Detectives Investigating Two Robberies In Wheaton Believed To Be Committed By Same Suspect; Surveillance Photograph Released

Detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – 4th District are investigating two robberies of adult females that occurred in Wheaton and are believed to have been committed by the same suspect.  Investigators are releasing a surveillance photograph of the suspect and are asking anyone with information about him to come forward to police.

The first robbery occurred on Friday, September 27, at approximately 4:33 p.m.  The 44-year-old female was walking on the sidewalk in the 10900 block of Amherst Avenue in Wheaton when the suspect approached her from behind.  The suspect struck the victim in the face and took her book bag.  He then fled on foot.  The victim was transported to the hospital for swelling and abrasions on her face.

The second robbery occurred today, Friday, October 4, at approximately noon.  The 40-year-old female was exiting the women’s restroom in the back of the Giant store located at 2900 University Boulevard West in Wheaton when she was approached by the suspect.  The suspect began to push the victim back into the restroom.  He motioned for her to be quiet and pointed a long-reach lighter in her direction.  The suspect stole the victim’s phone from her shirt pocket and then ran from the store.  The victim was not injured.

Detectives continue to attempt to locate additional surveillance photographs and video of the suspect to release to the public.

Anyone with information regarding the suspect or these robberies is asked to call the 4th District Investigative Section at 240-773-5530.  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 provided to them that leads to an arrest in this case.

Suspect

Suspect Arrested for Offenses to Include Possession of Drugs with Intent to Distribute and Attempted Carjacking

Officers from the Montgomery County Department of Police – 1st District Special Assignment Team (SAT) have arrested and charged Dante Craven, age 28, of Baltimore, with offenses to include attempted carjacking, theft, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute it, and two counts of second-degree assault of an officer.

On October 1, First District SAT officers were investigating a community complaint when they observed a drug transaction.  One suspect left the area in a vehicle.  An officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop of the vehicle but the driver fled in the vehicle.  The suspect stopped the car a short distance and then fled on foot.

Through investigation, SAT officers identified the suspect as Craven.  Officers determined that Craven was also a suspect in a domestic violence incident that occurred approximately two weeks prior in Germantown.  During that incident, Craven fled from police by jumping from a second story balcony of an apartment.

On October 2, First District SAT officers located Craven in Germantown.  As officers attempted to arrest Craven, he assaulted two police officers and fled on foot.  He attempted to carjack a vehicle to get away.  Craven was arrested with the assistance of a K9.  He was found to be in possession of a knife and appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.

He was transported to the Central Processing Unit and is being held without bond.

Commander Darren Francke of the First District stated, “Special Assignment Teams are highly trained officers that work to keep our neighborhoods and businesses safe by disrupting illegal activities that occur outside the sight of uniformed officers. This is a good outcome as Mr. Craven is prevented from endangering our community for the time being and may get more help with his problems. The community should feel safer because of these police professionals.”

Dante Craven

Off-Duty Officer Witnesses Collision; Involved Driver Arrested After Fleeing in Stolen Vehicle

Officers from the Montgomery County Department of Police – 5th District have arrested and charged Anthony Leonard Jr, age 20, of Centerway Road in Gaithersburg, with vehicle theft.

On October 1 at approximately 6:15 p.m., an off-duty Montgomery County Police officer was driving his marked police vehicle north on Ridge Road (MD-27) approaching Snowden Farm Parkway in Clarksburg when he observed a Lincoln Continental make a sudden lane change and strike another vehicle.  The officer activated his emergency lights and siren to maneuver through traffic to assist with the collision and observed that the striking vehicle was not stopping and was accelerating and continuing north on Ridge Road.  The Lincoln turned on Apple Orchard Way and stopped at the intersection of Muscadine Drive.  The driver, identified as Leonard, and four passengers (two adult males and two female juveniles) fled from the vehicle but were apprehended in the area.

The vehicle was determined to have been stolen from a residence in Potomac during the overnight hours of September 27 to September 28.  The vehicle had been parked unlocked with the keys left in the vehicle.

