A man was sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday by a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge for a string of auto thefts in Chevy Chase two years ago, the State’s Attorney’s Office announced.

Markus Kemp, now 23, of Washington, D.C., was charged by Montgomery County police with planning 13 incidents related to motor thefts and burglaries that amounted to losses of more than $450,000 and affected 19 victims, according to authorities.

Kemp recruited other people to help him, including drivers to deliver the “crew” of thieves by driving in one 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’s Office. The thieves would steal “high-end” vehicles and personal property from garages, driveways and neighborhood streets.

The thefts occurred 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’s Attorney’s Office noted.

“Entering a person’s home is brazen conduct in the best of circumstances; to do so when 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 acts of the defendant made them fearful in their one remaining safe haven.”

Kemp eventually admitted to police that he was behind the auto thefts, according to authorities. He pled guilty on Dec. 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 the Patuxent Institution in Jessup, Md., as part of its Eligible Persons program. Kemp will be eligible for parole when he completes 50% of the sentence, he said. 

“If we can net it out to 7 or 8 years and then get him out, he’ll be 31… I plan on asking the judge to modify the sentence. I’m not trying to get him out tomorrow. He has to do some time,” he said. 

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

Dan Schere

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