Archived Crime Alerts

Friday, June 3, 2022

TREND: Daytime Thefts from Autos on the East Side of the Village
Worker vehicles targeted; residents asked to warn their contractors

The Village Police Department has identified a pattern of daytime thefts from work vehicles on the east side of the Village, which began on May 2.   Although it is uncertain if the four thefts have been committed by the same persons, the incidents share strong similarities.  Each of the four incidents occurred on east side streets, at similar times, targeted similar vehicles, and the thieves stole similar items.

The four events are as follows:

  1. May 2 between 10am-noon: Credit cards were stolen from an unlocked work truck in the 6200 block of Western Avenue. No eyewitnesses.
  2. May 16 between 10am-noon: A wallet containing credit cards was taken from an unlocked work truck in the unit block of E. Irving Street. No eyewitnesses.
  3. May 18 between 8am-3pm: A window of a car belonging to a domestic worker was smashed and a woman’s backpack—which was visible on the back seat—was stolen in the unit block of E. Lenox Street. No eyewitnesses.
  4. June 1 at 11am:   Credit cards and cash were stolen from an unlocked work truck in the 100 block of Primrose Street.  Good information from an eyewitness.

 An eyewitness to the June 1 event provided a solid description of a suspect and vehicle involved in the crime: 

Suspect:
The thief is described as a Black male, 6’2” tall, medium build, goatee, wearing a red and white baseball cap and a grey T-shirt.  

Suspect vehicle: 
The car is described as a dark blue Mercedes GL450 SUV with darkly tinted windows.  The thief described above was a front passenger in the SUV.   The darkly-tinted windows on the car prevented the eyewitness from seeing the driver.   

Village officers are focusing their patrols on this problem.  Residents can help by notifying their contractors and domestic workers to remove all valuables from sight and to lock their vehicles AT ALL TIMES, and by calling the Village Police immediately at 301-654-7300 if they see any suspicious person or activity in their neighborhood.  If you can get a license plate number and take a photo, that would be a huge help for the police!

Click Below for Archived Crime Alerts by year

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Man Identified, Charged in Village Auto Theft

Cell phone search warrant, fingerprint ‘hit’ helped 
close the case

On March 22, 2022 at about 7:15 a.m., a resident of the 100 block of E. Melrose Street discovered that her car was not in her driveway where she had parked it the previous day.   The resident called the Village Police, and Officer Joseph Chung responded.

Officer Chung learned that the car had a GPS tracking service, and later that same day, that service located the car near an apartment building in Northwest DC.   Officer Chung contacted the Metropolitan Police (MPD), and MPD officers located the car.  One of MPD’s crime scene technicians found fingerprints on the car and a cell phone on the ground right next to the car.  Village Officer Davor Hrnjak retrieved all the evidence from MPD to further our investigation.  

Officer Chung obtained a search warrant for the phone’s data and asked the County Police Department’s Electronic Crimes Unit (ECU) to execute the search of the phone to identify its owner.  The ECU’s search indicated that the phone was owned by a man named Michael Yudzon, 38, of Washington, DC.

Officer Chung then asked the County’s Latent Fingerprint Unit to compare the fingerprints taken from the stolen car with the known fingerprints belonging to Michael Yudzon.   The fingerprints were a match.

Early this morning (May 12, 2022), Montgomery County Police responded to a suspicious situation and arrested Michael Yudzon for tampering with cars in Chevy Chase Section 5.  Upon learning that Michael Yudzon was in custody, Officer Chung served his arrest warrant on Mr. Yudzon at the County’s central arrest processing center in Rockville, charging him with one count of motor vehicle theft and one count of felony theft.  Mr. Yudzon was committed to the detention center on $5,000 bond.

The Village Police Department is grateful for the cooperation of the car’s owner and the officers of the Metropolitan Police Department and the Montgomery County Police Department.  This was a successful team effort!


