Montgomery County Police Warn of Telephone Scam

The Montgomery County Police Department – Financial Crimes Section wants to again warn residents of telephone scams following the report of three incidents since February 20.  The department believes that these three most recent cases are related.

Summaries of the three most recent cases reported to the departmscamalertent are as follows:

February 20 – A Rockville resident received a call asking if she had a son.  When she replied, “Yes”, the caller stated that her son was in a car accident and had been kidnapped.  The suspect told the victim that her son would be killed unless the victim wired money.  The suspect told the victim not to call police.  The victim transferred money via wire transfer to Florida and Puerto Rico.

February 21 – An Aspen Hill resident received a call that his brother had been shot.  The resident did not believe the caller and began to ask probing questions.  The suspect hung up the phone after realizing the resident did not believe the story.

February 23 – A Montgomery Village resident received a call that his son and brother had been in a car accident.  The caller stated that the son and brother were being held hostage until the resident paid for damages to the other person’s vehicle.  The resident told the suspect he was calling police and ended the call.  The resident was able to verify that his brother was safe.

The suspect (caller) in all three incidents has called from the same phone number.  Although the number appears to be a local number,  Financial Crimes detectives have determined that these calls have originated from outside of the country. Telephone scammers often use a technique called “spoofing” to manipulate and provide a fictitious number to a Caller ID display.

These types of phone scams are not unique to Montgomery County and have been reported in neighboring jurisdictions and around the country.  Generally speaking, the scammer tells the victim that a family member or friend of the victim is in trouble or needs help.  Scammers present a variety of emergency situations in these calls, to include a loved one who is in jail, has been in an accident, or has been physically hurt.  The suspect often states that the event has occurred in another area and that the loved one is unable to talk.  To assist in helping the family or friend, the victim is required to send money via wire transfer or other fund transfer (ie: pre-paid cards, internet transaction).  In November of 2012, the Financial Crimes Section received reports of scammers posing as victims’ grandchildren.  (Click here for complete press release: Friendship Heights Residents Warned of Telephone Scam).

What you can do to protect yourself from telephone scams:

Do not provide information over the phone.  Scammers often ask leading questions to retrieve information from you.  Often, you do not realize that you are giving them valuable information.

Scammers create a sense of urgency.  Slow down and ask the caller for detailed information and a contact number.  Tell the caller you will call them back.  Then, attempt to verify the caller’s story by calling family and/or friends.

Remember that scammers often use a technique called “spoofing.”  Spoofing provides a fictitious number to a Caller ID display.

Do not send money.

Most importantly, contact police immediately if you believe you are a victim of a telephone scam.



Police Investigate Serious Collision in Gaithersburg

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police – Collision Reconstruction Unit (CRU) continue to investigate a serious collision involving four vehicles that occurred at approximately 1:15 p.m. today on Clopper Road just north of Game Preserve Road.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2012 black Chevrolet Equinox, driven by Kent Behzad Karimi, age 37, of the unit block of Polk Court in North Potomac, was stopped in the northbound lanes of Clopper Road waiting to make a left-hand turn into the driveway of Seneca Creek State Park.  For reasons still under investigation, a white 2011 Chevrolet Express van, driven by Jose J. Marez, age 39, of the 2200 block of Regina Drive in Clarksburg, also traveling northbound on Clopper Road, struck the rear of the Equinox, pushing the Equinox into the southbound lanes of Clopper Road.

A county school bus, driven by Margaret Karen Hoyte, age 53, of the 5700 block of Trailview Court in Frederick, was traveling southbound on Clopper Road when the Equinox entered the travel lane.  The bus was unable to stop and struck the passenger’s side of the Equinox. Six special needs students and a driver’s aid were on the bus.

A fourth vehicle, a silver 2001 Volvo S40, driven by Denise C. Pareja, age 26, of the 13000 block of Open Hearth Way in Germantown, was also traveling northbound on Clopper Road.  The driver attempted to avoid striking the rear of the Chevrolet van, lost control of the Volvo, and struck a concrete bus stop area on the side of the road.

The students, bus driver, and driver’s aid were all transported to a local hospital for a check-up but did not report any serious injuries. The driver of the Chevrolet van was not injured and remained on the scene to speak with investigators.  The driver of the Equinox was transported with life-threatening injuries to a local hospital and remains in critical condition.  The driver of the Volvo was also transported to a local hospital for a check-up.

The circumstances surrounding this collision remain under investigation.  Investigators are asking anyone who witnessed this collision to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620.  Callers may remain anonymous.

Police Asking for Public’s Assistance in Vandalism/Hate Crimes in Bethesda

CrimeAlertDetectives from the 2nd District have been investigating a series of vandalisms that occurred during the overnight hours from February 16 to February 17 in the Woodhaven neighborhood of Bethesda.

On February 17 at approximately 3:15 a.m., officers responded to the 6700 block of Melody Lane for the report of a vandalism.  Officers located property and a vehicle that were painted with black spray paint.  Profanity and images of male genitalia were painted on the vehicle.  Also in the area, officers located a marked MCP K-9 vehicle that had been vandalized.  All sides of the police vehicle were painted with black spray paint.  In addition to profanity and explicit images, the suspects painted a swastika and anti-gay comments on the vehicle.

Later that morning, officers responded to two other incidents of vandalism ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­in the 8200 block of Wahly Drive where suspects spray painted a light post and a large landscaping rock. The rock was painted with a swastika.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about these crimes to contact the 2nd District Investigative Section at 301-657-0112, or email a tip to Tipsters may remain anonymous. A cash reward of up to $2000 is available for information that leads to the arrest of the individual(s) responsible for these crimes.

Frederick Man Arrested for Sex Offenses

Timothy Vincent KrupicaDetectives from the Montgomery County Police – Family Crimes Division have arrested a Frederick man for several sex offenses that occurred at Meadow Hall Elementary School in Rockville.

On February 20, detectives from the Family Crimes Division received information from two 11-year-old female victims that they had been sexually abused by their teacher, later identified as Timothy Vincent Krupica, age 30, of the 6900 block of Rooks Court in Frederick.  Krupica was their teacher at Meadow Hall Elementary School.

Investigation revealed that on several occasions between September 2012 and February 2013, Krupica inappropriately touched both victims as well as forced or attempted to force both victims to inappropriately touch him.

This morning, Krupica was arrested on the strength of a warrant and charged with 2 counts of sexual abuse of a minor and several additional sexual offense charges.

Krupica is currently being held at the central processing unit and will have a bond review hearing tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.

UPDATE:  Following a bond review hearing on 2/21, Krupica was released on bond.