(Updated at 3:55 p.m.) A Chevy Chase resident recently caught a car thief in the act with video that clearly shows the man’s face and clothing as he cautiously looks inside a Jeep in a driveway.
The video, which has been circulating on the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Community listserv, comes from a neighborhood just east of Connecticut Avenue near Jones Bridge Road, where residents say a string of thefts from cars occurred over the New Year’s holiday.
Montgomery County Police posted the video on their website in an effort to help catch the suspect, who they believe is connected to another incident in the same neighborhood.
On Dec. 30, between 11 p.m. and 11 a.m., the suspect entered a vehicle in the driveway of a home in the 3700 block of Village Park Drive. The suspect didn’t take any items, police said. The owner of the car didn’t remember if the car was locked.
The next night, police think the same man entered three unlocked cars in a driveway in the 8600 block of Village Park Place. The suspect took an electronic device from one of the vehicles, police said.
Police are providing a few options for tipsters to give information on the suspect.
In the 2nd District’s latest available crime statistics, released on Nov. 15, thefts from autos were down 21 percent compared to the first 11 months of 2011.
But the 784 total reported thefts from autos were still a constant on weekly crime summaries. Suspects took iPods, GPS systems and other goods from unlocked and locked cars alike.
Chevy Chase Village, the 0.4-square-mile town with a population of just more than 2,000, was on pace for more thefts from autos in 2012 than it had been in 25 years.
There were a reported 68 thefts from autos in the town by October and it was of enough concern for the Village’s police chief to ask for and be granted a special bait car.
Video via Olafur Gudmundsson