Daytime Door Kick-In Burglaries Prompt Police Warning

A string of kick-in burglaries around Howard County have led police to ask residents to be vigilant.


A string of daytime burglaries in Howard County in which doors have been kicked in has prompted the following police warnings: Use your dead bolt, hide your valuables in unexpected places and report any suspicious activity.

The burglaries began on Monday, with seven daytime burglaries at residences in Ellicott City, Columbia and Clarksville, according to police, then continued with one in Elkridge on Tuesday, and two more on Wednesday in Ellicott City and Woodbine.

The suspect is believed to first knock on the door of the home to determine if anyone is home, and then kick the door in to gain entry, according to police. Once inside, the suspect reportedly steals jewelry, cash and electronics.

Police are urging residents to call 911 and report if anyone knocks on your door, makes an excuse and leaves.

Also, police said to be wary and immediately report any suspicious activity in your community.

The following details are among those released on the incidents in daily police blotters:

  • Police reported a woman was in her home on Tuesday at approximately 10:45 a.m. near the 5900 block of Meadow Rose in Elkridge when she heard the doorbell ring, and about three minutes later, heard her door kicked in. At that point, she ran up her stairs yelling, and looked out her front door to see someone fleeing, but was not able to provide a description, according to police.
  • Then, on Wednesday, police reported a teenager was inside his home near the 3500 block of Rosemary Lane in Ellicott City around 12:55 p.m. when the alleged suspect knocked loudly, then kicked in the door, but the suspect fled upon realizing someone was home.

In addition, police are advising residents to use a dead bolt if possible and keep valuables in an unexpected place.

"Burglars want to get in and out quick, so don't make it easy for them to find your valuable or sentimental items," wrote police in a statement. "A home safe is a good idea to secure your most precious belongings."

So far police said they believe residents near the following blocks have been struck:

Sept. 24:

  • 4000 block Chatham Road, Ellicott City
  • 9100 block Northfield Road, Ellicott City
  • 3900 block Foxhill Drive, Ellicott City
  • 5000 block Amesbury Drive, Columbia
  • 10200 block Clarksville Pike, Columbia
  • 3900 block Cloverly Road, Ellicott City
  • 5600 block Trotter Road, Clarksville 

Sept. 25:

  • 5900 block Meadow Rose, Elkridge

Sept. 26:

  • 3500 block Rosemary Lane, Ellicott City
  • 3500 block Hipsley Mill Road, Woodbine

