Early Thursday morning, Montgomery County police arrested three teens and one young adult in connection with a in recent weeks in Bethesda and Chevy Chase neighborhoods. The arrests have also lead to the recovery of two stolen vehicles, police say.
According to police, 40 incidents involving 45 vehicles have been reported since June 1 in neighborhoods south of River Road between Goldsboro Road and Little Falls Parkway. All the thefts happened overnight, according to the report, and items were stolen from unlocked vehicles.
In the early morning hours of June 11, a homeowner noticed three men wearing black clothing looking into cars with flashlights along Bryn Mawr Avenue, police said. The men fled, possibly in a van. Less than two hours later, two vehicles were reported stolen from the same neighborhood.
In both cases, police said the keys had been left inside the vehicles.
Following the crimes, Montgomery County Police Second District Commander Capt. David Falcinelli deployed marked and unmarked police to the targeted neighborhoods, according to community alert released Thursday. Around 2:30 Thursday morning, plainclothes detectives pulled over a suspicious car in a neighborhood near Massachusetts Avenue.
Items in the car linked the four occupants to the recent auto thefts and also lead police to the two stolen cars, according to a police media release.
Police arrested two 17-year-old juveniles from Silver Spring; Keile Martin, 19, of Hyattsville; and Tiara Groom, 20, of Bladensburg. All four were charged with one count of possession of burglar’s tools with the intent to break and enter a motor vehicle and were released on their own recognizance.
"While I am confident that this group was responsible for most of the recent thefts, there will be more groups to follow and we may not be so lucky next time in making such a prompt arrest," Falcinelli wrote in the community news alert.
He warned residents to lock their homes and cars and not to leave valuables or their keys inside their vehicles.