Officers from the 2nd District have arrested and charged Jalen Frederick Carpenter, age 22, of Gallatin Street, NW in Washington, D.C., and Tajuan Reginald Lee, age 22, of Kansas Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., with motor vehicle theft and additional criminal charges.
On April 10 at approximately 3:27 a.m., a 2nd District officer was on routine patrol in his marked cruiser when he observed three vehicles driving at excessive speeds on Woodmont Avenue toward Battery Lane in Bethesda. The officer noted that two of the vehicles were sport utility vehicles (SUV) – one black and one silver in color. The officer activated his emergency lights and siren and when he crossed Battery Lane, he observed that the silver SUV, a Mazda CX-9, had crashed into the concrete median on Woodmont Avenue just prior to Wisconsin Avenue. The officer then observed a suspect exit the Mazda CX-9 and enter the black SUV.
The black SUV, a Mercedes-Benz GL450, drove onto northbound Route 355 (Wisconsin Avenue). Suspecting that the driver was impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, officers pursued the vehicle. As the vehicle continued north on Route 355, it swerved, struck the curb, and left the roadway numerous times. At Rockville Pike (Route 355) and W. Edmonston Drive, the Mercedez-Benz attempted to make a right turn and crashed into the concrete median on W. Edmonston Drive.
The initial officer observed four suspects running from the vehicle. Officers, with the assistance of K9, located two suspects (Carpenter and Lee) hiding outside in a gated area of a business; the two suspects were taken into custody. The other two suspects were not located.
Officers determined that one of the vehicles was registered to an address on Lowell Street in Bethesda and the other vehicle was registered to an address on Marywood Road in Bethesda. Officers drove to both homes and determined that unbeknownst to the owners, the vehicles had been stolen from their respective driveways sometime after 10:30 p.m. (on April 9). In both cases, the keys to the stolen vehicles had been left in another vehicle in the driveway and that vehicle had been rifled though.
Carpenter and Lee were arrested and transported to the Central Processing Unit. They have been charged with criminal acts to include two counts of motor vehicle theft, obstructing and hindering, and possession of burglar tools. Lee was also charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance (cocaine) and carrying a concealed dangerous weapon (knife).
Detectives continue to investigate the possible involvement of these two suspects in thefts from vehicles that were reported to have occurred during the same time period and in the areas from where the vehicles had been stolen.