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Roughy September 28, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Catch these guys then amputate their legs!
The Security Sensei (Jordan Frankel) September 28, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Everyone needs to install a OnGARD security door brace. www.globalsecurityexperts.com
anon September 28, 2012 at 02:27 AM
I have to hide my belongings in my own home in Howard County. Seems like the criminals are in control here. How to stop that? County Executives - Please spend some of my tax dollars figuring it out.
Steve Rice September 28, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Nice advice HOCO PD. "Be vigilant." Please. How about advising residents that, if they feel capable, to arm themselves and get the proper training? No, the PD wants you to "be vigilant." Make sure you take down a description after you've been beat down, raped, and God knows what else. The cops will sure to be on the case soon after. As the old adage goes, "when seconds count...the police are only minutes away." Start taking responsibility for your own security sheeple.
k September 28, 2012 at 02:58 AM
HoCo is the new suburban hood, it's becoming just like downtown Baltimore. It's not even safe to go to the mall anymore when someone gets mugged in the food court at 9:15am on a Saturday morning.
Blow Me Rethug September 28, 2012 at 06:33 AM
Concerned Elkridgean September 28, 2012 at 10:21 AM
Do you think that high density building equates to more crime? The county has encouraged high density. Think about it. Howard county is becoming, if not is a city..
janice oliver September 28, 2012 at 11:14 AM
People have to feed their gambling habits. We are so convient to the casino. Oh did you think it was going to RAISE your property values?
Robert Rey September 28, 2012 at 11:22 AM
This is the last straw. I am moving forward with a fire arm. I would love to have this thug enter my home facing my 357.
K2 September 28, 2012 at 12:25 PM
As HoCo has grown, so has the crime, and so has the Police Dept. Crime is everywhere to one extent or another, so what to do? Start simple. Lock your stuff up, especially your cars, and install deadbolts on all doors. Take down license numbers of vehicles you don't recognize on your street, those sort of things help. Then go with any of these options, or all 3. Option 1, install a simple wireless home alarm system for $250 (i.e., Honeywell Ademco Lynx), and connect it to your home Wifi for instant notification. Option 2, install a $250 camera surveillance system (i.e., Defender 4-camera system and DVR), connect it to your home wifi as well. Option 3, purchase a shotgun, not a handgun. The click-click sound of chambering a round has a profound effect on a burglar, but more importantly, there's really no aiming necessary given the "wide spread" pattern of a shotgun shell. If you live in EC, you should be able to afford at least a simple wireless $250 alarm system with a siren and a couple of deadbolts. The investment is probably less than your homeowners deductible to replace an iPad, jewelry, cash, etc.
Sandra Conway September 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Wow..... Reminds me of home, Montgomery County! Whats happening to HoCo? It was verrrry crime free just 4/5 years ago (compared to MoCo). How sad.
Sandra Conway September 28, 2012 at 12:42 PM
The constant development, building in every open space possible, is what seemed to ruin my old area in MoCo. Same thing is happening here. Too bad citizens have no say.
Brook Hubbard September 28, 2012 at 03:27 PM
You hit most of it on the head, except for the discussion of firearms. I recommend purchasing one (and my home is protected by both alarm ~and~ the Second Amendment), but new owners need to be trained and prepared. 1) The benefits of a shotgun is the intimidation factor. The sound and sight of a shotgun are likely to cause fear in any perpetrator. The downside is that shotguns are not something you usually leave lying nearby your couch, computer, etc. to grab when something happens. In addition, shotguns shoot either buckshot or solid slugs. Buckshot takes little aiming but will tear up your house interior and require repairs; slugs are basically big bullets, doing a lot of damage but requiring aiming (and making big holes should you miss). 2) The benefits of a handgun are quick access and surprise. You can easily grab one of these from a safe hiding place (or even carry it on your person). The downside is that they are not as intimidating, don't always have the stopping power, and accuracy may be a problem. 3) Regardless of what kind of gun, you need to be trained in proper safety. This is even more important if you have children; the presence of kids may require you to use trigger locks or keep your gun in a locked safe, which severely hampers your reaction time with intruders. I do recommend the use of firearms in home defense. I also advocate knowing the pros and cons of each one and being trained in proper firearm safety... for yourself and your family.
Brook Hubbard September 28, 2012 at 03:35 PM
The main issue is the amount of "inner city" individuals who now loiter in previously quiet suburbs. Section 8 housing, transitional homes, young adults out of prison/juvie now living with elderly relatives... all of these are responsible for bringing crime to our neighborhoods. The only solution is to do your best to remove it from your neighborhood. A) Report unkempt properties to your HOA, as these are often rental properties used by these people. B) Make sure you and your neighbors call HCPD constantly about so much as loitering or littering until they're sick of it. C) If you have a strict neighborhood boundary, see if your HOA can enact a banning agreement with HCPD, so repeat offenders are arrested simply for being there. D) Start a neighborhood watch and have people out there, making it clear there will be no "hiding place" for people to perform illicit business unwatched. Until residents start responding en force, these things are just going to continue. You have to take your neighborhood back however you can (within the scope of the law).
