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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: surroundings

While most of us are adhering to the order of staying inside during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are times when we must go out.

Be aware that criminals are not staying indoors. They are waiting for you to let your guard down when approaching your vehicle.

Avoid being a victim of a carjacking or robbery with these tips.

  • Look around when approaching your vehicle. If someone is walking toward you or standing by your vehicle in a parking lot that is nearly empty, walk away. If you feel that you're in immediate danger, scream and run into a store if one is nearby.
  • Stay off your cellphone while walking. That distraction makes you a prime target for a robbery or carjacking. That phone call can wait until you are in the store, your home, or locked safely in your car.
  • Lock your car or home door as soon as you get inside.
  • Park in well lit areas if you are out at night.
  • Avoid parking near trees or bushes if possible as they allow for criminals to hide and wait until you are at your vehicle.
  • Have your keys ready ahead of time. Don't fumble for them as you are walking through a parking lot or entering your home. That gives a criminal more time to approach you.
  • Do not engage the car’s unlocking system until you are at the door of the vehicle. You don't want to point out where you are headed and which vehicle is yours in the lot.
  • Ask for an escort or security staff to walk with you to your car if you feel uncomfortable when leaving a store or other place of business.
  • Look inside your vehicle before you enter it to make sure no one is hiding in the front or back seat.

Dial 911 if you feel threatened! Criminals are not working from home so you must stay alert when venturing outside.

Remember to keep your distance, wash your hands and stay inside.

Baltimore County Police remind children and their parents to be aware of their surroundings while out and about.

Parents, we don’t want to scare children but we do want them to be safe when they are away from the safety of their homes. Have a talk with your children about “stranger danger.” Unfortunately, there are those who don’t have the best interests of the children and stalk them. This means following them in cars or on foot.

Remind children to walk closer to the inside of the sidewalk or road. Advise them to walk with others in a group. Tell them not to talk to anyone who drives by and asks them questions such as “Could you help me find my puppy?” This is a common lure that can engage a child. Tell them to run, scream and find a safe place. Those places could be a neighbor’s house, a store, a fire station or police station.

Children do not have to be polite when someone is trying to stop them.

Revised June 27, 2017