Metro carjacking related to earlier crime

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Four men who brazenly carjacked a man and his daughter at a Prince George’s County Metrorail station Wednesday morning appear to have used as a getaway car a vehicle they stole last week during a similar station assault, officials said.

Metro Transit Police Deputy Chief Ron Pavlik said the armed and masked suspects fought with the Bowie residents at about 7:15 a.m. near the stairwell on the fifth floor of the parking garage.

“They confronted the individuals. There was a struggle,” Chief Pavlik said, at which point the 54-year-old father “was hit in the head and body” with a blunt object and the 21-year-old woman was shot in the hip.

Chief Pavlik said the assault appeared to be random.

Police said the men fled in the victims’ orange and black 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and a gray 2004 Audi station wagon with the license plate 1DME50. The Audi was reported stolen from a parking lot at the New Carrollton Metrorail station the morning of May 20.

“It was risky, considering the time of day,” Chief Pavlik said. “We’re blessed with several witnesses. It is odd for that time of day.”

The owner of the Audi told police that masked suspects armed with guns beat him and robbed him before taking his car. Both stations are close to major highways, Chief Pavlik said.

Chief Pavlik said the Camaro was equipped with the OnStar system, which was used to shut off the vehicle and helped police locate it in the 3100 block of Banneker Drive in Northeast Washington. The Audi has not been recovered.

Chief Pavlik said he did not know if there was a Transit Police officer on duty at the Largo station at the time of the assault, but he said there are security cameras at the station which will be studied along with “various other evidence.” Police will “definitely change tactics in the morning,” as a result of the two daytime crimes, he said.

The announcement of the crimes comes two weeks after Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Taborn told Metro’s board of directors that in the first quarter of 2011 — which ended in March — there were 25 aggravated assaults, compared to 24 in the same time frame of 2010, 22 in 2009 and 19 in 2008.

The number of first-quarter car thefts and attempted thefts rose to 38 from last year’s 25 reported incidents.

Last year, there were 60 crimes at the Largo rail station, including 17 stolen or attempts to steal vehicles and 10 robberies. New Carrollton had 92 crimes last year, including 26 stolen or attempts to steal vehicles, 10 robberies and one assault.

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