Two teens from Southeast Washington, DC, have been arrested in a Tuesday burglary and attempted burglary, according to police. The boys knocked at the door of a civilian police employee before allegedly burgling homes nearby, police said.
According to Montgomery County police spokeswoman Officer Britta Thomas, a civilian employee of Bethesda’s second district police station was at his home in the 9600 block of Bellevue Drive near Rockville Pike when he heard a knock at the door. When he answered, two teen boys asked for a person he didn’t recognize. The teens said, “Sorry, wrong house,” and left, meeting up with several other juveniles down the street.
The police employee became suspicious and followed the teens down the street, Thomas said. He called out police patrol units, who searched the neighborhood.
About two hours later, police received a call for an attempted burglary in the 10400 block of Montrose Avenue, Thomas said. The woman who called said she saw teenagers knocking at her door, but didn’t answer. A short time later, Thomas said the woman saw rocks flying through a back window, breaking it, and she saw the same teens running away through the neighborhood.
Police K-9 units were called out to search the area, Thomas said. As the search was underway, police received a report of another burglary that happened nearby, around 3 p.m. in the 5000 block of Alta Vista Road.
Police detained two teenagers, a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old, both from Southeast Washington, in the neighborhood near the Alta Vista burglary, Thomas said. Thomas said police discovered items missing from the Alta Vista home on one of the teens.
Both were charged with attempted burglary for the incident on Montrose Avenue and with burglary for the incident on Alta Vista Road.
Second District Commander Capt. David Falcinelli, who referenced the incident in a recent crime update, said the arrests were possible because of help from the community.
“In this case, the suspects knocked at the front door and then made up a name when the homeowner answered, pretending to be at the wrong house,” Falcinelli wrote. “…This technique is a common ploy used by burglars, who will break into the home if there is no answer at the door.”