Teens are targeting people in Essex. Baltimore County police say they've responded to at least four robberies on Compass Road in the last week.
When crooks strike on Compass Road, it doesn't take long for Matthew Vavreck to hear about it.
He's lived just off the road for more than 50 years.
"We talk when things happen around here. It's mostly on the other side of here," he said.
He's making sure everyone knows about the latest string of robberies to hit the Compass corridor.
In the last week, thieves have robbed people at least four times either on or near the road -- most of them violent.
"With the weather becoming nicer, that brings people out and that includes the bad guys," Officer Jennifer Peach, with Baltimore County police, said.
Baltimore County police increased their presence in the area after a week's worth of cases.
Investigators say a majority of them involved kids.
"I was inundated with tons of calls that are just titled 'check on location' and those calls are initiated by officers making impromptu stops at businesses and highly populated areas. So I can tell you from looking at the calls that there's definitely an increase in patrol efforts in that Compass corridor," Peach said.
In one case a group of about a dozen teens attacked a victim for cash.
Just last night, police arrested a 16-year-old, part of a group, for attacking a man not far from the corridor.
"That little area has a denser population and they have a population of people who ride the bus and that brings out to the street who are walking. That also incites opportunistic crimes," Peach said.
Opportunities Vavreck says will take a community to stop.
"I wouldn't go that far, no. You just keep your doors locked and windows and look out," he said.