Suspected MS-13 gang member believed to be tied to robberies across D.C. area being sought

Jose Molina Arevalo (Montgomery County Police Department)

Detectives in Virginia and Maryland are looking for a suspected MS-13 gang member who is believed to have ties to a string of robberies that ended with a crash in November that shut down part of the Beltway.

The man the police are looking for is 24-year-old Jose Molina Arevalo.

Since the November crash, ABC7 uncovered a search warrant that shows several of the MS-13 members involved in the crash were behind seven robberies across Virginia and Maryland since June.

The documents show the robbers got away with tens of thousands of dollars from local businesses and one time snagged more than $100,000 from a Montgomery County gas station.

Much of that money was sent back to gang leaders in El Salvador.

One time the robbers threatened to shoot customers in a Check Cash Depot store if the employees did not come out from behind the store’s bulletproof glass.

Another time, a clerk was pistol-whipped by the robbers, who had handguns, a shotgun and machine gun.

Investigators said they found that machine gun on the seat of the getaway van after the November crash.

Arevalo, who is still being sought, was not in the van that day.

Sources told ABC7 that he was in another car with three other gang members, who are now behind bars. Those three were charged in late January in the bat beating of a sex-trafficked girl, and sources believe Arevalo was possibly one of two other men also involved in that incident.

Four people in the van were also arrested. One was hit by a police cruiser and killed.

Arevalo, also known as “Malandro,” is a Hispanic male who is 5-foot-4 and 140 pounds. He may have an eyebrow ring and earrings in both ears. He also is known to frequent the Home Depot store in Aspen Hill as a day laborer.

Detectives say Arevalo could be armed with a handgun and/or machete, and that anyone with information about him should contact Detective Dan Krill, of the Montgomery County Police Robbery Section, at (240) 876-0418.

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