The RCH Neighborhood Watch recently had a very productive meeting with Community Police Officer Denise Gill. Officer Gill was enthusiastic about our Watch, shared recent crime statistics with us, and gave us helpful tips on crime prevention. Here is a quick summary of the statistics and tips:
Statistics: Crimes in RCH Reported to the Police Between April 2011 and April 2012
– 23 thefts from vehicles
– 4 vehicle thefts
– 2 residential burglaries
– 2 thefts (copper)
– 3 narcotics offenses
– 1 sex offense
Crime Prevention Tips
Most thefts from vehicles result in part from people leaving valuables (electronic gadgets, cash, wallets) in unlocked cars parked on the street. She reminded us to lock our doors and not leave valuables in our cars.
Door-to-door salespersons (magazines, tree trimming, etc) are required to have a license from the County Department of Permitting Services, and must wear an operator’s permit in a visible location on their person. Residents, especially seniors, should be wary of such salespersons since their activities often lead to burglaries. Officer Gill recommended that residents call the police to check out such salespersons, and that seniors refrain from opening their door.
As distinct from door-to-door salespersons, canvassers who are knocking on doors for a political cause are not required to have a license. Officer Gill suggested that it would be safest to contribute to such causes over the phone or through the mail rather than at the door. For local kids who are raising money for sports teams or extracurricular activities, generally residents should expect an email about their door-knocking activities in advance.
If you are a victim of crime or observe what you believe to be suspicious activity, call the police right away. That gives the police a chance to check things out and take steps to stop crime in progress or catch criminals. It is ok with the police if you turn out to be wrong, and if you figure that out yourself then you can call off the police before they arrive. Call 911 if it’s an emergency and 301-279-8000 if it’s not. After you call the police, alert your neighbors through the Neighborhood Watch.
– Eden Durbin & Paul Tiao
– NW Coordinators