GAITHERSBURG, Md. (DC News Now) — A teenager in Montgomery County was there when people came to burglarize his family’s home. To get away from them, he escaped through a window and climbed onto his roof and called police.
“They’re just trying to invade your house. It’s not nice, not normal, especially to a kid like me who was just home alone,” said 17-year-old Charlie Schwartz.
A ring camera captures the moment a man dressed in a reflective jacket, ski mask, holding what appears to be a grass trimmer and walks into a Gaithersburg home Wednesday morning. Schwartz said he knew something was off.
“So I was just in bed and I heard some ruffling downstairs…I had called my mom and she wasn’t expecting anyone coming to the house. So I knew there was something wrong,” said Schwartz. “Next thing I know, I hear more ruffling and these guys are walking up the stairs,” he continued.
He quickly went into the bathroom and locked the door but then the men tried to kick the door down. That’s when Schwartz realized he had to make a quick decision.
“I ended up opening up the window in the bathroom and I climbed up on the roof,” he said.
Once he was on the roof, he immediately called the police. Gaithersburg police arrived in less than 15 minutes.
“Just when you’re in that situation, you never know whether someone has something. So you just got to get away,” he said.
More video showed both men with ski masks walking out the back gate without taking anything. According to police the second individual had on a camouflage hat and black hoodie with an unknown design on the back.
Schwartz said he’s thankful he’s safe and nothing was taken but it was a situation he never would imagine himself being in.
“That’s definitely concerning. I mean usually this neighborhood is pretty safe, but that just goes to show you never know what kind of people are out there and people are crazy,” he said.
Gaithersburg police provided community members with measures that can help in preventing burglaries or deter potential burglars:
- Use solid or metal exterior doors that are properly installed. Never use interior doors, which are not as strong as exterior doors.
- Anchor the strike plate to the framing of the house by using 3” long screws.
- Never hide a key outside of your home. Leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor.
- Always leave an interior light on when you are not home.
- Consider purchasing an alarm system.
- Increase exterior lighting and use motion lights and/or timers.
- Trim trees, bushes, and other landscaping to ensure windows and doors are not blocked and criminals cannot use them for concealment.
- Whenever you move into a new home or apartment, always change the locks.
Police neighbors in the area of this particular incident to check their surveillance cameras for any video that could help in the investigation.