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Murder, Massage Parlor, & Phone Scam

By Ceemac126 @PGCBlogging

Gang related murder at College Park hotel, Greenbelt prostitution ring masquerading as massage parlor shut down, and phone scam targets county residents

Prince George's Gun Registry
The Prince George’s County Police Department is investigating the murder of 20 year-old David Esequel Avelar of the 6600 block of 94th Avenue in Lanham, which took place Sunday Feb. 24th at around 4am at a College Park hotel on Baltimore Avenue.

 When police officers arrived, they  found Avelar suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Avelar was taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.  The preliminary investigation reveals the murder appears gang-related. Avelar had been attending a party at a hotel on Baltimore Avenue. A fight broke out in the parking lot between the group the victim was with and a second group attending a separate party at the same hotel. During that fight,  Avelar was shot.

PGC Blog People, you know the drill:  If you know something, say something and clean up the county.  Call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/police/ and submit a tip online.

Bamboo Spa Greenbelt Maryland

Bamboo Spa, courtesy Sonia Dasgupta

The Bamboo Spa in Greenbelt was a front for a prostitution ring.  The case has been turned over to the State’s Attorney’s officeThe Greenbelt Patch reported, “According to PGPD Spokesman Cpl. Larry Johnson, police discovered Bamboo Spa in the 7700 block of Belle Point Drive was a front for a prostitution ring. The business is in the Belle Point office park near the American Legion near Lakecrest Drive.  Johnson said no charges have been filed, but the business was closed after the investigation. On Thursday afternoon, there was no sign of Bamboo Spa in the Belle Point office park.”

Telephone Feature Image
If someone calls saying they are holding your family member hostage until you send them money to cover damages from a car accident, DON’T BELIEVE IT!!  First of all, if you called me with that mess, I’d just burst out in laughter.  MY family will not be held hostage, might take some hostages, but won’t be held.  HAHAHAHAAA!

But seriously, the scam is this: 

The scammer tells the victim that a family member has been hurt in a car accident.  The caller then threatens to hold the family member hostage until the victim on the phone wires money to cover damage to the car. The caller also threatens harm to the family member if the victim hangs up.

Similar crimes have been reported in a neighboring jurisdiction and in states across the country.

Prince George’s County Police detectives are actively investigating this scam. They are asking the public to immediately notify the PGPD should you become victim to this or a similar phone scam.

Please follow these tips if you suspect you might be victim to a phone scam:

Never send money Never give out any personal information about yourself or your family

Do Not attempt to contact or account for the family member who is being threatened by the scammer

DO ask probing questions of the caller and gather as much information about them as possible Report the call to the police immediately by calling 911


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