Archived Crime Alerts

Monday, July 26, 2021

Pro-Life Demonstrators Expected Tomorrow

Tomorrow (Tuesday, July 27), a right-to-life group will be exercising their 1st Amendment rights by displaying large, graphic signs on the sidewalk along northbound Connecticut Avenue from 4:00pm-6:00pm. Chief Fitzgerald and Village officers will be on the scene keeping the peace and ensuring traffic and pedestrian safety.

The images on the signs can be upsetting to some, and young children may not understand them.  Also, traffic tends to back up on northbound Connecticut Avenue during the hours of the demonstration.  If you typically use northbound Connecticut Avenue in your travels, you may want to consider an alternative route tomorrow between 4:00pm and 6:00pm

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Recent armed robberies have made us anxious
What are the police doing, and what should residents do?

In the early morning hours of July 4, two young men, one armed with a handgun, confronted two women on Hesketh Street and stole property from one of them.  This past Sunday (July 18) at about 6:40 a.m., a lone middle-aged man walked up to a woman taking a morning walk on Western Avenue, displayed a gun that was in his waistband, and took the woman’s purse.  Village, County and DC police officers responded to the scenes of the robberies and worked together to gather evidence. Detectives have determined that these events do not appear to be related;  the suspects and other characteristics of the crimes are different. These crimes are (thankfully) rare and unusual here, and they have us all understandably concerned.

 So what are the police doing? 

  • All of our Village officers and staff are fully aware of these crimes, and we continue to be on alert as we patrol the Village around the clock.
  • Chief Fitzgerald has spoken with the County Police commander from Bethesda, and they will be putting additional resources in the area, also.
  • County Police detectives are responsible for the follow-up investigation of the Hesketh Street robbery.  The Western Avenue robbery occurred in DC, so DC detectives are following up on that crime.   
  • Village Police are in regular contact with the assigned detectives, and we are hopeful that they can solve these crimes and make an arrest.  If they are successful, we will announce the news right away.  
  • County and DC police are talking to each other and sharing information to make sure they improve the chances of identifying and charging the suspects. 

What should residents do? 

  • Be vigilant, and call Village Police and report any person or vehicle in the area that arouses your suspicions.  Village officers will respond promptly and investigate.
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately if you see a crime in progress and for any emergency.
  • Walk in pairs or groups whenever practical.  This doesn’t guarantee your safety, but it improves the chances that you will not be confronted.
  • If you feel uneasy or unsafe, trust that instinct; turn around and go the other way, pull out your phone and prepare to call for assistance, and/or go to a public place.
  • Install security cameras outside your home.  They will give you peace of mind, and they are invaluable in police investigations.   They have helped solve countless crimes across the country and can serve as a crime deterrent.
  • Adopt security habits that help to prevent crime at your home or on your property: lock your car every time you park; lock your home using deadbolts and window locks; leave outdoor lights on at the front and rear of your home; never leave your key fob in your car; set your alarm and sign up for a house check when you go away.   These habits will not only protect your home and cars, but it will reduce opportunities for theft and discourage thieves from returning to the Village. 

The Village Police are working to keep you safe.   

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Pedestrian Robbed at Gunpoint on Western Avenue
Occurred in DC right near the MD line; DC police are investigating

At about 6:40 this morning (Sunday, July 18, 2021), an adult Village resident was taking a walk eastbound on the Western Avenue sidewalk (on the ‘Maryland’ side).  As she approached the intersection with Cedar Parkway, she noticed a man walking south on Cedar.  The man turned right onto the Western Avenue sidewalk and walked straight toward the woman.   The man stopped directly in front of the woman, lifted his sweatshirt to expose a handgun that was tucked inside his waistband, placed his hand on the gun, and demanded the woman’s purse.  The woman offered no resistance and handed over her purse.  The suspect ordered the woman to run in the direction from which she came, so she turned and ran west on the Western Avenue sidewalk (toward Wisconsin Avenue).  The victim was unharmed.

The victim called 9-1-1 right away.  The call was routed to the DC communications center, and DC relayed the call to Montgomery County communications.  Metropolitan (DC) Police officers responded along with Village Officer Timmerman and County Police officers.  Since the crime occurred in DC, the Metropolitan Police Department will be investigating.  DC and Maryland officers searched for the suspect without success.