Centralized Auto Theft Section (CATS) detectives interviewed all of the suspects. The passengers stated that they did not know that the car was stolen and asked Leonard to stop the car as he fled from the collision scene.  Leonard stated that he told the four passengers to get out of the vehicle when he stopped it on Apple Orchard Way because the car was stolen.

Leonard was transported to the Central Processing Unit and charged with vehicle theft.  He has been released on bond.  Based on the investigation and interviews, the four passengers were released without charges.

Anthony Leonard

Suspect Arrested for Possession of Drugs and Firearm in Germantown

Officers from the Montgomery County Department of Police – 5th District Central Business District (CBD) Team have arrested and charged Christopher Ritter-Lucas, age 16, as an adult with crimes to include possession of a controlled dangerous substance and firearm-related offenses to include possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, possession of a firearm by a minor (under the age of 21), and knowingly altering a firearm identification number.

On Friday, September 27, at approximately 3:50 p.m., 5th District CBD officers responded to a call for service at the Target store located at 20908 Frederick Road in Germantown.  A store employee called police to report that two males, one of whom had been asked to leave the store on a previous occasion, were trespassing.  The first arriving officer approached the two juveniles as they exited the bathroom and after informing them that they were trespassing and that the officer needed to also speak to Ritter-Lucas about a different ongoing criminal matter, the two juveniles fled on foot.  Officers pursued and Ritter-Lucas and the other 16-year-old male suspect were taken into custody.

Officers recovered a revolver inside of Ritter-Lucas’ backpack; the serial number on the gun had been obliterated.  Marijuana was also found in his backpack.

Marijuana was found in the other juvenile’s possession.

During a police interview, Ritter-Lucas made an admission that his purpose of going to the bathroom in the Target store was to conduct a drug transaction.

Ritter-Lucas was transported to the Central Processing Unit and charged as an adult.  He has been released on bond.

The 16-year-old male was charged as a minor with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and obstructing and hindering and was released to the custody of his guardian.

Fifth District Commander Mark Plazinski says of the arrest, “I am very proud of the response of our officers.  They were able to apprehend these juvenile offenders, one who was armed with a handgun, without injuries to any resident, officer, or the offenders.  Their efforts reflect positively on the police department.”

A photo of Ritter-Lucas will not be released because he is a juvenile.

Officers Investigating Theft and Assault of Four Victims at Westfield Wheaton Mall; Surveillance Video of Suspects Released

The 4th District Patrol Investigation Unit is investigating a theft and the assault of four victims committed by three suspects at the Westfield Wheaton Mall that occurred on Monday, September 23.  Today, the Police Department is releasing surveillance video of the two suspects and is asking anyone with information about the suspects or this crime to come forward to police.

At approximately 12:42 p.m. on September 23, 4th District officers were called to the Westfield Wheaton mall located at 11160 Veirs Mill Road for the report of a theft that had occurred earlier at the Target store.  When the officers arrived, they were notified by security personnel that there was a disturbance at the opposite end of the mall.  Officers then responded to the disturbance and would later determine that the suspects who had committed the earlier theft at Target were the same suspects involved in this incident.

Investigation revealed that after the suspects committed the theft at Target, they attempted to steal items from the Wheaton Beauty Supply store.  When the owner confronted the suspects, two of the suspects began punching him.  The suspects then began to assault (punch and kick) the owner’s friend who had come to his aid and pepper sprayed both he and the friend.

A witness, seeing what was occurring, attempted to take a photo of the suspects with her cellular phone and tried to call police.  One of the suspects grabbed her phone and smashed it on the ground.  The two other suspects then began to assault (punch and kick) the witness.

The fourth assault victim was in his vehicle outside of the mall and observed the suspects assaulting the third victim. As this victim attempted to take a video of the assault with his cellular phone, he was pepper sprayed.  The suspect then pepper sprayed the third victim.

The three suspects fled toward the Wheaton Metro.

Officers confirmed that the three suspects had stolen items from the Target store earlier that day.

Fire and Rescue personnel responded to the mall and provided medical treatment for the victims.

Anyone with information regarding these crimes or the suspects involved is asked to call the 4th District Patrol Investigation Unit at 240-773-5476.  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 provided to them that leads to an arrest in this case.

 

 

Previous video released: