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Crime Prevention

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Preventing Armed Robbery  

 By Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute
Monday, March 17, 2008; 7:00 pm

Commercial Armed Robbery

Wouldn't you agree that a robbery is a dangerous situation for everyone involved?

Robberies are over in less than two minutes. What you do in those two minutes of time could make the longest two minutes of your life, or the last two minutes of your life.

Your number one priority in any crime is your personal safety!

Remember: If the robber demands cash or property, give it up! It's not worth injury or death. No one likes to think about becoming a victim of a crime. However, the time to think about a robbery is before it happens. Crimes against business are usually crimes of opportunity. If you make it easy for someone to target your business for a robbery, chances are someone will. So don't make it easy. Make it risky and unrewarding.

How to Make Robbery Unrewarding

Develop a plan for what to do before, during and after a robbery, and regularly check to see that policy and procedures are communicated and followed.

Lock Up and Protect
Lock the door and protect the crime scene. Separate all employees and customers, do not let them and discuss the robbery until the police arrive. Have them write down what they observed.

Report it
Immediately report it to the police. DO NOT hang up the phone until the police arrive.

Observe as much as you can about the robber's physical features and mannerism, type of weapon used, the route and means of escape, the type of vehicle (i.e. make, model, and color) so you can accurately describe them to the police.

Don't Follow
Do not follow or try to chase the robber. Instead, push the hold-up alarm!

What to Do After

The time to push the ALARM is AFTER the robber has left your business.

Don't Try
Remember whether a robber produces a weapon or not, you must assume that the robber is armed and that the robber has the advantage and controls the scene. More importantly he/she will not hesitate to use it. Do not fight the robber or use a weapon—violence will only increase everyone's personal risk.

Give It Up
Turn the money over to the robber. Try to treat this as if it was just another business transaction.

Do What You're Told
Don't argue: Obey all of the robber's orders. Keep all communication with the robber short and simple.

Stay Calm
Keep calm: Let the robber know that you intend to cooperate.
Don't make any sudden moves.
Warn the robber of any surprises such as an employee in the back, delivery people, or a customer about to enter the business.


What to Do During

Mark & Post
Mark doorways with proper height markings, post your minimum cash policy and the penalty for ARMED ROBBERY.

Two People
Establish a policy of using two people to open and close your business; use a set of pre-arranged signals for "ALL CLEAR."

Bank Runs
Should be made at alternate times and routes. Try to use a variety of containers to carry the cash in and whenever possible try to use a different courier to make the bank runs. Also: Go directly to the bank!

Should be centrally located within the business and easily seen by customers as well as passers-by.

Cash Control
Keep a minimal amount of cash on hand. Less than $50.00 is ideal, and use of a drop safe is advisable. Make frequent cash pickups and never count cash at the counter area.

Keep alert at all times, checking for loiterers or people watching your business. Greet and make eye contact with everyone who enters your business.

The best defense against the crime of ARMED ROBBERY is to make your business and employees more security conscious. Make sure you and your employees know your responsibility before , during and after an armed robbery.

Never restrict the view either into or out of your business with signs or displays on the windows or door. Always maintain maximum visibility.

Escape Routes
Locate and eliminate any potential escape routes or hiding places for a robber.

Keep your business clean and free of clutter.

Install good lighting both inside as well as outside of your business.


What to Do Before

Cooperate fully with authorities. Do not disclose to anyone other than the police the amount taken in the crime.

More Information

For more information, contact your local Police/Sheriff, or the Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute.

Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute (MCCPI)

Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions
Public Safety Education and Training Center
6852 4th Street, Sykesville, MD 21784
Phone: 410-875-3425 1-800-303-8802
Fax: 410-875-3420
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

State of Maryland
Community Crime Prevention Institute
Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services

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 Prevent Carjackings 
By Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council
Monday, March 17, 2008; 7:00 pm

Carjacking is the theft of a vehicle by force or threat of force, and often with the use of a weapon.  

Carjackers look for the right opportunity. Generally, they look for drivers slowing down, stopping, or getting in or out of their vehicle. That is why carjacking often occurs in parking lots and garages, at stop lights and signs, and by the side of the road. Beware of Bump-and-Rob tactics. 

