From the Mundane to the Extreme, Thieves Strike Across the Maryland Suburbs

Fodder for thieves includes copper, gas and good-old-fashioned cash.

Been locking your doors lately?

If not, it’s time to start.

Police across the region are warning that thieves looking for everything from the big score to the quick buck and are filching fleet as fast as there are opportunities.

"The biggest tip is obvious,” Howard County spokeswoman Elizabeth Schroen told the Washington Post. “Lock everything up, and you can prevent theft.”

Everything from video games to good old-fashioned cash Thieves also siphon gas from vehicles and snatch photos from the walls of local town halls, police said.

Christmas was a popular time for theft. In December, a giant, inflatable Santa was nabbed from the front yard of a home in Owings Mills.

Like it or not, homeowners with elaborate displays were “drawing attention to their home (s) through the decoration, but sometimes that draws the wrong kind of attention,” said Lt. Stephen Doarnberger, assistant commander at the Baltimore County Police Franklin Precinct.

Also in December, Howard County police said a woman stole at least one package left on the front porch of an Ellicott City house

Lately, copper, with its high resale value, has been a popular item for Montgomery County thieves, police told the Post. During the winter months, thieves stole dozens of downspouts and gutters made of copper, police said.

Sykesville has also been targeted for copper. Maryland State Police in the theft of copper, aluminum and steel from the former Henryton Center, once a psychiatric facility.

The list of items stolen recently in Arbutus is wide-ranging: from the Arbutus Town Hall men’s room, two air conditioners from the roof of the Lansdowne branch library, a police car, and --210 gallons of which were drained in January from four vehicles at a local business.

Carroll County sheriff officials said that they have observed the greatest incidence of crime occurs as a result of unlocked cars, homes and sheds. Fifty percent of thefts are from unlocked doors, Carroll County Sheriff's Office Administrative Services Chief Major Phil Kasten .

Carroll County Sheriff Ken Tregoning said that locking doors is a tough issue to tackle.

“It’s a common sense issue,” he said at a . “How do you teach common sense?”

- With reporting from Eldersburg Patch Editor Valerie Bonk and Arbutus Patch Editor Bruce Goldfarb


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