Cumberland Times-News

January 14, 2013

Frostburg hit with rash of burglaries

Chief urges residents to report suspicious sights, sounds to police

Jeffrey Alderton
Cumberland Times-News

— FROSTBURG — A half-dozen residential burglaries in the last month in the city of Frostburg — including two while occupants were asleep inside their homes — have prompted Police Chief Royce Douty to urge residents to quickly report any suspicious sights or sounds in their neighborhood.

“If you hear something outside your residence or inside your residence, call the police. If you are in your bedroom, close your door, secure it the best you can and call police. We can be virtually anywhere in the city of Frostburg in two minutes or less,” said Douty on Monday when he informed the Times-News about the burglary spree.

The most recent burglary occurred  Jan. 11 on Frost Avenue between Broadway and Water Street. On Jan. 2, thieves entered a Shaw Street residence where the occupants were asleep at the time. On Jan. 1, a burglary occurred at a residence at the west end of Frost Avenue.

On Dec. 27, a Standish Street residence was entered while the occupants were inside asleep. On Dec. 24 and Dec. 14, residences at the opposite ends of Hill Street were burglarized.

All the entries were made by force. “Windows were broken or pried open, doors were kicked in. They were all forced entries,” said the chief.

The incidents remain under investigation by Frostburg Police with the assistance of the C3I Unit.

“A suspect has been developed in at least one of these crimes. We want to hear from anyone who may have any information about any of these crimes,” Douty said. He also urged residents to call Allegany County Crime Solvers at 301-777-4300 if they wish to anonymously provide information.

Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,500 for information leading to an arrest.   

Up to $10,000 worth of property was stolen in the six breaking and enterings of homes in Frostburg from Dec. 14 through Jan. 11. Electronic game devices, jewelry, money and other electronic items were taken from the victims’ homes.

As investigators combine resources to solve the rash of burglaries, Douty urged residents to check windows and doors to make certain they are properly secured. He also urged residents to use outside lighting to deter crime and to keep bushes and hedges cut back to improve visibility in the areas of their homes.

“The more light and the less shrubbery and high hedges helps deter crime. It’s better to be safe than sorry,” said the chief.

Douty also urged residents to remain calm if their homes are entered. “The worst thing you can do if someone has broken into your home is to investigate for yourself. That can turn a terrible situation into a tragedy. Get on the phone with police, and stay on the phone with the dispatcher until you are told police have arrived there and it is now safe for you to come out of your residence,” said Douty.

“Some residents don’t call because they don’t want to bother us. Call us. That’s what we are here for,” he said.

Police are also continuing to investigate a breaking and entering that occurred recently on Slabtown Road outside Mount Savage where a resident was sleeping when the break-in occurred. He awakened the next morning to find that his flat-screen television, a Mount Savage High School class ring, wallet and car keys were stolen, along with his car that was parked outside the residence.

The perpetrators disabled the telephone and outside lighting when they broke into the residence located a short distance from state Route 36.

Jeffrey Alderton can be contacted at jlalderton@times-news.com.