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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Police say be alert to crime over holidays

(Dec. 11, 2014) A suspected criminal hoax turned out to be a simple misunderstanding, but area police warned citizens to remain vigilant during the holiday shopping season.
During a Mayor and council meeting on Monday, Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing warned that two people posing as employees from the gas department were approaching area houses.
The following morning, police confirmed the suspects’ legitimate affiliation with the utility.
“We found out that the gas company did have subcontractors out,” Downing said. “I just got off the phone with the young lady whose house it was … and we verified everything was OK in that circumstance. False alarm for sure on that.”
Although the police were able to put reports of one crime to bed, Downing said the holiday season is notorious for sparking increases in crime and confirmed that several vehicles in Berlin have been broken into.
“We’re reminding all the citizens to go ahead and lock their doors and windows,” Downing said. “Right now in Berlin or if you’re going to Salisbury or different places, you just have to be aware of your surroundings. Take your time.”
Downing said 95 percent of cases involving theft from vehicles were due to unlocked doors and items left in plain sight.
“Put your packages in the trunk,” he said. “Do not leave anything in the compartment portion of the vehicle, and make sure you go ahead and lock the vehicle.”
Downing also advised residents to park in well-lit areas when shopping, to use caution when having packages delivered, and to watch out for neighbors who are on vacation.
“Do not leave anything outside,” he said. “This time of year you go ahead and tell the UPS man and the FedEx man that you want to sign for every one of your packages.
“If you don’t sign for it, have them leave it at the pickup station. It’s not smart to go ahead and leave it on the front step right now,” he continued.