Archive for the 'Crime' Category

February 2012 Update

Monday, February 27th, 2012


Seven Locks Elementary School Principal Robin Gordon is inviting the community to visit the new building at 9500 Seven Locks Road on Thursday, March 8, 5:30-7:30 PM. There will be refreshments and self-guided tours. Special note: At 7 PM, Mrs. Gordon will open a brief meeting launching the Seven Locks Educational Foundation. This is a new cooperative venture between the PTA and the community to help support special projects at the school — from landscaping, to displays reflecting the unique historical heritage of the school named for the “seven locks” segment of the C and O Canal.


  • April 3: Presidential Primary Election
  • Voting Place: Seven Locks Elementary School (Now that the new school is open, we’re back to our traditional polling place.)
  • New Congressional District: Due to re-districting, we will be in District 6 with a new representative.
  • Board of Education: The primary will include selection of some School Board members; you can vote on all at-large and district reps. To learn more, attend a Candidates’ Forum, Thursday, March 15, 7:30-9:30 PM, Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veteran’s Plaza, Silver Spring. Sponsored by the Montgomery County Civic Federation.
  • For more information on voting (registration, absentee ballots, etc.) contact the Montgomery County Board of Elections. 24-hour voter information line: 240-777-VOTE. Address: 18753-210 N. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg 20879.
  • Early voting available at five centers, March 24-29, 10 AM – 8 PM, Sunday hours – noon-6 PM. Early Voting Centers are located at:
    1. Bauer Drive Community Recreation Center, 14625 Bauer Drive, Rockville 20853
    2. Germantown Recreation Center, 18905 Kingsview Road, Germantown 20874
    3. Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Center, 14906 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville 20866
    4. Montgomery County Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville 20850
    5. Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veteran’s Plaza, Silver Spring 20910

SECURITY ALERT: One neighbor has reported a theft that reminds us to be alert to ALL kinds of comings and goings in our community. The Ooi family at 9107 Charred Oak Drive was surprised to find missing from their backyard a stone Japanese lantern and a 8-foot long ornamental bridge. They believe that removing these large heavy items would have required several men with equipment and a sizeable truck. Moral of the story: when in doubt about something out of the ordinary, alert your neighbor and call the police! And, of course, anyone with any information on this incident or anything similar in our community, contact Sandy Vogelgesang, WBCA president (


To conclude our Spring Update on a lighter note, we’ve been intrigued to learn from many of you some of the interesting history of our neighborhood. Keep those stories coming! Our favorite this time: Stephen Colbert used to live on Honeybee Lane. Neighbors report seeing the very large Colbert family (pronounced Coal – BERT then!) parading, like little ducks following their parents, down Charred Oak Drive to Sunday services at the nearby Catholic church. Who knew?!

West Bradley Community Update: November – December 2011

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Welcome: Special greetings to the approximately fifty families that have been added to the West Bradley Citizens’ Association (WBCA) listserv this autumn! We hope that you find this general announcement/security alert service helpful. For those interested in more informal exchanges of information, sign up for one or both of our discussion listservs by contacting (for east of Seven Locks Road) and (for the western half of our community). These discussion listservs provide a helpful forum for everything from sharing advice about good repair companies, to letting neighbors know about special charities in which WBCA residents are directly involved over the upcoming holidays. We continue to seek updates to our listserv so that we can reach the maximal number of neighbors in case of emergency so let us know when your email changes or a new family moves into your immediate neighborhood.

Security Information: Due to the recent, brazen mid-day home burglary in our community, residents have requested updated contacts for local police. For those in District 2 (living east of Seven Locks Road), the newly-appointed commander is Captain David Falcinelli. Phone: 301-652-9200. For those in District 1 (living west of Seven Locks Road), the commander is Captain James Fenner. Phone: 240-773-6070. In case of emergency, call 9-1-1. For a general non-emergency police alert, call 301-279-8000.

Info on Health Benefits: Congressman Chris Van Hollen is sponsoring the annual forum on health benefits. Though focused especially on Federal programs, the forum provides excellent general information. Date: Thursday, Nov. 17. Time: 7:00- 9:00 PM. Place: Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville. Free parking in County garage. Experts from the Federal Government and insurance representatives will discuss health plan options and changes for the next year due to health reform and other factors and be available to answer questions.

Info on County Services: The Montgomery County Civic Federation will present a program on the County’s five Regional Services Centers on Monday, Nov. 14, 7:45-10:00 PM at the County Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville. Free parking in adjacent garage. This program will provide an excellent opportunity to learn about the wealth of services available to all residents. The contact for our community is Ken Hartman, director of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Center. He’s the one-stop answer to just about any question you might have about County services (240-777-8200).

Proposed Telecommunications Tower at Seven Locks/Bradley Intersection: In response to the views expressed by the community and endorsed by the Board, WBCA has registered opposition to Verizon’s petition for an expanded facility which could ultimately include a 200-foot tower. Those interested in this issue can attend the Board of Appeals hearing on Nov. 28 at the County Council Office Building. Thanks to community residents for their input into the WBCA letter requesting denial of the petition.

West Bradley Community Update – Fall 2011

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

As all of us in the West Bradley community begin to enjoy the cooling and colorful days of autumn, there’s lots to report!

