Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007

Stolen vehicles recovered far from Germantown

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About half of the nearly 30 vehicles stolen in recent weeks from neighborhoods off Wisteria Drive in Germantown, particularly in the Gunners Lake area, have been recovered in Baltimore, Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C., according to county police.

And police have charged a 21-year-old man with theft from a vehicle after he was seen peering into car windows in the Gunners Lake area on Feb. 7. However, police do not believe the man is connected to the spate of thefts between mid-December and mid-January.

During that time, 29 vehicles were reported stolen and 41 vehicles had property stolen from them, police said.

Of the stolen vehicles, eight have been recovered in Prince George’s County, and one each has been recovered in Baltimore City, Howard County and Washington, D.C., police said. Another three were recovered locally, police said.

Most of the incidents occurred overnight in the Gunners Lake area, but other communities, including Boyds, Waters Landing and Clopper’s Mill have also been hit, according to crime data provided by Fifth District police.

There are no suspects and it is unclear if the incidents are related, police said.

Police are considering various initiatives including more patrols and using a Special Assignment Team to aggressively monitor the areas.

The Gunners Lake area is part of the CSAFE area, where additional police patrols are already in place.

In some cases suspects entered unlocked vehicles, in others windows were broken windows and doors were pried open.

Items stolen include a global positioning system, money, stereos, digital cameras, clothing and candy.

From January through October last year, there were 190 auto thefts in the Fifth District, according to the latest data available from county police. In all of 2005, there were 210 auto thefts in the district, and in 2004 there were 241.

On Feb. 7, police arrested and charged Jayson Mosley, 21, of no fixed address and formerly of Germantown, after a concerned resident reported seeing a suspicious person around vehicles.

Mosley was charged with fourth-degree burglary, trespassing, theft from a vehicle, failing to obey lawful order of a police officer, and rogue and vagabond after police saw him walking between vehicles early Feb. 7, police said.

Police followed Mosley’s footprints in the snow and chased him for a mile, police said.

Mosely has been arrested and charged with thefts from vehicles several times in the past year, according to court documents. He had just been released from police custody on Feb. 2.

Mosley was charged in September 2006 in connection to the thefts and attempted thefts in the Fox Chapel and Brandermill areas of Germantown. He told police at that time that he broke into at least 40 cars, documents in that case state.

He has been charged with theft and attempted theft several times since 2002, according to court records.