Police to add patrols in Broadneck area Residents upset at crime urged to take precautions

October 02, 1997|By Laura Sullivan | Laura Sullivan,SUN STAFF

Facing increasing crime and angry residents in Broadneck, county police have promised to add patrols in the area in the coming months.

Capt. Gordon Deans implored residents at the area's community association meeting Tuesday not to try to handle matters themselves. He suggested that residents form a neighborhood watch group, take precautions against crime and call police at the first sign of trouble.

In the Broadneck neighborhood of Whispering Woods on Saturday, several residents argued with teen-agers they suspected of stealing bicycles. James Cox said he tried to keep people calm as a crowd gathered.

At one point, a truck packed with people from outlying parts of Broadneck arrived to support their neighbors.

After the argument became physical, someone called police.

Despite Deans' assurances, many residents were skeptical that their homes could be protected with three officers assigned to the area.

"In my area, when it comes to patrols, we just do not see you," Robert Poor, president of the Broadneck Federation, said.

Since May, a 66-year-old woman was raped in her home, a bank was robbed, five homes were burglarized and a dozen cars were vandalized in the community. Residents said roving teen-agers -- who residents say they believe live outside the area -- are harassing children, fighting with adults and stealing bicycles.

Last weekend, one resident received a 2-inch cut on his face from a razor blade when he tried to recover his daughter's bike from a teen-age boy who had ridden away on it.

"They're supposed to be kids, but they don't act like kids," said Cox, who has lived in the area 14 years. "I'll be damned if I'm going to stand there and be cut.

"People are outraged," he said. "People don't want to put up with this stuff. We've got children out there, and these kids are out there with guns."

Deans said police have made arrests and are working around the clock.

"Broadneck is still a really good area," he said.

"Most of you have probably not been touched by crime. We need you to be a little more protective of your area, your house and your belongings."

Deans suggested people use double-sided locks on sliding glass doors and keep a key nearby but out of reach of the door.

He also suggested that people immediately report suspicious activity -- for example, if someone parks and walks a distance toward a house rather than parking in front of it.

He recommended that residents take down license-plate numbers of cars that seem suspicious and unfamiliar and told them not to leave valuables in parked cars.

Pub Date: 10/02/97

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