Md. student charged with having stolen police assault rifle while driving stolen car to school

- An observant school resource officer arrested a Montgomery County high school student after police say he drove a stolen car onto school grounds with a stolen police assault rifle inside the vehicle.

According to police, the patrolling school resource officer saw the suspect, Mario Alvarado, park a Mazda 3 at a remote part of campus at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington Monday morning. The officer observed the 18-year-old student walk towards the school before returning to the car a short time later.

Police said Alvarado drove off and the officer pulled him over at the intersection of Norris Drive and Kenton Drive. After stopping, Alvarado got out of the car and fled from the officer. The teenager would eventually return to the intersection a short time later where he was apprehended by police.

Officers found an assault rifle in the trunk of the Mazda vehicle, which was found to be stolen from a Rockville City Police Department cruiser in the Kensington area last Saturday. The car was reported stolen two days before in Wheaton.

In addition, Alvarado is believed to be connected to another stolen car parked nearby the high school. That vehicle, a black Nissan Frontier, had been reported stolen from Wheaton on April 22. Inside the Nissan was a shotgun that was also stolen from the same Rockville City police cruiser.

Alvarado is charged with possessing a deadly weapon on school property, possession of an assault weapon, possession of a stolen vehicle and other firearm-related charges. He has posted bond and is scheduled to be in court in June.

FOX 5’s Melanie Alnwick reported that Alvarado was arrested two weeks ago in the Baltimore area for a separate stolen vehicle incident. 

Police said a 15-year-old boy was also arrested for auto theft offenses related to this case. He has been released in his parents’ custody.

Montgomery County Public Schools superintendent Jack Smith said in a message to parents:

Dear MCPS Community,

On Monday, May 1, a student at Albert Einstein High School committed a serious offense by bringing a gun onto school property.  While the gun never entered the school building and remained in a car parked on a remote part of the campus, this is inexcusable. As Principal James Fernandez described in his letter to the community on Monday, this incident was resolved thanks to the vigilance and proactive actions of the school’s dedicated School Resource Officer. I thank our partners in law enforcement and our MCPS security teams for their commitment to keeping schools safe every day.

It is our responsibility to provide a safe learning environment for our students and we will do everything within our power to protect them. MCPS does not tolerate guns on school property. Any student who brings a gun on school property will be referred to law enforcement and disciplined accordingly.

While the mission of MCPS is to educate our students, know that our first priority is, and will always be, to keep your children safe in our schools.

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