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Subject: Speakers, Recent Incidents, and Holiday Wishes
Date Sent: December 4, 2015

BCA December 3 Meeting with acclaimed writer Alice McDermott

We had a terrific meeting last night. Alice McDermott provided insightful and stimulating remarks about literature and the life of a literary writer. It was also great reminder of the wealth of talent we have here in Bannockburn. We would welcome speaker suggestions for future meetings. Bonus points for speakers who are neighbors.

At last night's meeting, John Hannula, the Chair of our Neighborhood Security Committee, provided an update on two recent incidents that occurred in our neighborhood and reminded everyone of the basics of good home security as we enter the holiday season, as follows:

The Incidents:

  1. Car stolen from Selkirk Drive. At 4:30 am on November 17 a person was seen roaming the neighborhood, trying car door handles and looking for unlocked cars. The person stole items from several cars and broke the window on others when he saw something of interest. Unfortunately, he came upon a car that was unlocked and with spare keys in the glove box, and stole the car. The car was found in Ellicott City and an arrest was made. 2. Packages stolen from front porch on Helmsdale. On December
  2. while a neighbor was away from his house (for only 45 minutes), two packages were delivered to his front porch by USPS and subsequently stolen. The packages were later found in the bushes a ½ mile away by an observant neighbor. The packages had been opened and the contents were still inside. This type of crime is frequent, particular during the holiday season. MCPD will take a report but rarely do much about it.

There are important things that we can do as individuals and as a community.
John's top tips:

  1. Be observant when walking or driving in the neighborhood. Report anything suspicious (anything at all) to the MCPD non-emergency number. MCPD will send a patrol car. The non-emergency number is 301-279-8000. If you want to call our local police station, the number for the 2nd District is 240-773-6700. If you see a suspicious vehicle, take a photo with your cellphone.
  2. If you go on vacation, tell your neighbors (do not put it on Facebook!), stop the paper and stop the mail. If you see papers piling up at a house, pick them up and put them away until your neighbor returns.
  3. Avoid having packages delivered to your home if you cannot be there to receive them. Have packages sent to your office. Or, if home is the only option, have your neighbors keep an eye out for them.
  4. Lock your car doors. Unlocked cars are a gateway to more crime. Many of us have garage door openers in our cars. If they can get in your car, they can get in your garage. Make sure you lock the door from your garage to your house. Also, do not leave high-value items in plain sight, e.g. cell phones, designer sunglasses, or loose change.
  5. If you have a home security system use it. Arm it when you leave. Arm it when you are home. Make sure the security company yard sign is visible.
  6. Have a strong, reliable lock on all exterior doors. The most common break-in is a kicked in front or back door during the middle of the day when the burglar thinks you are not home.
  7. Turn on interior lights when you are away to give the impression you are home. Turn on exterior lights at night. Many can be set by a timer. Light up dark places.
  8. Burglars hate dogs (all dogs). Ideally, your dog is visible and noisy.
Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season.


Best Wishes,
Ted Garrett,
BCA President

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