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Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: car theft

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.

UPDATE (May 23, 1018 10:13 a.m.):

Three additional suspects in the murder of Officer Caprio have been arrested and automatically waived to adult status, based on the seriousness of their charges, those being 1st Degree Murder per the felony murder law, and 1st Degree Burglary. All three are held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center pending bail review today.

  • Eugene Robert Genius (17) of the 400 block of North Lakewood Avenue, 21224. He was arrested at a home on 33rd Street in Baltimore City at 8:40 am yesterday.
  • Derrick Eugene Matthews (16) of the 200 block of South Dallas Court, 21231. He was arrested at a home in the 1800 block of E. 29th Street in Baltimore City at 8:53 a.m. yesterday.
  • Darrell Jaymar Ward (15) of the 2300 block of Ashland Avenue, 21205. He was arrested at his home on Ashland Avenue in Baltimore City at 9:31 a.m. yesterday.

Original Release (May 22, 2018 4:55 p.m.):

It is with heavy hearts that the Baltimore County Police Department confirms the first female line-of-duty death in the Department's 144-year history.

She is identified as Police Officer First Class A. Sorrells Caprio #5785 of Precinct 8 - Parkville, a nearly 4-year-veteran of the Department.

Four suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident that killed Officer Caprio yesterday afternoon:

  • Dawnta Anthony Harris (16) of the 1600 block of Vincent Court, 21217 is charged with 1st Degree Murder and held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.
  • SUSPECT 2 - 17-year-old male, not yet identified, charges pending
  • SUSPECT 3 - 16-year-old male, not yet identified, charges pending
  • SUSPECT 4 - 15-year-old male, not yet identified, charges pending

The Call for Service

Officer Caprio was the primary officer responding to a call for a suspicious vehicle with multiple suspicious subjects walking around homes in the unit block of Linwen Way in Nottingham, 21236 at 1:58 p.m. A neighbor called 9-1-1 adding that the subjects had broken into a home and that a black Jeep Wrangler appeared to be involved.

Officer Caprio arrived in the area and located the black Jeep Wrangler, following it to the cul-de-sac at the end of Linwen Way. She exited her vehicle and ordered the driver, identified later as Dawnta Harris, to exit the Jeep. Harris began to exit the Jeep, then got back in and quickly accelerated, driving toward and striking Officer Caprio. Neighbors called 9-1-1 reporting that the officer had been struck by a vehicle and may have been shot. One neighbor, a paramedic, ran to the officer's aid to begin life-saving efforts. Baltimore County Police and Fire Department personnel responded to the scene to aid Officer Caprio, who was transported to MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center with traumatic injuries. She was pronounced deceased at 2:50 p.m. on May 21, 2018. The preliminary results from an autopsy conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner this morning indicate the cause and manner of death to be homicide by traumatic injuries incurred as a result of being struck by the suspect vehicle. No evidence of a gunshot wound was found.

The Search for Suspects

Harris fled in the Jeep, which was soon reported to have been abandoned in the 9500 block of Dawnvale Road nearby. A description of the fleeing driver was broadcast to officers, who converged on the area. The abandoned Jeep was located, found with a bullet hole in the front windshield. A subject matching the description of the driver was located approximately a block away from the Jeep. After further investigation the subject was identified as the driver who struck Officer Caprio with the Jeep, Dawnta Harris, and arrested. Detectives have confirmed through Body Worn Camera video, which will not be released pending trial, that the bullet hole in the windshield of the Jeep was caused when Officer Caprio fired her service weapon at the driver just before being struck by the Jeep. The Jeep is determined to have been stolen out of Baltimore City, as well as having a stolen tag belonging to another vehicle attached at the rear.

Police began a coordinated effort to surround and search the neighborhoods and wooded areas nearby looking for the additional three suspects. Numerous patrol and support unit officers from the Parkville and White Marsh Precincts responded, as well our Tactical team, K-9 teams, and air support. Additionally, a number of other agencies responded to assist in the search and handling of the incident, to which Baltimore County Police extends our sincere gratitude:

  • Baltimore County Fire Department
  • Baltimore County Sheriff's Office
  • Baltimore City Police
  • Baltimore City Sheriff's Office
  • Baltimore Watershed Police
  • Howard County Police
  • Maryland State Police
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police
  • Maryland Transportation Authority Police
  • Montgomery County Police
  • Prince Georges County Police
  • US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
  • US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • US Homeland SecurityInvestigations
  • US Marshals Service

Belair Road remained closed between Forge and Ebenezer roads, along with a number of area neighborhood roads, for an extensive period of time while officers, on and off-duty, searched the area. Residents were asked to shelter in place when an additional 9-1-1 call for an armed subject was received in the 9400 block of Belair Road. Four elementary schools were also placed on alert status, delaying dismissal for hours, as officers continued to investigate and search the area. The armed man was eventually located and determined to be a frightened resident, who was released.

Investigative efforts throughout the night led detectives from the Baltimore County Police Homicide Unit to two separate locations in Baltimore City where the remaining three suspects were believed to be sheltering. All three suspects were located and arrested in the early morning hours and are awaiting formal charges and bail hearings.

Officer Caprio

Academy graduation photo of Officer CaprioOfficer Caprio was a 29-year-old woman who loved her family, her husband, and her dog, Doodle. She loved the outdoors, mountain biking on the new bike she recently bought, and kayaking with her husband. She was a dog lover, making sure to have a leash and dog treats on hand when she went out on patrol - just in case. She and her husband were scheduled to begin a week of vacation this weekend to celebrate their third wedding anniversary and both of their upcoming birthdays.

Officer Caprio graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Exercise Science in 2010 with the intention of becoming a physical therapist, but found her true passion became police work. She graduated from the Baltimore County Police Department's Police Academy on December 23, 2014 as a member of our 140th recruit class. Officer Caprio's supervisor, Lieutenant Chemelli, stated today, "It was an honor to be her supervisor. I can personally say that she had a work ethic like no other. She truly loved being a police officer and helping others - this was her passion and definitely her calling. She made the ultimate sacrifice doing a job that she loved. She will be greatly missed by our shift and will forever be our hero." A sentiment resonating with all of her police family today.

Booking photo of Dawnta Anthony Harris:

 
 
Revised June 27, 2017