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neighborhood watch

Police Tips on Theft from Cars

By | Neighborhood Notices, neighborhood watch


Below is a message from our MCPD Community Relations Officer on how to avoid becoming the victim of theft from your car.

Also, in light of the recent rash of thefts from cars in our RCH community, the Neighborhood Watch is getting active again. Over the next week, Watch captains will be distributing police handouts and stickers that remind you to remove valuables from your car and lock your doors. The stickers can be placed on your driver side window, and they do not leave a glue residue. If you not receive a handout/sticker within two weeks, please feel free to contact me for one. I’m at 9806 Hillridge Drive.

Good luck!


Paul Tiao & Eden Durbin

—–Original Message—–
From: Stroman, Dana <Dana.Stroman@montgomerycountymd.gov>
To: PaulTiao <paultiao@aol.com> Sent: Fri, Jun 30, 2017 10:33 am
Subject: Rock Creek Hill Community

June 30, 2017

Dear Community Partners:

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to help us with this very important prevention initiative. Theft from vehicles is the recurring #1 crime in the 2nd District. It is also one of the most preventable crimes, yet nearly 70-80% of victims are still leaving their cars unlocked and/or leaving valuables inside making our neighborhoods easy targets, and very popular with the bad guys (and girls).

The people that we arrest tell us they come here because so many people leave their car doors unlocked, and so many leave valuables inside. We have to work together to make life more difficult for these suspects.

Please remember:

1. Lock your vehicles. Push the lock button on your key fob and double check visually that your doors actually locked.

2. Remove all valuables like purses, laptops, phones, etc. and anything that appears to have value such as a laptop case. Suspects generally do not use force to break into a car if there is nothing of value visible inside.

3. Remove all spare keys from the car. Check your owners’ manual to ensure there is no valet key stored in there, especially on older model vehicles.

4. Call 911 immediately when you observe a suspicious care or person in your neighborhood, especially if late at night and they are carrying backpacks and trying door handles.

Let’s work together to bring down crime in 2017. Thank you for your help.

Officer Dana Stroman
Montgomery County Police
2nd District



Officer Dana Stroman
Community Services Officer
2nd District
Montgomery County Police

Public Safety Alert from the County Police

By | neighborhood watch


What is meant by

SUSPICIOUS can be any person, act, event or situation that appears questionable. Anytime someone or something “just doesn’t seem right to YOU”, that’s when YOU should call the POLICE

*Any stranger entering your neighbor’s unoccupied house could be a burglar
*Anyone peeking into parked vehicles may be considered stealing the vehicle, valuables inside or both.
*The sound of breaking glass or any loud explosive noise could mean an accident, burglary, or vandalism
CALL 301-279-8000

Prevent Theft From Vehicles
“If they Can SEE IT”
They Can STEAL IT!”

1. Lock your doors and close the windows.
2. Remove valuables from vehicle or lock them in the trunk where they are out of sight.
3. Do not leave electronic devices or accessories visible.
4. Do not leave money in your vehicle.
5. Park in your garage (if you have one.)

Steps to take if your vehicle has been broken into

1. Try not to touch the vehicle (Fingerprints may have been left by the perpetrator.)
2. Try to recall all items which were stolen.
3. Call Police 301-279-8000
4. If a Police Officer will be dispatched to your location, please wait for his or her arrival.

Neighborhood Watch Meeting Minutes

By | neighborhood watch

Minutes from October 30, 2014 Rock Creek Hills Neighborhood Watch Meeting

Click here for PDF version of the information below

Speaker: Montgomery County Community Police Officer Oliver Janney
• 14 years with Montgomery County police, 1 ½ years as community officer for Bethesda region (includes RCH). Before that DC police and secret service.

Statistics from our area shows that the number one problem in our area is theft from automobiles:
• 79% of the victim vehicles are unlocked
• Most theft takes place between 11pm and 3am
• Bethesda has most car break-ins
• If you leave your car unlocked, don’t leave anything of value in it

• Usually occur in daytime while folks at work
• Watch out for vehicles with ladders/no markings
• What is typically stolen: jewelry, silverware
• If someone is doing work on your home, make sure s/he is bonded and licensed
• Officer Janney will do home security surveys to help you identify security vulnerabilities
• One meeting attendee shared a story about 83 year old friend who had break in, officers wouldn’t finger print. Officer Janney advised attendees that they should call him if officers seem inexperienced. He pointed out that with the next graduating class in the police academy, two-thirds of the police force will have less than 5 years on job.

