Blood drops link man to Gaithersburg airbag theft
Police are seeking more information about suspect
A $1000 reward is being offered for information about a man who police believe dripped blood in a car after he stole its airbag and a roll of quarters.
According to Montgomery County police, David Alexander Portillo-Henriquez broke into the white 2008 Nissan Altima between 7:05 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9. The car was parked on the third level of the public parking garage at 108 Olde Towne Avenue in Gaithersburg.
Portillo-Henriquez also goes by the alias Augustin Portillo Gonzales, police said. A warrant for his arrest was issued in February after the county's forensics lab matched the blood drops to a national DNA database.
The theft was just one in a string of similar crimes.
Throughout the fall of 2010, about 30 airbags were stolen in and around Gaithersburg. In 15 of the cases, Nissans were targeted, according to a news release issued Friday by Montgomery County police.
Using hand tools, a skilled thief can peel out an air bag in just a few minutes, Detective Adam Hart with the county's centralized auto theft department told The Gazette in November, around the time of the Olde Towne theft.
Air bag systems, originally valued at about $1,000 each, can be sold on the black market for about $300, Hart said.
Air bags are the third-most commonly stolen items from cars nationwide, after stereo systems and wheels, John B. Townsend, manager of public and government affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic, said in November.
Spokeswoman Lucille Baur said police cannot confirm whether Portillo-Henriquez is linked to other thefts.
"We don't know that for sure," Baur said. "Once we locate him and interview him, we will hopefully learn more. It certainly is possible that he is responsible for more than just this incident."
The warrant for Portillo-Henriquez's arrest charges him with theft of property with a value between $1,000 and $10,000, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Portillo-Henriquez's whereabouts are unknown, but he has been known to frequent Fort Washington, Talbot County and Fairfax, Va., police said.
A reward is being offered for information that could lead to the arrest of David Alexander Portillo-Henriquez.
Information can be called in to the Montgomery County Police 6th District station at 240-773-5700. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 866-411-TIPS (8477) or 240-773-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000.
Anonymous tips can also be provided by typing "MCPD" plus the tip on a cell phone or PDA and texting it to 274637 (CRIMES).