Police investigating series of thefts, vandalism in Damascus area -- Gazette.Net







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Montgomery County Police are still investigating several acts of theft and vandalism that happened in the Damascus area earlier this month.

Police said nine cars were broken into and three bicycles were stolen in the Plantations II neighborhood overnight from Sept. 1-2. Police believe that three men, who they have captured on surveillance video, also stole a car and vandalized eight mailboxes in the neighborhood, which is along Woodfield Road about 3 miles south of Damascus.

“We’re urging people to remove their valuables from their cars, and they have to lock their cars,” said Capt. Paul Starks, a Montgomery County Police spokesman.

In each instance of reported theft, the vehicle or garage doors were left open, police said.

Electronics and other valuable items, such as GPS systems and credit cards, were some of the things reported to be stolen from the vehicles, Starks said.

“They take things that are not attached, that are easy [to take],” Starks said.

Home video surveillance obtained by police shows the suspects attempting to open vehicle car doors in the neighborhood. Starks said they are hoping the video, which has been released to the public, will lead them to the alleged suspects.

Car break-ins are not an uncommon crime in Montgomery County, Starks said.

“If it’s not the most common crime in [the county] its one of the most common,” he said. “It’s a crime of opportunity.”

It was discovered during the investigation that the stolen vehicle was taken from a garage that was left open. The keys to the vehicle were on a table in the garage.

The vehicle, which had three bicycles inside it, was taken from the 9600 block of Rustic Manor Court and was later found at the intersection of Rolling Fork Way and Peanut Mill Drive, with extensive damage including a flat tire, scrapes, missing headlights and bumper damage.

The mailboxes, which were from the 23700 to the 25400 block of Woodfield Road, appeared to have been struck by the vehicle. Police said officers found a vehicle part left at the scene.

The surveillance tape of the suspects can be seen at the department’s website at www.mymcpnews.com. Anyone with information about the incidents can call Officer Bromley at 240-773-6249. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call the Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 866-411-TIPS (8477) or enter a tip online. Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information provided that leads to an arrest or indictment.