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Early Morning Indecent Exposure Incident on Connecticut Avenue Sidewalk

Male suspect and female victim were walking in opposite directions south of Bradley

At 6:30 this morning (Tuesday, May 3), Village Police dispatch received a call from a woman who stated that, 15 minutes earlier, she was the victim of an indecent exposure.

The woman stated that, at about 6:15 a.m., she was on her morning walk and heading south on the sidewalk on the west side of Connecticut Avenue between Bradley Lane and W. Newlands Street.  She said that a man walked past her heading in the opposite direction, and shortly after he passed her, he got her attention by asking her where the nearest store was; he added that he was lost and didn’t have his phone with him.  When the victim turned around to respond to the man, she saw that he had pulled his pants down to expose his genitals to her.  She immediately turned away, left the area and called the police as soon as she got home.  The suspect was last seen on foot headed north towards Bradley Lane.

The suspect is described as a black male in his early 40's, either bald or hair that is closely-cropped, muscular build, wearing black sweat pants, black shirt, blue surgical face mask, and possibly wearing sandals.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Chevy Chase Village Police Department at 301-654-7300.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Thieves Are Stealing Cars that are Left with Engines Running
Cars that are ‘warming up’ in the morning are being targeted

Modern cars are very difficult to steal unless the keys or fobs are inside them.  Virtually all cars are stolen because the owners have left the keys inside, or because they’ve walked away ‘for just a minute’ while the engine is running.

During the cold months of winter, drivers often start their cars to let them warm up or they leave their cars running to stop at a convenience store or gas station briefly.  Wintertime is a car thief’s candy store. 

Recently, groups of thieves have been driving through residential neighborhoods looking for cars left running in driveways while the unsuspecting owner is inside their home sipping coffee.  When the group spots a car with its engine running, one member of the group will hop out of the suspect vehicle, slip into the victim’s car, and drive away.  Thieves have stolen multiple cars in some neighborhoods this way; it’s so easy.  Although this hasn’t occurred in the Village yet, if we leave our cars running, it certainly will happen here eventually. 

You can prevent this crime of opportunity—so please do you part:

•    Never leave your car running—not even for a minute.  It’s not only against the law*, it is foolish. Take your key or fob, and lock the car.  

•    It’s way more efficient to just get in and drive—don’t wait for ‘warm-up.’  Gasoline and diesel engines warm up much more quickly if the car is being driven.  A car idling in a driveway takes far longer to come up to operating temperature. 

•    Keep an eye out in the morning and report suspicious cars or people.  If you see an unfamiliar car cruising the neighborhood with several people inside, call the Village police.  We will respond and investigate. 

*We realize that some cars have technology that allows them to be started remotely while simultaneously preventing the car from being stolen if the fob is not inside the car.  If your car has such technology, the law allows the car to run unattended for up to 5 minutes.

Friday, January 14, 2022

TWO VIDEOS:  Thief Armed with a Handgun on Hesketh Street
Lock your cars!! And do NOT confront anyone; call the police immediately

This morning as she began her day, a resident of the unit block of Hesketh Street decided to check the overnight recordings on her security camera.  She was shocked to see that her camera had recorded two thieves in her driveway at 5:38 a.m.  The video started with one thief already inside her car rummaging around, and seconds later, a second thief walked into the picture, and it appeared he was carrying a handgun in his right hand.  She called the Village Police Department right away at 6:24 a.m. and Officers Chung and Timmerman responded.  By then of course, the suspects were long gone. The resident provided a copy of the video to the officers, and a link to it is below.

Officers Timmerman and Chung canvassed the neighborhood and discovered that a total of 7 unlocked cars had been entered; 5 in the unit block of Hesketh, 1 in the middle block of Hesketh, and 1 on the unit block of W. Irving.  During their investigation, the officers scouted the neighborhood looking for private security cameras to get additional evidence.  Officer Timmerman made contact with a homeowner on W. Irving Street, and that resident’s camera captured footage of two suspect vehicles driving slowly on W. Irving at 5:08 a.m.  The first vehicle appears to be a small SUV similar to a Subaru; the second suspect vehicle is a full-size white SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Suburban or a Ford Expedition. The link to this second video is below, also.  

