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Thefts from Vehicles Continue to Plague Germantown Area

Montgomery County Police Department reported a number of criminal incidents in Germantown from September 19 through October 4, 2016.

Every week the Montgomery County Police report a large number of thefts from vehicles occurring in Germantown and sometimes in Boyds and Clarksburg. MCPD officials urge residents to prevent and/or reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of vehicle-related crimes by removing keys and valuables and locking vehicle doors.

Theft-from-autos and vehicle theft can lead to the commission of additional crimes by the suspect, according to a Montgomery County Police Department in a press release about vehicle theft prevention. “If a suspect can obtain personal information from items in your vehicle, you are susceptible to becoming a victim of identity theft. Also, thieves have used stolen vehicles in the commission of other crimes,” said MCPD.

While this problem is on the rise in the Germantown area, it is not solely a Germantown problem. “This is not just a Germantown issue,” according to 5th District Commander Captain David Gillespie. “Theft-from-auto is one of the biggest crimes in the County.”

MCPD reported multiple thefts from vehicles between Monday, Sept. 26 and Wednesday, Sept. 28. Police report that no force was used, meaning that vehicles were left parked on the street and unlocked or with windows open. Cash and property were stolen from vehicles parked on Ivy Leaf Drive in Boyds, Murphy Grove Terrace, Bent Arrow Drive, and Piedmont Trail Road in Clarksburg.

Police report another rash of theft from vehicles occurred between Monday, Sept. 26 and Tuesday, Oct. 4 on Germantown streets including; Crystal Rock Drive, Forest Brook Road, Port Haven Drive, Wild Cherry Lane, and Circle Gate Drive. Again no force was used to enter the vehicles, but cash and property were taken.

According to police, between Thursday, Sept. 27 and Sunday, Oct. 1 a number of vehicles were entered and had cash or property stolen from within on Mustard Seed Court, Liberty Heights Court, and Caravan Court. While one in one instance force was used to enter the vehicle, in the others the vehicles were either unlocked or may have had a window open.

Police urge residents, “Don’t make it easy for car thieves. Take your vehicle keys and valuables with you and remember to lock your vehicle when leaving your vehicle unattended.”

Vehicle manufacturers have worked to make vehicle theft more difficult to commit by making it nearly impossible to take a vehicle without a key. The Montgomery County Police Department and the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council ask you to lower your risk of becoming a victim of auto theft and theft from vehicle by adhering to the following measures:

• Keep your vehicle keys with you at all times; not in or on your vehicle. Never leave a spare key or valet key in your vehicle. Valet keys can sometimes be used to start the vehicle.

• Close and lock vehicle windows and doors when parked.

• Don’t leave a vehicle running if unattended.

• Park in well-lit and well-traveled areas.

• Park in a garage if possible and make sure that the garage is secured.

• Use a car alarm and anti-theft device.

• Use a vehicle locator device.

Montgomery County Police also reported a number of other criminal activity between Sept. 19 and Oct. 4.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, police report an aggravated assault occurred in the 12900 block of Wisteria Drive at approximately 3:30 pm. The suspect, described as a Hispanic male between the ages of 30 and 40, displayed a weapon.

MCPD report that a vehicle was stolen from the 19900 block of Crystal Rock Drive in the early morning hours of Monday, Sept. 26. The suspect used a spare key left inside the vehicle.

A residential burglary took place in the 13600 block of Dover Cliffs Place in Germantown between approximately 9:00 am and approximately 9:20 am on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Forced entry; nothing was taken.

Another residential burglary took place in the 13200 block of Bristlecone Way in Germantown between approximately 9:00 am and approximately 5:45 pm on Thursday, Sept. 22. Again, police report forced entry and property was taken.

Also on Thursday, Sept. 22, a residential burglary occurred in the 100 block of Foxwood Court in Germantown in the early morning hours. No forced entry; property was taken. Suspects: two males, race and ages unknown.

In Damascus, police reported a commercial burglary occurred at Damascus Auto Service located at 10000 Damascus Boulevard in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Sept. 28. Police say forced entry to gain access to the business and property was taken.

MCPD reminds residents that additional incidents may have occurred and the reports had not yet been received at the time of publication, on October 13.

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