Brothers arrested, charged with stealing from houses of worship in Montgomery Co.

Silver Spring Buddhist temple burglarized in broad daylight

Two brothers have been arrested and charged with burglarizing the U.S. Zen Institute and a residence attached to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Police said 23-year-old Alex Dumitru and 18-year-old Natalian Dumitru may be connected to a criminal gang traveling along the East Coast, targeting houses of worship, according to NBC Washington. They have been charged with first-degree burglary and related charges.

Montgomery County police are investigating a series of burglaries that occurred between March and April, according to a Thursday news release.

  • A Silver Spring residence attached to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the 15000 block of Good Hope Road
  • A Germantown residence located in the 2300 block of Spencerville Road
  • The Noor Center at 20500 Boland Farm Road, Germantown
  • U.S. Zen Institute at 19225 Liberty Mill Road, Germantown
  • A Silver Spring residence attached to the Wat Thai Washington in the 13400 block of Layhill Road

The two brothers were charged in connection to two of the burglaries: the Zen Institute and the residence connected to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Last month, thieves were caught on surveillance video walking up the steps of Wat Thai, D.C., in Silver Spring, only to walk back down 12 minutes later holding a security safe containing $20,000, jewelry and documents. Police have not charged the brothers in connection with that burglary.

Police are still investigating that burglary and the other two in which the brothers are not charged.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2024 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Ana Golden

Ana Golden is an Associate Producer for WTOP. Ana attended Emerson College and studied Journalism and Political Communication. While at Emerson, she worked as an associate producer for her school’s TV station, interned on senate and gubernatorial campaigns, and worked as a news anchor on 88.9 WER.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up