  • Great trail in our neighborhood! One of the best places to enjoy autumn is right here in our own background! Walk along the Cabin John Stream Valley Trail in the park which forms the western boundary of the West Bradley Citizens’ Association and you will be transported by the beauty of the sparkling stream and towering trees. The trail goes from MacArthur Boulevard to Goya Drive. For map, visit Trails/trail_maps.shtm and click on Cabin John Stream Valley Trail. You can access this trail from the parking spaces along River Road (near Carderock Springs Drive) or Bradley Boulevard (near Kentsdale Drive) or at the foot of Charred Oak Drive at intersection with Hollyoak or along Cindy Lane.
  • New school to open! Seven Locks Elementary School will return to its original site in just three months – on January 4, 2012! One of the projects undertaken by the SLES PTA and surrounding community, including West Bradley, is to work with the C and O National Park Service to reflect the history of the Canal in the new school. The plan is to use photographs of Canal families, maps, models of canal barges and landscaping to help bring this unique heritage to life for students. Once specific displays have been identified and costs estimated, we will let all who are interested know how they can help support this celebration of our local history!
  • Latest from Pepco! Tom Graham, Pepco president, has responded to the many complaints from our area about unreliable service. His recent letter highlights the increased tree trimming in our area as one means to help prevent damage to power lines. We know that many in our community were pleasantly surprised when they did not lose power during Hurricane Irene. That said, let us know if you and your immediate neighbors continue to suffer from unreliable service from Pepco so that we can continue to register those concerns and seek more action.
  • Want to cut energy costs? The Montgomery County and Maryland governments are working with Pepco to encourage more energy efficiency through rebates. To learn more about these programs, see and On the Pepco site, you can sign up for a “Quick Home Energy Check-up” (free if the surveyor installs at least three energy-savings products) or a “Comprehensive Home Energy Audit” ($100 for 2-4 hour inspection and written report which may qualify you for rebates). One good source for assessing the reputation of firms participating in this program is Washington Consumers’ Checkbook (
  • Not too soon to plan ahead for winter! Several residents have asked whether West Bradley residents could share information on individuals or firms who provide reliable snow removal. For starters, we’d welcome hearing of local youngsters who would be interested in being on a list of those available to earn money shoveling snow. We’d also appreciate leads on others who could be relied on to shovel snow in our area. Dispatch your suggestions to either or both of our discussion listservs. For instructions on accessing those listservs, go to West Bradley Citizens Association website (
  • Interested in the latest on County crime? Police Chief Tom Manger will address the next meeting of the Montgomery County Civic Federation, Monday, October 11. Place: County Council Office Building (first-floor auditorium), 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville. Starting time: 7:45 PM. Free parking in adjacent garage. Manger is a great speaker. He’s set to discuss everything from gang violence and Neighborhood Watch Programs, to the proposed Teen Curfew Bill. After his one-hour program (including Q and A), there will be reports on other key local issues. West Bradley belongs to the Civic Federation (the umbrella organization for County civic associations). All residents are welcome to attend any monthly meeting of the Federation (second Monday of each month). For more information, see www.
  • Kudos to local hero! A big shout-out to Duncan Seguin, son of Matt and Ellen who live in West Bradley. His quick thinking and application of CPR saved the life of the senior referee at a recent soccer tournament. Well-done!
  • Request to dog walkers! Several neighbors have asked us to issue a friendly reminder. Please clean up after your pets and assure that they do not run too exuberantly through prized flower beds.
  • Next steps on listservs and suggestions for Board! Your WBCA Board met this summer. One of our main goals is to update the announcement listserv used for general announcements and emergency alerts. That list is only as good as its data. To keep it up-to-date, we need YOUR input! Everyone can help – from street captains to any resident of West Bradley. Let us know when your email changes or when someone new moves onto your block. Just email name and contact information to Sandy Vogelgesang at In the meantime, the Board continues to welcome your ideas and questions. If you want to suggest events or flag concerns, let us know (contact information at
  • Welcome! Finally, to those who are new to our neighborhood or new to our listserv, a warm welcome!

Security update

Sunday, June 26th, 2011


Neighbors have reported another security concern – namely, the sighting of a slow-moving white sedan with New Jersey license tags and occupied by two Caucasian males. The neighbor encountered the car repeatedly west of Seven Locks Road – particularly on Laurel Oak, Charred Oak, and Honeybee. The car occupants did not place material in mail boxes. Although they might have been driving slowly in order to identify homes that might require some specific service, their behavior was sufficiently out of the ordinary to raise questions. If anyone could provide more information on this car, let us know. For future cases, the Montgomery County police advise, when possible, getting the license number and reporting the incident promptly to local authorities.

Kudos to thoughtful neighbors for sounding the alert on this incident and with regard to the rude young man who came to so many homes this last week! We now learn from the many replies to yesterday’s message that the young man came to homes on both sides of Seven Locks Road! If he shows up again, do call 911! Thanks especially to neighbors using the burningrose listserv who sounded the alert! For those who have not signed up for our discussion listservs, we have attached the West Bradley flier which tells you how to access, not only our general West Bradley announcement listserv, but also our two more informal discussion listservs – one for each side of Seven Locks Road.


By the way, the attached flier can be useful for all of you helping us update our community listserv with contact information on new neighbors! Just have them fill out the form and send to Sandy Vogelgesang (email or snail mail). To the extent we have an up-to-date listserv we are much better prepared to deal with the kinds of security alerts received this weekend! Thanks to ALL of you for your help!

June 2011 update

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Security Concern

Several neighbors in our West Bradley community east of Seven Locks Road have reported concern about a young man who has been coming to their door this week and either asking for contributions to unspecified organizations or saying that he is taking a poll on literacy. Neighbors report that he has shown no identification of the organization that he represents and that he has been rude and threatening. The description posted by neighbors: Appears to be in his late teens, African-American, wearing a white shirt, glasses and khaki pants.

We are posting this notice on our general listserv because notice of this concern was posted only on the burningrose discussion listserv and not for the westofsevenlocks discussion listserv.

In this kind of situation, Montgomery County police recommend that, when in doubt, do not hesitate to call 911. That is the number to call – not 311, which is for non-security issues. Even if the police arrive too late to talk to the person who has come to your door, police presence in the neighborhood can help. Further, the standard precaution applies: always check before opening your door to a stranger.

