A reader (thank you!) just wrote to let me know that she’s noticed a bit of a crime spree in her neighborhood near where Forest Hill and Bel Air meet. She says last month she was awakened by a banging on the sliding glass door of her condominium. That same week her child pointed out that all the BGE boxes in her neighborhood had been spray painted with graffiti. And just this morning, a neighbor told her about a theft from her condominium parking lot. She says she checked CrimeReports.com for her area and was surprised to see how much crime activity had been reported in her area during the past month. I took a look at the site CrimeReports.com. I searched the 21014 area code and it allowed me to see a wide swath of Harford County beyond that area code. I counted up the statistics for the month between July 2 and Aug. 2 and came up with the following: There were about 17 cases of breaking and entering. One robbery in the 500 block of Fountain Green Road was reported on July 2. There were almost 100 thefts reported throughout the area. Only two thefts from vehicles (which seems rather low). And five vehicle thefts. There were 32 assaults reported and three sexual offenses. I counted about 43 property crimes, one arson, one case of carrying a concealed deadly weapon, 17 drug offenses and no homicides.
All in all, I’m still feeling pretty safe here. And I understand that these accuracy of these figures depends on whether the law enforcement agencies share all their information with CrimeReports.com. I saw a lot of information on there from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office on there, but I don’t know whether other law enforcement agencies are participating. The cool thing is that you can see just where the activity is taking place. If a burglary takes place 10 miles from your house, it’s not too concerning. But if it happens around the corner, that’s a big deal. And, if you notice a trend of thefts in your area, at least you can remember to keep an eye out for strange activity and keep your doors locked.
Update 8/5: Over on the TalkingAboutAbingdon blog, they’ve noticed a lot of car break-ins happening in broad daylight allegedly by teenagers roaming the neighborhoods toting back-packs they fill with iPods and GPS devices left in cars. Click here for more: http://talkingaboutabingdonmd.blogspot.com/2009/08/crime-wave.html
You can check CrimeReports.com out here: http://crimereports.com/map?search=Bel%20Air,%20Md
For more information about the Harford County Sherrif’s Office, click here: http://www.harfordsheriff.org/
You can find information on the Bel Air Police Department here: http://www.belairmd.org/departments/police.asp
Click here for information on the Maryland State Police: http://www.mdsp.org/