Things we can do to protect ourselves
• Lighting is key. Get lots of bright outside lights. This is a problem in RCH.
• Home alarm system may help, but make sure to use it if you have one.
• If making payments online, use prepaid debit cards; not credit cards
• While at gas stations, lock your car doors. Some criminals steal purses from the front seat when you are not paying attention.
• Outside cameras may help you catch someone egging house, etc. They cost about $799 at Costco.

Pay attention—watch out for magazine solicitors (often former offenders) and suspicious vehicles.

If you see anything suspicious, call the police department’s non-emergency phone line at 301-279-8000
• Leave your full name – will get a faster response (5 minutes)
• If you make an anonymous call the response will be slower (20 minutes)
• The non-emergency operator sits near the 911 operator
• Don’t call 311, that’s for county issues like bulk trash

Mr. Janney was asked to drive his police car through neighborhood in order to increase the police presence in RCH. He agreed to do so from time to time on his way to and from work.

RCH Neighborhood Watch volunteers agreed to take action by handing out fliers to neighbors about basic safety tips.

RCH Mtg with Community Police Officer on 10/30 @ 7:30 pm

By | neighborhood watch, RCHCA Biz

Dear RCH Residents:

Concerned about the recent rash of car break-ins? Worried about the burglaries in our neighborhood?

If so, we invite you to discuss your concerns with Community Service Officer, Oliver Janney, at a meeting of the RCH Neighborhood Watch on Thursday, October 30th at 7:30 pm. The meeting will take place at the home of Paul Tiao and Varuni Dayaratna, who live at 9806 Hillridge Drive.
Together with Officer Janney, we will review recent crime statistics, discuss prevention measures, and strategize on ways we as a community can work together to address the recent increase in crime in our community.

Please RSVP to paultiao@aol.com.

Thank you very much.

Eden Durbin & Paul Tiao
Neighborhood Watch Co-Chairs

Your Neighborhood Watch Team Presents: Tips for Securing Your Car & Garage

By | neighborhood watch

Happy Holidays! Here are a few tips for securing your car and garage:


  • Keep garage doors closed. Automatic garage doors offer extra security, but continue to use a physical lock on your garage door if you can. Keep controllers inside locked cars when parked in your garage.
  • If you park outside of your garage, remember to bring the controller into the house with you so that it cannot be removed from the car and used to open the garage.
  • Lock the door from your garage to the house. Secure that door with a dead bolt.


  • When you park your car, lock the doors and remove all valuables, including GPS devices. If possible, park your car in your garage or driveway.
  • When you are away on an extended trip, ask your neighbor to park in your driveway periodically.

(Source: National Sheriff’s Association and Montgomery County Community Police Officer Denise Gill)

Best wishes to you in 2013!

Eden & Paul
RCH-NW Coordinators

Your Neighborhood Watch Team Presents: Helpful Home Security Tips re Doors & Windows

By | neighborhood watch

Here are some safety tips regarding your doors and windows:

– Use solid, not hollow, core doors for exteriorentrances. Doors should fit snugly inthe frame with the hinges on the inside. For doors with single bolt locks, use at least a one-inch dead bolt.

– Put a dowel in the track of our sliding glass door toimpede opening.

– Do not leave your house key in a hiding place near thehouse. Most hiding places are obvious toburglars. When you leave your house donot leave a note explaining why you are not there. Avoid leaving doors or windows unlocked when youare not at home.

– Avoid displaying valuable items near windows with opendrapes or shades.

(Source: National Sheriff’s Association & Montgomery County Community Police Officer Denise Gill)


Eden & Paul
RCH-NW Coordinators

Your Neighborhood Watch Team Presents: Helpful Home Security Tips re Landscaping

By | neighborhood watch

Here are some home security tips relating to your landscaping:

– Tall bushes or shrubs that hide your doors or windows from street view make it easier for burglars to break in without being observed. They also provide hiding places for tools and stolen property. Keep your bushes trimmed so that they don’t provide cover for potential burglars.

– Mow your lawn, rake your leaves, and generally keep your yard neat. That will send the message that your house is occupied.

