TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — The recent crime around the intersection of Loch Raven Blvd and Joppa Rd is being called a huge step backward for an area trying to turn things around. Now, local leaders are calling on the business owners to step up.

Baltimore County Councilman David Marks said they’ve been working hard to revitalize the area.

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“This is certainly one of the busiest intersections in Baltimore County, it’s also one of the oldest,” said Marks.

There has been some progress, but Councilman Marks said recent crime in the area, including a double shooting and a barricade situation, have been a huge step backwards, and the temporary closure of the Bel-Loc Starbucks has dealt a blow.

“I mean we’ve heard the employees are scared to come to work, quite frankly,” said Marks.

We asked Starbucks if the temporary closure had anything to do with crime. They said the location is closed for renovations and that they’ve offered their employees the option to be transferred. Nevertheless, crime has been a problem for local businesses.

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“It’s been a problem for years,” said Jordan Levine, a local business owner and co-chair of the Joppa-Loch Raven Taskforce.

Levine said those problems stem from drugs, and the hotels where some of the recent incidents have occurred.

“Everybody knows about the problems,” said Levine. “The police know about the problems, they try to have more of a presence in the area but unfortunately that can only do so much.”

Councilman Marks is calling on local businesses to step up and take responsibility.

“I would like the major property owners in this area to do a better job with security,” he said. “I think we’re all in this together.”

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Both Marks and Levine said, with the proximity to the Beltway, this area is ripe for redevelopment. They said if businesses want to step in and help build up the area, that’s another way they could squeeze out crime.

Sean Streicher