Update on New Neighbors

Summer is the time for greater turnover in our community, with new neighbors moving in. We would appreciate an update from street captains on any new neighbors who have moved in this last year and, as the summer progresses, new ones that arrive. In fact, just to help assure that our lists are as up-to-date as possible, anyone in our community who can provide us with the contact information (name, address, phone number and email) for a new neighbor or someone you think may not be on our listserv and would like to be, send that information to Sandy Vogelgesang, WBCA president, For example, any one of you who thinks that your next door neighbor may not be on our listserv, do err on the side of checking! We never know when we will need this list in case of emergency. We are particularly concerned in behalf of those with health issues or seniors who may need some special help. Thanks in advance for your help!

January 9, 2010 update

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

PROPOSED ELIMINATION OF LOCAL RIDE-ON BUS SERVICE:  Montgomery County officials say that, in order to help close the large budget gap, they are considering cuts in bus service, including the weekday service of Route 36 that connects our community to the downtown Bethesda Metro station. A public forum will be held to address this and other proposed cuts in service on Monday, February 1, starting at 6:30 p.m. and ending after the last speaker at the Executive Office Building Cafeteria, Terrace Level, located at 101 Monroe Street, Rockville, Maryland. In the case of inclement weather, the public forum will be held on Tuesday,  February 2.

 The WBCA Board would like to know your views and whether you would like our association to take a formal position on this issue.  Please email your opinion to Sandy Vogelgesang (  In addition, if you feel strongly about this issue, do sign up to speak at the public forum on or before January 25 by furnishing your name, home address, telephone number, and email address to the Division of Transit Services, Ride On Public Forum, 101 Monroe Street, 5th Floor, Rockville, Maryland 20850.  Comments can be written, faxed or emailed to the Division of Transit services by COB, January 29, at the address just noted or faxed to 240-777-5801 or emailed to  Individuals who sign up to speak must bring two printed copies of their testimony for the record. 

POLICE ALERT ON CONTINUING DAYTIME BURGLARIES:  Detectives from the Montgomery County Police 1st District Investigative Section continue to investigate recent daytime residential burglaries that have occurred in the Potomac and Darnestown areas and that appear to be related.  Most of the burglaries have occurred on weekdays during the daylight hours.  In all of the burglaries, force was used to gain entry into the house either through a window or a door.  In each burglary, jewelry has been the target of the suspect(s). 

Residents are reminded to lock their doors and windows and make sure that their garage doors are secure when they are not at home.  Residents are also asked to notify their neighbors, and encouraged to have a caretaker stop by the house when they are away for extended periods of time.  In addition, residents are encouraged to use timers on their lights, radios, and televisions, and to hold their mail and news subscriptions while they are away.  The police ask that all residents report any and all alarm calls immediately when alerted of alarm activations at their residence.  Officers will immediately be dispatched to check the residence.

Report suspicious activity, vehicles, and individuals promptly to the police by calling the non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.  A detailed description of the suspicious person or vehicle is extremely helpful.  Descriptors may include race, gender, clothing-type, and hair color.  Obtaining the vehicle’s color, make, model, tag number, and direction of travel will also assist responding officers.   

Anyone who may have information about these residential burglaries and/or the involved suspect(s) is asked to call the 1st District Investigative Section at 240-773-6084. 

COUNTY MEETING ON SENIOR FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES:  The monthly meeting of the Montgomery County Civic Association – the umbrella organization of civic associations to which WBCA belongs – will focus on what several nearby neighborhoods are doing to help seniors and others continue to live in their homes and enjoy more community support.  The meeting will be held on Monday, January 11, 7:45-10:00 PM at the County Council Office Building (first floor auditorium) at 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville.  Free parking in adjacent County garage.   The one-hour  program will start about 8:00 PM and will be followed by question period and reports on other County issues.  All citizens of WBCA welcome!  For more information, see


Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Security Concerns: Commander Darryl McSwain (Montgomery County District 1 Station) has just sent the following message to local civic associations:

The Potomac region has experienced a recent spike in daytime burglaries in which jewelry has been targeted. There is a possibility that eight (8) of the burglaries are related. The Rockville Investigative Section is actively following up on each case. Other law enforcement resources are being utilized to address the problem. Community members are asked to report any suspicious persons and/or vehicles to the non-emergency number at (301) 279-8000. Doors and windows should be locked before leaving your home, even if you only anticipate being away for a short period of time. In addition, it is recommended that you give the impression that the home is always occupied by utilizing timers on lights, the television, or a radio. For any other concerns related to personal safety, feel free to contact 1st District Community Services Officer Michael Prather by e-mail ( or phone at (240) 773-6077. In the meantime, please rest assured that all appropriate resources will continue to be devoted to this trend.

In addition to this increase in daytime burglaries, several community residents have reported incidents of suspicious behavior involving strangers who have tried to coax elementary and middle school children into their cars. Although these incidents have not/not occurred in the WBCA area, the reported increase in such incidents nearby reminds us all to be vigilant in behalf of our children. Thanks to those who reported this problem to us! Do be on the lookout for suspicious behavior and report it to the police immediately at the number noted above.

Seven Locks Road Sidewalk and Bikeway Project: Several WBCA residents attended the latest Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) meeting on this project, December 2. The proposed project will provide pedestrian and bicycle improvements along Seven Locks Road from Montrose Road to Bradley Boulevard, linking up with the asphalt path from Bradley to River Road. The improvements are to include inter alia: two 11-foot wide travel lanes plus 5-foot wide bike on-road lanes along both sides of Seven Locks Road, an 8-foot off-road shared use bike path on the west side of Seven Locks Road, and a 5-foot wide sidewalk on the east side of Seven Locks Road. The project is in Facility Planning Phase II during which MCDOT will collect data; develop concept plans; obtain public input; and develop 35% design plans, a cost estimate, and project schedule. This phase is scheduled for completion in winter 2011. WBCA has registered support for a proposed walkway-bikeway as long as it does not open the door for widening Seven Locks Road and it is coordinated with plans for the new Seven Locks Elementary School that is to open in January 2012. We have also questioned the need to build walkway-bikeway on both sides of Seven Locks Road. For more information, download the latest MCDOT newsletter at:
and choose Seven Locks Road Sidewalk (Montrose Road-Bradley Blvd.) from the projects list. The entire newsletter with maps of the project can be shown from the Project Documents window.

