UPDATE: Police Release Photos of Suspect in North Potomac Armed Robberies

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division – Robbery Section are continuing to investigate two incidents in North Potomac that are believed to be related.  In both incidents, vehicles were struck from behind by another vehicle while the victims were driving their vehicles on Jones Lane.

Today, detectives are releasing photos of one of the suspects believed to be involved in these robberies.  The photos were captured at ATMs in which money was obtained from the victim’s bank accounts.  Because the suspect was masked, the only description of the suspect at this time is that he was approximately 5’ 6” tall and had a thin build.

It was on April 3 at approximately 11:29 p.m. that police received a call from a 49-year-old woman whose Range Rover was struck from behind on Jones Lane near Turkey Foot Road.  The woman did not stop when her vehicle was struck and immediately contacted police.  Upon seeing that the woman was on the phone, the striking vehicle made an immediate U-turn and drove away.

On April 14, at approximately 3:12 a.m., police received a call from a 58-year-old male whose Volvo was struck from behind on Jones Lane near Carry Back Drive.  The male victim told police that at approximately 12:20 a.m. his vehicle was struck from behind.  When he stopped and exited his vehicle to speak with the driver of the striking vehicle, he was confronted by two masked men.  The men were armed with a long gun and a knife.

The victim was knocked to the ground by the suspects, his ankles and wrists were duct taped together, and he was forced into the trunk of his vehicle.  The suspects then drove his vehicle with him in the trunk to several ATM locations where money was obtained from the victim’s bank accounts.

After approximately one hour, the suspects drove the victim’s vehicle to the Poplar Grove Baptist Church located at 14625 Jones Lane.  In the church parking lot, the suspects released the victim, who then returned home and contacted police.  The victim suffered injuries that required medical attention.  He was treated at and released from a local hospital.

The suspect vehicle involved in both incidents is described as a white or light-colored truck or SUV with Maryland tags.

Police are advising motorists to immediately contact police if they are involved in a minor collision.  The motorist should advise police that they have been involved in a collision and that they are driving to a public and well-lit area for their safety.  Motorists should continue driving to a well-lit, safe location to await police response.

Anyone with information about these robberies, the suspects involved, and/or the suspect vehicle is asked to call the Robbery Section at 240-773-5100.  Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or 240-773-TIPS (8477) or enter a tip online.  Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information provided to them that leads to the arrest and/or indictment of the persons responsible for this felony crime.  Anonymous tips can also be provided by typing “MCPD” plus the tip on a cell phone or PDA and texting it to 274637 (CRIMES).

 

Captured at an ATM

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Collision Investigations Class – Field Demonstration

As part of an ongoing pedestrian safety campaign, the police department conducted a pedestrian collision course for officers.  Yesterday, as part of this training, members of the Collision Reconstruction Unit (CRU) simulated bicycle and pedestrian collisions using bicycles and crash dummies at the training academy.  Officers learned the dynamics and physics of these types of collisions, so that they could better reconstruct and interpret findings at the scene of collisions.  MCPD wants to remind pedestrians and drivers that everyone has a responsibility to pay attention on the road!

 

MCPD Pedestrian Test Dummy

2012 Intern and Volunteer Recognition Banquet

Yesterday, MCPD recognized all the wonderful volunteers and interns that selflessly give their time to this department. We want to give special recognition to the following interns and volunteers who received special awards at the Intern and Volunteer Banquet:

Volunteer of the Year – Cathy Chiriaco, Family Crimes Division

Intern of the Year – Matthew Culbertson, PCAT Team, Special Operations Division

Gloria A. Carter Memorial Award – Helen Larsen, Citizens Surveillance Team (CST) and Financial Crimes

Robert B. Davis Memorial Award – Nat Greene, Media Services Division

Outstanding Performance by an Intern –
Christopher Brown, Special Investigations Division
Andrew Coady, 5th District Station
Ryan Mattsson, Volunteer Resource Section and 3rd District Investigations

Supervisor of the Year– Captain Kathi Rhodes, Family Crimes Division

2012 Volunteers

2012 Interns

 

 

Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, Montgomery County Police Department, and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Issue Joint Statement Regarding DNA Collection Ruling

Today, the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Montgomery County Police Department, and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement in response to the Maryland Court of Appeals Decision in Alonzo King v. State.

 

In a 5-2 decision yesterday, Maryland’s highest court overturned a home invasion rape conviction, while simultaneously delivering a major blow to law enforcement throughout the State of Maryland. The Court struck down a provision of the Maryland DNA Collection Act which allowed for the taking of DNA from individuals arrested for crimes of violence and burglary.  Under this Act, DNA collection is routinely accomplished by rubbing a cotton swab on the inside cheek of a person arrested for only the most serious crimes.

 

Since the law was enacted in 2009, there have been 1,325 DNA hits statewide that have solved previously open criminal investigations; 190 of these have been from DNA samples that were taken upon arrest as opposed to the samples taken upon conviction. In Montgomery County alone, there have been 106 hits that have solved cases, including 23 based upon samples taken upon arrest. Many of these hits were for burglaries. There were over 3,000 burglaries in Montgomery County last year alone. Because police have collected post-conviction samples in serious cases since 1994, there are many more hits related to those samples. The goal was to use this provision to increase the number of post-arrest hits that would subsequently lead to case closures.

