Man sentenced to 25 years in prison for series of car thefts at Chevy Chase

A man was sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday by a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge for a series of car thefts at Chevy Chase two years ago, the state’s attorney’s office said.

Markus Kemp, now 23, of Washington, DC, was charged by Montgomery County police with planning 13 incidents involving auto thefts and burglaries that cost more than $450,000 and affected 19 victims, according to authorities.

Kemp recruited others to help him, including drivers to deliver the “crew” of thieves while driving in a vehicle from Washington, D.C., to Chevy Chase, and drivers to steal the vehicles once they got to Chevy Chase, according to the state’s attorney. Desk. Thieves would steal “high-end” vehicles and personal property from garages, driveways and neighborhood streets.

The thefts took place between Jan. 20, 2020 and July 25, 2020, which encompassed the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic when many people were at home, the state attorney’s office noted.

“Entering a person’s house is brazen conduct at the best of times; doing so while most individuals were confined to their homes makes it even more brazen,” the state’s attorney’s office said in a statement. “For the victims and their families, the defendant’s actions have left them fearful in their last safe haven.”

Kemp eventually admitted to police that he was behind the car thefts, authorities say. He pleaded guilty on December 10, 2021 to auto theft, theft over $25,000, burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary. His sentence Thursday includes five years of supervised probation after his release from prison, according to the state’s attorney’s office.

Kemp’s attorney, Thomas Witkop, told Bethesda Beat on Friday that Kemp will be incarcerated at Patuxent Institution in Jessup, Md., as part of his program for eligible individuals. Kemp will be eligible for parole when he has served 50% of his sentence, he said.

“If we can get him back to 7 or 8 and then get him out, he’ll be 31…I’m planning to ask the judge to change the sentence. I’m not trying to get him out tomorrow. It has to make time,” he said.

Dan Schere can be contacted at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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