Vandalism and Theft in Forest Hill

(Forest Hill, MD) — Harford County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a rash of over thirty thefts from motor vehicles that have occurred during the past two months. In some cases, the suspects are vandalizing the cars by spray painting or breaking windows. Over $1500 in damages and thefts have been reported so far. Police say estimates could have been higher but thieves are leaving behind some expensive property in lieu of searching for money and/or car stereo equipment.

The thefts and damage began on or about January 13th and are still ongoing with the most recent incident occurring on March 12th. The areas targeted by the vandals include Marywood I and II, Spenceola Farms, and Bynum Ridge. Police say in some cases thieves are breaking into the cars but in a majority of the cases homeowners are leaving vehicles unlocked with expensive personal property in plain sight. Despite heavier patrols the suspects are still at large and deputies have been working with property management companies and neighborhood watch groups throughout the affected areas in the hopes that someone may have information.

“We really need the public’s help,” said Captain John Bowman, Precinct Commander for the Sheriff’s Office Northern Precinct. “We’re trying to patrol as many developments as we can”, Bowman said, noting that without a specific pattern it is difficult to tell where the thieves may hit next. Bowman says this is really the time where having the public, on their own, or through their Neighborhood Watch Groups help us by watching out for each other and report suspicious circumstances. Bowman says often times the public will see or hear something that they attribute to something else. “There is never a way to predict that what is reported to us will be the piece of the puzzle that breaks the case”, Bowman says, adding, “But is important that the citizens call and that we do respond. It might just be the call that helps lead to the arrest of those involved”, he concluded.

Harford County Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of those involved. Tipsters can call the twenty-four hour tip line at 1-888-540-TIPS. You do not have to give your name or appear in court. All information is kept strictly confidential.

The Sheriff’s Office Community Policing Unit advises homeowners to lock their cars each and every time they leave their vehicle unattended. When possible owners should park cars in their driveway and not on the street. Take expensive items inside your home or at the very least, secure them in the trunk. And, leave an exterior light on so the area around your car/yard is illuminated.

Anyone having any information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office Northern Precinct at 410-692-7880.

Press Release

March 15, 2005