Archived Crime Alerts

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Residents Receive Calls from a Man Pretending to be a Village Police Officer

Caller attempts to scare residents into sending money

UPDATE: Scammer is now using the name of Village Lt. Dasilva; ignore this thief

Residents report that the caller has pivoted and is now using the true name of one of the Village Police Department’s officers:   Lt. Dasilva.  Do not be tricked by this thief.  This is just another twist on an old con game.  Ignore this scammer!

So far this morning (January 26, 2023), the Village Communications Center has received calls from 7 residents reporting that a man called and identified himself as ‘Sgt. Ham’ from the Chevy Chase Village Police Department (we have no such person in the Department).  

 ‘Sgt. Ham’ told the residents that an arrest warrant had been issued for them for failing to appear for court, and they must send money to avoid arrest.  Each of the residents said that ‘Sgt. Ham’ called from 301-241-7018.  When some of the residents challenged ‘Sgt. Ham’s’ claims, he told them that they would receive a call from his supervisor, a lieutenant.  After a few minutes, the ‘lieutenant’ called those residents and their caller ID displayed the Village phone number (301-654-7300).  Obviously, these thieves are able to use technology to make it appear as if they are calling from the Village Hall.

 Below are some tips to keep you from falling victim to telephone scammers—including these police impersonators:

1.  Paying money to avoid service of a true arrest warrant isn’t a thing.  This is not how it works.  

2.  Ignore every incoming call that is unfamiliar to you.   Simply do not answer the phone; let it go to voicemail.  

3.  Never send money to an unexpected/unknown caller.   We call these people thieves.   Don’t let them trick you.

4.  Many such callers insert a sense of urgency into their scam (pay immediately or be arrested; grandson needs bail money right now; the offer will expire very soon; the IRS will put a lien on your assets by the end of the day; etc.).  Resist the urge to send money.  Call the Village Police before you do anything.

5.  And never, never, ever (did I mention never?) purchase gift cards to send money to any caller for any reason. 

6.  If you made a mistake and answered the phone, just hang up.  You owe no courtesy to a thief.  Get out of there and if you know how to block the caller’s number, do that. 

Click Below for Archived Crime Alerts by year

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Early Morning Car Theft on W. Lenox
Eyewitness briefly confronted by one of the suspects

 Shortly after 7:00 a.m. today (Sunday, November 27, 2022), a person walking in the unit block of W. Lenox Street was startled as two cars—a dark-colored BMW SUV and a dark-colored sedan—drove the wrong way onto W. Lenox Street from Connecticut Avenue.   The eyewitness then watched as the cars came to an abrupt stop further down W. Lenox adjacent to a parked Audi SUV.   As a total of three persons got out of the two dark vehicles, the eyewitness yelled out to the trio that they drove the wrong way on W. Lenox.

As the eyewitness looked on, two of the suspects quickly entered the apparently unlocked Audi, started the car and drove off.  Simultaneously, the third suspect looked directly at the eyewitness, pulled a ski mask down over his face, shoved one hand in a jacket pocket, and began to walk directly toward the witness in a threatening manner.  The eyewitness immediately left the area.  He stated that then entire event took place within a span of just a few minutes.

Village Officer Davor Hrnjak received the call over the radio and arrived on the scene within 3 minutes.  The suspects and the stolen Audi were already gone.  Officers from the Montgomery County Police arrived a short time later to assist.  County officers informed Officer Hrnjak that they responded to three similar crimes shortly before this event in the Village.

Officer Hrnjak interviewed the car owner and the eyewitness and placed a lookout for the suspects and the stolen car.  Officer Hrnjak’s investigation revealed that the Audi was unlocked, and the key fob was in the car along with other items of value.  Officer Hrnjak promptly placed the car’s information into the nationwide database for stolen autos.

In addition to coordinating with the County Police on this investigation, Officer Hrnjak also alerted the Metropolitan Police (DC) of this crime.  As of this writing, the investigation is ongoing.

