Update from the Bethesda Police Commander
The Bethesda District has recently experienced a spike in violent crimes, specifically armed robberies of persons and businesses. I wanted to provide a brief update on the police response to these crimes and the results to date.
In the neighborhoods bordering Western Ave. (both sides of the line), there has been a marked increase in armed street robberies. Because of this spike, additional resources have been deployed to the area to include uniformed patrols along with tactical covert officers. We are actively working with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to coordinate our resources and efforts. This past Friday, our tactical officers were working with MPD officers when they observed a group of young black males approaching pedestrians in a manner that would attempt to corral the victim where he would have no escape and could be robbed. In both cases, the victim was paying attention to their surroundings, observed the approach of the suspects, and fled before becoming a victim of a robbery. These five suspects were stopped. All were juveniles and one was in possession of a pellet gun. Because this occurred on the D.C. side of the line, MPD will be following up the investigation and charging the suspects with conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Because there may be multiple groups committing these types of attacks, both MCP and MPD will continue to commit resources to this area for the immediate future.
In the northern end of the Bethesda District, there have been a series of armed robberies of businesses, as well as of individuals where their cars were taken. Because of this spike, resources were pulled from other areas of the County to saturate this area in hopes of making an arrest or arrests. Last Saturday night, a suspect was observed casing a business near closing time. This suspect then robbed the business and was immediately arrested. He admitted to this robbery, as well as the robbery of several other businesses in this area. While this arrest closed many crimes in the area, it did not close them all and resources will also remain committed to this area for the immediate future also.
The Bethesda District is committed to providing police resources to crime trend areas in an effort to make your business and residential communities safer. Thank you for continuing to work with us at curtailing this very serious safety issue,
Captain David Falcinelli, Commander,2nd District