Thursday was a bad day for burglars looking to score in Potomac.
That day, a Montgomery County Circuit Court jury convicted a man who prosecutors said was involved in a 2011 rash of burglaries and thefts from cars in Potomac and other parts of the county, while Montgomery County Police announced they had arrested six individuals connected to a separate string of robberies in Potomac that began in May 2012.
According to a statement released by the department late Thursday, 1st District detectives have been investigating a string of residential burglaries that began last May. According to the statement, most of the burglaries have taken place since August. The burglaries have occurred in neighborhoods on either side of Travilah Road, south of Darnestown Road in North Potomac, during the day and in the evening. The alleged crooks forced their way into houses by breaking windows or forcing open doors, according to the release. In some cases, suspects would knock on the front door of a target house to see if anyone was home before breaking in. The suspects targeted more than 30 houses since the thefts began, typically taking jewelry, cash and small electronic items like computers and cell phones, police said. The total value of the property is believed to be more than $100,000, according to the release.
1st District officers received a report January 8 of “a suspicious person knocking on doors in the neighborhood” around Dufief Mill Road and Lake Winds Way. Not long after, the release said, officers discovered a vehicle nearby with the described suspect and three other individuals. Montgomery County Police later discovered that all the individuals in the vehicle allegedly were responsible for or knew about many of the burglaries, according to the release.
Montgomery County Police and the Montgomery County Police Swat Team have since arrested additional suspects and recovered about $45,000 worth of property, but the investigation is not yet over. So far, three adults and three juveniles have been arrested and charged with various counts of first-degree burglary, fourth-degree burglary, conspiracy, malicious destruction of property and other theft charges.
The three adults have been identified as: Tita Ntemgwa Fontava, 21, of the 14000 block of Pellita Terrace in Rockville; Ernest James Jeffreys, 20, of the 11100 block of Captains Walk Court in Gaithersburg; and David Cho, 19, of the 11700 block of Cider Press Place in Germantown. Fontava is currently being held on bond and awaiting a March 1 court hearing, while Jeffreys is out on bond also awaiting a March 1 court hearing. Cho is out on bond awaiting a February 8 court hearing. The three juveniles are identified only as a 16-year-old male from Rockville, a 17-year-old male from North Potomac, and a 17-year-old male from Rockville. MCPD does not release the identity of juvenile offenders, according to their release.
Detectives are asking anyone with information about these crimes to please contact the Rockville Investigative Section at 240-773-6084.