In this second video, the first suspect vehicle pulls alongside a small car parked along the curb.  It appears that someone in that first suspect vehicle grabbed the handle of the parked car—without getting out of the suspect vehicle—to see if it was unlocked.  The car was obviously unlocked as the car’s lights popped on when the door was cracked open.  The thieves then can be seen pulling forward, parking, and at least 3 suspects can be seen walking back to rifle through the parked car.

If anyone has any additional video or information about this crime, or if you see the suspect vehicles, please contact the Village Police Department at 301-654-7300.

There are two very important take-aways from this crime: 

1.  Lock your car every time you park and remove valuables!!  Failing to lock your car provides an easy opportunity for thieves.  When they are successful so easily, they learn that we are easy pickings, and they come back for more.  The more they return, the more likely that something bad will happen eventually.  We must stop inviting thieves back.  Locking your car denies opportunities to thieves, and is a social good. Help make our community safer by locking your car—every time.   Please. 

 2. Never confront a thief or anyone suspicious—call the police immediately.  One of the thieves was armed with a gun.  Do not go outside, do not yell at them, do not follow them.   Just call the Village Police at 301-654-7300, or in an emergency (injury or threat of harm to a person) call 9-1-1. 

Video #1--Suspect carrying handgun in driveway on Hesketh:  Click here for the video of the suspect with a gun

 

Video #2--Two suspect vehicles: Click here to see the 2 suspect vehicles

Thursday, January 13, 2022

DC Listserve Post:  Thieves Smash Windows of Several Audi Automobiles in Nearby DCPerpetrators may have been looking for valet keys to steal the cars

 According to a post on the DC listserve, at about 1:50 a.m. on Wednesday January 12, unknown persons smashed the windows of several Audis parked along 28th Street and 29th Street NW in Chevy Chase DC.  I have copied the post, below.  Village officers have been made aware of this incident and will be alert to any suspicious activity overnight.  Here is the unedited post:

 In the early morning hours (approximately 1:50 am) of Weds. Jan. 12 **several** Audi cars parked along 28th and 29th streets in Chevy Chase DC had their windows smashed in or were otherwise broken into. Only Audis we’re targeted. 
 
 Security camera footage from a few residences showed that these break-ins occurred within only a matter of seconds one right after another. The videos showed that car alarms went off — but although all the neighbors were home, apparently no one was awakened by the sounds!
 
 It is unclear whether items were stolen from inside the cars; however there was conjecture among both residents and police that a valet key possibly hidden by the manufacturer inside the center console of Audi cars may have been the object of interest. 
 
 Police were called to 28th and 29th streets and they arrived at about 9am Weds. morning. No arrests had been made as of 11pm Weds. night. 
 
 If I owned an Audi parked on the street in Chevy Chase tonight— I’d be sitting up all night watching my car. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2022

Technology Makes it Easy for Someone to Track Your Every Move
Apple Airtags can be used to find your missing car keys—or to track you

Recently, a resident alerted Chief Fitzgerald to an article about how Apple AirTags have been used by persons to stalk their unwitting victims (often following the break-up of a domestic relationship). 

AirTags are small, coin-sized devices that transmit their location—very precisely—to the owner’s iPhone.  AirTag owners often attach the devices to important items such as car keys or purses so that, when the item is misplaced, the owner can use their iPhone to find the item.  This is the ‘good’ side of these devices.  

On the other hand, these same devices can be used diabolically to track or stalk someone.  A person with bad intentions can simply slip an AirTag into a victim’s car, purse or backpack and track the victim’s whereabouts around the clock.   This is the ‘bad’ side of such devices.  

The links below will take you to articles explaining how AirTags work, how you can determine if an AirTag is tracking you, and what steps you might take to prevent this from happening to you.

To read the Washington Post article about Apple AirTags and Stalking click here

To read CNET's article about Apple AirTags being used to track you click here