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COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates and Guidance

The County is taking a number of actions to keep residents safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Find status information for County operations and services.

Public Safety News

 

Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Date: Apr 21, 2020

Even during a pandemic, criminals will steal items from your vehicle or steal the car entirely if you give them the opportunity. Don't let your guard down while following the order to stay at home.

Keeping your valuables safe is easy. Follow these simple tips to avoid being a victim.

  • Lock the vehicle! Criminals are opportunists. It's easy for them to walk down the street and jiggle car handles until one opens.
  • Remove items from plain view to reduce someone's desire to break into it. Bring your laptop, wallet, loose change and other valuables inside your home.
  • Bring spare keys inside. If your house keys are on the same ring as your car key, you could make it easy for a criminal to break into your home, as well.
  • Store the garage door opener out of sight. If left in an open vehicle, a burglar could use it to access the garage and steal power tools, bikes and other valuables. If you have an attached garage, you could be giving a thief an open invitation to enter that, as well.
  • Keep your windows rolled up when you park your vehicle to prevent someone from simply reaching in to gain access.

Remember to be a good neighbor. If you see anyone who looks suspicious in your neighborhood, call 911 with their description for an immediate police response. Suspicious behaviors or information about a possible crime that does not require immediate assistance can be submitted on the Department's iWatch Baltimore County tip reporting system, even anonymously.

Leaving Your Vehicle Running Unattended is Illegal

There might not be as many people visiting the store because of the coronavirus but that doesn't mean it's safe to leave your vehicle running with the keys in the ignition by itself while you dash inside. It not only leaves your car at risk to be stolen, but it is also illegal.

Maryland Annotated Vehicle Code prohibits an operator of a vehicle to leave a vehicle running and unattended unless the operator:

  • is in charge of a motor vehicle that has had the engine started using a remote keyless ignition system and has been operating unattended for up to five consecutive minutes when the vehicle is not in motion; or
  • allows a motor vehicle that is locked and on private property, not open to the public, to operate unattended for up to five consecutive minutes when the vehicle is not in motion.

It's The Law

Did you know that leaving a vehicle alone with the engine running is against the law? Officers can issue a ticket that is accompanied by a $70 fine and one point against your driving record. Unattended, running vehicles also pose a safety hazard. If the vehicle slips out of gear and causes an accident, you could be issued a ticket with a $110 fine and three points against your driving record.

Make sure your vehicle doors are locked at all times, spare keys are not left in the vehicle and the vehicle is not left running unattended.

The Baltimore County Police Department wants to help businesses and shoppers better understand the Governor's latest additions to the Emergency Executive Order as it applies to social distancing and face covering in order to help you have a safe essential shopping trip:

Businesses

Essential businesses that are allowed to remain open during the pandemic are required by law under the Executive Order to:

  • Post signage at each entrance advising customers about the requirement to wear face coverings
  • Designate with signage, tape, or any other means six-foot spacing markers where lines form
  • Sanitize, or provide customers with a means to sanitize, the handles of available carts and baskets
  • Provide staff and customers with clean restrooms stocked with soap or sanitizer, and allow staff to wash their hands at least once every 30 minutes

Baltimore County Police Department is also encouraging area businesses to consider these additional safety measures that other businesses around the country have already implemented:

  • Limit store hours to ensure time for cleaning and disinfecting
  • Allow early shopping hours restricted to at-risk populations
  • Limit the number of shoppers inside the store at a single time
  • Utilize one-way aisle shopping with directional floor stickers or other markings
  • Place plexiglass barriers between cashiers and shoppers at the checkout

Face Covering

A face covering is defined in the Executive Order as anything that can be used to fully cover a person's nose and mouth. It is not required to be a medical-grade mask, but can be. You can use a surgical type mask available at a home improvement store, a scarf, a bandanna, or even just pull your shirt up over your nose and mouth.

A face covering is required to be worn:

  • On any public transportation, including a ride-share like Uber or Lyft
  • By anyone over the age of 9 inside any retail or food service establishment
  • An adult who is accompanying any children age 2 - 9 must make a reasonable effort to cover the faces of those children while inside any retail or food service establishment*
  • By all employees of retail establishments while working in areas open to the public or where interactions with other employees are likely
  • By all employees of food service establishments who interact with customers, including delivery personnel  

* Covering the face of a child under the age of 2 years can lead to suffocation and should not be done!

Safe Essential Shopping Tips

The number one recommendation for shoppers around the country is not to go out at all. Utilize the many options that stores are providing for online shopping, delivery, or curb-side pick-up. A quick phone call or online search of the company can indicate if a store is offering any of these options for you. If you do have to venture out for essentials over the next few weeks, keep these tips in mind:

  • Go shopping alone - do not bring kids and designate one shopper for your household to limit exposure
  • Do not go shopping if you are feeling ill or under the weather at all
  • Minimize your shopping trips to once every week or every other week
  • Remember to bring a face cover with you - a surgical mask, a jogging or motorcycle half-mask, a folded handkerchief across your nose and mouth, even a scarf
  • If you don't have one available, pulling your shirt or jacket up over your nose and mouth while you are inside the establishment will suffice
  • Keep your hands clean - wash often, sanitize your hands before you enter the store and before you put your hands back on your steering wheel
  • Wearing latex gloves may give you a false sense of security - they can keep your hands clean but they'll spread germs just as easily if you aren't careful about what you touch
  • Bring a disinfectant wipe with you and wipe down the cart handle before shopping
  • Only touch items you plan on buying - remember the wise words of your mother, "Look but don't touch!"
  • Adhere to the directions stores use for one-way aisle shopping and be patient with the person in front of you - try to refrain from passing them in the aisle
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance between you and other shoppers throughout the store - that's about the length of 2 average size shopping carts
  • Utilize the 6 foot markings required for checkout lines
  • Don't hoard goods - supply cannot keep up with excessive demand, but if we purchase "normal use" quantities there will remain plenty for everyone to go around
  • Pay for goods with a card instead of exchanging cash - the card can be wiped clean with a disinfectant wipe
  • Be prepared for a longer than normal shopping expedition and expect lines at the checkout

Most importantly, please be patient, kind and courteous with everyone around you. Tensions are high. This is a tough time for everyone, but we are in this together and we must all work together to ensure a safe environment for everyone. Protect yourself, but also remember to protect those around you from the germs YOU may be carrying. This Executive Order will help stop the spread of this dangerous virus and keep us and our loved ones safe. Happy shopping - and wash those hands!

You can find additional information on Governor Hogan's website under COVID-19 Response or follow these additional links for more information:

Any person who knowingly and willfully violates the conditions of the Governor's Executive Order is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of up to $5000, or both.

Bbookiing photo of Tianna Nasiaha Balbozaaltimore County Police arrest woman responsible for a stabbing in Pikesville that left one man hospitalized.

On March 17 at 2:03 p.m., police responded to the 3700 block of Old Court Road, 21208 for a stabbing. The initial investigation determined a man (32) and his acquaintance met at the Ramada by Wyndham Pikesville in the 1700 block of Reisterstown Road, 21208.

They became engaged in a dispute at the location which resulted in the suspect stabbing the man. Afterward, the man left the location, seeking help. He was able to flag down a police officer in the 3700 block of Old Court Road and was transported to a local hospital. He is expected to survive.

Police arrested and charged Tianna Nasiaha Balboza (20) of the 1200 block of N Collington Avenue, 21213 with attempted first-degree-murder, first-degree-assault and second-degree assault. Balboza is held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on a no bail status pending a bail review hearing.  

 
 
Revised June 27, 2017