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Sykesville officials, seeking solutions to recent taggings and thefts, consider idea of cameras

According to Sykesville police Chief Michael Spaulding, there have been about three graffiti taggings in town over roughly the past couple of months.
According to Sykesville police Chief Michael Spaulding, there have been about three graffiti taggings in town over roughly the past couple of months. (Wiley Hayes, Staff Photo)

Sykesville officials recently expressed concerns about graffiti taggings and thefts from vehicles in town, and they might consider the installation of cameras to help deter such crimes.

According to Sykesville police Chief Michael Spaulding, there have been about three graffiti taggings in town over roughly the past couple of months. The taggings have occurred at some of the buildings at the Warfield Complex and at Millard Cooper Park.

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“We certainly want to do whatever we can to catch the people that are responsible for it but maybe potentially deter anyone from continuing this sort of activity,” Spaulding said in an interview.

At the Sykesville Town Council meeting on Jan. 13, Councilwoman Stacy Link raised an idea of putting up some cameras, an idea that Mayor Ian Shaw then expanded on by mentioning the possibility of deer cameras.

“We’ll catch a lot of deer, but if we catch the spray painter, that would be even better,” Link said at the meeting.

Spaulding said the police department is considering the option of using cameras.

According to Spaulding, Warfield has been a common area where taggings have occurred over the years because of the unoccupied buildings, though he hopes that will become less frequent.

“Now that the construction is occurring over there, there’s measures that are being put in place to protect those buildings,” Spaulding said. “I believe those incidences will decrease only because of those enhanced security features.”

Spaulding said the graffiti depicts no recognizable gang symbols or language, so he has no reason to believe that it is gang related.

Recent thefts from cars were also discussed at the Jan. 13 meeting, with Councilwoman Anna Carter asking if someone had been identified. Carl Bird, a Sykesville Police Department spokesperson at the meeting, said no one had been caught.

About a total of four thefts from cars occurred in early December in Sykesville, and there were 15 total countywide at that time, according to Spaulding.

None of the cars in the incidences were broken into, Spaulding said; they were all unlocked with tools or something visible in the vehicle.

According to Spaulding, the thefts from vehicles happened in residential areas. In these cases, Spaulding said, people could have either forgotten to lock their cars or just didn’t because people don’t expect thefts in this area.

“We live in a very safe area. These sort of things don’t happen too often," Spaulding said. "However, people have to try not to become complacent, and we always certainly recommend that everyone lock their vehicles, particularly in the case of work vehicles that contain a lot of valuable tools and equipment.”

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