 

This provision can also prevent individuals from being wrongly accused. Just this month in our county, this provision enabled law enforcement to exonerate a criminal suspect.

 

In recognizing that this ruling is a setback to public safety, Montgomery County Department of Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said, “These DNA hits enable law enforcement to apprehend repeat offenders that prey upon our citizens thereby making our communities safer for everyone.”

 

In reacting to the Court’s ruling, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said, “I reject the rationale of the majority opinion and believe that the dissenting opinion accurately captures the state of constitutional law in the United States. The taking of a cheek swab is no more of an infringement of a person’s fourth amendment right to privacy than the taking of fingerprints, which is a routine booking procedure done hundreds of times daily across the State of Maryland.”

 

Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin noted that yesterday’s ruling will enable a convicted rapist to go free. He pointed out that, “many of the arguments made by the court yesterday were used almost a century ago against the taking of fingerprints which is now routinely accepted.”

 

Chief Manger, Sheriff Popkin and State’s Attorney McCarthy urge Attorney General Douglas Gansler to seek a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States to hopefully have this ruling overturned.

MCPD Pleased to Announce a 5-year Crime Reduction Based on 2011 Year-End Statistics

Montgomery County Police are proud to announce that for the fifth year in a row, crime has decreased. Based on statistics from 2007 through 2011, there has been an 18.8% decrease in total crime over the past 5 years. Part 1 crimes have fallen 24.4%, while Part 2 crimes have also dropped, by 15.6%.
Between 2010 and 2011, total crime decreased by 7.7 percent. Part 1 crimes fell 10.9 % and Part 2 crimes were decreased by 6%.
Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said, “The men and women of the Montgomery County Police Department continue to put a great deal of effort into reducing crime. And while our numbers went down in every category, crime did not go down in every area of the County.
Each of our six District Commanders are tasked with doing an in-depth analysis of where and when crime is occurring in their District. We will target those areas having the highest incidence of criminal activity with additional resources, in an effort to make MontgomeryCounty even safer.”
Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics for year-end 2010 compared to year-end 2011 show:
  • Part I Crime                                                                 decreased by 10.9% (from 21,739 to 19,368)
  • Part II Crime                                                              decreased by 6.0% (from 41,205 to 38,713)
  • Overall, Total Crime (Part I & Part II)     decreased by 7.7% (from 62,944 to 58,081)
 
Part I crimes are defined as: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and auto theft.
Part II crimes are defined as: minor assaults, arson, forgery-counterfeiting, bad checks, embezzlement, stolen property, vandalism, weapons offenses, prostitution, sex offenses, controlled dangerous substance (CDS) violations, gambling, family offenses, juvenile offenses, liquor law violations, disorderly conduct, suicide, and non-traffic offenses.
A breakdown of Part 1 Crime statistics reveals that from 2010 to 2011:
            Murder:                                         decreased 5.9% (from 17 to 16)
            Rape:                                               decreased 5.9% (119 to 112)
            Robbery:                                      decreased 7.8% (from 911 to 840)
           Aggravated Assault:                 decreased 0.8% (from 653 to 648)
            Burglary:                                      decreased 7.9% (from 3,323 to 3,061)
            Larceny:                                       decreased 11.5% (from 15,261 to 13,505)
            Auto Theft:                                  decreased 18.5% (from 1,455 to 1,186)
An analysis of the 2011 crime statistics for Part I offenses include the following points:
Homicide
There were 16 homicides in 2011. Thirteen victims knew or were related to their killers. Two were killed by strangers. One suspect remains unknown.
Rape
Of the rape cases, 94 were completed rapes (85.1%) and 20 were attempts (17.5%).  19 of the recorded cases actually occurred prior to 2011 (16.7%). 73.7% of victims knew or were related to their offender(s) and 24.6% of victims reported a stranger as the offender.
Robbery
Non-commercial robberies showed a decrease from 765 in 2010 to 724 in 2011 (-5.41%). However, “pack” style street robberies with three or more suspects increased approximately 7.3%. Multiple arrests by patrol officers immediately after some robberies and aggressive follow-up by investigators have had a positive impact on reducing non-commercial robbery numbers over the past few years, especially for the repeat offenders/groups responsible for multiple robberies. Overall robberies have decreased 28.0% from a (two-decade) high of 1,166 in 2006.
Aggravated Assault
There were 648 aggravated assaults reported in 2011. 28.4% of assault suspects were a spouse/partner or other family member of the victim. Police officers were victims in 27 of these reported assaults. The display or use of a weapon occurred in 88.7% of these incidents.
Burglary
Both residential and commercial burglaries showed decreases from 2010 to 2011. Residential burglaries dropped by 6.5% and commercial burglaries decreased by 18.2%. In approximately 25.0% of residential burglaries, entry was gained through an unsecured (either unlocked or open) window or door.
Larceny
Larceny decreased by 11.5% between 2010 and 2011. Shoplifting decreased by 18.8% and thefts from buildings dropped 7.9%.  Thefts from vehicles, which includes vehicle parts, dropped by 16.1%. This decrease can be attributed in part to numerous on-scene arrests in prior years to include repeat offenders and increased public awareness attributed to press releases and community informational campaigns.
Auto Theft
Auto Theft (including attempts) are down 18.5% from last year and 62.3% from ten years ago.