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You no longer have to go to the seedy parts of Washington or Baltimore to find the violent crime. It seems that it is taking an inordinate hold on a sleepy little town called Crofton, Maryland.
Crofton: A Bit Of Americana
Crofton, Maryland has been lauded as “the” community to live in in Anne Arundel County. Crofton is in a special taxing district and employs their own police force. It was started as a gated community, but has expanded over the years. In 2007, Money Magazine ranked Crofton as a “best place to live”–as a matter of fact, it was ranked #72. By 2011, it had dropped to #82. One of the commenters on the article said:
Close to perfect! My husband and I have lived here for 40 years. Great schools, wonderful activities for children and families.
Money Magazine had this to say about Crofton:
Originally a gated community, Crofton is planned around a scenic 3.5-mile loop that includes two elementary schools, the town hall, and a country club. The loop is a popular route for walkers, joggers, and cyclists. Baltimore is a 30-minute drive away, and both Annapolis and Washington, D.C. aren’t much further. Crime is very low here, but the safe streets come at a price: homes are significantly higher than the state average.
I am not sure if the reviewer for Money Magazine did any research. Crofton is quite a bit closer to Annapolis than it is to Baltimore, and I am not sure anyone can say that crime is still “very low” in Crofton.
What the heck happened?
The Crime Wave Hits Crofton
Eye On Annapolis has only been publishing a little over two years. We cover all of Anne Arundel County and for being such a small, idyllic community, Crofton keeps popping up in our stories for all the wrong reasons.
- In March 2009, David Raszewski raped a 7 year old girl after luring her from a playground.
- Also in March 2009, police arrested a man wanted for an attempted murder in Crofton.
- In April 2009, a Crofton woman was stabbed in her sleep. The incident turned into a double stabbing.
- Another sexual assault in April 2009 when a magazine salesman forced his way into a home.
- The community is still reeling from the fatal beating of Christopher Jones as he rode his bicycle home in May 2009.
- In June 2010, a classroom aide at Crofton Meadows Elementary School was charged with sexually abusing two girls, 7 and 8 years old.
- In January 2011, a peeping tom was arrested for secretly video taping Crofton neighbors and stealing their underwear.
- February 2011, a Crofton title company was suspended and the principles accused of misappropriating over $1 million of settlement funds.
- March 17 2011 saw a home invasion where an armed suspect broke in and robbed a sleeping woman.
- In June of 2011, a triple stabbing awakened a quiet cul-de-sac when a man stabbed his wife and two daughters.
- June 2011 also saw the attempted abduction and sexual assault of a woman jogging in the early evening hours.
- A party got out of hand in June 2011 and ended up with a shooting and one man in critical condition in shock-trauma.
- A 14-year old girl was sexually assaulted by two men as she walked her dog in her Crofton neighborhood after school.
For a community of 27,348 (US 2010 Census) the amount of serious crime seems out of proportion. Eye On Annapolis is not a hyper local site like the Crofton Patch so we likely missed (or chose not to publish) some stories about Crofton crime.
Just a quick look at the search results on the Crofton Patch seem to indicate that in addition to the violent crime, there is a problem with burglaries. Most recently there were 4 broad daylight burglaries of Crofton homes. In addition, Patch is reporting that a woman was robbed at gunpoint on October 11th as she got out of her car.
What’s The Answer?
What is the answer? Annapolis has a population twice the size of Crofton, yet the incidence of violent crime is not nearly as high. Is it the convenience of Routes 50 and 3 for “getaways”? Is it the allure of a bedroom community?
One part of the solution is to become involved. Report suspicious people and behaviors. Take an interest in your community. The Crofton Patch is a great resource for the hyper local news that is not picked up by us, The Baltimore Sun or the Washington Post.
Have you also noticed an increase in violent crime in Crofton? What ideas do you have to mitigate it? Do you think Crofton will make the Money Magazine list again next year? Does it deserve to be listed…or has Crofton been forever changed?