(Source: National Sheriff’s Association & Montgomery County Community Police Officer Denise Gill)


Eden & Paul
RCH-NW Coordinators

Your Neighborhood Watch Team Presents: Helpful Home Security Tips re indoor/outdoor Lighting

By | neighborhood watch

Here are a few helpful home security tips relating to your outdoor and indoor lighting:

– Good outside lighting can be a deterrent to burglars. Light those areas that are accessible to potential burglars and visible to your neighbors, such as doors, windows and eaves. Any spotlights that you install should shine on those areas, not out into the yard.

– Install photoelectric timers on your outside lights so that they will go on and off with the rising and setting of the sun. Do not leave porch lights on during the day –to burglars it is a sure sign that no-one is home. Motion sensor lights are also effective.

– Remember to leave an interior light on to send the message that your house is occupied. Use timer lights when you are away.
(Source: National Sheriff’s Association & Montgomery County Community Police Officer Denise Gill)

– Install photoelectric timers on your outside lights sothat they will go on and off with the rising and setting of the sun. Do not leave porch lights on during the day –to burglars it is a sure sign that no-one is home. Motion sensor lights are also effective.

– Remember to leave an interior light on to send the message that your house is occupied. Use timer lights when you are away.
(Source: National Sheriff’s Association & Montgomery County Community Police Officer Denise Gill)

Best regards,

Eden and Paul

RCH-NW Coordinators

Neighborhood Watch Update

By | neighborhood watch, RCHCA Biz

The RCH Neighborhood Watch recently had a very productive meeting with Community Police Officer Denise Gill. Officer Gill was enthusiastic about our Watch, shared recent crime statistics with us, and gave us helpful tips on crime prevention. Here is a quick summary of the statistics and tips:

Statistics: Crimes in RCH Reported to the Police Between April 2011 and April 2012

– 23 thefts from vehicles

– 4 vehicle thefts

– 2 residential burglaries

– 2 thefts (copper)

– 3 narcotics offenses

– 1 sex offense

Crime Prevention Tips

Most thefts from vehicles result in part from people leaving valuables (electronic gadgets, cash, wallets) in unlocked cars parked on the street. She reminded us to lock our doors and not leave valuables in our cars.

Door-to-door salespersons (magazines, tree trimming, etc) are required to have a license from the County Department of Permitting Services, and must wear an operator’s permit in a visible location on their person. Residents, especially seniors, should be wary of such salespersons since their activities often lead to burglaries. Officer Gill recommended that residents call the police to check out such salespersons, and that seniors refrain from opening their door.

As distinct from door-to-door salespersons, canvassers who are knocking on doors for a political cause are not required to have a license. Officer Gill suggested that it would be safest to contribute to such causes over the phone or through the mail rather than at the door. For local kids who are raising money for sports teams or extracurricular activities, generally residents should expect an email about their door-knocking activities in advance.

If you are a victim of crime or observe what you believe to be suspicious activity, call the police right away. That gives the police a chance to check things out and take steps to stop crime in progress or catch criminals. It is ok with the police if you turn out to be wrong, and if you figure that out yourself then you can call off the police before they arrive. Call 911 if it’s an emergency and 301-279-8000 if it’s not. After you call the police, alert your neighbors through the Neighborhood Watch.

– Eden Durbin & Paul Tiao
– NW Coordinators

Neighborhood Watch Meeting with Officer Gill Thursday May 10 7-8:30 p.m.

By | neighborhood watch

Dear Rock Creek Hills Neighbors:

Please RSVP to edendurbin@verizon.net if you plan to attend.

We invite all neighbors to the next the Rock Creek Hills Neighborhood
Watch meeting on Thursday, May 10th at 7 – 8:30 pm at Eden Durbin’s
house (3307 Wake Drive). Community Police Officer Denise Gill will
join us to talk about recent crime trends and provide helpful tips on
the best methods for preventing crime in our neighborhood. We feel it
is very important that we develop a good relationship with Officer
Gill, since that should lead to greater responsiveness on the part of
the county police when public safety issues arise.

In addition, neighborhood watch captains will discuss how to join the
outreach efforts to other neighbors in order to solidify connections
in our neighborhood to better prevent crime and increase communication
during weather emergencies, including power outages. We invite all
Rock Creek Hills all in the neighborhood to join us. Please RSVP to
Eden Durbin at edendurbin@verizon.net.


Eden Durbin and Paul Tiao
Rock Creek Hills Neighborhood Watch