Suspects Charged with Vehicle Theft and Firearm-Related Offenses

Mario Alvarado

Mario G. Alvarado, age 18, of the 2900 block of Dawson Avenue in Wheaton, has been arrested and charged with stolen vehicle and firearm-related offenses.  A Montgomery County Police Department School Resource Officer (SRO) assigned to Albert Einstein High School in North Kensington observed Alvarado operating a stolen vehicle on the grounds of the high school on May 1.  Officers located a stolen assault rifle in the stolen car.

On Monday, May 1 at approximately 10:33 a.m., the SRO was patrolling the school grounds in his marked cruiser and observed a blue Mazda 3 park to the rear of Albert Einstein High School.  The SRO observed the driver of the Mazda exit the vehicle, walk toward the school, and return to the Mazda a short time later.  As the driver of the Mazda drove away from the school, the SRO activated his cruiser’s emergency equipment and initiated a traffic stop on the car at the intersection of Norris Drive and Kenton Drive.  The driver of the Mazda stopped the car at the intersection, immediately exited the Mazda, and fled from the officer.

A short time later, the driver of the Mazda, identified as Alvarado, returned to the intersection of Norris Drive and Kenton Drive and was arrested by the SRO and assisting officers.

The SRO conducted a computer check of the Mazda’s registration and determined that the Mazda had been reported stolen on April 27 from a residence on Milton Street in Wheaton.

Fourth District officers searched the stolen Mazda and located an assault rifle in the trunk.  The assault rifle was determined to belong to the Rockville City Police Department (RCPD) and had been recently stolen from a RCPD cruiser in the Kensington area on April 29.

Fourth District officers also located a black Nissan Frontier parked near Albert Einstein High School that had been reported stolen on April 22 from a residence on Lafayette Drive in Wheaton.  Officers searched the Nissan and located a shotgun which had also been stolen from the same RCPD cruiser on April 29.

Alvarado was transported to the Central Processing Unit and charged with possessing a deadly weapon on school property, possession of an assault weapon, possession of a stolen vehicle, and other firearm-related charges.  Alvarado is being held on a $2,000 bond.

On Tuesday, May 2, Central Auto Theft Unit detectives arrested a 15-year-old male juvenile and charged him with auto theft offenses related to this investigation.  The juvenile was released to the custody of his parents.

This investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information regarding these crimes is asked to call the 2nd District Investigative Section at 240-773-6710.


Detectives Investigate Serious Seven-Vehicle Collision in Germantown

Detectives with the Montgomery County Police Department – Collision Reconstruction Unit are investigating a serious collision involving seven vehicles that occurred yesterday evening in Germantown.

On Tuesday, May 2 at approximately 6:12 p.m., officers from the 5th District and Fire and Rescue personnel responded to the intersection of Middlebrook Road and Great Seneca Highway for the report of a serious collision.

Preliminary investigation has revealed that a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee was traveling westbound on Middelbrook Road approaching Great Seneca Highway.  Traffic on westbound Middlebrook Road was stopped for the red traffic signal at Great Seneca Highway.  For reasons still under investigation, the 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee collided with a 2014 Toyota Prius, a 2007 Dodge Charger, a 2015 Nissan Pathfinder, a 2009 Toyota Camry, a 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a 2012 Honda Civic, which were all stopped at the red signal on Westbound Middlebrook Road at Great Seneca Highway.

The driver of the 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee is being identified as Lawrence Russellffer Reid, 43 years old, of Woodfield Road in Damascus.  Reid was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries. Both passengers in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, a 36-year-old female and a 13-year-old male, were also transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.

The driver of the 2014 Toyota Prius is being identified as Serguei Viatkine Paulovich, 62 years old, of Walnut Cove Circle in Germantown.  Paulovich and the 69-year-old female passenger were not injured in the collision.

The driver of the 2007 Dodge Charger is being identified as Thierno Abdoulaye Fofana, 41 years old, of Rhinestone Drive in Germantown.  Fofana was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.  Both passengers, a 2-year-old female and a 11-month-old male were also transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.

The driver of the 2015 Nissan Pathfinder is being identified as Luis Alberto Giron, 40 years old, of Cherry Bend Court in Germantown.  Giron was not injured in the collision.

The driver of the 2009 Toyota Camry is being identified as Steven Alvin Vaughn, 58 years old, of Hillard Street in Poolesville.  Vaughn was not injured in the collision.

The driver of the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee is being identified as Renee Maria Tankir, 38 years old, of Nightingale Street in Gaithersburg.  Tankir was not injured in the collision.

The driver of the 2012 Honda Civic is being identified as Robert James Kellar III, 38 years old, of Horseshoe Bend Circle in Clarksburg.  Kellar III was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Anyone with information regarding this collision is asked to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620.