Continuing Deer Saga: Thanks to all of you who sent messages to the Montgomery County Department of Parks! Mary Bradford, Director of Parks, has responded to this outpouring of concern as well as the letter sent in behalf of our entire community. Although Director Bradford says that major budget problems are limiting a great deal of what the Parks Department wants to do, she writes that “our wildlife staff will determine the need for deer population management in Cabin John Regional Park and seek appropriate funding when it becomes available.” As part of this effort she writes that she will ask her wildlife staff “that an assessment of the deer population and its impacts be completed along with a recommended strategy and cost analysis for any potential management.” To help assure that the Parks Department remains apprised of our concerns, those who have not yet communicated to Bill Hamilton (deer management) should do so via email to

Discussion listservs: For those who want to participate in discussion listservs (more informal forum for sharing news and views than the regular WBCA announcemtn listser), contact J.J. MacNab at You can sign up for either or both of the listservs – one for east of Seven Locks Road and one for west of Seven Locks Road. It’s a great way to share tips on good repair services, garage or charity sales, lost pets – you name it!

Happy Holidays! Most important, to everyone in the community — best wishes for a safe, healthy and happy season!

Fall Update 2009

Sunday, September 13th, 2009


Greetings from your WBCA Board! We hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful summer! As we head into autumn, here’s the latest on local issues of interest to our community:

New Seven Locks Elementary School on Track. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) reports continuing progress. Final drawings are being prepared for construction that will begin in July 2010. The new school, which will be twice the size of the current building and include a gymnasium, is scheduled to open in January 2012.

New Community Discussion Lists. Need tips from your neighbors about everything from babysitters to repair firms? WBCA has two discussion lists (burningrose for those east of Seven Locks Road and westofsevenlocks for those on the other side of Seven Locks) in addition to our announcement-only listserv. To subscribe to either or both of the discussion lists, email J.J. MacNab at

Help Update Neighbors’ Network. Serious crime in our community last fall provided a wake-up call for all of us. One positive outcome was the mobilization of WBCA’s Neighbors’ Network, consisting of volunteer Street Captains for every block in our 600-family community. Thanks to these volunteers, we have contact information for most residents (especially those living alone who might need a helping hand) and a listserv with emails that enables us to communicate quickly in case of emergency. Since there’s been some turnover in the community, we’d appreciate receiving new contact information (changes in emails or new neighbors) from either Street Captains or others who know of changes. Just send the information to Sandy Vogelgesang (WBCA president) at If you have moved out of our community and no longer wish to receive notices, let us know that as well.

Openings in Local Boy Scout Troop. Now that children are returning to school, local Scouts are seeking new recruits. Several boys in our community belong to Troop 1434. They would welcome others, age 10 ½ -17 years, who would like to join them for an exciting program of outdoor adventures. The troop meets every Thursday at the Seven Locks Baptist Church, 7:30-9:00 PM. Interested parents or boys can contact Scoutmaster Geoffrey Wolfe at 301-365-2347.

Illegal Signs at Seven Locks – Bradley Intersection. Several residents have voiced concern about the proliferation of commercial ad signs at this intersection. To put up signs legally, contact Frank DeLong at Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation (301-370-3655) and pay a fee for the proper permit. If you see unauthorized signs, call Mr. DeLong, who will remove them, or take them out yourself.

Free Information and Services for Seniors. Jane Ross, WBCA Board Member, attended a recent County meeting on aging in place hosted by County Councilmember Roger Berliner. Jane reports that she was happily surprised to discover how many services are available. She recommends attending the periodic County meetings for seniors since she found that the speakers are excellent, there is much free material available and complimentary coffee and cookies are served! Thanks to Jane for providing the following sources of information:

 Background on NORC (“naturally occurring retirement communities” ) in nearby Burning Tree Village. Contact Leslie Kessler (301-526-2251) for information on how Burning Tree has created a fully operational nonprofit organization to help seniors and disabled neighbors remain in their homes.
 The Senior Connection (301-777-2448)
 Jay Kenney, chairman of the Department of Health and Human Services/Aging/Disability Services (244-777-3000)
 Fire and Rescue Safety Education (240-777-2448)
 Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center at Scroll down and click on “Senior Information.” That Center is a great resource for information for everyone, on everything from how to get more street lights to how to petition for a speed bump.
 Montgomery County Silver Sneaker Free Exercise Program: The closest centers are the Clara Barton Community Center and the Potomac Community Center.
 GROWS (Grass Roots Organization for the Well-being of Seniors) at or 301-765-3325
 Free “Seniors’ Resource Guide” — Call the Beacon newspaper for information.
 Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection (240-777-3636).

What Can We Do for You? Let us know how West Bradley Citizens’ Association can help address any issues of concern to you. Our goal is to help build a sense of community and protect the interests of our neighborhood. Do visit our website ( for background and contact information. And to all of you who are new to our neighborhood, WELCOME!

Crime Update 6/20

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Several neighbors have reported vandalism along Hollyoak Drive, between Bradley Boulevard and Deepwell Drive, about 3 PM, Friday, June 19. Three teenage boys with skateboards were seen putting large branches, blocks of concrete and boulders, and garbage from a recycle bin across Hollyoak and proceeding down Laurel Oak to Carteret. Residents had to clear roads in order for cars to proceed safely.

