TANEYTOWN — A combination of a mild winter and very few diversions for teen-agers may be responsible for the rash of juvenile arrests in the past twoand a half months, said the town police chief.
Police Chief Melvin E. Diggs said there have been 16 juvenile arrests this year. Although he said he could not recall the number last year, he said the number is considerably larger than it was for the same period last year.
"It has been pretty bad, especially if you look at the number of malicious destructions, burnings and the breaking and enterings," Diggs said.
Since the first of the year, two cemeteries had 36 tombstones overturned, there have been two fields set on fire, 13 windows in Northwest Middle School were smashed and there was one sexual assault.
During the same period, Diggs said, his department arrested only 12 adults.
"I really think the reason we have seen this increase is that there hasn't been much for the kids to do. Once summer rolls around and the pool opens, this will probably drop off," Diggs said.
In response to the outbreak, Diggs said the Taneytown police arestrictly enforcing the 11 p.m. curfew for juveniles under 18.
He said the first time juveniles detained after the curfew will be brought to home to their parents. The second time, he said, they will be refered to Juvenile Services.
FIRE HITS KEYMAR HOME
A chimney fire that firefighters thought they had extinguished Tuesday flared up about 30 minutes later, causing extensive damage.
Volunteers from several northwest Carroll stations responded to a call on Keysville to extinguish a chimney fire in the home of Clarence andMargaret Ann Grimes at 11:03 a.m.
The chimney was red hot, but firefighters were able to extinguish the fire quickly, according to Capt. Willie Wildasin of the TaneytownVolunteer Fire Department.
Firefighters cleaned out the chimney with chains, removed some of the bricks above the roofline and took the fire out of the wood stove.
Wildasin pointed out, however, that the chimney was old and that all the mortar had disintegrated. In addition, there were no tile flue liners.
About 30 minutes after the firefighters returned to the station, there was a call that the fire had flared up again.
Wildasin said it took about 15 minutes to get the blaze under control, but firefighters had to remove siding to reach the fire.
The fire apparently had ignited a piece of framing that was placed directly against thechimney.
There was no estimate of the damage.
BARN FIRE NEAR NEW WINDSOR
Eight fire companies spent much of Saturday afternoon battling a barn fire near here that officials say wasstarted by two children playing with matches.
The two-alarm fire,which caused about $30,000 in damage, was reported at 1:23 p.m. by the Thomas Russell, the owner of the barn in the 1000 block of Baust Church Road. When fire units arrived, the barn was engulfed with flames.
Only the barn's stone and cinder block walls were left standingafter the blaze.
The fire apparently started after the two children, who were playing with matches and sparklers, ignited hay that waslying on the floor of the barn, said State Deputy Fire Marshal Bob Thomas.
WINFIELD HOUSE DAMAGED
A chimney fire did about $10,000 of damage to a Winfield home early Sunday morning, fire officials reported.
The fire broke out about 12:26 a.m. in the 4200 block of Arthur Shipley Road. The owner of the house discovered it, and attempted to extinguish it.
Fire officials said he was unsuccessful, and the fire spread to the walls of the family room and the second-floor bedroom on the two-story wood frame house.
About 30firefighters from Winfield, Sykesville and Gamber volunteer departments battled the fire for about 20 minutes before it was brought undercontrol.
AWOL SOLDIER ARRESTED
Police arrested a 19-year-old after a break-in at a garage in the first block of Center Street early Sunday and discovered that he was an soldier who deserted his unit at Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga.
Arrested was Jason D. Greene, who also known as Jason D. Meikrantz, of no fixed address. He was charged with two counts of breaking and entering, littering and malicious destruction.
Police were called by the owner of the garage on Saturday when he noticed a window had been broken. Police investigated and found clothing, a birth certificate and other belongings in the garage.
Early Sunday morning, an officer patrolling the neighborhood looked into the garage and noticed a man sleeping onthe floor. The police placed him under arrest.
During questioning, Greene told police that he was an AWOL soldier from Fort Benning, which the police were able to confirm. Greene was placed in the Carroll County Detention Center.
Maryland State Police reported windows in nine cars were shattered in the Westminster area Saturday night and early Sunday morning.