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Thursday’s Snarled Morning Commute Leads Police to a False Carjacking Report

Many Germantown area commuters will remember the traffic snarls and delays created by an early morning single-vehicle collision on Clopper Road, well that wasn’t the only commotion caused by the driver of the vehicle that morning. He later entered a Starbucks claiming that he had just been carjacked in the parking lot. That claim turned out to be false.

At about 5:45 am on Thursday, Oct. 5, Montgomery County Police and Fire Rescue units were called to the scene of an overturned Toyota Sequoia SUV on Clopper Road just east of the intersection with Waring Station Road.

When police and rescue personnel arrived, that found the SUV on its passenger side against the guardrail in the eastbound lane of traffic. However, there was no driver present. The back window of the SUV had been shattered, and police on the scene told Germantown Pulse that they believed the driver had exited the vehicle through the back window.

The driver exited and disappeared, police and MCFRS did a search of the surrounding woods for the driver, but no one was found.

Police officers at the scene of single-vehicle accidents have reported to Germantown Pulse, in the past that occasionally drivers will get into accidents leave the scene, either because they are afraid due to warrants, of the vehicle is stolen, or the drivers may have been driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Often these vehicles will later be reported stolen.

The incident closed Clopper Road in both directions for about two hours as police investigated the disappearance of the driver and a tow truck crew removed the damaged SUV.

Later that morning at about 10:30 am, about a mile and a half up the Clopper Road, a man entered the Starbucks store in the Kingsview Village Shopping Center at 13408 Kingsview Village Avenue, claiming that he had just been carjacked in the parking lot.

Officers from the 5th District responded and interviewed the man making the claims. According to Capt. Mark Plazinski, Commander of the 5th District, “Officers found a lot of holes in the man’s story, and he quickly began to backtrack the carjacking claim.”

The cause of the traffic accident remains unclear. However, the vehicle was not reported stolen until the driver made the false carjacking claims in the Starbucks. The driver was charged with several traffic violations related to the early morning collision.


Top: Early Thursday morning this Toyota Sequoia was involved in a single-vehicle collision and end up on its side in the eastbound shoulder of Clopper Road just past Waring Station Road. Responding police and fire units could not locate the driver.

Next: The investigation into the flipped Toyota SUV closed Clopper Road in both directions for much of Thursday morning’s rush hour.

Photos by Germantown Pulse.