2 Bel Air banks robbed Monday


August 19, 2007

Two Bel Air banks were robbed Monday by two different men, police said.

The BB&T Bank at 333 Baltimore Pike was robbed at 12:30 p.m. by a man who presented the teller with a note demanding cash and then fled on foot. At 3:45 p.m., a man used the same ploy to obtain cash from a teller and also fled on foot.

Witnesses' height and weight descriptions of the subjects did not match, police said.

Initiative targets drunken driving

The Harford County Sheriff's Office has announced that it will be joining the "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest" crackdown across the nation through the Labor Day holiday.

Drunken driving is one of America's deadliest crimes. In 2005, nearly 13,000 people died in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood- alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. Forty-one percent of the 1,878 motorcycle operators who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2005 had blood-alcohol levels of 0.08 percent or higher.

"Make no mistake. Our message is simple. No matter what you drive -- a passenger car, pickup, sport utility vehicle or motorcycle -- if we catch you driving impaired, we will arrest you. No exceptions. No excuses," said Sgt. Joseph Vanseeters of the Sheriff's Office Traffic Unit.

"We will be out in force conducting sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and using undercover officers to get more drunk drivers off the road -- and save lives that might otherwise be lost," he said.

The national "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest" crackdown is a prevention program organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that focuses on combining high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.

Information: 410-836-5403.

False alarms will cost residents

During 2006, Harford County sheriff's deputies responded to 6,183 residential and business security alarms.

A total of 4,344 of the reported alarms, or 70 percent, were determined to be false alarms and could have been avoided. False alarms include: negligently or accidentally activated signals; signals that are the result of faulty, malfunctioning or improperly maintained equipment; and signals that are purposely activated to summon police in nonemergency situations.

The Harford County Council voted in July to amend the law by increasing false-alarm fines and allowing two false alarms per calendar year. The law requires the Sheriff's Office to track false alarms to assure that the law is fairly and uniformly enforced.

Effective Sept. 15, the new fees charged by Harford County Government will be as follows: third false alarm in a calendar year, $100; fourth false alarm in a calendar year, $150; fifth and each false alarm thereafter in a calendar year, $200.

Homeowners and businesses can help prevent false alarms by following these tips:

Develop a routine for turning your alarm system on and off so that you don't overlook a necessary step.

Make sure all doors, windows and other protective points are securely closed.

Check all lights and switches at your system's control point. If your system can be set several ways, be sure you have selected the proper setting.

Make sure the system is "ready" before turning it on. (Many systems have indicator lights to tell you when they are active.)

Make sure people who are permitted access to your alarm system are trained on how to use it. Review the proper operation with them periodically.

Follow all instructions furnished by your alarm company for use, repairs, maintenance.

Information: 410-836-5403.

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