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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.
Keyword: stolen

Over the last month a number of cars have been broken into across the county. There is no particular area that is immune. There is a way to stop some of these thefts – lock your doors.

This may not be a foolproof way to stop them, but thieves are opportunists. They will walk along and check to see which vehicle is unlocked and which isn’t. The odds are that the thief will go for the unlocked vehicle.

We are, for the most part, careful about locking our vehicles while at work, school or shopping, but we tend to be less mindful of locking up when we are home. Don’t get a false sense of security just because the vehicle is in front of your home or in your driveway. Lock your doors!

Thieves are looking for a number of items - change in the cup holder, cellphones, laptops, anything of value. House keys are especially valuable. Not only has the thief gotten into your vehicle, he now has access to your home.

Don’t leave your garage door opener inside your vehicle in full view. This enables thieves to access other items such as bicycles, lawn equipment and maybe another vehicle or even your home.

Lock your vehicle doors at all times. Make life difficult for thieves.

Additional crime prevention tips are available online.

The next edition of On the Beat, the Baltimore County Police Department's cable TV program, runs through May. This program includes the following segments.

  • JOINS Program – Sergeant Garry Leonard, of the Youth and Community Services Section, explains the importance of this program, which aims at preventing juvenile delinquency by diverting first-time, non-violent offenders from the juvenile justice system.
  • RATT (Regional Auto Theft Task Force) – Sergeant Izaac Hester, of the Regional Auto Theft Task Force, provides insight into the unit's daily activities with a ride along with detectives. He discusses the problem of auto thefts and gives tips to keep your car secure.
  • Unsolved Homicide – Idrissa Derme was fatally shot when making a food delivery on October 15, 2018. Your help is needed in solving this crime.

These segments are available online, if you would like to watch it on your own computer, on your own schedule.

On the Beat also airs every day on Cable Channel 25, only in Baltimore County. The times are:

Monday: 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 9 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Wednesday: 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Thursday: Noon, 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m., 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday: 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Baltimore County Police are reminding drivers to keep their vehicle doors locked and to never store their keys in the vehicle, including a spare key to another vehicle, while it's unattended. Doing so could lead to items being stolen from your vehicle or even your vehicle being stolen.

Don't provide an opportunity for a criminal. Many times all it takes is for a suspect to walk through a neighborhood and pull on your car handle to see if it's unlocked. If it is unlocked, your valuables are at risk to be stolen. A spare key stored in your vehicle could leave you with your car being stolen.

Leaving Your Car Running Unattended is Illegal

Leaving your car running with the keys in the ignition not only leaves your car at risk to be stolen, but it is also illegal.

Vehicles left running outside homes, in front of convenience stores and at gas pumps present an easy target for car thieves. Always take your keys with you and secure your vehicle, even for a short trip into the store.

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.

Penalties and Fines

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.

 
 
Revised June 27, 2017