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Votes

Open Door Policy Discouraged

String of burglaries as a result of open garage doors.

A woman who lives on the 9400 block of Reach Road saw a burglar in her home on Nov. 7 at approximately 12:55 a.m.

The victim had been upstairs in her home when she remembered that she had left her garage door open and the door from her garage to her house unlocked.

When she went downstairs to lock up, she saw an unknown man walking around in her kitchen and living room areas, say Montgomery County police.

She stayed out of sight and ran back upstairs to call 911. The victim told police that she had left her car keys on the kitchen counter. When police arrived, they found the car’s door ajar and the keys on the floorboard.

Officers Allan Ricketts, Laurie Ellard, David Rice, Douglas Tressler and Derek Teichler had responded to the victim’s call and set up a perimeter to search for the suspect.

A suspect was located near the victim’s home. The vehicle that the suspect was driving was stolen, and inside were several credit cards and two purses that did not belong to the Reach Road victim, say police.

Police arrested Joshua Aaron Carlton, 19 of the 4200 block of Brookfield Drive in Kensington, and charged him with first-degree burglary, auto theft, theft over $500, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, rogue and vagabond, fourth-degree burglary, attempted auto theft, attempted theft over $500, attempted unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, credit card theft and theft under $500. He was released on $25,000 bond.

This woman was just one victim in a string of robberies resulting from open garage doors. Police cannot be certain whether or not Carlton is connected to a string of burglaries in North Potomac (see sidebar), said Montgomery County Police Spokesperson Louise Marthens.

POLICE ARE ALSO investigating two car thefts which involved cars stolen from garages at private residences.

On Nov. 16 at 4:39 a.m., in the 11600 block of Highland Farm Drive, a burglary was discovered. The garage door at the residence was found open and the owner’s 2000 Aston Martin DB-7, white with Maryland license plate number HSH 937 was missing.

Later that same day, at 6:33 p.m. a burglary was reported in the 11500 block of Lake Potomac Drive. The homeowner’s 1992 Nissan Maxima, white with Maryland license plate number ADN 147, which had been parked in the garage, was missing.

Police are investigating all possibilities, said Marthens, but cannot be certain if these two burglaries are related to each other or to the string of open garage door burglaries.

<1b>—By Ari Cetron