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State Police, Sheriff unite to fight crime

November 26, 1998

BY KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer

Maryland State Police and the Washington County Sheriff's Department are joining forces to fight crimes against shoppers during the holiday season.

Their joint crime prevention patrol "will strive to reduce crime in shopping centers, malls and the business community in Washington County," said Hagerstown State Police Lt. Bruce Smith.

Smith said he had been involved with a similar patrol while at the state police barracks in Westminster and thought it would work well here.

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"I think it's a really good idea and will be well received by the business community," he said.

State police troopers and sheriff's deputies will stagger patrols during the week and at various times of the day to ensure that thorough coverage is provided, Smith said.

"We will concentrate our efforts in areas frequented by holiday shoppers," he said.

Sheriff Charles Mades said he welcomed the combined anti-crime effort.

Working together will "basically be more effective," said Mades.

"It will be geared toward the evening hours when there are a majority of shoppers out. But there will also be some days," he said.

Smith said shoppers also should do their part to deter theft.

Locking car doors is recommended, along with leaving valuables home or keeping them in the trunk.

Smith advises shopping with a friend and avoiding carrying large sums of money. He also suggests that shoppers report any suspicious activity.

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