The victim described the suspect as a medium-complexioned black male, about 50 years old, approximately six feet tall, with a slender build, a well-trimmed grey (salt-and-pepper) goatee, shaved bald head, wearing a black crew neck sweatshirt, black sweat pants, bright red sneakers and a black cloth COVID face covering which he pulled down when he spoke to the victim.   

If you see a person that matches the above description, please call the Village Communications Center (301-654-7300) right away so that a Village officer may respond and investigate.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Women Robbed at Gunpoint on Hesketh Street
No serious injuries; County Police detectives will investigate

At 2:36 this morning (Sunday, July 4, 2021), the Montgomery County Police received an emergency call for an armed robbery in the 100 block of Hesketh Street (between Cedar Parkway and Kirkside Drive).

The victims, two women who are friends, were talking outside as one of the victims was preparing to drive home following an evening visit.  As the pair chatted, a black sedan pulled up and two men got out of the car and approached the victims.  One of the men pointed a handgun at each of the victims, and he punched one of the women in the face.  The robbers demanded that the victims hand over their property, and the suspects stole two cell phones, a wallet and other personal items.  The suspects jumped back into the black sedan and fled west on Hesketh toward Kirkside Drive.  The victims called 9-1-1 right away.

Village and County Police responded immediately, and Village Officer Drew Fones arrived on the scene within one minute of dispatch.  Multiple officers searched unsuccessfully for the suspect vehicle.  

Fire-rescue was summoned and examined the victim who was punched.  She was treated on the scene and declined to be transported to the hospital.

Police were able to locate and recover the two stolen cell phones a short distance away from the robbery scene; the suspects apparently discarded them as they drove away.  Officer Fones processed the victim’s car in an effort to collect latent fingerprints from a spot that was touched by one of the suspects.

The suspects are described as black males, slender to medium builds, dressed all in black and wearing face coverings.  They were driving a black sedan.

Officers notified detectives from the County Police, and the detectives will conduct the follow-up investigation.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Car Reported Stolen from Hesketh Street Overnight
Key fob was used to steal the car

This morning (Friday, May 21, 2021) around 7:00 a.m., a resident of the unit block of Hesketh Street reported that their black 2018 Honda CRV, which had been parked on the street, had been stolen overnight. They last saw the car at about 11:00 p.m. on Thursday evening.  

The resident first noticed that someone had been inside a second vehicle that they own.  The residents had left this second vehicle unlocked.  The only thing that appears to have been stolen from this second vehicle was the key fob that belongs to the stolen Honda.  The thieves apparently rooted around inside the second vehicle and stumbled upon the Honda key fob.  With that key fob in hand, the thieves drove off in the Honda.  

Residents are urged to secure all of their key fobs inside their homes and to lock their cars every time they park.

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Friday, April 30, 2021

Car Stolen, Two Unlocked Cars Entered Saturday Night
The stolen car was recovered in DC on Wednesday night

  On Sunday morning (April 25), Village Police received reports of theft activity that occurred overnight as follows: 

  • A resident of the 5500 block of Montgomery Street discovered that his unlocked car had been entered; nothing was taken. 
  • A resident of the 5600 block of Kirkside Drive reported that someone entered his unlocked car and stole $5 worth of coins. 
  • A resident of the unit block of East Melrose Street discovered that his car was missing. The car had been unlocked, and the owner could not locate one of the key fobs belonging to the car. 

   Village officers entered the stolen car into the national database. 

   On Wednesday evening (April 28), DC police officers found the stolen car parked on 1st Street Southeast in Washington, DC.  The officers impounded the car and alerted Village Police.   

   Officer Timmerman and Sgt. Tiedemann from the Village Police Department responded to the storage lot to examine the car for latent evidence.  After Officer Timmerman processed the car for fingerprints, he drove the car back to the Village using the spare key supplied by the car’s owner.  The car was undamaged. 

   We suspect that the same person(s) who entered the cars on Montgomery and Kirkside were also responsible for stealing the car on E. Melrose.  This is not uncommon; the petty thieves open unlocked car doors, root around for anything worth stealing, and then push the ‘start’ button to see if the owner left a fob inside the car.  If the car starts, the thief simply drives off with the car.  This type of car theft is a crime of opportunity. 

   Residents are urged to lock their cars each time they park, and to account for all key fobs.  It is almost impossible to steal modern keyless-start cars unless a fob is inside the car, so please take your key fob with you when you exit your car.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Several Unlocked Cars Entered Overnight April 5-6

Car stolen from Virginia is recovered on Grafton Street

At 1:43 a.m. on Tuesday April 6, Officers Fones and Jenkins were dispatched to the westernmost block of Grafton Street to investigate a suspicious situation.  A resident had called to report that he was awakened by loud banging followed immediately by the sound of a car alarm blaring.  The resident looked out of his bedroom window and saw that his car’s lights were flashing indicating that his car alarm was the one he had heard.

