POLICE REPORTS: Armed robberies, auto theft, arrests, shots fired

The Takoma Park and Washington, DC Metropolitan police departments issued these notices  Jan. 7 -12, 2017. Case numbers are included for anyone who can provide information about the crime. Police contact information is below. Citizens can sign up for customized Takoma Park, MD police announcements on the police website. Or they can join the Washington DC Fourth District Police.


Residential Burglary

On January 6, 2017, at approximately 5:54 pm, Takoma Park Police responded to the 7200 block of Spruce Avenue for the report of a residential burglary. Unknown suspect(s) made entry into the residence by kicking out a back patio window and stole property. Investigation continues under case #17001035.


Stolen Auto

On January 7, 2017, at approximately 4:47 am, Takoma Park Police responded to the unit block of Elm Avenue for a report of a stolen auto. The outstanding stolen vehicle is described as a 2011 dark blue Volkswagon Tiguan, Tag #MD9BG9322. The victim last saw his vehicle on January 6 at approximately 7:30 pm. The outstanding vehicle has been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) stolen vehicle database. Investigation continues under case #17001118.


Theft from Auto

On January 7, 2017, at approximately 10:49 pm, Takoma Park Police responded to the 7400 block of Jackson Avenue for the report of a theft from auto. Unknown suspect(s) entered the vehicle by unknown means and stole property. Investigation continues under case #17001230


Armed Robbery

On January 8, 2017, at approximately 4:29 am, Takoma Park Police responded to the area of Circle Avenue and Woodland Avenue for the report of an armed robbery. The victim is a driver for a business (Transporte El Truco) and was called to pick up a fare in the 1300 block of University Boulevard. Upon arrival, two Hispanic males got into his vehicle and directed him to Fort Totten Metro. While on East West Highway, the suspects told the victim they wanted to pick up a friend at Circle Avenue and Woodland Avenue. Once they arrived, the suspects told the victim to stop the vehicle. The suspect in the back seat pulled out a knife and held it to the victim’s neck. He was directed to turn off the vehicle and give the suspect the keys, to which the victim complied. The suspects took property from the victim and fled on foot to the rear of McLaughlin School in the 6500 block of Poplar Avenue.  The suspect in the front passenger seat is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 22 years old, skinny, 5’6 with short black hair, dark complexion, goatee, last seen wearing a black jacket. The suspect in the back seat is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 20 years old, light complexion, last seen wearing a silver jacket and armed with a knife. A K9 track was conducted which led to the victim’s vehicle keys in the rear parking lot of the school. The victim was not seriously physically injured. His vehicle was impounded for investigation. If you have any information regarding this crime, please contact the police department at 301-270-1100 and reference case #17001258.


A Message from the Chief of Police – Armed Robberies

January 8, 2017—I want to warn community members, particularly our Hispanic community, of a recent crime trend. Many in the Hispanic community do not use credit cards; thus, they tend not to use licensed and insured ride services such as Uber or Lyft. There are a number of unlicensed ride companies operating in the Langley Park area. These drivers do not have company insurance or background checks. Additionally, it is a cash business. These drivers are people trying to pick up some extra money. Many of the drivers are undocumented, which increases their risk of being targeted as they are often reluctant to report crimes. Over the past week, both Takoma Park and Langley Park, Prince George’s County, have experienced a number of armed robberies by Hispanic gang members where the driver is called to a secluded neighborhood. Generally, they commit several crimes in one night. We are aggressively working with Prince George’s County detectives on these cases.

Supporting these services creates the opportunity for crime against the drivers as well as a risk to the passengers. First, using these illegal ride services is risky to the consumer. There is no way to know the level or kind of insurance coverage, experience or background the driver has. The success of these services has created a real risk to the drivers. As a cash business, the drivers are very vulnerable to be victimized.

Please be safe.


Arrests Made for Possession of Firearm; Other Charges

January 9, 2017—Chief Alan M. Goldberg from the Takoma Park Police Department announces the arrests of Joseph Saunders, 21, of Manassas, Virginia, and Robert Hofer, 34, of Woodbridge, Virginia, for possession of a firearm, possession of controlled dangerous substance (CDS) Heroin and possession of CDS paraphernalia. On January 6, 2017, at approximately 7:43 pm, members of the Special Assignment Team (SAT) conducted a traffic stop in the 8500 block of Sligo Creek Parkway. A search incident to arrest revealed the subjects in possession of a loaded firearm as well as CDS Heroin and CDS paraphernalia. Saunders and Hofer were arrested, charged accordingly and transported to the Montgomery County Central Processing Unit without incident.


Commercial Burglary

On January 10, 2017, at approximately 1:31 am, Takoma Park Police responded to the 6400 block of New Hampshire Avenue (W Express Gas Station) for a commercial burglary alarm. Unknown suspect(s) made entry into the gas station by cutting a hole in the roof, drilling and removing roof tiles. It is unknown what, if any, property was stolen. Investigation continues under case #17001556.


Strong Arm Robbery

On January 10, 2017, at approximately 9:45 pm, Takoma Park Police responded to the 7400 block of New Hampshire Avenue for the report of a strong arm robbery. The victim was standing at the bus stop in the 7400 block of New Hampshire Avenue when she was approached by the suspect. The suspect at first began to have a conversation with the victim, but then he forcibly took property from her and fled the area on foot towards Merwood Avenue. A K9 track was attempted which led to the area of New Hampshire Avenue and Glenside Drive where some of the victim’s property was recovered and where the track ended. The victim was not physically injured. The suspect is described as a black male, mid-20’s, approximately 5’10, thin build, last seen wearing a black hoodie and jeans with holes in them. Investigation continues under case #17001717.


Sound of Shots Fired in the Area of Philadelphia Avenue and Chicago Avenue

On January 12, 2017, at approximately 2:44 am, Takoma Park Police responded to the area of Philadelphia Avenue and Chicago Avenue for the sound of shots fired. Officers canvassed the area and found no evidence of shots having been fired. Anyone with information is asked to please call us at 301-270-1100.