A recent increase in residential burglaries in the Washington D.C. and Maryland areas has put local police and residents on alert, the Chevy Chase Patch is reporting.
A Washington D.C. burglary can be a terrifying situation for a homeowner who comes home to find their possessions gone, home invaded and life turned upside down. A person who gets wrapped up in a burglary charge faces an equally terrifying situation.
Our Washington D.C. criminal defense lawyers have seen many examples of people arrested for a residential burglary simply for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
One common way law enforcement officers try to identify the person responsible for a house break-in is through eyewitness testimony or through the testimony of a co-defendant. Studies have shown that people are inherently unreliable when it comes to accurately identifying what a person looks like. And a snitch will say anything. New Jersey court officials recently put restrictions on eyewitness testimony because they reversed so many convictions based on testimony that was flawed or later found to be wrong.
So, this often leads to a person who happened to be walking nearby being considered a suspect. In sloppy police cases, a person may be arrested simply for being around a victim's house at the wrong time.
In other situations, friends may pile in a car and go for a joyride or out to have some fun when the car gets pulled over. Perhaps the driver had committed a burglary hours earlier and didn't tell the friends. If witnesses said several people were in the burglarized house, all of a sudden, the police have a car-full of suspects. This type of situation has happened more than you might think.
Let's hope police investigating the recent string of burglaries in the Bethesda, Chevy Chase and North Bethesda area don't make the same mistakes. The Patch reports that 24 burglaries were reported in the second district in December and January, through January 5.
Potomac reports that there have also been a higher number of burglaries there than expected, as residents have decided to form a public safety coalition to help. View this as a whole gaggle of potentially unreliable witnesses that are teaming up. Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police have jurisdiction over several recent Western Avenue burglaries in the last month as well.
Among the second district crimes, police say two men knocked on several doors before trying to go in through a side window. In one case, the men were scared off by a person inside. A few hours later, nearby, police believe the same men unsuccessfully tried to burglarize another house.
In another incident, police say a man was driving a blue Chevrolet near a house that was burglarized and in two other incidents a navy blue car was described.
In a Bethesda burglary, a man was trying to get into a white car that was parked in the driveway of the victim's home. The same car was said to be seen in other recent burglary attempts.
In all three incidents, witnesses provided very weak descriptions of the alleged suspects and white cars and blue cars are very common throughout the area. Police should have better evidence than a shade of color on a car and a 20-year age range in suspects before making arrests for these serious charges.
Continue reading "Washington D.C. Residential Burglaries On the Rise, Report Says" »