Charm City Hit by Brazen Thieves
By Tami Faram
Md., a picturesque tourist town and sailing community, is experiencing an increase
in "brazen burglaries," according to local police. In June, many retail
shops in the center of the city had their front windows smashed by thieves throwing
brick or cinder blocks.
Although Annapolis does experience crime like
any community, Officer Hal Dalton of the Annapolis police says the crimes have
been occurring in commercial and "tourist areas" of the historic district,
and the crimes have occurred much earlier than usual.
occurring in a part of town where we don't see a lot of crime," he says.
"And because of the time of the burglaries, they have been a little more
"Basically they just take a brick or a cinder block
and break the window and then grab whatever looks valuable," Dalton adds.
says the burglaries have been occurring earlier than usual, before midnight, and
some before dusk.
Robbie Fitzgerald, owner of Garden Architects, a
high-end outdoor living store, was burglarized at 10 p.m., at her shop located
on West Street in the center of town.
"It cost $500 to replace
the glass window, which is only a quarter of the cost of the laptop they stole,"
she says. The burglar took a "developer" laptop that cost more than
Fitzgerald said a brick was thrown through the shop's side window,
which is made of insulating glass. Her shop window contains six 30- by 30-inch
lites of insulating glass. "Zelko Glass, a local Annapolis glass shop, was
called to replace the lite in Fitzgerald's store.
"They came and
boarded up the window right away," Fitzgerald says, "and it only took
a day-and-a-half for them to replace the broken glass."
owner of Zelko Glass/Annapolis Lock&Key Inc., says he's been called to respond
to at least a half dozen other Annapolis retailers whose windows were broken as
a result of the recent burglaries.
"We're replacing glass and
damaged frames," Hopkins says. "We're doing whatever is necessary to
get the person's life back in order."
Hopkins adds that in June
he replaced store windows in retailers such as Annapolis Granite and Tile, a Nextel
store, a bagel shop, a sandwich shop and a Chinese restaurant. "We've replaced
a lot of the store front windows in the last month," he says.
HERE to read coverage of the crime by the Annapolis Capital newspaper
Tami Faram is the assistant editor of USGNN.com/USGlass