Neighbors are asked to be vigilant regarding recurrence of such vandalism and to report information on this kind of incident and other criminal activity to the Montgomery County Police. The number for District 1 of the local police (portion of West Bradley community west of Seven Locks Road) is 240-773-6070. As always, West Bradley Citizens’ Association also welcomes reports of local concerns and will work with residents to take appropriate action.

It’s important to report all crimes!

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Our West Bradley alert of April 7, reporting thefts from cars on English Way, has evoked several other reports from the community. One concerned a theft the same night as the English Way incident of some CDs and cash from a car on Rosehill. Most alarming was the belated report of a break-in the evening of April 3 in the 8600 block of Seven Locks Road. The front door of the residence was smashed in while the residents were away and cash and valuables were taken. Police continue to emphasize the need to report all incidents. Do let us know as well so that we can help underscore efforts to improve security in our community.

Burglary Alert – Update

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

First, on a happy note, if you have not had the opportunity to enjoy West Bradley’s own cherry blossom festival, do take the time to stroll down Cindy Lane and the surrounding area. The pink and white blossoms are at their peak.

Second, District 1 Police Captain McSwain has provided the update below on the incident in nearby Potomac reported on March 23. While encouraged, the police advise continuing prudence.

• On Saturday, April 4, at 9:00 p.m., 1st District Officers responded to the 10500 block of Bridle Lane for the report of unknown subjects ringing the doorbell of a complainant. Similar to the previously reported incidents below, no one was seen when the homeowner inquired. Soon thereafter, officers found three juveniles (14-15 years of age) in the community who admitted that they were out ringing doorbells as a prank. All three juveniles live within the community.

• On the same night, 1st District Officers responded to 11300 block of Gainsborough Road for the report of four (4) subjects wearing ski masks. It was approx. 1230 a.m. when this call was dispatched. Within a short time span, officers located all four individuals near the intersection of Tuckerman Lane and Willowbrook Drive. Each subject was wearing a ski mask at the time and all were identified as juveniles (16-17 years). They too mentioned their purpose for being out that late was to conduct pranks. Officers made contact with parents regarding the actions of the juveniles. Two (2) of the four (4) in this group live near Brickyard Road, while the other two are from the Gainsborough area.

Although we do not have direct evidence that ties any of the juveniles to the previously reported Rock Run incident, there is good circumstantial evidence to suggest the same. However, I encourage you to continue to exercise good personal safety habits at all times. The Rockville Investigative Section will follow-up on both incidents and ensure all applicable parents are aware of the recent police encounters.

Feel free to share this information with your neighbors.


Capt. McSwain

Captain Darryl W. McSwain, Commander
1st District Station
1451 Seven Locks Road
Rockville, Maryland 20854
Phone 240-773-6070

Burglary Alert

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009


On Friday, March 20, at approximately 9:00 p.m., 1st District Officers responded to the 10600 block of Rock Run Drive in Potomac for the report of a burglary in progress. Upon arrival, they met with the victims who reported receiving a door bell ring, only to find no one in front of the door. Approximately five (5) minutes later, the door bell rang again with the same results.

As the victims looked to the front of the home, they noticed three (3) males wearing ski masks hiding in their bushes. As one of the home owners yelled out to them from an upstairs window, the suspects fled on foot. No entry was ever made into the home. The only description we have of the suspects at this time is that they are males with medium builds. It should also be noted that shortly prior to, or after the event on Rock Run Drive (the exact time is unknown), another community member within a short distance away also received a door ring – only to learn no one could be seen through the peep hole.

At this time, we do not know if the two incidents are related. Upon learning of the incidents, I directed a patrol sergeant to ensure the matter was properly documented for follow-up investigation. Extra patrol was established and personally headed by a patrol supervisor. At this time, no other similar incidents have been reported in the area or in neighboring districts.

The 1st District Investigative Section has been assigned the case. We are urging anyone with information regarding the aforementioned incidents to contact the 1st District Investigative Section at (240) 773-6084. Please feel free to call the Police Department’s non-emergency number at (301) 279-8000 should you see any suspicious person and/or vehicle in your community; you may remain anonymous if you desire.

The safety tips noted below are general guidelines that we encourage you to share with other community members. Should you desire an officer to come to your home and perform an on-site home security survey, please contact 1st District Community Services Officer Michael Prather at (240) 773-6077.


Capt. McSwain

Captain Darryl W. McSwain, Commander
1st District Station
1451 Seven Locks Road
Rockville, Maryland 20854
Phone 240-773-6070


  • Keep your windows and doors locked.
  • Before opening the door to someone you do not recognize, verify their identity through an independent source. For example, if a person states that they are a delivery/utility worker, call the publicly listed telephone number for the local corporate office to confirm the same. (Do not trust a number provided by the unknown subject.)
  • Always remain aware of your surroundings; scan any hidden areas near the entry points of your home before entering or exiting.
  • Trim shrubbery near your home to prevent the obstruction of entrances and windows.
  • Make your home always seem occupied.
  • Consider placing timers on lights, a radio, and/or a television
  • If you live alone, have a neighbor park their extra vehicle in your driveway
  • Walk in pairs or at least notify someone of where you are going – as well as your expected time of return.
  • Avoid scheduling contractors to enter your home during your absence; do not provide them with a key.
  • Keep all tools/ladders out of sight and locked away.

Scams Targeting the Elderly

Friday, February 13th, 2009

WBCA received today (February 13) the information noted below, forwarded from the Neighborhood Watch for the nearby Burning Tree community in Bethesda. We note this information, not only because of the specific concern it raises, but also in light of the tragic homicide in our area last September. Regarding that crime, the man charged with the Havenstein murder and three other home invasions (targeting seniors) is scheduled for trial in May. And, finally, regarding an unrelated item but one of obvious concern in our community, the raccoon that bit a child in our neighborhood recently did test positive for rabies – so do remain alert for other suspicious raccoons, foxes, etc.!

