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Vandalism leads to increased police patrols in Funkstown

June 11, 2008

FUNKSTOWN -- In response to an outcry from Funkstown residents and officials who have had enough of a recent spate of tire slashings and other destruction of property incidents, the Washington County Sheriff's Department has provided a round-the-clock presence in town.

"Since May 28, we have had assigned personnel in Funkstown 24/7," Sheriff Douglas Mullendore said Tuesday night at a special workshop requested by town council members. "Since then, there was one tire slashed on Chestnut Street (Monday) and one vehicle theft."

The extra hours are in addition to the deputy who is regularly assigned certain hours in Funkstown. The town pays for those services.

At a special meeting May 28, Chestnut Street resident Steve Schultz expressed his frustration at the cost, inconvenience and feeling unsafe in his own home after he was victimized more than once.

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More than 40 residents reported tires slashed April 17 and 18.

Schultz said then that he believes the situation is way beyond a neighborhood watch.

Mullendore agreed, saying Tuesday night that putting efforts and funds into better lighting around town might pay bigger dividends in the long run.

"The problems do seem to be happening on one side of town," Mullendore said, noting the number of incidents that have occurred on Chestnut, Poplar and High streets.

While he has no evidence of why the recent incidents have occurred, Mullendore said it might be someone who is upset about recent changes in traffic patterns on that side of town.

Patrols will continue at an accelerated rate in Funkstown as needed and will vary day to day, into the night and early-morning hours.

That will be further bolstered when seven new deputies now in field training get out on patrol by the end of the month, Mullendore said Tuesday.

Anyone with information about the recent crimes in Funkstown may call 301-791-3020 or the criminal investigation unit at 240-313-2182 or leave a crime tip at www.washcosheriff.com.

Attending the meeting Tuesday were Assistant Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr., and Councilmembers Sharon Chirgott, John Phillips III, Jerry Walker and Richard Nigh.

Mullendore was accompanied by Maj. Bob Leatherman and Capt. Pete Lazich.

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