Mount Rainier Police increase patrols after spike in burglaries - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Mount Rainier Police increase patrols after spike in burglaries

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Mount Rainier Police have called in re-enforcements from Prince George's County to help patrol the streets after a big spike in home burglaries.

There have been 19 since October 12th--and two attempts.

Most of the break-ins have occurred during the day, when no one's at home.

The thieves have been targeting neighborhoods of single family homes in Mount Rainier

And Brentwood using a common ploy to pick their targets.

"The general MO is two guys working together," Chief Michael Scott says. "They ring the bell to see if anyone answers.

If no one's home, one guy will go around back and look for a way in. They've pried open doors and windows, and even gone in through doggy doors."

When two guys knocked on Cynthia Lapp's door on Election Day, her 17 year old daughter refused to answer.

Instead, she called police and a neighbor across the street who spotted the guys sneaking around the houses on Rainier Avenue.

"She had police on one phone and a neighbor on the other who was able to give a description and they caught the guys so it was a real cooperative effort that made it happen," Lapp says.

"The two adult suspects were in possession of some stolen property taken in a burglary in Brentwood and a loaded 45 caliber handgun from another burglary in Brentwood. We have positively tied them to three burglaries here in the city," Chief Scott says.

Even though there have been two arrests, the burglaries haven't stopped. There was one last night on 31st Street. A woman says she left for work at 8 in the morning, and when she returned someone had broken in through a rear kitchen window.

Prince George's County police have offered additional patrol officers to help with patrols in Mount Rainier and Brentwood.

Residents are urged to keep their eyes open and property secured.

"Definitely gonna keep the doors locked," Nick Griggs says. "I'll lock them twice if I have to."

Investigators have identified a 14 year old; who they say could be responsible for more than a dozen break-ins.

They need more tips though, if you see anything or anyone suspicious, police want to hear from you.  Call Mount Rainier police at: 301-985-6566

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