Bethesda 2nd District Police Commander Capt. David Falcinelli said police arrested a suspect they believe is responsible for most of the rash of commercial office burglaries in downtown Bethesda and White Flint this year.
Falcinelli said police arrested the suspect on Thursday and he is believed to be responsible for similar burglaries in D.C.
The 2nd District has seen a huge spike in commercial burglaries through April of this year compared to the year-to-date numbers last year. In stats Falcinelli released on Thursday, police have reported 46 commercial office burglaries, compared to 18 during the same stretch of time in 2012.
Crime in all other listed categories — robbery, aggravated assault, residential burglary, theft from vehicles and stolen vehicles — are down compared to last year, though Falcinelli cautioned that the 2nd District has seen a spike in residential burglaries in May.
“Many of these burglaries are occurring during daytime hours and they are taking high-end jewelry. In at least one case, power has been cut to the house prior to making entry,” Falcinelli said.
Falcinelli also said a recent pedestrian safety campaign along Wisconsin Avenue and near Bethesda Elementary School on Arlington Road resulted in 175 citations for various violations. Police also ran a pedestrian crosswalk sting operation on Thursday on Democracy Boulevard in which they issued 56 citations to drivers who failed to stop for a plainclothes officers crossing a crosswalk.
There were eight pedestrian-vehicle collisions in April in the 2nd District, Falcinelli said. Police have determined the driver was at-fault in four of those incidents and the pedestrian was at-fault in three. The other one remains under investigation.
“Traffic is bad enough without further clogging up the roads with unnecessary collisions,” Falcinelli said. “Focus on your driving and walking. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.”