Department to Honor Fallen Heroes – Twenty-Four-Hour Vigil Begins Tuesday; Memorial Service on Wednesday at Public Safety Memorial

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. During Police Week, law enforcement officers and survivors from around the world come to Washington, DC, to participate in events that honor fallen officers.

Over the years, additional events of remembrance have been established in the month of May to honor public safety personnel that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Throughout this month, the Montgomery County Police Department will remember and honor our fallen officers in various ways, beginning with a vigil and memorial service at the Public Safety Headquarters.

The Montgomery County Public Safety Employee Twenty-Four-Hour Memorial Vigil – Begins May 2

Beginning at 10:00 am tomorrow, Tuesday, May 2, Montgomery County public safety employees both current and past, will participate in a twenty-four-hour vigil at the Montgomery County Public Safety Memorial on the grounds of the Public Safety Headquarters in Gaithersburg (100 Edison Park Drive).  During the twenty-four-hour time period, personnel will take turns standing watch at the Memorial as a way to honor the fallen.  This vigil will lead up to the Montgomery County Fallen Heroes Memorial Service held on Wednesday, May 3.

The Montgomery County Fallen Heroes Service – May 3

On Wednesday, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and the Maryland-National Capital Park Police – Montgomery County Division will honor our fallen heroes at the annual Fallen Heroes Memorial Service.  Members of the public are welcome to attend.

What: Fallen Heroes Memorial Service

When: Wednesday, May 3, 10:30 a.m.

Where: Public Safety Memorial, located on the grounds of the Public Safety Headquarters, 100 Edison Park Drive, Gaithersburg, 20878*

*Please note that in the case of inclement weather, the service will be held inside the Public Safety Headquarters.

In Memory of:

Montgomery County Police Department

Police Officer III Noah A.  Leotta – December 10, 2015

Police Officer III William D. Talbert – January 27, 2012

Sergeant Hector I. Ayala – April 4, 2010

Police Officer III Luke T. Hoffman – April 25, 2007

Captain Joseph A. Mattingly, Jr. – September 13, 2003

Police Officer III James E. Walch – January 25, 1994

Police Officer III Mark M. Filer – August 24, 1993

Police Officer III Philip C. Metz – March 27, 1981

Corporal John M. Frontczak – March 29, 1976

Captain James E. Daly, Jr. – March 28, 1976

Private William P. Conboy, Jr. – December 29, 1973

Lieutenant Donald A. Robertson – March 9, 1972

Lieutenant William H. Jessie – December 30, 1964

Private Robert W. McAllister – November 23, 1952

Private David G. Bisset – October 1, 1952

Patrolman James E. Shoemaker – February 4, 1938

Patrolman Webb S. Hersperger – June 18, 1933

Patrolman Joseph A. Case – December 17, 1928

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

Captain James T. Hall – October 26, 1971

Maryland-National Capital Park Police – Montgomery County Division

Officer Kristin M. Pataki – May 4, 2002

Update: Detectives Continue to Investigate Germantown Homicide

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Major Crimes Division continue to investigate the shooting of three victims and the homicide of a fourth victim that occurred inside of a residence early this morning in Germantown.

The homicide victim is now being identified as Amaru Amir Santos Johnson, age 19, of the 12100 block of Birdseye Terrace in Germantown.

On Saturday, April 29 at approximately 12:55 a.m., the Emergency Communications Center (911) received multiple calls for a shooting that had just occurred inside of a residence in the 12800 block of Kitchen House Way.  Officers from the 5th District along with Fire and Rescue personnel responded and located two adult male victims, one of whom was Johnson, and two adult female victims at the home suffering from apparent gunshot wounds.  Johnson was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.  The three remaining victims were transported to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

This homicide investigation is continuing and detectives urge anyone who may have information to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070.  For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Solvers of Montgomery County is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect(s).  Tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Due to the ongoing investigation, no additional information will be released at this time.


Concern For Missing Silver Spring Juvenile

Update: April 29 at 10:15 p.m. – Moti Tesgera has been located safe and unharmed.  The police and family thank the public and media for sharing this missing person case.

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police – Special Victims Investigations Division are requesting the public’s assistance in locating a missing Silver Spring juvenile.

Moti Tesgera, 17 years old, of the 2400 block of Lyttonsville Road in Silver Spring, was last seen on Friday, April 28 at 5:20 p.m. in downtown Bethesda.  Tesgera is described as a black male, 6’ tall, and weighing approximately 220 pounds. He has brown eyes and black hair.  A clothing description for Tesgera is not available.

Police and family are concerned for his emotional and physical welfare as there has been no contact between the 17-year-old Tesgera and family members from the time he was last seen.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Moti Tesgera is urged to call the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.