Why Would Anyone Want to Steal My Vehicle?

To joy ride or to use it in another crime.

To dismantle it for parts.

To change numbers and resell it.

To ship it out of the country for a very lucrative profit.

Carjackers already have the desire and ability to take your vehicle, all they need is an opportunity!

Generally, thieves prefer to commit their crimes without noise, delay, or being seen. Carjackers are determined to take the car without regard for the occupants.

Prevention Tips When Approaching Your Vehicle

Do not dawdle; move quickly and confidently with your keys in your hand.

Be aware of the surrounding area, including any occupied cars, and check to make sure no one is hiding in or under your car.

Immediately lock the doors, when you get into your vehicle.

Driving In Your Vehicle

Drive on well-travelled, well-lighted roads when you can.

Keep the doors locked.

Check your mirrors often.

Leave an escape route when you stop at intersections.

Use the center lane. This makes it harder to be approached.

Stay alert at all times.

Be alert when approaching automated teller machines.

If you are approached, do not lower your window or open the door.

Be alert for anyone who seems to be watching your car.

If you suspect you are being followed, do not go home. Go to a police station or other safe public place.

Keep your vehicle in good operating condition to avoid breakdowns.

Have your vehicle windows etched with the Vehicle Identification Number.

Register your vehicle with the Maryland Watch Your Car program.

If you feel threatened, use your car horn or alarm system to signal for help.

Parking Your Vehicle

Park as close to your destination as possible to reduce the distance you have to walk.

Look for parking spaces in well-lighted areas.

Avoid parking near dumpsters, large vans, or trucks that obscure view where carjackers may hide.

Roll up your windows before parking.

Keep valuables out-of-sight. 

Departing Your Vehicle

Check the surrounding area before exiting.

Remove the keys and take them with you.

Lock the vehicle as soon as you exit it.

Move quickly away from your vehicle. 

Important Warning 

If you encounter a carjacker, surrender the car without a fight. This is a serious and dangerous situation—you can replace the car, not your life! 

Carjacking is a Serious Crime 

The Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council works closely with law enforcement agencies, civic groups, private employers, and individuals in an effort to reduce vehicle theft and related crimes. 

The Council offers:

Free material

Free "Watch Your Car" Program registration

Free VIN etching

Free lectures

To learn more about vehicle theft in Maryland, call toll free at 1-800-96-THEFT or visit the MVTPC Web site at

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 Fighting Illegal Handguns

By National Crime Prevention Council
Monday, March 17, 2008; 7:00 pm

Do you know someone with illegal handguns? Call 410-685-GUNS.

Help Stop the Violence

When we talk about violence, we can't ignore weapons. Nine out of ten murders involve a weapon; eight of ten involve a firearm. Most robberies involved the use of a weapon, most frequently a handgun.

One in seven teens has reported carrying weapon−like a bat, club, gun, or knife−at some time to protect themselves. Weapons make violence more deadly and less personal. A gun in the home increases the likelihood of homicide three times and the likelihood of suicide five times.

Reduce the Risk

Think long and hard about having weapons, especially firearms, in your home. Studies show that a firearm in the home is more than forty times as likely to hurt or kill a family member as to stop a crime.

Look at the other ways to protect yourself and your home. Invest in top-grade locks, jamming devices for doors and windows, a dog, or an alarm system. Start or join a Neighborhood Watch. Check with the police, the YMCA/YWCA, or the recreation department about self-defense class.

If you do choose to own firearms−handguns, rifles, or shotguns−make sure they are safely stored. That means unloaded, trigger-locked, and in a locked gun case or pistol box, with ammunition separately locked. Store keys out of reach of children, away from weapons and ammunition. Check frequently to make sure this storage remains secure.

Obtain training from a certified instructor in firearms safety for everyone in the home. Make sure it's kept current.

Teach your children what to do if they find a firearm or something that might be a weapon:


Don't Touch

Get Away

Tell a Trusted Adult

Stop Violence

Show children how to settle arguments or solve problems without using words or actions that hurt others. Set the example by the way you handle everyday conflicts in the family, at work, and in the neighborhood. Don't forget that common courtesies like please, thank you, and excuse me help ease tensions that can lead to violence.

