WHITE MARSH, MD. (WJZ) — The recent arrests of several teens at the White Marsh Mall raised questions about crime in the community.
Thursday night, members of a Baltimore County community came together to find out how to put an end to what they say has been a spike in teen crime in their area.
The pews at Saint Michael Lutheran Church were packed Thursday night. Not for a sermon, but for a discussion on crime throughout Baltimore County.
Specifically, in White Marsh, Parkville and Perry Hall communities.
Elected leaders and police took questions from concerned homeowners about an uptick in violent crime in recent months.
Baltimore County Councilman David Marks took part in organizing the meeting.
“We’re very heartened by the response we’ve seen tonight,” Marks said.
Concerns were raised about last year’s series of violent crimes involving teens including the murder of Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio.
“They are still in jail right now and their trials will be coming up,” said Capt. Lamont Martin.
Community members were also concerned about violent incidents in and around White Marsh Mall.
“Are they coming in on the bus line? We don’t know. Are these kids coming from our own community?” A resident asked.
WJZ obtained cell phone video following the arrest of three teens at the mall just days before the New Year.
One was busted for disorderly conduct and damaging property, and two teen girls were also arrested for assaulting an officer.
In August, seven teens and two adults were arrested for a brawl at the mall.
And in September, chaos erupted after a fight and shots were fired at the Avenue at White Marsh right across from the mall.
“We are concerned about some of the incidents that happened at the mall,” Marks said.
County leaders unanimously approved a curfew for teens, but it is still up to the mall to enforce it.
Councilman Marks is now pushing for adult supervision for teens on the weekends, and members of the community are optimistic for the coming year.
“Working together, I think we’ll be able to make some differences,” said Pastor John Mohan, St. Michael Lutheran Church.
Another community forum is scheduled for next week at Loch Raven High School.