Letters from the Chief 2020-2021

Carjacking Overnight

Dear UMB Community:

As interim chief of police, I am committed to the safety of our University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) community. I’m pleased to say that UMB has seen an overall decline in crime since this time last year. No one should ever be a victim of crime, but when a crime does occur, it is critical that the UMB Police Department (UMBPD) be transparent and accountable.

I am saddened to share that overnight, a member of our UMB community was carjacked while leaving campus. The victim was not injured. The crime occurred around 2:30 a.m. at the corner of N. Paca Street and W. Fayette Street. While stopped at the intersection, the victim says she exited her vehicle, retrieved an item from her trunk, and reentered the vehicle. After she was back in her car with the doors locked, she says a man in dark clothing and a ski mask approached her vehicle with a handgun and told her to get out of the car. She did the right thing, did not resist, and got out of the vehicle. The suspect got in her vehicle and drove north on Paca Street. The Baltimore Police Department and UMBPD responded but have not been able to find the suspect or vehicle. 

When crime happens near where we live and work, it shakes our sense of security. UMBPD has resources available to help keep you safe. Safe Walk/Safe Ride, and Lyft Ride Smart at UMB provide safe transportation 24/7. Our police communication operators are also available 24/7 by calling 410-706-6882. I also want to share some simple steps you can take to stay safe: 

  • Be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut. If something seems off, call UMBPD at 410-706-6882.
  • Put away distractions like cellphones and headphones.
  • Always lock your vehicle and keep valuables out of sight. 
  • If someone tries to take your property, give it to them. Don’t resist! Your safety is more important than your possessions. 

I also want to take a moment to acknowledge that being a victim and/or witness of a crime can be profoundly traumatic. The UMBPD has trained victim and witness coordinators to provide resources and support. They can be reached by calling 410-706-6882. UMB also provides counseling through the Student Counseling Center and Employee Assistance Program. I want to encourage you to use these valuable resources if you need them.

UMBPD police and security officers are stationed across campus for increased visibility, but we can’t be all places at once. Safety is a community effort – if you see something, please call us at 410-706-6882. I will continue to do whatever I can to ensure your safety here at UMB.


Thomas Leone
UMB Interim Chief of Police

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