Residents are urged to remove all valuables, lock their cars and remove their key fobs every time they park. Taking these basic crime prevention steps will make it harder for thieves to steal, and it will force them to go somewhere else.  Crime prevention is a community good; please make crime prevention a habit for yourself and for your neighbors.

The Village Police Department requests that residents check the overnight recordings on their security camera systems.  Anyone with information about this incident should call the Village Police Department at 301-654-7300.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Shooting Injures One at Clyde’s Chevy Chase

Dispute escalated to violence; County Police: public is not at risk

At about 12:15 a.m. today (Monday November 14, 2022), County Police responded to a call for a shooting at Clyde’s of Chevy Chase.  They found one person suffering from a gunshot wound and a second person with an unspecified injury (non-gunshot).  Both persons were taken to a hospital and are expected to survive. 

The investigation by county detectives has revealed that the suspect engaged in a verbal argument with the victims inside of the restaurant. Once outside of the restaurant, the suspect shot one of the adult male victims in the upper body, then hit another adult male victim in the face and left the scene.   

The suspect is described as an adult Black male, with a slim build, between 20 and 25-years-old, and armed with a handgun.  County Police believe this is an isolated incident, and that there is no threat to the general public. Detectives are actively investigating this crime.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Housekeepers’ Cars Apparently Targeted by Thieves
In a 5-day period, windows of three cars broken—all belonging to housekeepers; purses stolen

On Thursday, September 22 between 2:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., someone smashed a window of a car parked in the westernmost block of Hesketh Street.  The thief stole a purse containing hundreds of dollars in cash which belonged to a housekeeper working at a home nearby.  A few minutes after Village Officer Davor Hrnjak arrived on scene, a call was dispatched for another window-smash theft from a car parked in the 5400 block of Center Street.   That car also belonged to a house cleaning crew working at a home on Center.  Two residents reported seeing an unfamiliar black Dodge Durango SUV turning around at the dead end of Center Street at about the time of the theft there.

On Tuesday, September 27 between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., a thief broke the window and stole a purse from a housekeeper’s car that was parked in the 100 block of E. Melrose Street.  Officers were able to obtain video from a neighbor’s security camera system which captured the thief driving a forest green 4-door sedan with darkly tinted windows.  

Village police are asking residents to alert their housekeepers and to advise them to avoid keeping any cash, purses or other valuables in their cars.  Police suspect that thieves may be targeting housekeepers’ vehicles in search of cash often carried by cleaning crews and left in their cars. 

Residents are urged to be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles on their blocks—especially when their housekeepers are on site—and to call police immediately.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Blue Mail Boxes Continue to be a Source of Mail Theft
Postal Inspector is investigating; 
residents are advised to make payments electronically

In recent months, thieves in the DC region have stolen mail box keys ('arrow keys') - some by robbing mail carriers at gunpoint - and used those arrow keys to steal mail from blue mail boxes in Bethesda and Chevy Chase (see article from the Washington Post:  The thieves then find checks within the mail, 'wash' them chemically, and forge them sometimes for thousands of dollars.

One of our residents reported that she mailed a check inside the lobby of our post office (as we recommended), and that check was also stolen and forged.  There is some concern about the security of mail within the post office system as a result.  While there is reason for concern, please remember that after the mail leaves our local post office, it proceeds through several steps and locations where a thief could take advantage of an opportunity to steal mail.  It is not at all clear that any postal employee is involved.  Please be careful not to direct blame at any person or group prematurely; we simply do not know who is responsible right now.

The Chevy Chase Village Police Department has been in direct contact with the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).  They are aware of these crimes and they are investigating.  Additionally, due to the report of mail stolen after it was deposited inside a post office, the Postal Service Inspector General's Office will be investigating that event.

Meantime, Village Police has requested that the postmaster temporarily remove the compromised blue mail boxes from the Village until the USPS finds a way to make them secure again.  Once they solve the problem, they will replace the blue boxes for the convenience of patrons.

