A letter from a very unhappy Baltimore City resident to the Mayor

Mayor Rawlings-Blake:

I need to express my frustration on so many levels with two city departments that report to you:?? the Baltimore City Police and the Department of Transportation.

Sometime on Thursday night/Friday morning (Sept. 23/Sept 24), my garage/shed was broken into and two scooters (under 50cc) were stolen.?? The thieves (there had to be more than one to steal two scooters) broke a window on the side of garage/shed to get in and then bent the locking mechanism of the garage door to get out.?? Friday late morning, we discovered the theft and called the police.?? The responding officer was very professional and even followed tracks in our backyard that neither my husband nor I had noticed.?? The responding officer even went to see if a juvenile who had been caught breaking into garages in the neighborhood might have our scooters.?? This officer told us that a detective would be in contact with us.?? On Friday, no detective had called.

Monday morning, my husband receives a call from the impound lot that one of our scooters was recovered.?? I receive a call from State Attorney???s Investigator, John Sutherland, that a juvenile was at booking being charged for the theft of the scooter that was recovered.?? My husband is told that we will have to pay $130 to get our scooter out of the lot.?? Here???s my first problem.?? Does Baltimore City really need to stick it to burglary victims??? Remember, my husband and I were the victims.?? We reported the crime yet we had to pay $130 to get our STOLEN property out of the impound lot. The City really needs to rethink this policy.

So we go down to the impound lot to pay the $130 where we are asked if we have a vehicle to remove the scooter.?? I said, ???We are planning to drive the scooter out.????? A very large, black woman was working that day (Monday, Sept 27 around 2 pm).?? She says, ???You can???t ride the scooter because it doesn???t have any plates on it.????? I say, ???Maryland law does not require a scooter to have license plates.????? She say, ???You can???t ride the scooter out??? and proceeds to roll her eyes at me.?? If your people at the impound lot do not like working with people who are stressed out and who are crime victims, then please fire them immediately.?? Eye rolling by an adult towards an adult is unnecessary and is demeaning.?? Maryland law does not require scooters under 50cc to have license plates on them so for the City to have a policy that does not allow a person to drive/ride a scooter off of the lot because it doesn???t have plates is a very frustrating Catch-22.

The scooter is not drivable so we end up putting it into our car.?? At this point, I still have not heard from a single detective.?? But I have heard from State Attorney???s Investigator, John Sutherland, several times.?? He even tells me who the detective on my case is.?? My husband calls over to the Northeast District and is told that she is not there.?? My husband asks if someone is going to come out take fingerprints or ask the neighbor if their cameras captured anything the night of the crime.?? The detective tells my husband that the Police don???t take fingerprints on out buildings and how did he (my husband) know that the neighbors had cameras.??

Let me do a slight digression here.?? When the responding officer was at my house, we pointed out the cameras on the outside (that???s how my husband knows the neighbor has cameras) of my neighbor???s house and said maybe there will be a recording of the crime.?? I told John Sutherland the same thing.?? So far, as of this day ??? October 5, 2010, no one to my knowledge has dusted for prints or asked my neighbors about the cameras because I have not heard from the detective supposedly assigned to my case nor anyone associated with the Police.

The juvenile that was caught riding the one scooter (remember two were stolen) has been charged with motor vehicle theft.?? He could have been charged with a B&E, but won???t/can???t because the Police did not do a minimal investigation of the crime scene.?? No one tried to locate fingerprints.?? No one asked my neighbor about his cameras and what they may have recorded.?? Mr. Sutherland mentioned that the cameras may be on a 24-hour loop.?? If this is true about my neighbor???s cameras, it means that the Police needed to access the cameras when we first mentioned them to the responding officer.?? I am also curious how the Police plan to link him to the other scooter???s theft when the Police have done nothing to collect any evidence at the crime scene.

All in all, I as a Baltimore City resident (who pays her property taxes on time, does not have any children who use the school system, and who uses City services minimally) feel abused and betrayed.??


Julie Spokus


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