Petty thefts from cars are the city's stealth tax on commuters

I smiled when I read Susan Reimer's column about locking one's car doors to prevent thieves from stealing valuables from inside ("Hey Annapolis car owners: Lock it up!" March 7).

It seemed so small-town 1950s America, so different from the reality of people who have to park their cars in Baltimore, where locking your car door is completely irrelevant.

Here, thieves will smash your side windows and grab your personal items — even out of the glove box, where they know you've stashed your GPS — in less time than it takes to open an unlocked door.

My daughter works at the state office building on West Preston Street in Baltimore, where she is forced to park on the street because of a lack of adequate parking for employees.

Recently she had her passenger-side window smashed and her handicapped hang-tags stolen for the third time in less than 10 months. (The police officers to whom she reported the theft told her the tags have a street value of $50.)

This happened in broad daylight, on a main streets and in a supposedly patrolled area. But it's Baltimore, not Annapolis, and the nearly $1,000 it has cost to have three car windows replaced is yet another stealth tax levied by the city on unsuspecting commuters.

Kathleen A. Roso, Catonsville

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