For now, the Village Police Department and the USPIS strongly recommend that residents follow the below advice to avoid being a victim of mail theft:

  • Make electronic payments rather than mailing checks; write as few checks as possible.
  • Do not place outgoing mail in USPS mail boxes or in your private mail box or mail slot.
  • Take outgoing mail to the post office and drop it through the slot inside the lobby.
  • Ask your bank for 'secure' checks that are more difficult to alter.
  • Use fraud-resistant pens to write any check that you must issue.
  • Report stolen mail by calling 877-876-2455.

Friday, June 3, 2022

TREND: Daytime Thefts from Autos on the East Side of the Village
Worker vehicles targeted; residents asked to warn their contractors

The Village Police Department has identified a pattern of daytime thefts from work vehicles on the east side of the Village, which began on May 2.   Although it is uncertain if the four thefts have been committed by the same persons, the incidents share strong similarities.  Each of the four incidents occurred on east side streets, at similar times, targeted similar vehicles, and the thieves stole similar items.

The four events are as follows:

  1. May 2 between 10am-noon: Credit cards were stolen from an unlocked work truck in the 6200 block of Western Avenue. No eyewitnesses.
  2. May 16 between 10am-noon: A wallet containing credit cards was taken from an unlocked work truck in the unit block of E. Irving Street. No eyewitnesses.
  3. May 18 between 8am-3pm: A window of a car belonging to a domestic worker was smashed and a woman’s backpack—which was visible on the back seat—was stolen in the unit block of E. Lenox Street. No eyewitnesses.
  4. June 1 at 11am:   Credit cards and cash were stolen from an unlocked work truck in the 100 block of Primrose Street.  Good information from an eyewitness.

 An eyewitness to the June 1 event provided a solid description of a suspect and vehicle involved in the crime: 

The thief is described as a Black male, 6’2” tall, medium build, goatee, wearing a red and white baseball cap and a grey T-shirt.  

Suspect vehicle: 
The car is described as a dark blue Mercedes GL450 SUV with darkly tinted windows.  The thief described above was a front passenger in the SUV.   The darkly-tinted windows on the car prevented the eyewitness from seeing the driver.   

Village officers are focusing their patrols on this problem.  Residents can help by notifying their contractors and domestic workers to remove all valuables from sight and to lock their vehicles AT ALL TIMES, and by calling the Village Police immediately at 301-654-7300 if they see any suspicious person or activity in their neighborhood.  If you can get a license plate number and take a photo, that would be a huge help for the police!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Man Identified, Charged in Village Auto Theft

Cell phone search warrant, fingerprint ‘hit’ helped 
close the case

On March 22, 2022 at about 7:15 a.m., a resident of the 100 block of E. Melrose Street discovered that her car was not in her driveway where she had parked it the previous day.   The resident called the Village Police, and Officer Joseph Chung responded.

Officer Chung learned that the car had a GPS tracking service, and later that same day, that service located the car near an apartment building in Northwest DC.   Officer Chung contacted the Metropolitan Police (MPD), and MPD officers located the car.  One of MPD’s crime scene technicians found fingerprints on the car and a cell phone on the ground right next to the car.  Village Officer Davor Hrnjak retrieved all the evidence from MPD to further our investigation.  

Officer Chung obtained a search warrant for the phone’s data and asked the County Police Department’s Electronic Crimes Unit (ECU) to execute the search of the phone to identify its owner.  The ECU’s search indicated that the phone was owned by a man named Michael Yudzon, 38, of Washington, DC.

Officer Chung then asked the County’s Latent Fingerprint Unit to compare the fingerprints taken from the stolen car with the known fingerprints belonging to Michael Yudzon.   The fingerprints were a match.

Early this morning (May 12, 2022), Montgomery County Police responded to a suspicious situation and arrested Michael Yudzon for tampering with cars in Chevy Chase Section 5.  Upon learning that Michael Yudzon was in custody, Officer Chung served his arrest warrant on Mr. Yudzon at the County’s central arrest processing center in Rockville, charging him with one count of motor vehicle theft and one count of felony theft.  Mr. Yudzon was committed to the detention center on $5,000 bond.

The Village Police Department is grateful for the cooperation of the car’s owner and the officers of the Metropolitan Police Department and the Montgomery County Police Department.  This was a successful team effort!

