Monday, June 26, 2006

Vigilance Really Does Work

This is how it's supposed to work:

Last Thursday at about 10 AM, I was patrolling in the neighborhood of 29th and Taylor Streets when Communications dispatched a call for a suspicious looking individual walking up and down 29th Street. The caller was concerned that he was possibly "casing" the neighborhood for an opportunity to break into a house or a parked vehicle. The person who called in the complaint did not give their name, only that they lived on 29th Street.

The caller gave a good description of the individual, and when Communications broadcast the lookout, I realized that I had just passed him on the street not two minutes before. I immediately drove around the block and saw the individual walking down 29th towards Webster. After a short period of disagreement on his part as to whether or not he should stop and talk with me, I was finally able to get his identification and call in a wanted check. Several minutes passed, and as we waited, he tried to convince me that he was just in the area to visit relatives, although he could not remember exactly where they lived, and came up with a few equally dubious reasons for being on 29th Street that morning. I was not terribly suprised when Communications notified me that he was wanted in Prince William County Virginia on an oustanding, extraditable warrant for auto theft! The man was arrested and processed, and is on his way back to Virginia to face his outstanding auto theft charges.

Thanks are due to the resident who called and notified us of this suspicious individual. His/her vigilence may have saved a neighbor from coming home to find their home burglarized or their vehicle stolen, and helped us get one more wanted person off the streets of Mt. Rainier.
Remember:
The best crime prevention tool is a good neighbor!

Friday, June 09, 2006

New Mt. Rainier Chief of Police Appointed

June 9, 2006

Michael E. Scott appointed Chief of Police

Chief Michael Scott has served with the Mount Rainier Police since August of 2002. After serving as the Acting Chief since January 2006, City Manager Jeannelle Wallace appointed him as the Chief with the full support of the Mayor and Council. Prior to coming to Mt. Rainier, Chief Scott served with the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County Division, from 1975 until his retirement as Support Services Branch Commander in 1997. After his retirement from active duty, he continued to serve with the Park Police as their computer operations and network manager before coming to MRPD in 2002.

With over 30 years in police work, Chief Scott has acquired extensive supervisory and command experience, along with advanced training in liability management through the Local Government Insurance Trust, police ethics and community policing. He participated in the development of “Leadership ‘96,” an award-winning leadership program that received the Washington-Metropolitan Area Council of Governments “Training Program of the Year” award in 1997, and is also a graduate of that program. Chief Scott is a 2005 graduate of the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Program.

Chief Scott was born in Washington, DC and grew up on Eastern Avenue in Takoma Park. He currently resides in Mitchellville with his 8-year-old son Matthew.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Veterans Personal Information Stolen

In May 2006, The Department of veterans Affairs (VA) discovered that personal information for over 26 million veterans and their spouses was stolen during a robbery at the home of a VA data analyst. The stolen information includes names, social security numbers, disability ratings and dates of birth of veterans who have retired since 1972. Because the stolen information could support large scale identity theft, the VA will send letters to those veterans and their families whose information was stolen. The VA is advising that anyone receiving a notification letter should consider placing a fraud alert on their credit files. This will alert creditors to verify applicant information before opening or changing any accounts. Additionally, the VA has established a dedicated toll free telephone number, 1-800-333-4636, in order to answer victim's questions. Possible victims should also be advised to contact the affected financial institutions and to file a report with the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft or by calling 1-877-438-4338.

Friday, June 02, 2006

UPDATE - Suspicious Person

Over the past week or so the police department has been receiving reports of a suspicious person knocking on doors late in the evening. This individual has apparently tried to talk his way into homes, and although purporting to sell home alarm systems, did not identify himself as an authorized salesperson for any alarm company.

Our investigation into these incidents revealed that there is one individual who is a legitimate salesperson for Honeywell home security systems who has been operating in the residential areas of the City. He has been identified as Mr. Jared Arcus, and as of May 31st, the City has issued him a Solicitor’s Permit. His permit is valid through December 31st, 2006.

Now, just because we have identified this one individual as being a legitimate solicitor, a word of caution is in order. Residents must still be wary when individuals come to their door whom they do not know and whom they do not expect. Never let anyone into your home unless they produce valid identification (examine it before letting them in!) and you are confident that the person is who they say they are. If you are in any way uncomfortable, refuse to allow the person into your home, call our Communications center (301-985-6565/6566) and request that an officer respond.

Be cautious, be vigilant and watch out for yourselves and for your neighbors!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Significant Incident - Homicide

This evening at approximately 5 PM MRPD officers responded to the 3700 block of Eastern Avenue for a homicide which took place between 4:30 and 4:45. Upon arrival our officers were met by detectives from the DC Homicide Unit and were told that the homicide occurred in the District.

What we know at this point is that the victim allegedly stole the suspect's motor scooter several days ago. The two encountered each other this afternoon along Eastern Avenue and the suspect confronted the victim about the theft. During the confrontation, the suspect produced a large edged weapon and stabbed the victim several times in the upper body. The victim ran to a private residence on Monroe Street and called DC Fire/Rescue for help. He then left the residence and collapsed on the sidewalk outside. He was transported to MedStar where he was pronounced dead at 5:05 PM.

While at the scene, A/LT Stoots and CEO Nichol received credible information through an informant who is a City resident (and known to us) about the identity of the suspect. This information was relayed to the lead investigator for DC. This informant also told us that the stolen motor scooter could possibly be found at a residence in the 3700 block of 35th Street. Our officers along with numerous DC Homicide assets responded to that residence, located the motor scooter, and seized it for evidence.

MRPD officers will continue to assist DC Homicide in the investigation.