Montgomery County Police arrested two men in connection with a series of burglaries that have taken place in Potomac and Rockville over the last several months.
On Nov. 26, police responded to a call at a residence on Sorrel Avenue in Potomac, where a man confronted two men as they were allegedly trying to break into his home through the garage door, according to police reports.
The two men fled on separate motorcycles but were caught by police after two separate pursuits, according to police reports. Police identified the suspects, a father and son tandem, Jerome Shaw Sr., 45, and Jerome Shaw Jr., 26, of Nassau County, N.Y.
Police said the men are being investigated in connection with a series of approximately a dozen burglaries in the same neighborhoods since May of this year. County police are also working with authorities in Nassau County, where Jerome Shaw Sr. is currently wanted on charges, said Lucille Bauer, a spokesperson for Montgomery County Police.
First District Commander Darryl McSwain said, “I am extremely proud of all the officers, crime analysts, and investigators who assisted in this effort. I would also like to thank the community members who supported us in this endeavor.”
DESPITE THE arrests, residents remain uneasy. Theo Hayes, who along with her husband Stephen helped to coordinate community communication with police, said that she and most of her neighbors will continue to feel uneasy, at least until it is confirmed that the men who were arrested were the ones responsible for the recent string of robberies.
"I don't think any of us will ever let our guard down," said Theo Hayes. "Even if I see a van parked too long [in the neighborhood] we call the police."
Police and the community worked closely over the course of the burglaries to share information and tips on how to prevent the break-ins, said Bauer. The majority of the burglaries occurred when the homeowners were not present, leading police to advise residents to avoid such signs of vacancy as the accumulation of newspapers in the driveway, leaving excessive mail in the mailbox and lack of lighting in the home, according to police. Police increased patrols of the area over the Thanksgiving holiday, enabling them to apprehend the suspects, said Bauer.
The burglaries seemed to be committed by professionals, said Hayes. In one instance the burglars crawled through a small bathroom window, the only window in that house that was not connected to the home security system; in another instance glass was cut out of a sliding door to prevent the alarm system in that home from sounding, said Hayes.
When the two suspects were apprehended they were carrying bags that contained hammers, pliers, saws and a crowbar, tools often associated with burglary, said Bauer.
Jerome Shaw Sr. and Jerome Shaw Jr., were each charged with attempted breaking and entering, possession of burglar’s tools with intent to commit a burglary, conspiracy to break and enter, and conspiracy to possess burglar’s tools, while Jerome Shaw Sr. was also charged with making a false statement to police at the time of his arrest, said Bauer. Jerome Shaw Sr. is currently being held without bond at the Clarksburg Correctional Facility, while Shaw Jr. was released after payment of a $15,000 bond.