ROCKVILLE, Md. — Police in Howard and Montgomery Counties are working together to see if they can connect two similar gun store burglaries in as many days.
The latest incident was reported at 2:35 a.m. on Thursday in Rockville, and led to a police-involved shooting.
Officers were called to the United Gun Store in the 5400 block of Randolph Road for a burglary in progress.
A deputy arrived just four minutes later to find a white SUV in front of the store.
While getting out of the police cruiser, the SUV reportedly accelerated towards the deputy, and collided with the police car, prompting the deputy to fire his gun.
Photo of damage to the police cruiser after being rammed by the suspects in the United Gun Store Burglary and subsequent Assault on the Police Officer. pic.twitter.com/jWXEvOJJtS— Montgomery County Department of Police (@mcpnews) June 13, 2019
The suspects drove off about a quarter mile down Randolph Road, before the SUV became disabled.
Four of the suspects got out of the vehicle and fled the scene. Officer's found a fifth suspect shot inside the SUV. The suspect was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Police were able to recover at least some of the stolen guns from the SUV, but they haven't said if all of them were located.
Photo of guns recovered outside the suspect vehicle that was involved in the United Gun Store Burglary and Assault on the Police Officer pic.twitter.com/voBut1s2sa— Montgomery County Department of Police (@mcpnews) June 13, 2019
Investigators think two stolen vehicles out of Anne Arundel County were used in the burglary. The first vehicle rammed through the glass entrance of the store, allowing for the suspects to steal multiple guns, while the SUV acted as the getaway car.
Police are investigating if the deceased suspect died as result of the crash or being shot.
A little more than 24 hours earlier, about 16.5 miles away, another gun store was burglarized in the 11200 block of Scaggsville Road in Laurel.
Just like in the Rockville incident, the suspects crashed a stolen car through the front of the store, stole several guns, and fled the scene.
Howard County Police say they have been in touch with Montgomery County Police and are sharing information on the incident.
Thus far no arrests have been made.
Montgomery County Police say the deputy involved in their incident has been placed on routine administrative leave, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
Detectives are asking anyone with information on that case to call 240-773-5070.