A police pursuit that started in Gaithersburg ended in Germantown with the driver of a stolen car crashing it and running from police on Thursday night, Sept. 22.
According to police, the incident started shortly after 9:00 pm on Lost Knife Road near the transit center at the Lake Forest Mall in Gaithersburg. Gaithersburg Police ran the license plate on a silver Toyota Camry which came back as being stolen on Sept. 14, when Gaithersburg officers attempted a traffic stop of the vehicle did not stop and lead police on a 6-mile chase from the mall to the Germantown MARC Train Station.
From Lost Knife Road, the vehicle turned left onto Montgomery Village Avenue and proceeded to get on northbound I-270. The Silver Camry exited I-270 at Exit 13-B at Middlebrook Road westbound toward Germantown Town Center, as more police units joined the pursuit. The chase then took a left onto Crystal Rock Drive passing Seneca Valley High School and then a right onto Wisteria Drive, and then a left on to Walter Johnson Drive coming to an end in the MARC Train Station parking lot, said MCPD spokesman Rick Goodale.The Camry crashed into the barriers near the footbridge over the MARC tracks.
The stolen Camry struck the barrier with enough force to dislodge one of the iron pylons designed to stop vehicles from entering the pedestrian area of the footbridge and came to rest just feet from a park bench.
At this point, the driver exited the vehicle and fled from police on foot. Montgomery County Police set up a perimeter with cars posted along Germantown Road at the train tracks, as well as at intersections surrounding the MARC Train Station including Liberty Mill and Dawson Farm Road, and Germantown Road and Wisteria Drive. However, the driver of the stolen car —described as black male in his 20's, medium build, medium complexion, and short hair — was not apprehended by police.
Two passengers who were in the stolen car stayed with the vehicle, according to Goodale. “Officers identified the two passengers and ended up releasing them based on the evidence. The officers believe that the passengers did not have knowledge that the car was stolen, and weren’t involved,” said Goodale.
According to Goodale, auto-theft detectives have recovered items of evidentiary value from the vehicle and will continue to investigate and hope to make an arrest. The car was reported stolen last Friday, Sept. 16 from Southern Night Lane in Gaithersburg. Police say that the suspect had the keys to the car.
Earlier this week, Montgomery County Police urged residents to lower the risk becoming a victim of auto theft and theft from vehicle by urging you to follow these safety tips:
Keep your vehicle keys with you at all times, and never leave a spare key or valet key in your vehicle. Note: Valet keys can be used to start the vehicle.
Close and lock all vehicle windows and doors when leaving a vehicle unattended.
Remove valuables from the vehicle.
Don’t leave a vehicle running if unattended.
If your vehicle has a “push button” ignition system, make sure that the vehicle is turned off and locked before you leave it unattended.
Park in well-lit and well-travelled areas.
Park in a secure garage if possible.
Use a car alarm and/or anti-theft device.
Use a vehicle locator device.
Many vehicle-related crimes occur overnight. The Montgomery County Police Department reminds residents to immediately call 9-1-1 if they observe any suspicious behavior or activity.
Anyone with any information about this case or any questions relating to vehicle theft in Montgomery County is asked to call the Montgomery County Police Department-Centralized Auto Theft Section at 240-773-6370.
Top: Montgomery County and Gaithersburg City Police at the scene of the end of a police pursuit of a stolen vehicle at the Germantown MARC Train Station on around 9:30 pm on Thursday, Sept. 22.
Next: The stolen silver Toyota Camry crashed into the barriers with enough force to dislodge one of the iron pylons at the beginning of the pedestrian footbridge over the train tracks.
Next: MCPD set up a perimeter around the area of the MARC train station to look for the driver who fled from police. Officers were seen on the Germantown Road at the overpass over the train tracks.
Next: The pursuit and subsequent manhunt involved many Montgomery County Police and Gaithersburg Police units.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.