Police join forces to guard Route 40

November 25, 1993|By Staff Report

Howard County police will work with their counterparts in Baltimore City and Baltimore County to ensure safer shopping and traveling along the busy Route 40 corridor this holiday season.

The joint effort, beginning today and continuing through New Year's Day, will cover shopping plazas and intersections in Ellicott City, Catonsville and communities along Edmondson Avenue in the city.

Police say Route 40 provides an easy escape route for car thieves, convenience store robbers and other criminals in all three jurisdictions. Baltimore city and county police frequently chase suspects into Howard County, and Howard officers often recover expensive cars stolen from Columbia in communities farther east along Route 40.

But police hope that by beefing up patrols, they will reduce the incidents of drunken driving, speeding, shoplifting and robberies during the holiday season, a time when residents are careless and criminals become bold.

"There will be a remarkable difference in police presence," said Howard County Police spokesman Sgt. Gary Gardner. "Attacking it all at one time will hopefully have an impact."

Howard police also plan more sobriety checkpoints throughout the county in December, the National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.

The department will increase foot patrols in shopping areas.

A public education program discussing safety-belt use will be incorporated into the department's Drug Abuse Resistance Education program in schools this month.

Safety tips for shoppers also will be distributed at shopping centers. The tips include suggestions that shoppers park in well-lighted areas, use drive-through automated teller machines, and remove valuables from unoccupied cars.

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