Ferron September 28, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Being vigilant is not enough anymore. I was raised in Columbia and it is far different than it was when I was growing up. Sadly, more houses are being broken into in the nicer areas, not just Howard County, but everywhere. My suggestion is that you call a home security consultant that can help you protect your family and home. (443)851-1892 Ms. Ferron.
Gina September 28, 2012 at 08:21 PM
I don't live in HoCo, I live in Catonsville and have my whole life (on the same street too) I live in the Westchester area which is pretty quiet and similar to areas of columbia & Ellicott City. When I was a kid we used to run the neighborhood late with other kids playing flashlight tag, the kids around here did that as late as about 10 or so years ago when crime started coming in our area and we don't have section 8 here! Our community is much the same as it was 20yrs ago. All old houses very few new homes and the median house price is still on the high side. Crime is everywhere, people need to start being nosey neighbors again and paying attention to whats going on, on their streets. We had this same thing happen to us last year around this time and it took nosey neighbors to start writing down tag numbers, calling the police when you see someone suspicious in your neighborhood. Yeah it's easy to say the police need to do their job but the reality is they are minutes away and can't be on every street at the same time. Neighborhood Watches are a good thing too. Bottom line is you know who belongs in your neighborhood and who doesn't if you see something suspicious call it in! When you call 911 you can remain anonomous. If someone knocks on your door that looks suspicious and you close the door on their face still call 911 because your neighbor might not be so lucky and open the door to them!
Peter Edelen September 28, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Brook has some great advice on both comments. Firearms safety and training are of the most importance before you even select a handgun. Don't go out in the woods with your buddy who says he can teach you. You'll just pick up bad habits. Then make sure you get something you and people who live with you are comfortable with. You can try it before you buy it at a couple ranges that have rentals. Invest in a safe. I made sure mine was installed before I even purchased. Even if you don't have kids, keep it locked up while you're not home. You don't want it becoming part of what gun control should be really aimed at, illegal firearms, if it is stolen.
MR6453 September 29, 2012 at 12:47 AM
My dog would have caught that mook before he got out of the yard!
Laurel September 29, 2012 at 01:52 PM
AMEN.......... GINA
Derek Smith September 30, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Since this seems to be too much for the cops to handle, I'll be waiting with my shotgun. When the doorbell rings, I'll wait. When it gets kicked in and the perps enter my house, they'll die in my hallway. Problem solved.
Eileen Stewart October 01, 2012 at 10:46 AM
In western ho co I have had recent trespassing, destruction of property and attempt to enter my vehicles, theft of my property, door smashed in like the recent cases in 1984. The section 8 slumlord that has had criminals in the rental...hoco director of housing said they dontkeep records if who lives in rentals. 4 different criminals lived in the house, setting off homemade bombs, never caught, left, still getting mail there. House is being fixed upby demands from ho co housing...but this has gone on for 37 years. It can take45 minutes to get ho co police out here. Only one officer assigned to the beat I was told.Hey aMr. Ulman why don't you wise up!
MG42 October 01, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Please don't bother County Exec Ulman about this. He's too busy tweeting about the Orioles and running for governor to be bothered with what he was elected to do.
number9dream October 01, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Perhaps our law enforcement agencies would be more effective at preventing this type of crime if they weren't so pre-occupied with DUI checkpoints and busting Johns on Route 1.
Granite October 01, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Now is the time to get more proactive rather than reactive. First, get to know Maryland's Castle Doctrine REALLY well. Once you're finished reading that, go straight to the Right of Self-Defense in Maryland. Criminals know laws can be bent to protect them, so they can AND WILL use them to their advantage to get away with what they can. For starters, links are below for your convenience: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_doctrine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_of_self-defense_in_Maryland Second, always remember criminals go after easy targets. Assumption and complacency are your enemies. Do you have a set pattern in your daily activities, ie, are you predictable? Do you leave your doors unlocked because "you have nothing worth stealing"? (yes, I've heard that from quite a few victims). At night, are there any lights outside near your windows and doors? Large trees or bushes near your windows or doors they can hide behind? The list goes on, but you can get this pattern. There is no perfect defense, but the more difficult a target you make yourself, the less likely you'll have to deal with this situation.
June Scuttlebug October 09, 2012 at 11:30 AM
All of this talk about residents purchasing firearms is making me feel much less safe than the unarmed teenage burglar. Remember that a few years ago a junior high student in HoCo was killed when his friend accidentally fired his uncle's gun at him. I don't think arming ourselves is the answer, especially when this kid ran away every time he noticed someone to be in the home he was robbing. A BB gun might be more appropriate.
Gina October 09, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Are you serious??? Teenagers aren't the only ones breaking into houses. If you man enough to kick in someone's front door and steal their belonging then you are man enough to pay the consequences. People should be able to protect their homes and families, they don't know who's coming through that door! If you want to play with fire then prepare to get burned!


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