containing a large amount of cash and three knives were also found in the suspect’s possession.  The suspect was identified as Wersick.

The investigation by Major Crimes detectives determined that Wersick entered the bank and began to yell at the customers and employees to move to a corner of the bank.  Wersick approached a teller, pointed a gun at her, and demanded cash.  He called the teller by her first name and told her he had been watching her and he knew where she lived.  He yelled at the people in the bank not to move and pointed his gun at them.  Wersick had the teller place the money in a white fabric bag that he had brought with him.  He then exited the bank and was stopped by the officer.

Further investigation by detectives determined that Wersick’s physical description and his actions during this bank robbery were similar to those of a suspect who detectives believed had committed a series of armed bank robberies.  During police questioning, Wersick made admissions of guilt to committing all six Montgomery County robberies.

Wersick was transported to the Central Processing Unit and charged with six counts of armed robbery and additional charges related to those crimes.

James Wersick

Previous Press Releases:

Detectives Continue to Investigate Serial Bank Robber – Surveillance Video Released (March 3, 2016)

Bank Robberies in Bethesda and Kensington Believed to Be Related (February 14,2016)

Kensington Bank Robbery  (December 11, 2014)

 

(LOCATED) Concern for Missing Friendship Heights Area Juvenile

Laurel Elliot Strong,

Update: August 4, 2020 at 9:40 p.m. –   Laurel Strong has been located safe and unharmed.

Detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – Special Victims Investigations Division (SVID) are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing juvenile female from the Friendship Heights area.

Laurel Elliot Strong, age 12, was last seen by family at approximately 5:30 p.m. this evening (Tuesday, August 4) when she left her Warwick Place home on foot.

Strong is approximately 5’ 4” tall and weighs approximately 125 pounds. She has brown eyes and brown hair.

Police and family are concerned for Strong’s welfare.

Anyone with information about Laurel Strong’s whereabouts is asked to call the police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000 (24-hour line).

Suspect Arrested and Charged with Residential Burglary and Assault on Resident in Glenmont

Andrew Jeon

Officers from the Montgomery County Department of Police – 4th District have arrested and charged Andrew Jeon, age 28, of the 10200 block of Glen Chase Court in Fairfax, Virginia, with offenses related to Jeon burglarizing a home in the Glenmont area on August 2 and assaulting a 73-year-old woman who was inside the home.  Officers also charged Jeon with committing offenses related to Jeon breaking into two vehicles after he committed the residential burglary and assault.

On Sunday, August 2 at approximately 8:35 a.m., 4th District officers responded to a residence in the 2200 block of Greenery Lane for the report of a burglary in progress.  First responders located the victim inside the home suffering from trauma to her head.  Fire and Rescue personnel transported the victim to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries.

The investigation by officers determined that the suspect, later identified as Jeon, entered the victim’s home, assaulted her, and then fled the residence on foot without stealing any property.  A resident who lives nearby on Greenery Lane stated to officers that he was outside of his home when the suspect approached him and stated that he had just killed a woman.  The resident observed that the suspect had blood on his hands.  The suspect then fled the area.  Officers obtained a description of the suspect from multiple witnesses who observed him in the area of Greenery Lane and officers began to look for the suspect.

Approximately two hours later, 4th District officers responded to the area of Connecticut Avenue and Independence Street in the Aspen Hill area for the report of a suspect who was attempting to break into vehicles.  The description of this suspect matched the same description of the suspect from the earlier residential burglary and assault that had occurred on Greenery Lane.   Responding officers located the suspect in the 13500 block of Connecticut Avenue and identified him as Jeon.   Multiple witnesses identified Jeon as the suspect who committed that earlier residential burglary and assault on Greenery Lane.

Jeon was arrested and transported to the Central Processing Unit where he was charged with first-degree burglary, first and second-degree assault, destruction of property, and offenses related to Jeon attempting to break into multiple vehicles.  Jeon is being held without bond.

Suspect Arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol in Silver Spring; Officers Locate Gun in Vehicle

Officers from the Montgomery County Department of Police-Alcohol Initiatives Unit have arrested and charged Stephanie Vasquez, age 25, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, with offenses to include driving under the influence of alcohol, transporting a loaded handgun in a vehicle, and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

On August 2, at approximately 1:20 a.m., an Alcohol Initiatives Unit officer in an unmarked police cruiser was driving northbound Georgia Avenue approaching Colesville Road in Silver Spring when the officer observed a person driving recklessly and committing numerous traffic violations.

The officer stopped the vehicle and identified the driver as Vasquez. As the officer began to speak to Vasquez, he noted that in addition to her already observed erratic driving behavior, she was exhibiting signs of alcohol impairment.  The officer administered sobriety tests and Vasquez was arrested at the scene for driving under the influence of alcohol.  A loaded handgun was located in the glove compartment of Vasquez’ vehicle.

It was determined that Vasquez is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a prior criminal conviction.

Vasquez was transported to the Central Processing Unit.

Stephanie Vasquez