Update on Recent Crime Wave on the South Baltimore Peninsula

| September 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

From Councilman Eric Costello: 

UPDATE – Recent Crime on South Baltimore Peninsula

This is a TL;DR post so please read the entire post first if you intend to respond in the comments. This is all of the information that is publicly available at this time. Post includes the following sections:

1- Background

2- Trend of Burglaries and Vehicle Thefts – Details

3- Status of Above Investigation

4- Series of Armed and Unarmed Robberies (in some instances including a white sedan) – Details

5- Status of Above Investigation

6- In Response

7- Next Steps

8- What You Can Do

BACKGROUND: Over the past two weeks there has been a trend of burglaries and vehicle thefts and a series of armed and unarmed robberies (in some instances including a white sedan) on the South Baltimore Peninsula.

TREND OF BURGLARIES AND VEHICLE THEFTS – DETAILS: according to BPD, a group of approximately four individuals have been casing homes for open windows and doors. Once entering the home, they are locating vehicle keys and then stealing the vehicle. In each instance, one of the windows or doors in the victim’s home was left unlocked. These crimes occurred on and at:

-Aug 22 – Unit block of E Fort Ave

-Aug 26 – 400 block of E Fort Ave

-Aug 30 – Unit block of E Barney St

-Aug 31 – Unit block of E Randall St

-Aug 31 – Unit block of E Fort Ave (the same property as the Aug 22 incident)

-Sep 02 – 1600 block of Jackson St

TREND OF BURGLARIES AND VEHICLE THEFTS – STATUS OF INVESTIGATION: BPD has several instances of video footage from several of the victim’s homes with a good picture of at least one of the suspects. This footage is currently being run through facial recognition software. One of the stolen vehicles was recovered in the Northeastern District through the use of License Plate Reader (LPR) technology. The suspects fled and were not arrested. The car was taken to the crime lab to recover any prints. Additional evidence was found in the recovered vehicle and is being processed.

SERIES OF ARMED AND UNARMED ROBBERIES – DETAILS: according to community members, mainly driven from reports from the Citizen app, a group of individuals driving a white vehicle have been robbing local bar staff after their shifts while they are walking home in the late-PM / early-AM. BPD was able to confirm the following incidents, of which it is unclear if any are connected other than reports related to the white car:

-Aug 22 – 100 block of Warren Ave (robbery)

-Aug 31 – 800 block of S Charles St (armed robbery)

-Sep 02 – 11:30pm – 1400 block of S Charles St (A white vehicle approached an individual and according to that individual, one of the passengers yelled “get out the car and grab the gun” to one of the other passengers. The individual ran away safely and was not harmed. This is not and cannot be classified as a robbery.)

-Sep 03 – 2:15am – 300 block of E Cross St (armed robbery)

-Sep 01 – 03 – various times in the late-PM and early-AM (Multiple unverified repots of the white vehicle casing around the South Baltimore / Riverside area.)

SERIES OF ARMED AND UNARMED ROBBERIES – STATUS OF INVESTIGATION (in some instances including a white sedan): BPD has a lead in the Aug 22 incident. Regarding the white sedan, using the license plate information provided to BPD, they have tracked down the owner of the vehicle and will be making contact to investigate these reports further. At this time, because a gun was not produced in the incident on Sep 02, this investigation is a secondary priority to the investigation of the burglaries and vehicle thefts.

IN RESPONSE: Senate President Ferguson, Delegate Luke Clippinger, and I requested additional BPD patrol resources earlier this week after first learning of the first few incidents, and the request was granted by Southern District Major Byron Conaway. Today, we requested additional resources from Major Conaway and this request has been granted. In addition, there is a special deployment that I requested the Police Commissioner’s office four weeks back on Thursdays – Saturdays from 10pm – 4am to deal with bar traffic / loitering / dice games on the 800 – 1000 blocks of Light St, which has been in play since and will remain in the coming weeks.

Suffice to say, as many patrol resources that can be deployed, are deployed. It is now up to BPD to get the above issues under control. At this point, we are not seeking to shift additional patrol resources from other areas of the City. Rather we are specifically requesting effective policing to handle this situation which means proactively policing to prevent further incidents, analyzing trends, investigating, and making arrests.

NEXT STEPS: Senate President Ferguson, Delegate Luke Clippinger, and I are drafting a letter to Police Commissioner Harrison. We have a number of targeted questions about identification of trends, proactively policing to immediately end the trends in meantime, resources and process for investigation of these trends, and strategy for successfully apprehending these criminals. The letter will communicate the need for a written response to these questions along with scheduling a meeting to discuss the written answers immediately afterward. We will follow-up with the community within 24 hours after that meeting.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

1- If you are the victim of a crime, call 911 immediately, before talking to anyone else and before posting to social media.

2- If you see illegal activity, please call 911 and do not confront individuals engaged in said activity.

3- Ensure all of the windows and doors in your home are locked and remind your neighbors to do the same.

4- Be smart and aware of your surroundings in the evening. Don’t be distracted, including talking on your phone or texting while out at night.

5- Be advised that reports on the Citizen app are unverified and may be inaccurate as they are a transcription of non-government personnel listening to a police scanner.

6- If you see illegal parking, please call it in to 311.

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About the Author:

News releases from various sources around South Baltimore.
Filed in: Crime
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