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No 'rampant crime’ at New Windsor 7-Eleven, police say, but store manager says thefts occur almost daily

Even though crime data suggests the 7-Eleven in New Windsor isn’t a prevalent source of crime, the convenience store’s manager has raised concerns about frequent thefts.

According to crime data from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, in 2018 the New Windsor 7-Eleven reported one robbery and one call for malicious destruction of property, and in 2019 there were reports of two armed robberies, as well as one theft from the store and another from someone inside the store.

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According to Cpl. Jonathan Light, public information officer with the Sheriff’s Office, both 2018 cases were investigated but were eventually suspended due to a lack of further leads. Even though the robbery in August remains unsolved, but suspects were identified and charged in the other robbery and both reported thefts.

Timothy Wayne Howes, 32, of New Windsor was charged earlier this month after he allegedly robbed the 7-Eleven on Dec. 13. A court date for Howes is scheduled for March 13.

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Light said that he could only speak on the data for crimes that were reported, and the data “does not support that there is rampant crime at this 7-Eleven in New Windsor,” he said.

According to Mohammad Zia, the manager of the 7-Eleven, there are small thefts on a nearly daily basis that he doesn’t report.

“Sometimes, small thefts, we don’t call because it’s not worth it going to the court for $50, $25,” he said.

According to Zia, small thefts from the store happen almost every day. And when it comes to the robberies, he said, “Two is too many in the New Windsor area, that’s what I think.”

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According to Light, a Sheriff’s Office deputy is assigned to patrol New Windsor and Union Bridge. But Zia believes that one deputy isn’t enough.

Zia added that he would like to have some sort of police presence in the area 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Most of the thefts at his store occur between midnight and 5 a.m., when there is no police presence, he said.

At New Windsor’s Town Council meeting in September, after the August robbery, New Windsor Mayor Neal Roop brought up possible solutions to crime at the 7-Eleven.

These potential solutions included limiting transactions to debit and credit cards after a certain hour, new visual recognition cameras, and a serve-through window. According to Roop, the town is still working with management of the 7-Eleven about taking steps to protect the store’s employees and customers.

Also at the September council meeting, residents pitched the idea of having the convenience store patrolled 24/7. Councilwoman Kimberlee Schultz responded by explaining that it would take about $200,000 to $300,000 to fund someone to be stationed there 24/7.

Roop said residents have not expressed to him concerns regarding crime at the 7-Eleven after Howes’ arrest. Although Zia is frustrated by his inventory being stolen, he isn’t worried about the safety of his employees or New Windsor residents.

“I would say 99 percent, yeah, they’re safe,” Zia said.

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