Discourage name-calling and teasing. These can easily get out of hand, moving all too quickly from "just words" to fist, knives, and even firearms. Teach children that bullying is wrong and take their fears about bullies seriously.

Take a hard look at what you, your family, and your friends watch and listen to for entertainment, from action movies and cop shows to video games and music lyrics. How do the characters solve problems? Do they make firearms and other violence appear exciting, funny, or glamorous? Are the real-life consequences of violence for victims and families clear? Talk about what each of you liked and didn't like.

Stick with friends and family who steer clear of violence and drugs. And encourage your children to do the same. Research shows use of alcohol and other drugs is closely linked with violence, including the use of guns and other weapons.

Take Action in the Community

Be sure you know where and how to report potentially violent situations or concerns about conditions in the neighborhood that could lead to violence. Ask your police department for help in identifying what to report, when, to whom, and how.

Consider organizing an event that lets people turn in weapons, or even objects that might be mistaken for real weapons, in exchange for books, coupons from local merchants, toys, or simply the satisfaction of making the community safer.

Support schools and youth clubs in their efforts to keep guns, knives, and other weapons from menacing the everyday lives of children and teens. Encourage children to report any weapons they know about in or near school to school staff or the police.

Look around to see what happens to young people after school hours. Are there supervised programs for younger children? Opportunities for teens and preteens to work with children, get or give help with homework, tackle neighborhood problems, or learn art, music, sports, or computer skills? In many areas, after -school programs are located in schools themselves and called Safe Havens or Beacon Schools.

Start a discussion of neighborhood views on weapons in the home, children playing with toy weapons, children and violent entertainment, and how arguments should be settled. A PTA meeting, an informal social gathering, or a Neighborhood Watch meeting could provide the opportunity.

Learn your state and local laws on firearms. Insist that these laws be enforced vigorously but fairly.

Support police, prosecutors, judges, and other local officials who enforce laws designed to prevent gun violence.

Center to Prevent Handgun Violence
1225 Eye Street NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005

National School Safety Center
141 Duesenberg Drive, Suite 11
Westlake Village, CA 91362

 More Information 

 Take a Bite Out of CRIME

Crime prevention tips from:

National Crime Prevention Council
1000 Connecticut Ave. NW, 13th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20036

and J.H.M.I. Corporate Security Services. The National Citizens' Crime Prevention Campaign, sponsored by the Crime Prevention Coalition of America, is substantially funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice.

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 Larceny from Autos

The Next Time You Leave Your Car—Leave It Empty

All it takes is 10 seconds for a thief to take anything you left in your car and leave you with a lot of broken glass. Everything from CDs to cassette tapes, gym bags to sunglasses… even small change can be tempting to a thief. So, when you leave your car, leave it empty. 

 Put It Back!

Leaving your car’s cigarette lighter out of its socket is a sure sign you have a cellular phone. Cell phones account for more than 60% of all car break-ins. So, put your lighter back in its socket.

Shopping Mall Advisory
By Public Affairs Office
Thursday, September 23, 2010; 9:33 am

Due to recent robberies within your community, we are asking for your help.  If you have information concerning these incidents, please contact us, anonymously, at 410-396-2422 or 410-396-8056.

To aid in keeping yourself safe, please remember these basic safety tips:

Whenever possible…
Plan the safest route to your destination; choose well-lighted, busy pathways and streets
If you are being followed, change direction and go to the nearest business or home; knock on the door, and request that someone call the Police. Note the description of the person following you
Walk in groups
Tell a spouse, or friend where you are going and what time you expect to return
Do not allow texting or cell-phone conversations distract you from your surroundings And remember…
Baltimore Police Officers are here to help you
They won’t ask or check your immigration status, particularly as the victim or reporter of a crime
Spanish-speaking officers are readily available for translation


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  Personal Safety Tips 
By Public Affairs
Wednesday, December 29, 2010; 10:46 am

Personal Safety Starts with YOU

Remember, whenever possible, to… 

Reduce or eliminate opportunities that make you a target 

Increase awareness in places you are most vulnerable 

Trust your instincts regardless of feeling embarrassed 

Prepare your outing or routine with safety in mind

Always be aware of your surroundings and carry your purse clasp-side inward, close to the body, in the bend of your elbow (as if carrying a football). Never carry a wallet in your rear pocket, use a front pocket or inside jacket pocket instead. Be aware of arguments or disturbances that may be designed to distract you from pick-pockets. Reduce the amount of money or valuables that you carry, particularly around the holidays.  Take only what is necessary as you travel about. 


