Howard County police have arrested two North Laurel teen-agers they believe are responsible for at least 36 recent garage break-ins in the county.
Faron Webb, 18, of the 9500 block of Canterbury Riding was arrested Monday, and Jeffery Felkel, 18, of the 9700 block of Whiskey Run was arrested Sept. 5. Both were charged with several counts of breaking and entering, police said.
"We were led to these suspects through an investigation," Sherry Llewellyn, spokeswoman for the Police Department, said yesterday. "These two know each other, and we believe they were working together."
Police said the thefts were from vehicles inside open or unlocked garages.
"They were not really names that were known to police," Llewellyn said of the suspects. "They were mostly taking purses, wallets and other items people had left in cars parked in their garages," she said.
Others also are wanted in the crimes. Police said that since January, they have received reports of 142 garage break-ins. In those cases, the garage door was unsecured or an unlocked vehicle in the driveway offered access to a garage door opener.
Police said that in more than a third of the crimes, homes also were entered through interior garage doors and items stolen. Some of the crimes occurred during the day, when residents left garage doors open to do yard work or other outdoor activities.
"Even if you're only leaving the house to walk the dog or cut the grass, people need to be mindful of keeping all their garage doors and all other doors locked," Llewellyn said. "While these particular suspects did not enter homes, we have had reports of suspects entering houses through garages."
Police said residents reporting people who appear suspicious in their neighborhood is the best way to catch potential criminals.
"We'd rather get a call and investigate it than have problems arise," Llewellyn said.