Police Investigate a Series of Diversion Scams Targeting Elderly Couples

Detectives from three District Investigative Sections are investigating three incidents of theft diversion scams targeting elderly couples in Gaithersburg, Rockville, and Bethesda. Detectives believe they may be related and committed by the same group of suspects.

In all three incidents, a suspect is dressed in a dark blue uniform and claims to be a government employee. In two of the incidents, he told the victims that their neighbor’s home had a flood and he would need the victims to accompany him to the basement of the home to inspect their water pipes. While the suspect and the victims are in the basement, two additional suspects enter the home and search for cash to steal. In the third incident, the suspect again claimed that a neighbor had a flood, but he wanted to check the water pressure in the victim’s home.

The first two incidents described above occurred on February 3 within an hour of each other. The first incident occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. in the 1900 block of Stanley Avenue in Rockville. This incident involved an 85-year-old female victim and a 99-year-old male victim. The second incident occurred at approximately 5:00 p.m. in the 4400 block of West Virginia Avenue in Bethesda. This incident involved an 83-year-old female victim and a 90-year-old male victim. The third incident occurred on February 9 at approximately 12:00 p.m. in the 16600 block of South Westland Avenue in Gaithersburg. This incident involved a 72-year-old female victim and an 80-year-old male victim.

The first suspect is described as a Hispanic male, in his 30’s, 5’6″ to 5’8″ tall, with a thin build, and short black hair. He is wearing a dark blue shirt and dark blue pants. He is wearing what appears to be a yellow name badge with a picture. The second suspect is described as a Hispanic male, in his 30’s, with a medium build, and short black hair. He is wearing dark blue clothing. The third suspect is described as white male, in his 50’s, with a heavy build, and gray hair.

Anyone who has information about the thefts and/or the suspects is asked to call the 5th/6th District Investigative Section at 240-773-6237. Callers may remain anonymous.

12/9/2008 Crime Update

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

December 9: We just received the report below from the Bethesda Police regarding an armed robbery at a home near the West Bradley area. The location is just east of the intersection of Seven Locks Road and River Road (south of River Road). Remember to report any/any suspicious behavior by calling either 911 or the general crime number (301-279-8000). Also do let your West Bradley street captain or WBCA president Sandy Vogelgesang (contact information on our website—just click on know of any incident so that we can keep the community apprised.

12/07/08 8:57 pm, Armed Robbery, Royal Dominion Ct, Bethesda, Md., The two victims (mother and daughter) pulled into the garage at their residence and were removing items from the vehicle trunk when they were approached by a B/M suspect wearing a mask and armed with a handgun. The suspect demanded property at which time both victims turned over their purses and the suspect fled on foot towards Royal Dominion Rd. Responding officers established a perimeter and 9K25 tracked without success. 2D Investigative Section was notified and will conduct follow up.

Quick Updates

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Help Support and Design Your Community School! You will have one last chance to voice your views about the new school in our community. The Montgomery County Public School staff and architects will present draft designs this week for the new school that will be built on the site of the current Seven Locks Elementary School. If you have young children, you will want to see and influence what is planned. Even if you do not have school-age children, this is your opportunity to help shape the building that will stand at the intersection of Seven Locks and Bradley. Many of you fought hard to preserve this neighborhood school. Attending this meeting will help underscore the importance which our community attaches to the Seven Locks school and recreation area. Do come! Date: Tuesday, December 9. Time: 7:00 PM Place: Seven Locks Elementary School Multi-purpose Room.

Crime Alert. Remember to remain alert to crime, since it tends to increase at this time of year and since we continue to have reported incidents in our neighborhood. Some of the break-ins of cars have been quite professional – with alarm systems deactivated before thieves took lap-tops and air-bags. Note also that crime is on the increase at our local malls. So take special precautions for your personal safety and lock your car at Cabin John Mall and Montgomery Mall.

Holiday Greetings! This community has really come together this year – with a new website (, expanded email listserv and Neighborhood Network. Keep up the great work as we proceed with more programs (from leaf collection and references for baby-sitting and repair service) to more social gatherings and initiatives to help some age in place. And, to all of you, Warm Holiday Greetings!

November-December 2008 Update

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008


CRIME: The suspect in the Havenstein murder is in jail, pending the court date for his trial. Although he has been caught, County police advise residents to remain vigilant regarding other crime. One alert WBCA resident’s report of a stolen laptop was key to breaking the homicide case! Report any suspicious behavior – since there is some evidence of increasing crime in the area (including at Cabin John and Montgomery Malls). Call 911 or the general crime number (301-279-8000).

NEIGHBORHOOD FOLLOW-UP ON SECURTY SITUATION: One WBCA goal has been to achieve something positive from the tragic event that occurred this fall – namely, a greater sense of community and connection. We have thus taken the following actions:

 Doubled our email listserv so that we can reach more of you faster, especially in case of an emergency.
 Established a West Bradley website – thanks to J.J. MacNab! Check it out at
 Set up Neighbors’ Network – thanks to all who have volunteered to gather contact information on the blocks where you live, hold social events, and identify priorities on your street!

SCHOOLS: There are two more opportunities to voice your view on the new school, scheduled to replace the current Seven Locks Elementary School by January 2012. The Montgomery County Public Schools staff will hold open meetings on Tuesday, November 18 (3:30 PM) and on Tuesday, December 9 (7:00 PM) at Seven Locks School – showing draft designs for the expanded facility and proposals for new traffic access to the site. Due to budget shortfalls for school construction, WBCA has testified before the County School Board supporting the Seven Locks project.

