You can spot plenty of marked police cars on patrol in Reservoir Hill after a group of teens tried to carjack a woman at gunpoint in the 2000 block of Park Avenue on Monday afternoon.
"They surrounded her car, beating and banging on the windows,” said Det. Donny Moses of the Baltimore City Police Department, “One pulled what she thought was an actual firearm. At that point, she was able to drive away and get to a safe location where we were able to catch up with her."
When officers caught up the four teenagers a block away, they discovered a replica handgun in the waistband of a 14-year-old.
Abdul Kareem lives just down the block from where the crime unfolded.
"I'm sorry that it happened to that lady, but it could just happen to anybody," Kareem said.
And it's happening more than ever.
Police also discovered a set of car keys on one of the suspects, which implicates the same group in a carjacking the previous morning on Lennox Street in the same neighborhood, and in a sign that the problem may be even bigger, police also arrested a pair of 14-year-olds with a separate armed carjacking on Monday in the 100 block of East Lanvale Street where they drove away in the victim's Ford Focus.
"After taking that Focus, they went on a robbery spree, if you will,” Moses said. “They either robbed or attempted to rob three more people."
Police believe as anti-theft gadgets, such as coded keys and advanced security systems, make it more difficult to steal cars, many criminals are now targeting vehicles, which are already running, and motorists should take precautions to keep from becoming the next victim.
"We are urging everyone to always be aware of your surroundings,” Moses said. “The days of driving with your car doors unlocked---they're done. When you're getting in and out of your car, again, be aware of your surroundings. Notice who is around, because it's your key that makes that theft possible in many cases."