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A car break-in at this Montgomery County mall ends with family targeted for home invasion

Thieves used stolen ID and keys to enter the Bethesda area house where the teen had been home alone.

BETHESDA, Md. — Montgomery County Police are investigating a disturbing daytime home invasion that happened after thieves broke into a car at Westfield Montgomery Mall and got a family’s personal information.

According to the badly shaken victims who did not want to be identified, their car was broken into at about 5 p.m. Saturday while it was parked at the Westfield Montgomery Mall’s Nordstrom Parking garage.

The ID and house key of one victim was among the items the victim's said were missing from the car. The victims, a mother and daughter, said they called the family's teenaged son who was at home to alert him of the incident.

When the victims arrived home a short time later, they said they discovered two suspects in the house and called the police. The teenage son, who had fled the house, said he also had called police after he got out of the house.

Two suspects fled in a silver sedan just as police arrived, according to the victims. Investigators with Montgomery County Police later determined the car had been stolen, according to Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti, a spokesperson for Montgomery County Police.

The invaders escaped with some jewelry, the victims said.

"It's really really scary that this can happen anywhere," one victim said.

Another described the incident as "alarming and extremely frightening."

Montgomery County police said they are investigating whether or not the thieves may be caught on camera attempting to use a stolen credit card prior to going to the home.

Police called the incident "a crime of opportunity" and reminded residents of the importance of securing vehicles and belongings, even in familiar environments.

The victims applauded the quick response of Montgomery County police and questioned whether there are enough security camera's at Westfield Montgomery Mall to better deter thieves.

Individuals could see cameras covering both outdoor parking areas and the entrances to the mall's Nordstrom garage. A representative of Westfield could not immediately provide additional information or comment on the incident when contacted Monday afternoon.

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