2 Break-ins

2 Break-ins

What more can Robert Simmons do? Last month, his car was broken into while parked in his driveway on Lake Potomac Court, and an iPod was stolen from the car.

Last weekend, Simmons’ car was parked in his driveway by his daughter’s window. The car had an alarm, and it was locked. None of that mattered — for the second time in 30 days, his car was broken into on Saturday night or early Sunday morning. This time, a pair of his daughter’s Ugg boots were stolen.

“The first time it happened, I said, ‘OK, I’ll chalk it up as an isolated incident,” Simmons said. “It feels pretty jarring to know that it happened twice.”

Police received reports of two separate car break-ins on Lake Potomac Court over the past weekend, said police spokesperson Luicille Bauer. In one case, the car was locked, and a window was broken to gain entrance; in the other case, the car’s owner was unsure how the car was broken into. In both cases, stereo equipment was taken from the cars.

On Sunday morning, Simmons saw that a neighbor’s car had been broken into. The window was broken, the trunk was opened and a mess of broken stereo cables was visible where speakers had once been.

At least two other cars were broken into elsewhere in Potomac over the weekend, one on Piney Meetinghouse Road and another on Swains Lock Terrace.

“It doesn’t look like an isolated incident,” Simmons said. “They’re good at it; they know what they’re doing; they’re being opportunistic. … They’re looking for stuff they can quickly unload.”

Over the same weekend, speakers were taken from a car that was broken into on Landcraft Court in Darnestown.

“We can’t be certain that they are related, but it is interesting that the same things were taken,” Bauer said.

Last summer, there were recurring instances of smash-and-grab car break-ins in Potomac. Every few weeks in July and August, valuables were stolen from multiple cars in the same neighborhood, some of which were locked and in the owners’ driveways. On one July morning, 11 cars were broken into on roads near Potomac Village. On another August night, four or five vehicles on Bridle Lane were broken into. Valuables stolen included iPods, laptop computers, purses and GPS devices, most of which were visible in the victims’ cars.

After the summer break-ins, police asked residents to keep car doors locked and not leave valuable items in view. In Simmons’ case, however, the car was locked with an alarm system. One additional step Bauer recommended was to install motion detector lights on the side of a house.

<1b>— Alex Scofield