Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Burglaries in NE Baltimore

Recently WBAL TV reported that the communities of Hamilton Hills, North Harford Road, and Westfield have sustained about eight burglaries in the last few weeks. Police indicate the burglars start with a knock on the door, and when there's no answer, they go to the rear of the home and try to get in that way through an unlocked door or window.

Potential burglars may watch your home, and when they see you leave, knock on your front door to see if you are home.  If the door is not answered, they will break in the home. Try to vary your movements as much as possible to not establish a discernible pattern.   If the door is answered, they may ask for a person who does not live at the house or ask if you requested a food delivery that you did not order.  If this occurs, call 911 and report it.  Also, if you see unknown persons suspiciously knocking on neighbors’ doors, report that via 911.

Here is some more information on how you can reduce the risk of being a burglary victim:

Current Burglary Trends in the Northeast District

The Northeast District has shared the following concerning the manner in which suspects are currently committing burglaries: 

  • They are entering homes through a basement door, kitchen window, or side door
  • They are placing items in suitcases found in the house and are exiting via the front door
  • They are typically leaving the area via a car or a U-haul of box truck parked in front of the house being burglarized 

The police are asking you to call 911 if you observe any of the following:

  • People walking with suitcases
  • People entering the rear and side of houses that appear to be unusual
  • If you see suspicious people getting into cars or box trucks or suspicious cars or box trucks is in your neighborhood, try to get a full or partial tag number and call 911
  • If you see a U-haul or a box truck in your area and persons are loading items into it call 911, and again try to get a full or partial tag number and call 911

Please be as specific as you possibly can when describing property stolen from you

  • The police are recovering what they believe to be stolen property, particularly jewelry, but they have often been unable to match it to that which has been reported stolen, thereby charging the person in possession of it with a crime and returning it to rightful owner.  Please try to be as specific as you possibly can be concerning descriptions of property that is stolen especially jewelry.

The police are finding that burglars are posing as lawn care personnel.  They then wait until the victim goes to work and burglarize the house

  • They are suggesting that you attempt to use lawn care providers that you know
  • If you agree to let someone you do not know cut your lawn, make sure you ask and receive photo identification and that you record their full name, address, and date of birth

The police believe that burglars are posing as home repair contractors

  • They are asking, if you see work vans in your area, you call 911.

  • The police are finding many large items such as big screen TV’s are being taken in recent burglaries, and they believe that burglars are using vans and box trucks to transport these items out of the area.

Here are some tips concerning Burglary Prevention:

1.       Doors secured with single cylinder deadbolts.  Mail and newspapers are not accumulating on the porch or in front of home.
2.       Windows locked.  In 70% of the burglaries committed in Northeast Baltimore entrance is gained via a rear or side window.
3.       Keep Blinds and Shades closed.  Do not leave your wallet, car keys, or other valuables in plain view
4.       Trees and shrubs are trimmed short enough so that all windows and doors are visible from the street and people cannot hide behind them.
5.       Examine your basement windows and doors.  They are normally a neglected portion of a house and thus its weakest point.  If they are old and can be easily forced, consider replacing the door and the windows with stronger frames or glass block.
6.       When leaving the house for vacation, lights are connected to timers that go on and off during evening hours. Newspapers and mail are being held and are not accumulating on the lawn, porch, and steps.
7.       Front and rear porch lights are left on throughout the night so that the front and back of the house is constantly lit and visible.  Consider utilizing motion activated spotlights on the side and the rear of your home.
8.       If you are out of your home, leave radios on at the front and back doors of your house that are tuned to a talk radio station, and if you are away for an extended period of time, place the radios on timers.
9.       If you see suspicious persons walking down the street with unboxed TV’s or computers, leaving a neighbor’s home, or entering the rear window of your neighbor’s home. Call 911.
10.   It has been learned the burglars often survey or case their targets by posing as either carpenters or home repair persons.   They also have been known to call their targets by phone to determine when they are not home, and they will hang up immediately if you answer the phone.
11.   Burglars will often pose as contractors and steal items while in your house, or leave an entry to the house open, so that they can later easily gain entry. If you are having contractors work on your home, ensure you use contractors licensed by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC).  You can ensure the license is valid by going online to:
It is also wise to ask for and contact references and to check their rating with the Better Business by typing this link into your browser:  http://greatermd.bbb/Find-Business-Reviews/.
12.   If you are going away for a period of time, call the Northeast District at 410-396-2444 and ask the police pay special attention to the home while you are away.
13.   Engrave your valuables with your Maryland Driver’s License Number known as your Soundex Number. 
14.   The interview of a burglar charged with numerous burglaries in Northeast Baltimore revealed silent alarms did not deter him.  However, if he activated an audible alarm when he entered his target, he fled immediately.  If you install an alarm, consider ensuring it has an audible alarm component.
15.   If you purchase electronic items such as: televisions, desk top computers, lap tops, and DVR’s please do not place the boxes in front of or in the rear of your home for collection.  It is an open invitation for burglars to break into your house to steal the new items.  It is recommended you tear or cut the boxes into pieces and place them in closed recycling bins.

No comments: