BALTIMORE — Following a number car break-in in and across the city, residents are looking at news ways of deterring these crimes from occurring.
Highlandtown resident Elizabeth Sherstad remembers what it it felt like to have her car rummaged through.
"The first thing that happened was I knew something was out of place and then you get kind of frustrated with yourself," said Sherstad. "You start to doubt your behavior and you forget you’re a victim."
It happened not once but twice. Refusing to fall victim a third time she makes sure to secure her car. She's even installed a security camera outside her S. East Avenue home.
"I think having the cameras just allows you to have a little bit of extra back up and it helps share things that are going on with your neighbors," she said.
Surveillance systems like her can be used when crimes occur, especially if they catch an individual committing the crime in the process.
"It can help police but it also can be shared with your neighbors," she said.
Across the city neighborhood groups have posted about several car break-ins, including near Federal Hill Park.
"We’ve had an increase in crime in the neighborhood here," said Darren Anderson.
Anderson lives on East Montgomery Street. Hoping to deter crime he and a dozen or so neighbors are looking into hiring a private security company.
"This is a positive thing," he said. "We want this to be a good neighborhood for everybody."
Right now, Anderson is looking at the feasibility and cost. Anyone in the Federal Hill neighborhood interested in joining the safety campaign is encouraged to email him at Federal.Hill.Patrol@mail.com
"We'd like to see them here 365 days acting as our second set of eyes if we don't see anything," he said.
As for Baltimore City Police, the department is working with community associations to help reduce and fight crime in non-combative ways.
One neighborhood group wrote:
"In light of the recent increase in armed robberies, attempted armed robberies, and carjacking, SE BPD will have an increased patrol presence and traffic monitoring in the areas of Butcher’s Hill, Upper Fells and Fells.
The BPD Neighborhood Community Officers will be on foot patrol handing out safety pamphlets in English and Spanish. Foxtrot air unit will likely have increased presence in the coming days.
- Please report any suspicious behavior to 911.
- Be situationally aware when out and about
- Since all of these robberies occur from behind, when going into your home from your car, be aware of your surroundings
- Call a family member once you’re parked so they can look out for you as you walk from your car to your home
- Older individuals are targeted, so look out for your senior neighbors and possibly escort them to and from their vehicles especially at dusk/night.
- Share camera footage of any suspicious acting groups of teenagers to Sedtips@baltimorepolice.org
- Suspects of the two separate robbery crews are black, white and Hispanic so per always, do not profile based on race alone.
- Use your stoop lights and rear flood lights at night
- If BPD is doing heightened traffic stops/traffic monitoring, know that you may get pullled over on your own block if you’re committing any moving violations
- If you are confronted by an armed robber, do not fight or struggle with them. Not worth getting hurt over replaceable stuff.