Officer Fones arrived on the scene at 1:45 a.m. and Officer Jenkins arrived moments later. Both officers began to canvass the neighborhood on foot. Village officers eventually discovered that three cars on the block had been entered, but the owners reported that nothing was taken from any of them. During the canvass, Officer Jenkins found a man who appeared to be sleeping in the passenger seat of a car parked in the immediate area. The officers woke the man up and detained him. The officers positively identified the man, and a computer check revealed that he was not wanted by the police and the car that he occupied was not stolen. County officers arrived to assist in the investigation.

Upon questioning, the man denied being involved in any criminal activity, and he said he had been hitchhiking and was picked up by a man who had been driving the car; he claimed that the driver’s identity and whereabouts were unknown to him. Village officers noted that the car did not belong to the man who had been sleeping in it, so they contacted Virginia authorities and requested that they find the car’s owner to determine if it had been stolen.

Virginia authorities were not able to provide further information about the car in a timely manner, and without sufficient evidence to prove the man was responsible for any crime, the officers had no choice but to allow the man to leave. A cab picked the man up and drove him away.

After the officers left the scene, the Fairfax County Police called the Village Communications Center and told our dispatcher that the car was indeed stolen from Fairfax County. The owner of the car reported the car stolen on April 3, but Fairfax County had somehow failed to enter the car into the national criminal justice database. Fairfax County Police apologized and provided our officers with the car owner’s information. Village officers contacted the owner of the car and returned the car to him.

 With the identity of the suspect supplied by our officers, Montgomery County and Fairfax County investigators will be following up to place appropriate charges

Monday, March 22, 2021

Suspicious Man Tries Door Handles of Home on Grove Street

Man appears to be the same person who has done this before

At about 7:50 p.m. on Sunday March 21, a resident of a home in the 5400 block of Grove Street was startled to see a man standing on the patio behind her home.  The resident smartly made sure her back door was locked and then spoke to the man without opening the door while a family member called the police.

The suspicious man, a middle-aged Black male wearing a black jacket and pants, a COVID mask and a black cap, told the resident that he was looking for a church that helped homeless people.  When the resident told the man that her home wasn’t a church, he apologized and quickly left on foot.  Village Officer Hearn arrived in two minutes and began searching for the man throughout the area but was unable to locate him.

When the resident later reviewed her security camera recordings, she saw that the man had walked onto the front porch, unsuccessfully tried to open the locked front door, and then wiped the door handle down with what appeared to be a napkin or a tissue in an apparent effort to remove any fingerprints.

When police reviewed the video, the man appeared to be the same person who had burglarized a home on Montgomery Street on February 15, and attempted to enter another home on Grove Street on February 27.

View the video of the Montgomery Street suspect at the below link (the man first appears at 19 seconds into the video):

The two still images toward the end of this message were taken from the Montgomery Street video.

Village Police are actively looking for this man.  Village residents are asked to contact the Village Police Department if they see someone who resembles the suspect.  Village officers will respond and investigate.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Burglary Suspect Spotted in the 5600 Block of Grove at 10:20 a.m. Today

Suspect entered back yard and and left via the alley behind the house

Village Police are currently looking for the suspect.  All residents are asked to keep a sharp eye out for the suspect and to call Village Police immediately if they see someone resembling the man.  The the below message from March 1 to view video and still images of the suspect.

Monday, March 1, 2021

VIDEO: Attempted Home Burglary in the 5400 Block of Grove Street

Suspect appears to be the same man responsible for a burglary on February 15

   On Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 8:36 p.m., a man walked onto the front porch of a home in the 5400 block of Grove Street.  A security light popped on which appeared to startle the man and he turned away momentarily.  A few seconds later, the man quietly opened the storm door and appeared to try to enter the home, but the main door was locked.  The man then walked around the side of the home before leaving the area.  The suspect did not enter the home.
   The homeowner discovered the prowler when he reviewed the recordings from his security system, and he notified Village Police right away.  View the video of the Grove Street suspect at the below YouTube link:

The man captured in the video on Grove Street appears to be the same man who broke into a home on February 15 in the 5500 block of Montgomery Street.  View the video of the Montgomery Street suspect at the below link (the man first appears at 19 seconds into the video):

