Police Rob Would-be Halloween Vandals Of Tricks On Church

November 03, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

Halloween came and went on little cat's feet.

Aside from the usual pumpkin smashings, mailbox tamperings and egg throwings, county andcity police said there were no major crimes or damage to report.

"It's been quiet two years in a row," said Officer V. Richard Molloy, a county police spokesman. "A lot more parents are out with their children in the last couple of years. That is a deterrent for the older kids."

Molloy said police officers answered 71 vandalism and destruction complaints 5 p.m. Thursday to 8:45 a.m. Friday.

In Glen Burnie, 16 cars had tires slashed in the 300 block of Gatewater Court.

Police in the county's Western District were able to thwart what may have been more vandalism at the St. John AME Zion Church, at the end of Conway Road near Odenton.

The church, which area youths believe is haunted, has been hit with repeated vandalism, thefts and arson over the years. Its caretakers have installed metal bars over the windows.

"Kids in four or five schools know that is the church where they supposedly will see devil worshipers," said Officer William Meyers. "The only thing they are going to see is police."

Meyerssaid police staked out the church Thursday night and turned away 25 people. He said as soon as the people parked their cars and stepped onto church property, police confronted them, took their names and sent them home.

One person was arrested for driving a car with a stolen license plate. Otherwise, the names were turned over to church elders for possible prosecution for trespassing.

"We like to think weprevented something even if we didn't see it happen," Meyers said, adding that three years ago, police turned 130 people away from the church in three hours.

In another Halloween-related incident, countypolice said a mother who took her children trick or treating at the Marley Station Mall found a toothpick stuck in a piece of chocolate candy. The woman called police Friday morning, but did not know which store the candy came from.

Molloy said someone unwrapped the candy, stuck the toothpick in the chocolate and wrapped it back up again.

"It was really obvious that it was there," Molloy said. "You wouldnever eat the thing."

Molloy said the mall offered trick or treating as a safe alternative for children walking the streets. The womanwas in the store from 5:45 to 7:15 p.m.

Ed Ladd, general manager for the mall, said this is the first instance of tampering in the four years Marley Station has offered trick or treating. "It's an unfortunate thing," he said. "There is no way we could have predicted it."

Annapolis police also reported a quiet night. Officer Dermott Hickey, a police spokesman, said there were no major incidents. "We were very fortunate," he said. "Everything was very peaceful. We really lucked out."

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