Donald "Keith" Williams, 37, frequented the areas of Potomac and Bethesda in Maryland and Great Falls and Tysons Corner in Virginia in search of upscale vehicles to steal, according to Montgomery County Police.
"He tends to visit looking for cars, you may not know he's been in your car if it is open," said Derek Baliles, spokesperson for the Montgomery County Police Department.
Williams, according to police reports, has stolen a green four-door 1998 Land Rover Discover (Maryland tag number M579150) and a silver, four-door 2000 Jaguar STY (Maryland tag 3273HV).
Detectives from the Central Auto Theft Section arrested Donald “Keith” Williams at a hotel in Greenbelt, Md. on Saturday, June 15, at 4:30 a.m. Police report that Williams was arrested without incident after investigators learned that he was a guest at the hotel and is being held in the Montgomery County Detention Center.
Williams, whose last known address was in the 9200 block of Lincoln Avenue in Upper Marlboro, is charged with theft over $500, two counts each of car theft and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Investigators say Williams broke into vehicles, often entering unlocked vehicles, and took items inside, including spare keys, and then returned at a later time to steal the vehicle.
"We believe he is taking the owner’s manuals to the car dealerships, claiming to be the owner and asking if they can cut him a new key. The owner’s manual has the vehicle identification number, they believe him and cut him a key. He goes back, opens the car up and steals it," said Baliles.
Baliles said the police have contacted local car dealerships to alert them of Williams.
"If people will just lock their doors. Thieves know where most people hide keys, they will feel anywhere where you can, the back fender, wheel well, they know these places, they know to look there," said Baliles.
Police reports describe Williams as a "smooth talker" who sometimes portrays himself as a financial analyst to women whom he meets by responding to personal ads.
<1b>By Ken Moore