The Hampstead Police Department has asked for assistance in its investigation of a number of acts of vandalism committed against private residential property in the Oakmont Green neighborhood in recent weeks.
According to Hampstead Police Chief Ken Meekins, the police responded to a triggered alarm and reports of banging on a resident's door on Golfview Lane in the last week of September, but found nothing there. On Oct. 6, however, the same resident had her window broken and her car damaged by a tee marker that had been removed from the nearby golf course.
In a separate incident on Fairway Oaks Court in early October, a resident reported finding stolen property in his backyard: a ghost decoration and a decorative pumpkin.
Meekins said the relatively petty and pointless nature of the crimes indicate that they are not the work of some major crime ring, but more likely the work of bored children of middle school or high school age.
"[This is] just the latest thing where kids get out and have very little to do to amuse themselves on some night," Meekins said. "It seems to be taking place at 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. in the morning and these kinds of things usually happen when there is a sleep over in the neighborhood and the kids get out after the parents go to bed."
Meekins said that given the probability that these crimes are being committed by children surreptitiously, he hopes the community will help the police in making sure it stops.
"We are reaching out to the community for help in identifying people that were involved or just getting the word out," Meekins said. "Parents may not come out and talk to us but maybe they will take some action with their children so they won't do that any more."
Anyone with information about the vandalism or the vandals is encouraged to call the Hampstead Police Department at 410-239-8954.
Meekins said that he hopes putting the word out about these incidents will not only lead to parents ensuring their children are not engaging in illegal behaviors, but also a chance for restitution to be made.
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"If we find out who did it, of course we will try to get the damages taken care," Meekins said. "I think any responsible parent would want to do that."