   The two still images toward the end of this message were taken from the Montgomery Street video.
   The suspect is described as a middle-aged Black male with eyeglasses and a dark blue or black winter jacket with a hood, carrying a black backpack.  Village Police are working with Montgomery County Police and Metropolitan Police detectives to identify the man. 
   Village residents are asked to contact the Village Police Department if they see someone who resembles the suspect.  Village officers will respond and investigate.
   Residents are reminded to activate their burglar alarms, install security cameras, keep their homes locked and request a house check whenever they plan to leave their home for more than 24 hours.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Daytime Burglary in 5500 Block of Montgomery Street

Suspect’s image captured on homeowner’s security camera

   On Friday, February 19, 2021, a resident of the 5500 block of Montgomery Street returned home after being away for several days.  Shortly after entering her home, the resident discovered a severely damaged interior door that led from the basement into the first floor of the home.  The resident called the Village Police immediately and was instructed to leave the home and wait outside for the officers.

   Officers Davor Hrnjak and Iraj Almas arrived and began by searching the perimeter and then the interior of the home.  Once the officers determined that the suspect(s) were gone, they began their investigation.  The resident’s husband accessed the recordings from their home security cameras, and it showed that the break-in occurred on Monday, February 15 at about 4:00 p.m.  

   Investigation revealed that the lone suspect entered by breaking through a basement-level French door, then broke through the locked interior door at the top of the basement stairs to gain access to the first floor of the home. The house was not ransacked, and the resident did not believe anything was stolen.  

   The video of the suspect shows that he is a Black male who appears to be middle-aged, wearing glasses and a dark blue or black winter jacket with a hood, carrying a black backpack.  Further investigation revealed that the suspect entered Montgomery Street from the Buffer Zone prior to entering the victim’s home, and the man left the area by walking into the Saks lot via the Buffer Zone.

   Village residents are asked to contact the Village Police Department if they see a man fitting the description or matching the photos below.  

   Residents are reminded to activate their burglar alarms, install security cameras, keep their homes locked and request a house check whenever they plan to leave their home for more than 24 hours.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

A Message from Chief John Fitzgerald About Inauguration Security

Following the ugly violence at the Capitol on January 6, I understand that many residents are anxious about what might happen on Inauguration Day.  I think we all sense that, after watching Americans violently attack the seat of our democracy—and other Americans—we must not underestimate what some people might do based on their beliefs.

In order to provide you with some reassurance, I want to let you know what the Village Police Department has done and is doing to prepare for the upcoming week, and to suggest things that you might do to help keep yourself and our community safe.

Village Police Department leadership has been participating in national, regional and local conference calls beginning last week. Those calls will continue through Inauguration Day.  There is a robust communications network, and agencies will be sharing information in real time throughout the coming days.

Federal, state and county officials are monitoring internet chatter and are following up on leads.  Intelligence indicates there are threats focused on Washington, DC and on state capitals.  There are no specific threats to any other locations, but our federal partners have asked all law enforcement agencies to forward tips to them immediately.  

The Village Police Department is plugged into the larger law enforcement effort and will remain in frequent contact with other agencies as the week progresses.  The County Police will have several teams of officers on duty in DC and in Maryland along the DC line during the run-up to, and on, Inauguration Day.  There are specific plans in place, but those specifics are not for public release, of course.

The Village Police Department is working in coordination with the County Police to provide a full complement of officers locally.  We will have a full shift of Village officers working on Inauguration Day, and you might see County officers, as well.  Although violence coming into the Village is not likely, anything is certainly possible.  We will stay on top of the event as it unfolds, and we'll do our best to anticipate what might happen and to keep you informed as necessary. 

So, what can you do to keep yourself and your family safe, and to help us keep the community safe?  I suggest the following:


Friday, January 8, 2021

Car Windows Smashed in Daytime Hours in Nearby Friendship Heights
Residents are urged to remove all valuables from their cars

Montgomery County Police have reported several window-smash thefts from vehicles parked in the commercial areas—on streets and in parking garages—of Friendship Heights during the day.  Thieves have been attacking vehicles that have items in view that appear to be valuable.  Backpacks containing laptops, iPads and other personal belongings have been stolen.  The damage to the vehicles makes these types of thefts far more costly and inconvenient.

In addition to locking their vehicles every time they park, residents are urged to remove from their cars—or at least fully conceal—all items that may attract thieves.