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Early Morning Indecent Exposure Incident on Connecticut Avenue Sidewalk

Male suspect and female victim were walking in opposite directions south of Bradley

At 6:30 this morning (Tuesday, May 3), Village Police dispatch received a call from a woman who stated that, 15 minutes earlier, she was the victim of an indecent exposure.

The woman stated that, at about 6:15 a.m., she was on her morning walk and heading south on the sidewalk on the west side of Connecticut Avenue between Bradley Lane and W. Newlands Street.  She said that a man walked past her heading in the opposite direction, and shortly after he passed her, he got her attention by asking her where the nearest store was; he added that he was lost and didn’t have his phone with him.  When the victim turned around to respond to the man, she saw that he had pulled his pants down to expose his genitals to her.  She immediately turned away, left the area and called the police as soon as she got home.  The suspect was last seen on foot headed north towards Bradley Lane.

The suspect is described as a black male in his early 40's, either bald or hair that is closely-cropped, muscular build, wearing black sweat pants, black shirt, blue surgical face mask, and possibly wearing sandals.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Chevy Chase Village Police Department at 301-654-7300.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Thieves Are Stealing Cars that are Left with Engines Running
Cars that are ‘warming up’ in the morning are being targeted

Modern cars are very difficult to steal unless the keys or fobs are inside them.  Virtually all cars are stolen because the owners have left the keys inside, or because they’ve walked away ‘for just a minute’ while the engine is running.

During the cold months of winter, drivers often start their cars to let them warm up or they leave their cars running to stop at a convenience store or gas station briefly.  Wintertime is a car thief’s candy store. 

Recently, groups of thieves have been driving through residential neighborhoods looking for cars left running in driveways while the unsuspecting owner is inside their home sipping coffee.  When the group spots a car with its engine running, one member of the group will hop out of the suspect vehicle, slip into the victim’s car, and drive away.  Thieves have stolen multiple cars in some neighborhoods this way; it’s so easy.  Although this hasn’t occurred in the Village yet, if we leave our cars running, it certainly will happen here eventually. 

You can prevent this crime of opportunity—so please do you part:

•    Never leave your car running—not even for a minute.  It’s not only against the law*, it is foolish. Take your key or fob, and lock the car.  

•    It’s way more efficient to just get in and drive—don’t wait for ‘warm-up.’  Gasoline and diesel engines warm up much more quickly if the car is being driven.  A car idling in a driveway takes far longer to come up to operating temperature. 

•    Keep an eye out in the morning and report suspicious cars or people.  If you see an unfamiliar car cruising the neighborhood with several people inside, call the Village police.  We will respond and investigate. 

*We realize that some cars have technology that allows them to be started remotely while simultaneously preventing the car from being stolen if the fob is not inside the car.  If your car has such technology, the law allows the car to run unattended for up to 5 minutes.

Friday, January 14, 2022

TWO VIDEOS:  Thief Armed with a Handgun on Hesketh Street
Lock your cars!! And do NOT confront anyone; call the police immediately

This morning as she began her day, a resident of the unit block of Hesketh Street decided to check the overnight recordings on her security camera.  She was shocked to see that her camera had recorded two thieves in her driveway at 5:38 a.m.  The video started with one thief already inside her car rummaging around, and seconds later, a second thief walked into the picture, and it appeared he was carrying a handgun in his right hand.  She called the Village Police Department right away at 6:24 a.m. and Officers Chung and Timmerman responded.  By then of course, the suspects were long gone. The resident provided a copy of the video to the officers, and a link to it is below.

Officers Timmerman and Chung canvassed the neighborhood and discovered that a total of 7 unlocked cars had been entered; 5 in the unit block of Hesketh, 1 in the middle block of Hesketh, and 1 on the unit block of W. Irving.  During their investigation, the officers scouted the neighborhood looking for private security cameras to get additional evidence.  Officer Timmerman made contact with a homeowner on W. Irving Street, and that resident’s camera captured footage of two suspect vehicles driving slowly on W. Irving at 5:08 a.m.  The first vehicle appears to be a small SUV similar to a Subaru; the second suspect vehicle is a full-size white SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Suburban or a Ford Expedition. The link to this second video is below, also.  

