The torching of a speed camera on the 400 block of South Rolling Road in Catonsville on April 20 marked the fifth time in two years that Baltimore County police have had to investigate speed camera vandalism.
Of the five incidents, three damaged the speed camera located near Sparrows Point High School on the 7400 block of North Point Boulevard, in Edgemere, wrote police spokeswoman Elise Armacost in an email.
In addition to being spray painted twice, a person driving a Dodge truck ripped the deactivated speed camera from the ground on Oct. 8.
Armacost said the man and two juveniles in the truck incident were arrested and found guilty of two misdemeanors, malicious destruction of property and trespassing on school grounds.
The fourth incident in the county, Armacost said, involved a speed camera on the 9800 block of Greenside Drive near Padonia Elementary School in Cockeysville. The camera's protective plexiglass was smashed last May.
On Sept. 22, Chief Jim Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department cited improved driver behavior at the Edgemere location and two other sites when he announced the cameras at those sites would be moved to other parts of the county. Those locations included the South Rolling Road site.
The first two cameras the county installed on Feb. 22, 2010, were on the 1200 block of Sulphur Spring Road in Arbutus and the 7000 block of Dunmanway in Dundalk. Neither had been damaged by vandals as of May 1.
State law requires speed cameras to be located in a school zone.
On May 1, Baltimore County added two more speed cameras, bringing the total for the county to 17.
The new camera locations are on the 5900 block of Craigmont Road in the Westview neighborhood of Catonsville and the 4600 block of Ebenezer Road in Perry Hall.
Both cameras will have a 30-day probationary period, during which drivers will only receive warnings if they exceed the speed limit by 12 mph or more.
That period ends May 30. After that, drivers caught exceeding the speed limit by 12 mph or more will receive citations with a fine of $40 but no points on their license.
The cameras are operational from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays throughout the year.
Since 2000, only one red light camera in the county has been vandalized.
Armacost said the camera at the intersection of Dulaney Valley Road and East Seminary Avenue in Towson has been shot on two occasions.
In 2000, the camera was shot with a small caliber gun and only the paint was scraped.
Between 2001 and 2003, a shot from a "high-powered rifle" hit the camera, Armacost said.
This story has been updated.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun