MCP Warns of Gold Scam Targeting Chinese Residents; One Resident Loses $20,000

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Financial Crimes Section are warning residents of a gold scam which has been reported as occurring in other parts of the country and is now occurring in this area.

Affinity fraud is a type of financial scheme that relies on building trust with victims based on shared affiliations and characteristics such as age, race, religion, occupation, etc.  In the gold scam, a type of affinity fraud, the suspect(s) work to build trust with victims who are of Chinese descent .

During this type of scam, the suspect(s), who are Chinese and who often work in a group, contact the potential victim (also of Chinese descent) via phone.  The incoming call to the victim often shows a phone number originating from China.  The scammer, speaking in a dialect of Chinese, states that he needs the victim’s help in some way, like finding a job for someone or needing some other type of support.  The scammer arranges to meet the victim to receive help and during the meeting the scammer, sometimes accompanied by a co-conspirator, presents the victim with what the scammers state is real gold (comprised of gold nuggets and Buddha figures) that he says he located while working construction.  The scammer also shows the victim a note written in Chinese that supposedly was found with the gold and explains how and why the gold was hidden.  The suspect tells the victim that he is undocumented, has no connections in this country and wants to sell the gold and use the money to return to China or help his family in China.  The scammer asks that the victim provide the scammer with cash and in return, he will give the victim all of the gold.  The scammer states that he will take less than what the gold is worth.  If the victim requests it, the scammer will provide him/her with a small gold “sample” to be tested.  The small piece of gold is often real.  At the end of the final transaction between the scammer and victim, the victim is left with worthless, fake gold and the scammer now has the victim’s cash.

The Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) has received two reports of gold scams occurring in the County.  The first incident occurred on or about April 24.  The resident gave the suspects $20,000 in cash for gold which was tested and determined to be fake. Two suspects have a warrant for their arrest in this case for theft and conspiracy to commit theft: 49-year-old Xiaoping Yang (also known as Ziaoping Yang) and 51-year-old Yinhui Huang of undetermined addresses, both previously charged in Fairfax County for committing this same scam.

In the second incident reported to the MCPD, which occurred on June 11, the potential victim became suspicious of the suspects and before conducting any type of exchange she searched articles online and learned that this was a scam.  She then reported the incident to MCPD.  Detectives have obtained photographs of the two male suspects in this case.  The photographs are from a Gaithersburg restaurant where the two suspects and victim talked about the gold while eating lunch.

The Financial Crimes Section is asking that anyone who recognizes the two unknown suspects (photographs below) or anyone with information about the whereabouts of suspects Ziapong and Huang to call detectives at 240-773-6330.  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 two unknown suspect(s). Tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).  Anyone who believes he/she has been a victim of this scam is asked to call detectives at 240-773-6330.

Note to Media: A Financial Crimes detective is available this afternoon to speak about this scam. Please call the Public Information Office at 240-773-5030 (press 4) to make arrangements for an interview.

Two Suspects


Suspect One

Suspect Two

Sample of Fake Gold Given to Victim

MCP Sobriety Checkpoint Tonight – Always Choose A Sober Driver

The Montgomery County Police Department is again reminding motorists to have a plan, drive responsibly, and choose a sober driver.

Tonight, June 23, Montgomery County Police Department officers will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint.

This enforcement is a component of the Department’s continuing effort to curb impaired driving and underage drinking.

The exact location of the checkpoint will not be disclosed in advance.

What: Sobriety Checkpoint

Where: Undisclosed Location

When: Tonight – Friday, June 23 (beginning at approximately 10:00 p.m.)

**The media is encouraged to attend.  Please contact the Public Information Office at 240-773-5030 (option 4) for more information.**


Montgomery County Police 1st District Holds 10th Annual Police Adventure Camp

2016 Adventure Campers with a K-9 team

Montgomery County Police (MCP) 1st District officers and civilian staff will hold their tenth annual Police Adventure Camp. The week-long camp, held this year from Monday, June 26 through Friday, June 30, will take place at Maryvale Elementary School located at 1000 1st Street in Rockville.

The camp, serving approximately 35 campers, is a partnership between the police department, Montgomery County Public Schools, and the Linkages to Learning program.

The day-camping experience will provide the 3rd- through 5th-grade campers with a unique opportunity to better understand the work of police officers, but also allow the campers to get to know some of the officers in supportive and mentoring roles. The campers will receive guidance in conflict resolution, team work and good-decision making.

