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Teenage girl tells police she was held at gunpoint in Bel Air Tuesday

A Bel Air Police school resource officer arrived at the scene within minutes

Bel Air police are investigating a report from a teenage girl who said a man held her at gunpoint near Bel Air High School Tuesday afternoon.

Police said the girl called them around 3 p.m. and told a Bel Air Police school resource officer responding to the scene that a white male had held her at gunpoint in the area of Homestead Street near Bel Air High School.

Police said the victim could not provide a direction where the suspect went. According to the department’s Facebook page, officers locked down the surrounding schools for a brief period while officers checked the area.

The teenager was unharmed, police said.

Sgt. Jim Lockard of the Bel Air Police said the investigation is continuing.
“Part of the problem is we don’t have much,” he said.

Investigators are treating the incident as an armed assault, Lockard said.
“What the intent of that assault is, we don't know,” he said. “The motive is undetermined.”

Lockard said police had fielded concerns from residents that the alleged assault might be related to a pair of vandalism incidents that occurred in Bel Air on Monday — though investigators believe they are not related, he said.

In one incident, “MS” was painted on the Fallen Heroes Memorial on S. Bond St., he said. The memorial is next to the Mary Risteau State Office Building, which houses the District Court.

“MS13” also was spray painted on the back wall of a building at 24 S. Main St., according to the police department’s Facebook page. The building houses a bridal shop.

“Although ‘MS-13’ may be a reference to Mara Salvatrucha 13, a known gang, at this time we believe the incidents are isolated and not related to any active gang activity,” the Police Department’s Facebook page states.

“My guess is local kids posturing, acting stupid with a can of spray paint,” Lockard said of the vandalism incidents.

Anyone with information related to the incidents may contact Officer Keith Smithson, 410-638-4500 or via email to ksmithson@belairmd.org.

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