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Southeast Baltimore residents frustrated with rise in property crimes

Posted at 7:51 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 19:51:49-04

No city neighborhood is immune from crime, but a number of Southeast residents are tired of walking out their front doors and seeing their property damaged once again.

“I woke up this morning at 6 a.m. and realized our recycling bin was completely gone, melted in the ground,” said a Highlandtown man who didn’t want to be identified out of concerns that he could be the target of any future crimes. 

Someone had set his recycling bin on fire overnight. He said it happened around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning near S. Robinson St. while he and his wife were in their house sleeping.

“It was literally burnt to the ground this morning. My A/C could've caught on fire, my wife's car, my wood deck, and possibly my house if my neighbor didn't see it and put it out,” he said.

Just a few blocks down the street on S. Linwood Ave. and E. Pratt St., a similar crime took place. Two more neighbors said at around the same time Tuesday morning someone attempted to start fires in the beds of their pick-up trucks.

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“It sucks that we have to deal with this in the City, you know, you work hard, and this is what you wake up to or come home to. And there have been so many other break-ins in just the past three days, and over the weekend, they smashed my neighbors car just by getting on the hood of it and kicking it in for no reason,” the Highlandtown man said.

Car break-ins are a familiar sight for Southeast residents. More than a dozen cars were reportedly broken into on Boston Street in Canton earlier this month, another handful on S. Linwood Ave. a few days after that, and neighbors reported that vandals hit the area of S. Wolfe St. and E. Lombard St. twice last week.

“It doesn't seem to be just one car, it's a series of car, maybe like five cars,” said Hetet Oo, who passes the shattered glass piles on his way to work.

There were around seven separate broken glass piles still on S. Wolfe Street as of Tuesday. Oo said in the four years he’s lived on the street something like this typically happens three times per year.

Kaitlyn Coryat also lives in the area. She thinks the number of car break-ins are on the rise.

“My car's gotten broken into three times in 10 years and it was twice in the last six months,” Coryat said. “I enjoy living in the City but things like that make it not so great and make it more promising to live elsewhere.”

And more than a nuisance these crimes have become unsettling.

“It's very frustrating because when you see the glass shatters you don't feel that safe anymore,” said Oo.

Police said they're aware of the crimes but did not comment further.

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