Cumberland Times-News

Local News

February 25, 2013

Citizens told to remain vigilant at public forum

FROSTBURG — Law enforcement officials urged a crowd of about 50 residents at a public meeting Monday at the Frostburg Community Center that, despite the recent arrests involving area robbery cases, there are incidents that remain unsolved and they should continue to remain vigilant.

“I don’t think (those arrested) are responsible for every one (of the cases). They may be responsible for a majority, but not all,” said C3I Operations Supervisor Jon Dudiak.

Authorities have taken into custody several individuals recently in the theft incidents.

Cole M. McCormick, 20, Mount Savage, and three juvenile accomplices were arrested.  Separately, Randall J. Kelley, 32, of Frostburg was apprehended, as well.

The break-in of a home on Slabtown Road on Feb 8, which included a physical confrontation between victims and suspect led to the arrest of McCormick sometime later.

In addition to Dudiak, Frostburg Mayor Robert Flanagan, Frostburg Chief of Police Royce Douty, State’s Attorney Mike Twigg, Sheriff Craig Robertson and Lt. Mike Fluharty of the Maryland State Police LaVale Barrack attended the meeting and provided an update on the break-ins, while urging citizens to take precautions.

“A search warrant of the suspect’s home produced 150 pieces of evidence. C3I has a room full of evidence,” said Douty.

Police have a large cache of stolen merchandise that includes: cash up to $2,000, coins, laptops, wallets, checkbooks, cameras, camera lenses, camcorders, cell phones, iPods, electronic game systems and controllers, jewelery, speakers, antique collectibles, guitars, GPS devices and more.

“Today, Mr. McCormick was indicted by the Allegany County Grand Jury and he is charged with 68 additional crimes related to the cases. But that is only six residential break-ins and six break-ins of vehicles,” said Dudiak Monday night.

“In Frostburg, over the last two months we had like 45 break-ins,” said Douty.

Douty said that eight have been solved so far. “Most of these break-ins are drug-related. I’m really worried about my senior citizens. They are more likely to be hit.”

Officials told people not to physically investigate a suspected intruder, but to call 911 and stay where they are and remain calm.

Law enforcement spent the majority of the meeting telling citizens ways they can protect themselves, which included keeping shrubs cut low, locking all doors and windows, keeping alert for suspicious activity, using deadbolts and not announcing vacations and trips on social media like Facebook.

“The fact that this many people show up on a Monday night speaks volumes for your community. I have 35 troopers under my supervision. There are more sets of eyes in this room. Let us know of any suspicious activity and we will be there,” said Fluharty.

“We ask the public to please contact us and come down and identify the property. I don’t care if you reported initially. We need more response from the public,” said Dudiak.

Dudiak pointed out that more merchandise remains unidentified than has been identified.  Those who have stolen or missing property can call the C3I at 301-777-0326.

Greg Larry can be contacted at glarry@times-news.com

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