Saturday, February 25, 2012 2/25/2012 05:55:00 AM

FBI Violent Crimes Task Force Joins Investigation into Royal Farms Shooting

Baltimore, MD / February 23, 2012 - The FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, comprised of FBI agents and detectives from the Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore County Police Department will be taking the lead into the investigation of a February 21st shooting and robbery incident at a Royal Farms store located in Northeast Baltimore.

At approximately 9:40 p.m. on February 21, 2012, two black males entered the Royal Farms, 5232 Harford Road, Baltimore, MD and committed a commercial armed robbery.  The subject in the attached photos wearing the baseball cap and black jacket with markings acted as a lookout.  The subject wearing the hood and the dark jacket with orange or maroon markings brandished a silver revolver and stole cash and cigarettes.  He then approached a store customer and demanded the customer’s wallet.  As the customer tried to retrieve his wallet, the suspect shot the victim.

A $2500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects depicted in the attached photographs is being offered by the FBI. Anyone with any information should contact FBI Violent Crimes Task Force at 410-265-8080. Any calls will be kept strictly confidential

For more information, please contact BPD Public Affairs at 410-396-2012 or the FBI at 410-265-8080

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 2/22/2012 10:50:00 AM

Police search for suspects in Royal Farms shooting

February 22, 2012 / Baltimore, Md - The Baltimore Police Department is asking for the public’s help to locate two shooting suspects.

On February 21, 2012, at approximately 9:40 pm, two suspects entered the Royal Farms store located in the 5200 block of Harford Road. The suspects robbed the store and then shot a 46-year-old man. The suspects then fled from the store on foot with an unknown amount of money.

Anyone with information on the identity of either suspect is asked to contact Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP. Callers may remain anonymous. You can also provide information confidentially online through or by texting "MCS plus your message" to CRIMES (274637)

Monday, February 13, 2012 2/13/2012 03:14:00 PM

Carjacking in Hamilton Hills

This occurred just north/northwest of our neighborhood.

Baltimore, MD / February 13, 2012 -  The Baltimore Police Department is investigating a carjacking that occurred recently within the Hamilton Hills community of Northeast Baltimore.

On February 11, 2011, just after 1:00 p.m., officers responded to the 2700 Blk of Evergreen Avenue for report of a carjacking.  Upon arrival they located a female victim who advised that upon parking her vehicle, she was approached by two individuals. They displayed a handgun and ordered her out of the vehicle and to leave the keys.  She complied, fearing for her safety, and the individuals fled in her vehicle.  The vehicle was found a short time later, unoccupied, within the 5500 Blk of Hamlet Avenue.
The suspects are described as follows:

Suspect 1:      Black male, 16-22 years-old, approximately 5'8", thin build, wearing a black ski-mask, red hooded sweatshirt, dark-colored jeans and brandishing a dark-colored revolver with a long barrel

Suspect 2:       Black male, 5'8", thin build, wearing a black sweatshirt and dark-colored jeans

Suspect Vehicle:      Newer model Buick four-door sedan, maroon in color, with tinted windows (not the victim's vehicle)

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to called Northeast District detectives at 410-396-2444.  Residents are asked to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police immediately.

February Community Meeting Minutes

Waltherson Improvement Association
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
HARBEL Community Organization

Ron Lesperance – chaired meeting
Everly Brown – note taker
38 in attendance

New Business:
1.       5009 Harford Rd Hookah Bar – Councilman Curran, Councilman Scott and  Regina Lansinger of Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street met with Craig Bergling regarding the proposed business.  Mr. Bergling was informed that he needs to meet with WIA and get their approval, if not, he would have to through a public hearing with the BMZA.  The business will need to meet the provisions of the Clean Air Act.  Regina mentioned that the block has been targeted for improvement and stated that activity in the area would be positive.

2.       House of Hookah – Craig Bergling presented a plan for the business to the WIA.  He describes it as an alternative to a bar.  There are two rooms: the front room is 12 x 15, the 2nd room is 12 x 12.  He proposes 4-5 tables in the back room each seating 4-5 people.  He does not intend to do any advertising, relying on word of mouth instead.  He is not allowed to prepare hot food, but will offer pre-made, pre-packaged food in a cold display. Will not be selling cigarettes or wrapping papers, only hookahs and their cleaning accessories. Wants to cultivate a mature, laid back environment.
  • Hours – Mon-Wed 12PM-8PM, Thu-Sat 12PM-1AM, Sunday closed. Does not want to attract after bar crowds.
  • Parking – there is a driveway along the side of the building, lots of Harford Rd. parking, possibility to rent a few spaces at the BP parking lot.  Will try to persuade customers to not park on side streets.  WIA is concerned about people walking up and down the streets late at night.
  • Security – will hire an off-duty Baltimore City police officer for peak hours.  Will ask people to move along and not loiter and not cut through neighbor’s yards.
  • Jobs – the possibility to employ at least 10 people from the neighborhood.
  • Business Experience – real estate investment
  • Renovation – spoke to Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street about grants.  Want to invest and up-grade.  Passed fire inspection, however, have not been given a capacity number yet.

General Membership Vote by show of hands – yay 7, nay 4.  WIA membership voted its approval of the business as described.  Will send a letter of support to Craig Bergling, and Councilman Curran.

