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Serious crime in Harford County last year rose by 14 percent, with increases in the number of rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts and arsons, new state police statistics show.

County police agencies handled 6,582 criminal investigations last year, up from 5,751in 1990, the report shows.

Murder is the only category of serious crime that decreased, fromsix in 1990 to two in 1991.

Thefts increased the most, from 3,321in 1990 to 3,932 last year.

Reported rapes increased to 53 from 45; robberies, to 109 from 107; assaults, to 495 from 431; burglaries,to 1,575 up from 1,503; vehicle thefts, to 416 from 338; and arson, to 63 from 58.

As a comparison, crime in Baltimore County rose 9 percent, from 42,991 to 46,789 incidents. Crime in Cecil County went up 6 percent, to 2,992 incidents from 2,813 in 1991.


Thomas A. Best, 19, of the 800 block of Cashew Court, Bel Air, has been charged with rape and assault in connection with an attack on an Edgewood woman Thursday, state police said.

The woman called police shortly after the attack at 3 p.m., giving investigators the suspect's name and description and a description of hiscar, police said. Police did not say where in Edgewood the attack occurred.

Best was arrested at his home without incident. He is being held at the county detention center without bond pending a DistrictCourt hearing on March 20.

The following is a compilation of someof the crimes county police agencies investigated last week:


300 block of Stevens Circle: A man reported that he was mugged by four men who stole $130 from him on Feb. 14, city police said.

800 block of South Philadelphia Boulevard: A vending truck received$1,100 in damage when it was broken into at United Automatic Sales Feb. 13, city police said. Candy worth $9 was stolen from the truck.


2500 block of Red Maple Drive: Stereo equipment and cassette tapes, worth $1,100, were stolen from a vehicle Feb. 12, the county Sheriff's Office said.

3900 block of Pulaski Highway: A $300 tire was stolen from a car Feb. 8, the Sheriff's Office said.

Bel Air

1300 block of North Fountain Green Road: Jewelry worth $2,085 was stolen from a house Feb. 12, the Sheriff's Office said.

800 block of Bel Air Road: A 1982 Mitsubishi worth $4,000 was stolen from the Bel Air Auto Auction Feb. 6.


2400 block of Churchville Road: A purse containing cash, identification cards and a checkbook, worth $870, was stolen from a woman shopping at Michael's FoodMarket Feb. 11, the Sheriff's Office said.


800 block of Windstream Way: Three amplifiers were stolen from a vehicle Feb. 11, the Sheriff's Office said. The vehicle's door locks were damaged. Loss totaled $1,000.

1800 block of Grempler Way: A $700 guitar wasstolen from a house Feb. 6, state police said.

Route 24: A 1984 Chevrolet Camaro worth $4,000 was stolen from a commuter parking lot Feb. 6, state police said.


700 block of Pulaski Highway: Afour-ton jack worth $400 was stolen from Beaver's Auto Body Inc. Feb. 12, the Sheriff's Office said.

1900 block of Pulaski Highway: $520 was stolen Feb. 7 from the office of a High's store, state police said.

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