TACOP -Expands its “If You See Something – Say Something” Campaign
Voicing concern over a recent increase in crime in the Towson area, the Towson Area Citizens On Patrol (TACOP), representing 25 neighborhoods in the greater Towson community, met with County Councilman David Marks and Baltimore County Police Captain Jay Landsmen on January 5, 2016. A discussion of recent events, including the crowd of over 100 youth at the Towson Town Center mall, and general criminal activity in Towson, led to the expansion of TACOP’s “if you see something – say something” crime fighting campaign.
Working in partnership with the Baltimore County Police, TACOP volunteers patrol the streets of Towson to help keep residents, businesses and students safe. These volunteers monitor criminal activity in Towson and immediately call 911 to report any suspected crimes they observe while on patrol. Now TACOP wants to share its “see something, say something” crime fighting measure with the public.
TACOP advises the public that the police need “real time” information. It encourages everyone to be proactive and, “if you see something, say something.” TACOP and the Baltimore County police urge you to act immediately if you see any suspect criminal activity and call 911. TACOP also recommends everyone in Towson be more vigilant. When you are in Towson, whether it is day or night, call 911 if you are concerned about anything you see.
The recent gathering of 100+ youth at the mall on December 26, 2015 at closing time, which later led to rocks being thrown, slightly injuring several police officers, was also addressed. TACOP underscores the need for increased security at Towson Town Center for the safety of mall employees and customers. It urges the Center’s management, General Growth Properties, to invoke a curfew for youth age 17 and under after 9 PM, requiring them to be accompanied by an adult, similar to the curfew at both White Marsh and Hunt Valley.
TACOP is a 501c3 organization founded in 2000 to help Towson Area neighborhoods start COP Programs. Currently, TACOP has 25 active COP neighborhoods, solely supported by donations from the public.
Mike Calwell, President email@example.com (443) 829-5276
Pat France, Vice-President firstname.lastname@example.org 410-828-5564
Janice Arcieri, Secretary email@example.com 443-465-0150
Barbara Lewis, Website Coord firstname.lastname@example.org 410-663-4266
Janet Eveleth, PR/Media email@example.com 410-821-1008
Recently, there has been a sharp increase in car break-ins and thefts in Baltimore County. Places that might normally be viewed as “safe” for parked cars are now being targeted by thieves, making residents vulnerable where they once thought that they were protected against such crimes.
In an effort to reduce the car break-ins and thefts, the Baltimore County Breaking News team offers the following strategies to keep you and your vehicle safer. While there is no “one solution,” we can, collectively, take steps to deter thieves and discourage them from spending time in our neighborhoods looking for opportunities to, easily, break the law. Click Below Link for full details!
Follow Up to previous article!
As far as preventive action that can be taken, there are some things that each resident can do to prevent victimization. There have been news reports and other information circulating about a hand held device used by thieves to unlock vehicles. I do not doubt that such a device could be acquired. However, no such device has ever been recovered in Baltimore County. I do not have any solid information to provide on effective preventive measures regarding such devices. Some of the news stories recommend keeping your key fob a significant distance away from your vehicle and even storing it in a metal container or in your freezer. I cannot speak with any authority on these devices, so I am not going to tell you to place your key fob in the freezer. However, here are some of the things we know can reduce your chance of victimization:
1. Lock your vehicle and make sure that it is locked before you walk away from it.
2. Remove all vehicle keys from the vehicle (including keys to other vehicles that may be parked near by). We have experienced numerous cases that start out as a theft from vehicle and turn into a theft of a vehicle, because keys were left in the vehicle.
3. Remove valuables from the vehicle. Laptops, purses, wallets, phones and other valuables should never be left in a vehicle.
4. I know they are not as popular as they were several years ago, but an anti-theft device like “The Club” or a similar steering wheel lock is another deterrent for thieves.
5. Leaving the porch light on in the front and back of the house is a deterrent for suspects, who want to operate under the cover of darkness.
6. Trim branches and hedges away from windows and doorways to eliminate areas where suspects can avoid being seen as they attempt to break in to your house.
7. Make sure that your doors have a lock on the handle and a deadbolt lock. If there is a window next to the door handle, the deadbolt should be a double key lock and not a thumb lock on the inside. The key should be hung up inside, where your family can find it easily in the event of an emergency. You can also add an additional sliding latch lock or chain on the inside of your door pretty inexpensively.
8. Placing a piece of wood or metal in the track of your sliding glass doors and windows can make entry to your home much more difficult for criminals.
9. If you have an attached garage, lock the door to your house, even when the garage door is closed. If a thief gains entry to your garage, you do not want to give them easy access to your house.
The suggestions that I provided are not cure alls for criminal behavior, but they present hurdles for criminals to overcome. Most criminals do not want to work that hard. They do not want to spend a great deal of time in one place. During interviews with our detectives, arrestees have indicated that they seek out unlocked vehicles and other easy targets. I have attached a video provided by a resident in Rodgers Forge that shows a suspect approaching a vehicle and simply checking the door handle. Recently, there was another video sent out from an officer in Whitemarsh, which showed a suspect walk up to a vehicle and check the handles with a rag in his hand. These suspects were looking for the quick and easy target. The goal for the police and the community is to frustrate the criminals to the point that they no longer find our area desirable. We can do this through practical preventive measures, preventive patrols and by arresting suspects when these incidents occur.
Please feel free to call me at my office or stop by if you wish to talk about these issues further,
Captain Jay Landsman, Jr.
Precinct 6 / Towson
Baltimore County Police Department
115 W. Susquehanna Avenue
Towson, Maryland 21204
Office (410) 887-5507
Cell (443) 613-5833