PROPERTY TAXES: Want to know how your property taxes are assessed and how to appeal them? If so, sign up to attend seminar offered by the Montgomery County Civic Federation (the umbrella organization of community organizations to which WBCA belongs). The seminar will be held on Saturday, December 6, 9-11:30 AM, in the first floor auditorium of the County Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville. Free parking in the adjacent garage. Small fee may be assessed to cover costs of materials and light refreshments. If interested, rsvp to or

OTHER ISSUES: Although some WBCA residents already enjoy County leaf vacuuming service each fall, most do not. Those interested in getting that service (covered by a small charge in your County tax bill) will have the opportunity to sign a petition being prepared by WBCA resident Greg Barr. Let us know other ways that YOUR civic association can help YOU! Interested in more lighting or police surveillance? Programs for aging in place? Information on reliable repair services? We are here to serve you!

Suspect Charged for Homicide of Mary Havenstein

Saturday, October 18th, 2008


Update: Suspect Charged for Homicide of Mary Havenstein and Series of Home Invasion Robberies

This afternoon, Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger announced the arrest of the individual responsible for the September 2008 homicide/home invasion robbery of Mary Frances Havenstein and the series of four other home invasion robberies which occurred between September 17, 2007, and May 7, 2008, and that have been investigated as related.

Today, Jose Juan Garcia-Perlera, age 33, of the 5800 block of 32nd Avenue in Hyattsville, was charged with first-degree murder, four counts of robbery and one count of armed robbery. He is currently being held without bond at the Montgomery County Detention Center.

Garcia-Perlera was arrested without incident on Wednesday, October 15, after the execution of a search warrant at his residence. He was charged at that time with first-degree burglary and theft over $500 for a residential burglary that occurred on August 28, 2008 in the 8800 block of Seven Locks Road in Bethesda. He was also charged with fourth-degree burglary and theft over $500 for a theft from a vehicle that occurred in the 11300 block of Mitscher Street in Kensington overnight between August 6 and August 7, 2008.

During the course of the investigation into the August 28 burglary, 2nd District detectives developed Garcia-Perlera as a suspect; and a search warrant was obtained and executed at his residence. There, investigators discovered numerous items of evidence from the Havenstein homicide, the Maryknoll Avenue and Montgomery Street home invasion robberies, and from several thefts from vehicles. Once in custody, a search warrant was obtained to take a DNA sample from Garcia-Perlera.

Today, DNA analysts in the Montgomery County Police Crime Laboratory Section worked with DNA recovered at the homicide and at the Montgomery Street and Picasso Lane home invasions. Recent advancements in DNA technology allowed the analysts to make a positive match to Garcia-Perlera.

Detectives believe that as the investigation continues, Garcia-Perlera will be found responsible for other burglaries and thefts from vehicles that have occurred throughout the county. It is not yet known why the victims in the linked cases were selected. Garcia-Perlera described himself as a self-employed electrician. It is believed that Garcia-Perlera has been in the Washington Metropolitan area for the past six years.

Montgomery County Police want to thank the Maryland-National Capital Park Police Montgomery County Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Metropolitan Police Department for their assistance with this investigation. The department would also like to thank the Victims’ Rights Foundation for establishing a Home Invasion Homicide reward fund. Because the case was solved by detective work and not from a tip, the initial $5,000 reward and additional contributions will be held by the foundation and made available to the department when a future reward is deemed necessary.

Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger said, “I am greatly relieved to bring the news of this arrest to our community. We know that many of our residents and their loved ones have been living in fear since we first announced our belief that home invasions in Bethesda, Potomac, and Chevy Chase were linked. I want to extend my gratitude to the men and women of our department who made solving this case a priority…from the patrol officers who stepped up their vigilance, the Special Assignment teams who worked around the clock, the detectives who left no stone unturned, and to the forensic analysts who provided us the critical link to the suspect. Despite the arrest of the individual involved in these cases, community members should not become complacent and stop following good crime prevention practices. Continuing to lock doors and windows, watching for suspicious activity in your neighborhoods, and calling the police when you know that a crime has occurred will reduce crime and many times even prevent it.”

Street Lights

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

WBCA residents who have concerns about street lighting in our area should call the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center at 240-777-8200. The Regional Services Center, located at 4805 Edgemoor Lane in downtown Bethesda, will coordinate all requests with Pepco and the County Transportation Department. The key person to ask for at the Center is Ken Hartman, who serves as the Director and who has been a long-time friend to our neighborhood while working previously on the County Council staff.

10/6/08 Police Update

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008


October 6, 2008 Media Services Division, 240-773-5030

Update Update Update Update

Police release New Information at Community Meeting in Reference to Series of Home Invasions and Homicide

Tonight at 7:30 at a community meeting at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda hosted by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, Montgomery County Police released additional information to the public about a series of home invasions and a homicide that have targeted older residents. Detectives want to keep the public informed to reduce the risk to residents, and they continue to seek the public’s help in trying to identify the suspect believed responsible for six incidents. At this time only the homicide and two of the home invasion robberies have been officially linked, however detectives are investigating with the belief that the same individual has committed all six crimes.

Home Invasion Robberies:
• September 17, 2007, 11:40 p.m.
7600 block of Maryknoll Avenue, Bethesda, MD.
92-year-old female victim
• November 27, 2007, 1:03 a.m.
5500 block of Montgomery Street, Chevy Chase, MD.
77-year-old female victim
• January 9, 2008, 12:01 a.m.
2300 block of 49th Street. N.W., Washington, D.C.
84-year-old male and 85-year-old female victims
• February 27, 2008, 8:15 a.m.
11000 block of Picasso Lane, Potomac, MD.
78-year-old female victim.
Vehicle taken
• May 7, 2008, 2:30 a.m.
(Reported at this time, occurred earlier)
5800 block of Brookside Drive, Bethesda, MD
75-year-old male and 70-year-old female victims
• Found September 4, 8:43 a.m.
(Likely occurred overnight from 9/2 into 9/3 )
8900 block of Seven Locks Road, Potomac, MD
63-year-old victim.
Vehicle taken.

