CRIME

Serial thieves target new home construction in Prince George's County

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New home construction in Prince George's County has become another target for thieves. Police say they've struck at least 25 times, in several neighborhoods, since December.

Photo: Prince George's County Police

The suspects are entering unoccupied homes, still under construction and stealing newly installed appliances. But thanks to surveillance cameras, police are closing in on the suspects.

According to Prince George's County Police, they have photos of a Chevy Tahoe or Suburban that could have been the getaway car used in several recent burglaries.

"There have been approximately $400,000 worth of damages and property stolen, like dishwashers, refrigerators, copper piping," says Officer Nicole Hubbard, a Prince George's County Police spokesperson. "They appear to be entering through the rear of the home, and we think that there are multiple people."

The most recent incident happened on the 1700 block of Fernwood Drive of Westphalia Row in Upper Marlboro, where they made off with the refrigerator.

Quay Neil, a sales assistant for Dan Ryan Builders, says security cameras are usually the best safeguards against theft, especially after hours.

But Neil says, "There's no alarm systems in the homes until the buyer occupies it."

She says this latest string of crimes is similar to what happened at her last sales property in Brandywine.

"Sometimes there's no forced entry, sometimes the doors are just opened and they're closed again, and there's no forced entry, but the appliances are gone," Neil says.

Police say that the burglaries have happened between the hours of 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. Each time, the security cameras placed on the construction sites have captured the same dark-colored SUV entering and leaving the scene.

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