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The Number of Germantown BB Gun Vandalism Incidents Expands, Includes RideOn Buses

November 17, 2017

The number of BB gun vandalism attacks in the Germantown area continues to grow, as tonight Montgomery County Police have released a full listing of the attacks, which police now says includes RideOn buses in the Germantown area.

   As the Germantown Pulse first reported back on Nov. 1, since late September there have been more than two dozen instances of BB gun vandalism at restaurants and retail establishments in the Germantown Town Center area.

   Montgomery County Police have released a list of 26 incidents were windows have been shot out of both commercial retail or restaurant establishments and RideOn Buses, since September 26, when the windows of Mattress Warehouse store in the Germantown Town Square Shopping Plaza at 12619 Wisteria Drive were shot with BBs, with the most recent taking place on Wednesday, Nov. 8 when BBs shot into windows of a RideOn Bus at the intersection of Wisteria Drive and Winterspoon Lane.

   Since that incident, there have been 25 incidents of BB gun vandalism, including the shooting of 17 windows at Northwest High School over the weekend of Oct. 29.

   The complete list of incidents follows, at least three businesses have been targeted more than once:

  • October 3

    • Dairy Queen located at 12603 Wisteria Drive.

  • October 6

    • Dairy Queen located at 12603 Wisteria Drive.

    • Taco Bell located at 19923 Century Boulevard.

    • Avail Vapor located at 19706 Germantown Road.

    • Subway restaurant located at 12601 Wisteria Drive.

  • Overnight hours of October 6 into October 7

    • Mattress Warehouse located at 12619 Wisteria Drive.

  • October 15

    • Pizza Hut located at 19790 Crystal Rock Drive.

  • October 17

    • Fitzgerald Germantown (car dealership) located at 19501 Amaranth Drive.

    • Subway restaurant located at 12601 Wisteria Drive.

  • October 20

    • An occupied MCDOT Ride On bus while it was stopped at the intersection of Great Seneca Highway and Richter Farm Road.

    • An occupied MCDOT Ride On bus while it was stopped at the intersection of Great Seneca Highway and Middlebrook Road.

    • Avail Vapor located at 19706 Germantown Road.

    • Dairy Queen located at 12603 Wisteria Drive.

    • Taco Bell located at 19923 Century Boulevard.

  • October 27

    • Bonchon Chicken restaurant located at 19755 Frederick Road.

    • Taco Bell located at 19923 Century Boulevard.

    • Avail Vapor located at 19706 Germantown Road.

    • Subway restaurant located at 12601 Wisteria Drive.

    • Dunkin’ Donuts located at 19781 Frederick Road.

    • An occupied MCDOT Ride On bus while it was stopped at the intersection of Germantown Road (Route 118) and Goldenrod Lane.

  • November 8

    • An occupied MCDOT Ride On bus while it was stopped at the intersection of Wisteria Drive and Winterspoon Lane.

   Meanwhile, back on Friday, Nov. 3, the Maryland State Police in the Rockville Barrack received numerous calls from drivers, including a RideOn Bus advising their windows were “shot out” while driving between the areas of Interstate 370 and Montrose Road driving on I-270 about 8:07 pm.

   Troopers from the barrack were dispatched to the location and determined five vehicles (four passenger cars and one Montgomery County Ride On Bus) had various damage to the driver side of the vehicles. Three passenger cars and the Montgomery County Ride On bus were north bound on Interstate 270 south of Interstate 370 in the main lanes, the fifth vehicle was south bound on Interstate 270 in the local lanes prior to Montrose Road.

   No occupants in any of the vehicles were injured. Troopers secured the scenes and gathered evidence and information. Montgomery County Police was contacted and they dispatched officers to assist with the investigation.

   Police have not said if the incidents in Germantown and the incidents on I-270 are related.

   After the Northwest incident on Oct. 29, 5th District Police Commander, Capt. Mark Plazinski said, “I suspect it might be a group of kids driving around and shooting at buildings. We did assign it to our Patrol Investigative Unit and they are following up on all of these incidents.”

   Plazinski warned that this sort mischief was ill advised and dangerous.

   “This is a stupid crime, where people are damaging other people’s property and doing it in a dangerous way, because if an officer sees someone point any kind of gun out of a car, they are not going to be thinking that is a BB gun,” said Plazinski. “We never think toy gun or BB gun, when we see somebody point a replica fire arm out of a vehicle. There is not only police officers, but there are citizens who are armed out there. These suspects are being mischievous with these BB guns that look like firearms and it is not a safe situation”

   “Beyond the classic mother line about shooting your eye out, there are other consequences to doing an act like this where we could have a tragedy where an officer encounters some kids who are engaging in mischief criminal destruction of property, but they are doing it with something that appears to be a firearm. That is not something that we want to have our officers encounter as they pull up on them in a vehicle,” he said.

   Plazinski said officers arrested on juvenile on Tuesday, Oct. 24 who was spotted by police shooting at car windows in the parking lot near the Outback Steakhouse on Wisteria Drive in the same shopping center where Dairy Queen is located. However, the attacks have not stopped.

   Anyone with information regarding these vandalisms or the identity of the suspect(s) is asked to call the 5th District Patrol Investigations Unit at 240-773-6261.  Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).  Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest in this crime.  Tipsters may remain anonymous.

   Also, the Maryland State Police are requesting, if any suspicious person, persons, or vehicles seen on or near Interstate 270 between the areas of Interstate 370 and Montrose road to contact the Rockville Barrack immediately with descriptions and any tag information. Witnesses are reminded that they may remain anonymous. Any additional victims or witness are asked to contact the Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack at 301-424-2101.

 

Captions:

Top: A boarded up window at the Taco Bell on Crystal Rock Drive is one of a half-dozen locations which have been shot with BBs in recent weeks, according to police.

Next: Montgomery County Police report that at a RideOn Bus has been the target of BB gun vandals five times at various locations in Germantown.

Top: Boarded up windows and a door at the Dairy Queen restaurant in the Germantown Town Square Shopping Plaza at the corner of Wisteria Drive and Great Seneca Highway after it has been the victim of vandalism three times in the last six weeks.

Next: Two windows on the Germantown Road side of the Avail Vapor store in Germantown Town Center. The Avail Vapor store has been targeted by vandals with BB guns on two occasions.

 

Photos by Germantown Pulse.

 

 

 

 

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