Carjacking Arrest Made by Patrol Officers and K9

Silver Spring officers have arrested and charged Leroy Brown, age 17, of the 3000 block of Whispering Pines Drive in Aspen Hill, with armed carjacking.  He is being charged as an adult.

On August 12 at approximately 3:15 p.m., 3rd District officers responded to the report of an armed carjacking that had just occurred at the public parking garage located at 1000 Spring Street in Silver Spring.

The 62-year-old victim stated to police that as he was walking to the parking garage from a local business, he noticed Brown standing by the entrance to the garage.  Brown proceeded to follow the victim.  As the victim entered his vehicle, Brown approached him and produced a steak knife.  Brown then held the knife to the victim’s throat while ordering him to get out of the vehicle and to give him his wallet;the victim complied.  Brown removed the victim’s wallet from his pants pocket and then entered the victim’s vehicle.  He was last seen driving out of the garage.

Responding officers placed a lookout for the stolen 2009 Hyundai Accent and the suspect (later identified as Brown) via the police radio.  A 2nd District officer, circulating the area for the vehicle, located it in the area of Second Avenue and Stratton Road in Silver Spring.  The officer attempted to stop the vehicle but Brown exited the vehicle and fled on foot.  A K9 officer and his K9, Eukon, then began a track for the suspect.  K9 Eukon and his handler located Brown in the 1900 block of Rockwood Road.  Brown complied with officers’ instructions and at approximately 3:48 p.m., he was taken into custody without incident.

Brown was transported to the Central Processing Unit and was charged as an adult with armed carjacking, armed robbery, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, second degree assault, and attempting to elude a police officer by fleeing on foot.

*Note: The Public Information Office does not release photographs of juveniles and therefore a photograph of Brown will not be released.*




Spike in Heroin Deaths is Alarming

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police – Major Crimes Division and the Special Investigations Division are investigating a recent spike in heroin overdose deaths that have occurred in the county.  At least seven overdose deaths have been directly attributed to heroin since March of this year.  Six of the seven deaths have occurred since the beginning of June.

These seven deaths equal the total number of heroin overdose deaths that occurred in the county in all of 2010, 2011, and 2012 combined.  A review of the deaths that occurred this year showed that the victims ranged in age from 19 to 45 years old.  The deaths have occurred all over the county and were not clustered in any particular area.

“The dangers of using illegal drugs are always present but this recent spike in deaths attributed to heroin is particularly alarming,” said Captain Marcus Jones, Director of the Major Crimes Division.  Detectives investigating these deaths are working closely with narcotics detectives on these cases.

Seizures of heroin have also increased in the county according to Captain Nancy Demme, Director of the Special Investigations Division which includes the department’s narcotics detectives.  Other area jurisdictions are also seeing an increase in heroin activity.  “We are sharing information with other jurisdictions on these cases.  This is not a problem that is confined to Montgomery County.” said Captain Demme.

Anyone with information about these cases is asked to contact the Special Investigations Division at 240-773-5959.


Teacher Charged with 14 Counts of Sex Abuse of a Minor

Montgomery County Police-Child Exploitation Unit detectives have charged Lawrence Wesley Joynes,  age 54, of the 1900 block of Ormand Road in Dundalk, Maryland, with 14 counts of sex abuse of a minor, one count of third degree sex offense, child abuse, and second degree rape.  Detectives have identified 15 female victims.  Fourteen of these victims were students of Joynes’ music class at New Hampshire Estates Elementary School (8720 Carroll Avenue in Silver Spring).  The abuse occurred from 2005 to 2013 and occurred in Joynes’ music classroom on school grounds.  The victims were in grades kindergarten to second grade.  The fifteenth victim is now an adult and was victimized in the 1990s.

In February of 2013, a Homeland Security and Baltimore County Police child exploitation investigation revealed that Joynes was in possession of child pornography.  Baltimore County Police and Homeland Security executed a search warrant at Joynes’ residence and at Joynes’ classroom.  At both locations, videos and images of children were found on his computer and other digital media.  Examining the seized videos and photographs, Montgomery County detectives have identified 14 students who were victims of sex abuse.  The abuse included the suspect directing the victims and/or assisting the victims in imitating sexually suggestive gestures and also inappropriate touching by the suspect.

On August 8, Montgomery County detectives charged Joynes via a criminal warrant with 14 counts of sex abuse of a minor and one count of sex offense third degree.  He is currently in the custody of the Baltimore County Detention Center on child pornography charges.

Montgomery County police have also identified a female victim who is now an adult.  Joynes had unlawful sexual encounters with her during a three year period in the 1990s.  Joynes has been charged with second degree rape and child abuse in this case.

No further information will be released on the victims in order to protect their identities and respect their privacy.

Joynes had been a Montgomery County Public School teacher for approximately 27 years and had taught at New Hampshire Estates Elementary School for approximately ten years.   Detectives are asking anyone who has been a victim of sex abuse by Joynes and has not reported it to police to please call the Montgomery County Police-Child Exploitation Unit at 240-773-5400.



Lawrence Joynes

Lawrence Joynes
Baltimore County Detention Center Photo

Two Suspects Charged in Grocery Store Pickpocketing

Montgomery County Police-4th District Property Crimes Detectives have arrested and charged a husband and wife with theft and fraud for the pickpocketing of a victim at a grocery store in Silver Spring.  Karen Kay Steelman, age 52, and Kenneth Harris, age 53, of the 9000 block of Cheval Lane in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, have been charged with seven crimes pertaining to the theft of credit cards and use of the stolen credit cards.

On June 6, officers responded to the Whole Foods Market located at 833 Wayne Avenue in Silver Spring for the report of a theft of a wallet.  The victim stated that when she was finished shopping and attempted to pay for her grocery store items, she realized that her wallet was missing from her purse.

Investigation revealed that approximately $1,600 was charged to one of the victim’s credit cards.  One of the victim’s children stated to officers that when his mother left the cart to get an item off a shelf, a male suspect approached the cart with a jacket and placed the jacket over his mother’s purse.  The suspect then grabbed the jacket and walked away.

Detectives were able to obtain video surveillance of two suspects using the card.  The video was shared with officers and a fellow Montgomery County police officer was able to identify the suspects.

On August 1, Montgomery County Police executed a search warrant at the Harris residence in Prince George’s County and evidence of identity theft was seized.  Both suspects were present at the home.  Steelman was arrested by officers on the strength of a Montgomery County arrest warrant.  Harris was taken into custody by Prince George’s County police officers on unrelated charges and has since been released from their custody.  There is currently a Montgomery County warrant for Harris’ arrest.

Detectives continue to investigate the possible involvement of Steelman and Harris in other thefts in the county.  Investigators are also sharing this information with surrounding jurisdictions.


Karen Steelman

Karen Steelman

Kenneth Harris - Surveillance Photo

Kenneth Harris – Surveillance Photo

Update: Detectives Investigate Capital One Bank Robberies – Video Released

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division – Robbery Section are continuing to investigate two Capital One bank robberies that occurred on May 22 in White Oak and on July 24 in Germantown.  Detectives believe that both robberies were committed by the same suspect.

Today, detectives are releasing video surveillance of the suspect from the Capital One bank robbery in White Oak.  Photos of the suspect obtained from the Capital One bank robbery in Germantown can also be viewed below.

Anyone with information regarding the identity of the suspect involved in these bank robberies is asked to contact 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 leave a Crime Solvers tip here.  Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment for this felony crime.

UPDATE (Aug. 9 5:15 p.m.):  The surveillance video from the Germantown bank robbery has been added to this posting (see below).