Crime Report:
Deputy Rutherford stated that in January of last year there had been 148 incidents of crime.  This has now dropped to 100 incidents for January 2012, a significant drop.  There have been some major arrests in Ednor Gardens and Mayfield that have made a big impact.  The police are focusing on people victimized in their homes and on the street.  They are pulling recidivism lists, knocking on the offenders doors and pursuing priority warrants.

Helene reported again that the corner of Southern and Arabia has a problem with drug activity.  Deputy Rutherford asked that one person serve as a point person to funnel information to Lt. Robinson, Rutherford and the 666-DRUG hot-line.

Helicopter incident – there were 5 calls with 3 different descriptions of the suspect.  Response time was 2 minutes after the 1st call (per police).  Helene believed the response time to be closer to 20 minutes.

Another WIA resident reported drug activity on Belwood Ave. (between Biddison Lane and Chesmont Ave.).  The resident claimed that the alley has seen heavy drug traffic.  The police ask that we call and give them the best description possible, the time frame of when the dealing usually occurs, and a good location to watch from. 

Mike Hilliard presented the latest crime statistics (12/22/11 – 1/21/12).  There were 12 burglaries compared to 22 last year.

Councilman Brandon Scott is supporting an initiative to allow online low priority crime reports by citizens without waiting for an officer to appear.  Seattle and Charlotte are already using this and it has saved tax dollars and allowed citizens to have a report for insurance purposes.  Councilman Scott requested that we email to show our support. 

January Community Meeting Minutes

Waltherson Improvement Association
January 4, 2012

Ron Lesperance – chaired meeting
Everly Brown – note taker
21 in attendance

New Business:
1.       5009 Harford Rd. Hookah Bar – 3rd district Councilman Bobby Curran spoke about regulations the proposed business will need to satisfy.  It must be an accessory to the tobacco shop and meet Clean Air Act criteria for indoor air if they sell anything other than tobacco. Councilman Curran said that he will keep WIA advised if approval for the business is brought up before the City Council, however, even if the Council does not approve the owner can go to the BMZA and they can approve by conditional use as with Visions Catering.  The property is zoned B-3.

The owner has indicated that he wants to be open until 4AM.  Baltimore City Police have cleared out several parties at the location of late.  They found loud music, underage drinking and anywhere from 20-60 people using first the front door and then the side door via a breezeway. No liquor was found being served from a bar.
2.        5503 Richard Ave. Visions Catering ( Councilman Curran put in a land use issue ordinance re: Visions at the 12/1/2011 City Council meeting. Visions is arguing that the Lodge that was there before had banquets (although it was non-profit). Regina stated that the day care on the premises was still operating and had received permits from the Fire Department.
3.       Crime Stat Data -  2nd district Councilman Brandon Scott described legislation coming up before the City Council on Monday, January 9, 2012 that would require police department to post monthly crime stat data online (covers all major “part 1” crimes).  Councilman Scott will also be pushing to see if City Police have reviewed their training tools to evaluate their effectiveness.
4.       Round-about at Frankford & Belair – Brandon Scott will ask higher ups at DOT about the status of the project.
5.       PLAY Initiative – (Productive Lives Active Youth) Liam Davis described City Council President Young’s work on the project.  They are looking to improve athletic areas for youth and have toured local ball fields to assess their condition.
6.       Treasurer’s Report -  Francis Beane, WIA Treasurer, reported that the Association had $829.07 in the bank account as of January 2012.  He reminded members to renew ($10 regular, $7 for seniors). The group did save money by no longer mailing our newsletter through USPS.
7.       Waltherson Sign – needs repair and is starting to rot.
Old Business:
1.       3019 Ailsa Islamic Religious Services (Dahira Touba-Baltimore) - Zoning is trying to come by unexpectedly, however, they need to come by on Sundays between 10PM-3AM.  Rob will send an email to Brandon Scott with the group’s email and website information. Facebook:

Crime Report:
Lt. Robinson, NE Operations Commander reported to the group.
1.       October 23, 2011 discharge of firearm incident on Holder Avenue – a correctional officer was there to conduct a class on firearm safety and was clearing weapon. The incident was deemed to be an accident and the officer was not charged.
2.       Police reports – you must go online or write to request a report.  Helene stated that she was not given a report after calling police when her camera was stolen.  See
3.       Helene reports that drug dealing at Southern and Arabia Avenue is continuous but sporadic.  The dealer appears to come from the apartments at the top of the hill on Southern (near the Lighting Depot).  Helen will forward the best description possible of the offenders to Lt. Robinson.
4.       Burglary Initiative (December 18, 2011 – January 18, 2012) -  CALL if you see any suspicious people.  The focus will primarily be in the lower part of the NE district.  It has been difficult to establish trends or clusters in the NE, so Police have decided to pick one are and see if an impact was made.  There has been a noticeable impact over the past 3 weeks as burglaries have gone down in the chosen area, from 9-10 a day to 2-3 a day.  3-5 burglary groups have been terrorizing the district and are now probably lying low.  The Police expect them to pick back up in the next few weeks once their money dries up.
5.       Mike Hilliard handed out the crime statistics report

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