Use well-travelled, well-lit streets and paths. Travel in groups if possible. If followed, head towards populated or open areas. Don’t allow texting or phone conversations to distract you from your surroundings. If a person in a vehicle bothers you reverse direction and head to a safe, populated, well-lit place.


When walking to your car, pay attention to those around and, potentially, anyone inside. Keep doors locked at all times and windows up, if possible. Keep valuables stored in the trunk, out of sight, remembering, however, not to place items in the trunk and walk away. Plan your route in advance.  Displaying maps can send a message that you are unfamiliar with the area and make you a potential target.  When stopped in traffic remember to always leave enough space between your vehicle and the one in front that will allow space to pass easily, if necessary. Keep your car well-maintained and the gas tank half-full to avoided being stranded or gassing-up in unfamiliar areas.


Have your keys out and ready before you approach your front door. The front and rear door areas should be well-lit. Consider motion-sensing lights. If you live in an apartment building, always make sure the door is closed behind you. If a stranger asks to use to phone or makes another request which could allow him or her into your home, refuse confidently and offer to make the call for them.  If you arrive home and there are signs of a burglary, STAY OUT and immediately call 911.


Don’t drink excessively.  You are a far more attractive target for criminals. Don’t flash large amounts of cash when paying the tab.  Don’t talk loudly about the next venue you may be headed to.  Criminals may pick a point along the route there to await your passing. Consider calling for a cab instead of flagging one down. 

 And Remember... 


 ...And Call 911!

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 Preventing Bicycle Theft

by Community Affairs Section
Monday, March 17, 2008; 7:00 pm 

Bicycle Registration Program 

Register your bike with the Baltimore City Police Department. You may ask a police officer for a Bike Registration Form; or go to the nearest PAL Center, library, or any place that sells bikes to get the form. Take the form home, complete it, and return it to the closest Police Station or PAL Center. 

"Do's and Don'ts" of Bicycle Theft Prevention 


Mark your bike with an identification number. Engrave this on the frame of the bike
(example: MD A -123-456-789-123). Engravers are available for loan at the District.

Store your bike in the house.

Insureyour bike against theft. Check to see if your homeowners or renters insurance automatically covers it, or if it has to be specifically listed.

Record the Make/Model/Serial Number of Your Bike. Find the serial number of your bike near the rear wheel or beneath the bottom bracket where the pedals attach. Write it down and put it in a safe place. Take a color photograph of your bike to give to the police if your bike is stolen. Keep it with your bicycle receipt. 

Do Not

Leave your bike lying in the yard.

Leave your bike in your garage with the garage door open.

Walk away from your bike, thinking you will only be gone a few seconds.

Hide your bike behind bushes and think it is safe.

Let strangers ride your bike. (They may not bring it back!)

Lock It Up! 

Every time you leave your bike unattended, lock it up! Use a theft-proof chain, cable, or bar lock to attach it to a sturdy, fixed object.

Lock your bike in a well-lit area where it can be seen from inside a building.

Remember to lock up your bike at home.

If a stranger tries to take your bicycle from you, do not fight them. Let them have the bike. Try to remember what the person(s) looked like and which way they went with it. Then, report it to the Police.

If you see a stranger go into a neighbor’s yard and ride away on their bike, don't assume the person is your neighbor's friend.

Teach children the value of crime prevention. Crime prevention is only a matter of taking the opportunity away.

For additional information contact:

Baltimore Police Department
Community Affairs Section
Phone: 410-396-23722
Fax: 410-727-7147 Send us an e-mail

Head protection is required for anyone under 16 years of age. It is the Law. It is also a good practice for riders of all ages. 

If your bicycle is stolen, call 911 immediately. 

