Crime Report from Our Police Commander
Above are the most recent crime statistics for the 2nd District: YTD April 2012 vs. YTD April 2013.
As you can see, the 2nD District had a huge spike in commercial burglaries over the last several months. The majority of these have occurred at commercial high-rises in the downtown Bethesda and White Flint areas. Because of this spike, we dedicated a significant amount of resources to the problem and as of 10am this morning, a suspect has been arrested and we believe he is responsible for most of these events. He has also been linked to similar events in D.C. and we have been working closely with their detectives to ensure he is charged with all the crimes he is responsible for committing. I want to compliment those employees that encountered suspicious persons in their buildings and called the police. Although we did not catch him in the act of committing a crime, many of you did call when you observed a suspicious person lurking around. Unfortunately, there were also many events where this suspect was spotted by employees and the police were never called or not called until it was too late for us to catch him. Remember you are our eyes and our ears and we rely upon you to let us know when you encounter suspicious persons and situations.
Although not reflected in the April numbers, we have seen an increase in residential burglaries in the month of May. Many of these burglaries are occurring during daytime hours and they are taking high-end jewelry. In at least one case, power has been cut to the house prior to making entry. Please be alert for suspicious people and cars in your neighborhoods and report it to police non-emergency at 301-279-8000 or 911 if you actually observe a crime in progress. If you wish to schedule a free home security survey, please call the 2nd District at 301-652-9200 and you will be referred to a community services officer. Lock your doors even if you are just leaving the house for a short period of time.
Although thefts from autos remain relatively unchanged from last year, the number of people leaving their cars unlocked is decreasing. Approximately 50% of the thefts last month were from unlocked cars, which are down from last years average of almost 70%. Remember to lock your cars every night even if they are parked in your driveway. Remove all valuables and anything that looks like it might contain a valuable, such as a laptop bag. These thieves prey on softer targets and do not like to use force as it makes noise and attracts attention.
It is that time of year again for the Click It or Ticket Seatbelt Enforcement Campaign. Officers will be out in force beginning May 13 looking for seatbelt and child safety seat violations. There will be no warnings issued. Buckle up it may save your life.
A recent pedestrian safety campaign in the downtown Bethesda district resulted in the issuance of 175 citations for various violations along Wisconsin Ave. and Arlington Rd. Additionally, operations were also conducted at the pedestrian crosswalks along Democracy Blvd. near Walter Johnson High School this morning and over 60 citations were issued there also. Drivers need to watch out for pedestrians, and pedestrians need to obey their signals. There were eight wrecks in the 2nd District last month involving pedestrians with the driver at-fault in four, the pedestrian at-fault in three, and one remains under investigation.
Traffic is bad enough without further clogging up the roads with unnecessary collisions. Focus on your driving and your walking. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Call the police if you see anything suspicious in your neighborhoods. Your police officers are much more effective when we both do our part.
I am looking forward to working together to keep our crime rates low, and to keep the roads as safe as possible for all who use them. Thank you for doing your part.
Captain David Falcinelli
Commander 2nd District