In this second video, the first suspect vehicle pulls alongside a small car parked along the curb.  It appears that someone in that first suspect vehicle grabbed the handle of the parked car—without getting out of the suspect vehicle—to see if it was unlocked.  The car was obviously unlocked as the car’s lights popped on when the door was cracked open.  The thieves then can be seen pulling forward, parking, and at least 3 suspects can be seen walking back to rifle through the parked car.

If anyone has any additional video or information about this crime, or if you see the suspect vehicles, please contact the Village Police Department at 301-654-7300.

There are two very important take-aways from this crime: 

1.  Lock your car every time you park and remove valuables!!  Failing to lock your car provides an easy opportunity for thieves.  When they are successful so easily, they learn that we are easy pickings, and they come back for more.  The more they return, the more likely that something bad will happen eventually.  We must stop inviting thieves back.  Locking your car denies opportunities to thieves, and is a social good. Help make our community safer by locking your car—every time.   Please. 

 2. Never confront a thief or anyone suspicious—call the police immediately.  One of the thieves was armed with a gun.  Do not go outside, do not yell at them, do not follow them.   Just call the Village Police at 301-654-7300, or in an emergency (injury or threat of harm to a person) call 9-1-1. 

Video #1--Suspect carrying handgun in driveway on Hesketh:  Click here for the video of the suspect with a gun


Video #2--Two suspect vehicles: Click here to see the 2 suspect vehicles

Thursday, January 13, 2022

DC Listserve Post:  Thieves Smash Windows of Several 
Audi Automobiles in Nearby DC
Perpetrators may have been looking for valet keys to steal the cars

 According to a post on the DC listserve, at about 1:50 a.m. on Wednesday January 12, unknown persons smashed the windows of several Audis parked along 28th Street and 29th Street NW in Chevy Chase DC.  I have copied the post, below.  Village officers have been made aware of this incident and will be alert to any suspicious activity overnight.  Here is the unedited post:

 In the early morning hours (approximately 1:50 am) of Weds. Jan. 12 **several** Audi cars parked along 28th and 29th streets in Chevy Chase DC had their windows smashed in or were otherwise broken into. Only Audis we’re targeted. 
 Security camera footage from a few residences showed that these break-ins occurred within only a matter of seconds one right after another. The videos showed that car alarms went off — but although all the neighbors were home, apparently no one was awakened by the sounds!
 It is unclear whether items were stolen from inside the cars; however there was conjecture among both residents and police that a valet key possibly hidden by the manufacturer inside the center console of Audi cars may have been the object of interest. 
 Police were called to 28th and 29th streets and they arrived at about 9am Weds. morning. No arrests had been made as of 11pm Weds. night. 
 If I owned an Audi parked on the street in Chevy Chase tonight— I’d be sitting up all night watching my car. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2022

Technology Makes it Easy for Someone to Track Your Every Move
Apple Airtags can be used to find your missing car keys—or to track you

Recently, a resident alerted Chief Fitzgerald to an article about how Apple AirTags have been used by persons to stalk their unwitting victims (often following the break-up of a domestic relationship). 

AirTags are small, coin-sized devices that transmit their location—very precisely—to the owner’s iPhone.  AirTag owners often attach the devices to important items such as car keys or purses so that, when the item is misplaced, the owner can use their iPhone to find the item.  This is the ‘good’ side of these devices.  

On the other hand, these same devices can be used diabolically to track or stalk someone.  A person with bad intentions can simply slip an AirTag into a victim’s car, purse or backpack and track the victim’s whereabouts around the clock.   This is the ‘bad’ side of such devices.  

The links below will take you to articles explaining how AirTags work, how you can determine if an AirTag is tracking you, and what steps you might take to prevent this from happening to you.

To read the Washington Post article about Apple AirTags and Stalking click here

To read CNET's article about Apple AirTags being used to track you click here