Presentations will be provided by the 1st District Traffic Squad, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and members of the MCP Volunteer Section. The campers will also see demonstrations by MCP Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) officers and K-9 teams.

Camp attendees will have the opportunity to tour the Public Safety Headquarters and the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center, as well as spend a day exploring Port Discovery in Baltimore.

Police Adventure Camp teaches young people that they can have a positive impact on their community, that their decisions matter, and that police care about them. During the camp, officers and non-sworn staff try to make a positive difference in the life of each child that attends the camp. The camp concludes with a special graduation ceremony on Friday afternoon.

The first annual Police Adventure Camp was held at Veirs Mill Elementary School in June of 2008. Since then, the camp program has been honored with a Maryland Governor’s Service Award and a National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award.

The Police Adventure Camp is a community effort and donations have been crucial to its success. The department would like to thank the McDonalds in Twinbrook, the Chick-fil-A in the Montrose Crossing Shopping Center in Rockville, Branded ’72 in Rockville, the Twinbrook Deli, Giuseppi’s Pizza Plus in Rockville and Jersey Mike’s in the Wintergreen Shopping Center in Rockville, for their generous donations.

NOTE: Members of the media are encouraged to cover this unique camp experience. Excellent coverage opportunities include:
*Monday, June 26, 2 p.m., for the SWAT presentation to the campers
*Wednesday, June 28, 10 a.m., for K-9 demonstrations.
*Friday, June 30 at 3 p.m. for the culminating graduation ceremony.
Please call the Public Information Office, 240-773-5030 (option 4) to coordinate your coverage of the camp.
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DNA Evidence Left at Scene Used to Create Suspect Composite in Series of Unsolved Rapes

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Cold Case Squad continue to investigate six reported residential burglaries and rapes of females that occurred between June 19, 2010 and September 2, 2012 and are believed to have been committed by the same suspect.  Detectives recently sought the services of Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon), a DNA technology company in Virginia that specializes in DNA phenotyping: the process of predicting physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence.  Using DNA evidence (body fluids) left by the suspect at these rape scenes, Parabon’s Shapshot DNA Phenotyping Service has produced a composite (referred to as a Snapshot composite) depicting how the suspect in this case may have looked.

How the Suspect Composite Was Created

Parabon’s Snapshot DNA Phenotyping Service used the DNA evidence (body fluids) left by the suspect at the scene to produce trait predictions for the suspect.  Individual predictions were made for the subject’s ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, and face shape.  By combining these attributes of appearance, Shapshot composites were produced depicting what the suspect might look like at a certain age and with a certain body-mass index (BMI).  The default ages and default BMIs were used because age and BMI cannot be determined from DNA.

It is important to note that Snapshot composites are scientific approximations of appearance based on DNA, and are not likely to be exact replicas of appearance.  Environmental factors such as smoking, drinking, diet, and other non-environmental factors – e.g., facial hair, hairstyle, scars, etc. – cannot be predicted by DNA analysis and may cause further variation between the subject’s predicted and actual appearances.

Snapshot Suspect Composite

Sketch created by a victim of one of the sexual assaults that depicts a red baseball hat with white embroidered vines and leaves. The victim reported that the suspect wore this hat during the sexual assault.



Residential Burglary – Rapes of Females:


  • On July 31, 2012 at approximately 9:17 p.m., the rape of a 95-year-old woman occurred after her home was broken into in the 2700 block of Avena Street in Wheaton. No DNA evidence was recovered from this rape.


Anyone with Information

With the release of the suspect composite, detectives are hoping someone will recognize the suspect and call the Police Department.  Anyone with information regarding the suspect or anyone that believes he/she may have details that might advance this investigation is urged 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).


Juvenile Located Near Westfield Montgomery; Police Need Assistance Identifying Him

UPDATE: Parents of the boy have been located and reunited with their child.  A big ‘thank you’ to local media coverage and alert residents for their help.

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Special Victims Investigations Division are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a male juvenile located near the Westfield Montgomery mall.

On Thursday, June 22, at approximately 1:45 a.m., the juvenile, who appears to be 10 to 11 years old, was found walking alone on Westlake Drive in Bethesda.  He is approximately 4′ 10″ tall and weighs approximately 90 pounds.   He has short brown hair and brown eyes.  He is wearing a long sleeve orange shirt, gray pajama pants, and is barefoot.  He is non-verbal, displays signs of possible Autism, and appears to function at a level lower than his age.

Anyone who has information regarding the located juvenile is asked to call the Montgomery County Police Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5400 or the police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.