Crime Down, Despite June Spike in Thefts from Autos
Most of the thefts from autos in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area in June could have been prevented, according to the district captain.
Crime in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area was down during the first six months of the year, compared to the first six months of 2011, despite a June spike in thefts from autos, according to a statement from Montgomery County Police Department Capt. David Falcinelli, commander of the county police’s second district.
Ninety percent of the 172 thefts from autos in June in the second police district (which includes Bethesda and Chevy Chase) were from unlocked cars, Falcinelli said.
"The bottom line is that most of these [thefts from autos would have been] preventable if people had simply locked their cars. As much as we'd like to think that our neighborhoods are impervious to crime, the fact is that criminals continue to come to Bethesda because we make it easy for them," Falcinelli said.
The latest suspects arrested for thefts from autos were from Washington, DC, Silver Spring and Prince George's County, "and each group [arrested] basically said the same thing—'Bethesda has good stuff and they make it easy for us,' " Falcinelli said. "Our officers work hard and I could certainly use them elsewhere, such as for neighborhood traffic enforcement, instead of investigating preventable" thefts from autos.
While crime in most categories fell during the first half of the year compared to last year, "I do understand that these numbers can turn at any minute and we must continue to work together to keep our levels of crime manageable."
The only category in which crime rose was that of aggravated assaults, "and most of those are either suspects known to one another or a result of heavily intoxicated subjects acting out," Falcinelli added.
|B-CC-area crimes||Jan. to June 2012||Jan. to June 2011||Percent change|
|Murder||1||2||down 50 percent|
|Rape||2||7||down 71.4 percent|
|Aggravated assault||32||23||up 39.1 percent|
|Burglary||136||211||down 35.5 percent|
|Larceny||1,330||1,336||down 0.4 percent|
|Auto theft||55||75||down 26.7 percent|
The statistics in this table were provided by the second district station of the Montgomery County Police Department.