The Carroll County Sheriff's Office said this week that for the third straight year, serious crime in Carroll County has declined.
The office cited the 2011 Crime in Maryland Report published recently by the Maryland State Police, which recorded a rate of 1.61 serious crimes per 100,000 residents during 2011 — the lowest rate since 1975.
While incidents of robbery remained unchanged at 40, reports of murder, rape, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft — all of which fall under the "serious crime" category — all decreased compared to 2010 totals.
The Sheriff's Office said that while crime declined statewide, Carroll continues to lead the Maryland with the lowest serious crime rate among the 23 other counties.
However, the office noted that while theft declined by 11 percent this past year, it remains Carroll's most prevalent crime. Sheriff's Office investigators report that the overnight theft of electronics, tools, cash and other valuables taken from unlocked vehicles account for two-thirds of the 270 thefts from automobiles reported so far this year.
Since January, more than $107,000 worth of valuables have been stolen from vehicles parked in Carroll neighborhoods.
The Sheriff's Office reminded residents to roll up car windows, lock car doors and remove valuables when leaving their vehicle unattended.
Securing and removing valuables from site, including closing garages and locking sheds reduces the opportunity for crime to occur while increasing the likelihood would be thieves will be seen or heard. Residents are also asked to report unfamiliar vehicles and persons roaming neighborhoods and parking lots to law enforcement by calling 911.
Reports of information that is not in-progress may be made anonymously using the toll free anonymous TIPS Hotline at 1-888-399-TIPP (8477), or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.