Detectives used DNA evidence to officially link the homicide to two of the home invasions that occurred in Montgomery County. The specific incidents that were linked are not being released due to the on-going investigation and for the safety of all of the surviving victims.

Similarities between the incidents:

• Victims in all incidents are older people (between 63 and 92 years old).
• All the victims were tied.
• All of the homes had secluded back yards.
• None of the homes had a residential alarm system.
• Suspect described similarly by all surviving victims as: a white or Latino male who spoke with a slight Hispanic accent, but spoke English very well, in his 20’s, 5’5” to 5’8” tall, with a medium build. He wore a mask in all but one incident. A wide variety of clothing was worn to include camouflage and one described as “dressed to fit in with the community”.


• Four victims were older women living alone, 2 incident victims were older couples (man and wife).
• Methods of entry: in some cases unlocked doors, in some pried open rear basement door, in some removed pane of glass from rear door.
• Phone lines to entire house cut once, lights disabled at circuit breakers inside house twice.
• Variety of items taken from homes.
• In one case, tools were found at the scene which the suspect may have brought with him in a dark duffel bag.

The length of time between incidents has varied from 43 to 119 days.

A series of unusual items were left at the Picasso Lane incident to include a purple backpack containing such property as: two baseball hats, one with a Nike logo, and one with a Lowe’s logo, marbles, a Smoot Lumber strap, a slingshot made out of a bundle of large rubber bands held together by a piece of denim cloth. It was later learned that the backpack had been stolen five years ago from the 3700 block of Harrison Street in northwest Washington, D.C.

The suspect asks for a variety of items to include cash and gold. He takes his time and looks wherever he wants throughout a home. Some unique items have been taken during the home invasions. One piece of jewelry is described as an “Old European cut” diamond ring with dark blue enamel on either side of the 18-karat yellow gold setting, and another is a voice-activated watch for the visually impaired manufactured by “LS&S”.

On September 24, there was an attempted residential burglary in the 4900 block of Asbury Lane in Bethesda. The 70-year-old victim who lives alone had a residential alarm system that activated during the evening. She did not learn until the following day that the basement door locks were damaged, and then called police. It is not known if this incident is related to the series, but serves as a reminder that all residents should not hesitate to call police for suspicious activity or suspicious person in a neighborhood.

Calls should be made to 911 if a situation is in progress, and to the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000 if the suspicious incident is not in progress.

Police are releasing photographs of several items hoping that someone will relate them to the individual responsible for these crimes. Because detectives have DNA evidence, possible suspects can be eliminated and therefore no one can be wrongfully associated with these crimes. Community members should be concerned about someone who can’t account for where he was late at night, someone who has property that doesn’t belong to him, and/or someone who can’t account for how he acquired unusual property. Anyone with information should call 240-773-5070. Callers may remain anonymous.

Montgomery County Police continue to remind everyone of the following strategies to help prevent crime in their neighborhoods.

• Ensure that there are functioning locks for all doors and windows and use them consistently. Garage doors should also be kept secured when not in use.
• Security systems that include alarms, exterior lighting with motion detectors, and timers for interior lighting are all measures that may prevent residential crime.
• Shrubbery close to the home that might provide concealment should be trimmed.
• Newspapers and mail should be taken in the day it is delivered. If residents are unable to pick it up, they should have a neighbor or family member collect it for them.
• If residents believe they are being followed they should not go home but drive to a public place. If they can safely obtain information that would be helpful to the police such as a description or tag number; they should do so as long as they don’t endanger themselves.
• If you suspect an intruder, don’t confront the person. If you can’t leave the house safely, lock yourself in a room with a phone or cell phone.
• Don’t enter your home if you see signs of forced entry. Go to a safe place to call police.
• Know your neighbors and your community – senior men or women living alone should develop regular daily contact with a friend, family member, or neighbor who will alert police if that regular contact is not made.
• Residents should call the police if they believe something doesn’t fit, occurs at an unusual time of day, or seems uncharacteristic to the area.

Police suggest that citizen associations participate in a collaborative effort between Montgomery County and “Connected Communities” part of Montgomery County’s largest electronic emergency alert notification network that connects community listservs. It is found at

The Victims’ Rights Foundation has set up a “Home Invasion Homicide Fund” to accept donations to increase the reward of $5,000 that they are offering for information that leads to an arrest and/or indictment of the individual responsible for the six home invasion robberies and homicide. All donations are tax deductible. Anyone wishing to donate to the fund should send a check with a notation in the memo line for the Home Invasion Homicide Fund to:

The Victims’ Rights Foundation
814 West Diamond Avenue, Suite 200
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Crime Update: Two October 6th Meetings

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008


There will be two meetings on Monday, October 6, relating to crime and safety in our neighborhood:

(1) SAFETY PROGRAM AT LIBRARY: The Montgomery County Police will present a program, “Safety for Seniors,” in the downstairs community room of the Davis Library, 6400 Democracy Boulevard in Bethesda, 3:00 – 6:00 PM. The police will cover the following topics for residential security: locks, windows, doors, alarms, landscaping, reporting suspicious activity and when to call the police. There will also be table displays with more information.

(2) POLICE CHIEF BRIEFING ON RECENT HOMICIDE AND OTHER CRIMES: A public meeting regarding the homicide on Seven Locks Road, September 4, and the recent spate of home invasion and automobile robberies will take place from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM at the Walt Whitman High School auditorium (7100 Whittier Boulevard in Bethesda ). Police Chief Tom Manger and officers of the Montgomery County Police Department will brief the community on the status of the Police Department’s efforts and answer questions from the audience. County Executive Isiah Leggett and Councilmember Roger Berliner will also attend the meeting.