Updates were recorded live during the meeting.
County Councilman David Marks welcomed meeting guests and explained the purpose behind the meeting, to allow business owners and residents to ask questions about recent burglaries.
He introduced commanders and officers from the White Marsh and Parkville police.
Capt. Michael Balog asked all attendees to introduce themselves. Most were homeowners, but some were business owners along Joppa Road and the Belair Road corridor.
Balog reminded attendees to call 911, which is more effective than calling the precinct directly, when they see something suspicious.
Home burglaries, during the daytime and usually involving jewelry, in Perry Hall are likely related to burglaries in Kingsville, he said.
Copper theft is also a problem, he said.
Ofc. Jason Goorevitz informed attendees about "security surveys," where an officer will come to a home or business, usually at dusk, to evaluate if their property is secure. They evaluate door strength, lighting and shrubs near entry ways. "I don't recommend you get a $20,000 security system," he said.
Outreach officers at both Parkville and White Marsh are trained in this.
"It is a very valuable crime prevention tool," he said. "You can give me a call, I'll come to your house ... it takes about an hour."
"Hopefully it will reduce any opportunity that a burglar might see at your house or business," Goorevitz said.
An attendee asked if any of the homes broken into had dogs.
Some do, some don't, Balog said.
Balog said he has distributed forms to homeowners to inform them how to better secure their homes.
Goorevitz said people should keep home inventories, know serial numbers on TVs and engrave items. You can also get a sticker for your home that shows that all items in the home are inventoried.
The forms and stickers are available online at http://www.opid.org/.
Capt. Gordon Skinner said community members need to call 911 immediately, not wait 2-4 hours, when they suspect crime.
"When something makes your hair stand up, that's when you need to make the call ... I can drive through your neighborhood and not see anything, but you know immediately," Skinner said.
"But we still want to know. If you have a description, call us ... even if it is 2-4 hours later ... just call as soon as possible," he said.
"It comes down to neighbors watching neighbors," he said.
Burglaries are especially problematic in northern Perry Hall and Kingsville, Skinner said, where there are long driveways and large properties.
DDACTS areas, where police plan stronger traffic enforcement and patrolling, are ongoing along Belair Road and Honeygo Boulevard, especially, Balog said.
The Parkville DDACTS area is expected to include Belair Road and Seven Courts.
Balog said a white truck is still suspected as a burglary suspect vehicle, but they're not seeking that type of vehicle exclusively related to recent burglaries.
One suspect is likely a white male, 40-60 year old, Balog said.
Balog said he is working with the county burglary unit on investigations.
Investigators are seeking connections related to suspect Alvin Thompson, who was arrested last week.
Call us if someone is knocking on your door you don't recognize, Balog said.
An attendee asked if criminals are usually locals.
"It is relatively common for thieves to walk down trying door handles ... and they hit the gold mine every time," Balog said. "They're just driving down parking and trying door handles ... when we arrest them, we're usually able to connect them to multiple incidents."
Precincts collaborate with other counties and precincts, he said.
An attendee asked if the DeNiro's burglary was connected with other burglaries in the area, including a liquor store burglary on Walther Boulevard.
Baltimore County is the 27th largest police department in the country, Skinner said, they have a regional influence and share information across state lines.
Business owners should contact the Perry Hall/White Marsh Business Association to share business information.
Marks said the recent graffiti incidents are being addressed.
Balog said business owners are being pressured to remove graffiti.
Marks said he and Councilwoman Cathy Bevins pushed through a county law to increase fines for graffiti.
An attendee asked if there's an actual increase in crime or just people know about it more because of online media.
Balog said there has been a growing trend in local burglaries.
Residents should participate in Police Community Relations Councils at Parkville (fourth Tuesday of every month) and White Marsh (second Tuesday of every month).
"It's like an hour and a half ... we try to have a good presentation ... it's $5 a year for people and $10 a year for businesses," Rolfe Feser, a Parkville PCRC representative said. "Get your questions right to the people in charge."
The meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Feb. 24 at the Perry Hall Library. If weather closes public schools, the meeting will be postponed, Marks stated in an email.
"The 4 p.m. time has been selected because the primary audience is business owners who may or may not live in Perry Hall," he stated.
County police officials will be available to answer questions and will present information on what residents and business owners can do to improve public safety.
"As a resident of Perry Hall, I believe this is a generally safe, stable community, and I thank our police for their vigilance. Still, it is always unsettling for businesses to be victimized by crime, and I want business owners to know how they can guard against future incidents," Marks stated.
State Sen. Kathy Klausmeier's office is also encouraging interested residents and business owners to attend, according to Marks.