 Safety Tip 

 Help Prevent Crime 

Helmet Law Reminder

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  Getting Help for Domestic Violence
Monday, March 17, 2008; 6:00 am 

If you feel threatened or in danger from the person you live with, you are not alone. 

Domestic violence is against the law. You can get help. First, plan ahead and be prepared to leave. Find a safe place to go for at least one night, such as a friend's home or a shelter for abused women. Then, plan how you will leave. 

Baltimore Police Department Family Crimes Unit. Victims of domestic violence may call 443-984-7030. 

House of Ruth. To get information about shelter, counseling, and legal advocacy, call their 24-hour hotline, at 410-889-RUTH. 

ADELANTE Program. Immigrant women experiencing problems in a relationship may call 410-732-2176.

Family Violence Program at Sinai Hospital. The program offers 24-hour crisis intervention, counseling, and support groups. It also offers court accompaniment, home visiting, resources, and referrals. For more information, call 410-601-8692.

National Domestic Violence Hotline. To find a domestic violence program nearest you, call 1-800-799-SAFE (799-7233).

National Sexual Assault Hotline. To get help and information about sexual assault, call 1-800-656-HOPE.

Turn Around Inc. Turn Around provides counseling and support services to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in Baltimore City. For further information, call 410-828-6390.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911. 

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     Precautions for Safer Seniors 

By National Crime Prevention Council
Monday, March 17, 2008; 7:00 pm

As many people grow older, their chances of being victims of crime decrease dramatically. But a lifetime of experience, coupled with the physical problems associated with aging, often make older Americans fearful. Though they're on the look-out constantly for physical attack and burglary, they're not as alert to frauds and con games—in reality, the greatest crime threat to seniors' well-being and trust.

Want to conquer fear and prevent crime? Take these common-sense precautions.

Be Alert When Out and About

Go with friends or family, not alone.

Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.

Don't carry credit cards you don't need or large amounts of cash.

Use direct deposit for Social Security and other regular checks.

Whether you're a passenger or driver, keep car doors locked. Be particularly alert in parking lots and garages. Park near an entrance.

Sit close to the driver or near the exit while riding the bus, train or subway.

If someone or something makes you uneasy, trust your instincts and leave.

Make Your Home Safe and Secure

Install good locks on doors and windows. Use them! Don't hide keys in mailboxes and planters or under doormats. Instead, leave an extra set of keys with a neighbor or friend.

Ask for photo identification from service or delivery people before letting them in. If you are the least bit worried, call the company to verify.

Be sure your street address number is large, clear of obstruction, and well- lighted so police and other emergency personnel can find your home quickly.

Consider a home alarm system that provides emergency monitoring for burglary, fire and medical emergencies.

Watch Out for Con Artists

Don't fall for anything that sounds too good to be true - a free vacation, sweepstakes, prizes, cures for cancer and arthritis, a low risk high- yield investment scheme.

Never give your credit card, phone card, Social Security, or bank account number to anyone over the phone. It's illegal for telemarketers to ask for these numbers to verify a prize or gift.

Don't let anyone rush you into signing anything- an insurance policy, a sales agreement, a contract. Read it carefully and have someone you trust check it over.

Beware of individuals claiming to represent companies, consumer organizations, or government agencies that offer to recover lost money from fraudulent telemarketers for a fee.

If you're suspicious, check it out with the police, the Better Business Bureau, or your local consumer protection office. Call the National Consumers League Fraud Information Center at 800- 876-7060.

Get Involved in the Community

Report any crime or suspicious activities to law enforcement.

Join a Neighborhood Watch to look out for each other and help the police.

Work to change conditions that hurt your neighborhood. Volunteer as a citizen patroller, tutor for children, office aide in the police or fire department, mentor for teens, escort for individuals with disabilities.

Does your community have a Triad program? It's sponsored on a national level by the American Association of Retired Persons, (AARP) the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the National Sheriffs' offices' Association (NSA). Traid promotes partnerships between senior citizens and the law enforcement community, both to prevent crime against the elderly and to help law enforcement benefit from the talents of older people. If you're interested, contact your chief of police, sheriff, or AARP chapter or call Triad at NSA, 703-836-7827. 

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Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

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Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll


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