When Del. David Moon heard someone start the engine to his car at 2 a.m. Wednesday, he immediately suspected the thief or thieves who’ve been breaking into vehicles in his Takoma Park neighborhood to steal spare change.
“I happened to be up late watching TV and heard the engine turn on, and immediately thought this might be thieves and ran out,” said Moon, a Montgomery County Democrat, in an interview Wednesday. “And lo and behold it was thieves… and I saw them taking off with my car.”
On the video captured by his doorbell camera, Moon can be seen running after the vehicle with a broom. The car takes off and Moon returns home seconds later.
He contacted Takoma Park Police, who sent an officer to take a report.
Moon said he and his wife, Melinda Coolidge, both had money taken from their vehicles less than 24 hours earlier. He suspects the culprits got more than money.
“My wife surmises that she kept a spare key to the stolen car in her car. So once they broke into both of our vehicles, I guess they had a key to my car and came back later that evening to get it.”
Moon and Coolidge have the Ring doorbell system, which captures and stores video of his porch and yard, and the street in front of his house.
He said he had recharged the device just before his car was taken.
Ring, which is owned by Amazon, boasts hundreds of partnerships with local police agencies.
Earlier this month, more than two dozen civil rights organizations called on mayors and other elected leaders to sever those partnerships, citing privacy and profiling concerns.
Moon said he installed the system “before all this discussion about local police department use of the Ring videos started making it into the press.”
“Now I’m suddenly interested in exactly what the system is,” he added. “Here I am someone who promotes privacy in Annapolis, so this will be an interesting window into this whole aspect of the policy. Hopefully it will give me something to ground future policy decisions on.”
Moon said he’s hoping the car — a 2009 Nissan Versa with just under 90,000 miles — gets returned. He uses it to make the 62-mile round trip to the State House when the legislature is in session.
“It’s a terrible car,” he said with a laugh. “This is not a high-value vehicle. My hope is that this was just people joy-riding and they will return the vehicle. Because honestly I don’t think I’m going to get much from insurance and I had finished making car payments on it, so at this point I would much rather have it back.”
Click here to see the porch camera video.