Search the Baltimore County community newspaper archives


>> Click here to search for stories published AFTER 2011

>> Use this search box to find stories published prior to 2011.
Note: All Words is a more strict search. Implied operator is "AND."
Ex: Charles Dickens"

From
subscriber services email print comment


Harford County has experienced a significant increase in thefts from vehicles in the past few months, and police say there are simple things everyone can do to reduce their risk.

Across the the county, reports of thefts out of vehicles are on the rise.

“It’s a crime of opportunity,” said Sgt. Dave Betz, public information officer with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.

Removable items such as iPods, GPS devices, radar detectors, wallets or purses are among frequently stolen belongings.

“They’re taking anything that can be taken out of the car and has value,” said Betz.

Visible items are more at risk, with thieves taking, “generally anything that is visible or in the glovebox,” Betz explained.

No single area of the county has been targeted, according to Betz, who said there is no geographic trend.

“It isn’t specific areas across the county, but we are seeing a concentration where there are more cars,” Betz said.

He also said, however, that residential neighborhoods and apartment or condominium complex parking lots are more likely to experience such thefts.

The crimes can be as simple as someone walking down the street checking door handles until they find an open car.

Betz said a large number of the cars were unlocked at the time things were taken from them. Just locking doors is a significant step in reducing risk.

“If you eliminate opportunities, you’re probably going to eliminate the crime,” said Betz.

Locking car doors, removing valuable items or hiding them from sight, parking off the street and parking in well lit areas were preventative measures that Betz suggested.

Rolling up windows is another important measure to take. During summer months, the effort to keep a car cool may leave a vehicle vulnerable.

“It could be seasonal only because there’s more opportunity in summer and spring, but it’s a constant issue we are dealing with,” said Betz.

While the economy may be a contributing factor to this increase in thefts, police said it isn’t the only reason.

“You can certainly blame the economy for things like this, but unfortunately there is a criminal element out there and if we make it easy, they thrive,” Betz said.

The sheriff’s office is doing several things in response to the trend.

“We have patrol shifts targeting specific areas especially at night,” Betz said.

About two weeks ago, the sheriff’s office sent out a message about thefts out of vehicles through County Connect, Harford County’s mass communication notification system.

Betz said getting the word out about the risk is important. The County Connect call and messages on the Sheriff’s Office Web site and Facebook site are part of the effort to warn the community.

“We can only do so much, we really need the community to help us on this, and help themselves,” said Betz.

Betz also reminds anyone who experiences a theft out of a vehicle to contact the sheriff’s office.

“We don’t know we’re having a problem if someone doesn’t call us,” he said.

Those contacting the sheriff’s office for a non-emergency should call 410-838-6600.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Baltimore Sun: Baltimore breaking news, sports, business, entertainment, weather and traffic
xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Learn more about subscriptions
Learn more about subscriptions
Advertisement
Three hundred members of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services staff are receiving training on adolescent brain science, the psychology of trauma and cognitive behavioral therapy.
This week in the Orioles’ farm system saw Gunnar Henderson become baseball’s top prospect, an offensive onslaught in Bowie and an impressive organizational debut from one of the pitchers acquired for All-Star closer Jorge López.
A new plan to prevent damage in Baltimore from storms like Sandy in 2012 and Isabel doesn’t include sea walls of storm surge barriers, except for the city’s tunnels, and instead recommends property owners flood-proof their homes and businesses near the Patapsco River.
Advertisement
Later this year, Paul Thomas, owner of The CIVIL in Mount Vernon, intends to open a hookah lounge and a mac and cheese takeout joint, both in Fells Point.
Michael Huber, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott's top assistant since Scott took office in December 2020, will take a new job as director of Maryland state government affairs for Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine. His replacement has yet to be selected.
  • Issey Miyake, who built one of Japan’s biggest fashion brands and was known for his boldly sculpted pleated pieces as well as former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ black turtlenecks, has died. He was 84.
Advertisement
World Lacrosse, the sport’s governing body, is launching its campaign to amplify its bid to return to the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. Lacrosse is one of nine sports shortlisted for inclusion.
The family of Anton Black, a 19-year-old African American man who in 2018 died in police custody in Maryland’s Caroline County, reached a $5 million settlement as part of its federal lawsuit against several municipalities on the Eastern Shore.
Two members of the Baltimore Fire Department were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries Monday night after a driver fired an air pellet gun at a medic unit in South Baltimore.
St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Towson, part of the University of Maryland Medical System, was recognized for quality improvements in stroke and heart care by the American Heart Association.
Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion and one of the most iconic figures in modern sports, is planning her retirement.
A political strategist known for helping a Tea Party challenger unseat former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will manage the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Dan Cox.
Patricia Owens, a retired Red Cross public relations director who was a potter and accomplished gardener, has died. She was 93 and formerly lived on Guilford Avenue in Charles Village.
Glenelg senior kicker/punter Michael J Fernandes has grown immensely since first beginning football his freshman year and spoke with the Howard County Times about his development entering his final varsity season.
Advertisement
Advertisement

Free Fun & Games

  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Daily Crossword
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Jumble Daily in color
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Daily Solitaire
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Bubble Shooter HD
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    2020 Connect
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Cookie Crush
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Butterfly Kyodai
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Classic Mahjong
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Daily Sudoku
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

The Baltimore Sun Store

Advertisement

GAMES & TRIVIA

Advertisement