Carjackings driving crime increase in Montgomery County

There are two big issues leaders in Montgomery County are paying close attention to when it comes to crime: Too many guns on the streets and an uptick in kids committing violence. 

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich told FOX 5 Wednesday he's "not happy about the current state of crime" in the area. 

According to new statistics released to FOX 5, violent crime is up 7.2% in Montgomery County and carjackings are driving that increase. Data reveals homicides, aggravated assaults, rape, and commercial burglaries are down.

"People who may commit crimes in Montgomery County or in the District may not come from the District or from Montgomery County. They may come from any of the jurisdictions, and they often use the border as a mechanism to avoid capture," said Dr. Earl Stoddard, Montgomery County assistant chief administrative officer.

Police say so far this year there have been 40 carjackings in Montgomery County compared to 18 at the same time last year.

"A lot of our carjackings are committed by persons under the age of 18," Dr. Stoddard explained. 

Two recent carjackings happened in Bethesda, a place where many people tell FOX 5 they typically feel safe.


Armed carjacker takes BMW from woman outside North Bethesda Whole Foods

A carjacking in front of a Bethesda Whole Foods is now under investigation after police say the gunman took off with a BMW Tuesday evening.

On Tuesday, a woman was held up at gunpoint outside a Whole Foods on Woodglen Drive. Investigators say the suspect took off with her 2015 BMW 535i. And two suspects tried to steal a customer’s car as they were leaving the restaurant Doghaus on Woodmont Avenue.

"COVID seems to have done a lot of severe damage to people's mental health, and we know a lot of people are struggling," Elrich said. 

The county executive says they’re working on getting more officers and technology to create a safer environment for residents.