COLESVILLE, Md. — Police are investigating whether a Silver Spring robbery is tied to three car wrecks, including a high-speed crash that killed a 71-year-old woman last week.
Montgomery County police are asking for the public’s help as they try to piece together events spread over the course of three days and culminating with the fatal crash in Colesville on June 17.
Investigators said that the 2005 black Mercury Mountaineer involved in the crash that killed Victoria Hitchins was also involved in a less serious wreck two days earlier at a McDonald’s parking lot in Olney. The SUV also might have been involved in a robbery on June 16.
The parking lot wreck broke the rear glass of the SUV and the driver, Ousmane Barry, was cited. No one was injured.
Police believe that the Mountaineer might have been at the scene of a robbery on Wheaton Lane in the Northwood area of Silver Spring the following day. A man was robbed at gunpoint and the robbers fled in an SUV.
A day later, Barry hit a utility pole near the intersection of Randolph Road and New Hampshire Avenue. About the same time, a Toyota Camry driven by Hitchins, of Rockville, went off the road and hit a tree. Hitchins was pronounced dead at the scene.
The two crashes are related, investigators said.
“Both vehicles were traveling on Randolph Road at a high rate of speed,” said Sgt. Nick Picerno. “The movements of one vehicle influenced the movement of another.”
Barry, 20, of Palmyra, Virginia, was taken into custody, given a drug test and was released.
At least two other passengers of the Mountaineer fled the crash scene. A police dog tracked down one of them, who was interviewed by police and released.
Police are still awaiting the results of Barry’s drug test, and they are hoping to speak to anyone who saw the vehicles or the collisions.
“We do believe that there are additional witnesses out there,” Picerno said. “We are also reviewing business surveillance video.”
Investigators said they are paying close attention to where Barry’s SUV was located in the hours leading up to the crashes.
The damage to the SUV and the plastic covering would have made the SUV very recognizable, investigators said.
“We’re asking for anybody who may have seen that vehicle to please contact us,” said Detective Sgt. Paul Reese.
Police ask anyone with information or video of any of the crashes or the robbery to call the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620.