If Approached By The Baltimore Squeegee Boys – Don’t Do This

This week we had a post from Justine Dixon who is an ICU Nurse in Baltimore, Maryland. She posted her 2015 Chevy Cruze to Stolen 911 and went into detail of how the theft of her car went down.

In Baltimore, many of the intersections have groups of young kids known as “squeegee boys”. They come up to your car as your waiting for a traffic light and begin to wash your windows hoping you’ll give them any spare change you may have. It’s been going on for a long time, and large cities throughout the US have similar situations.Justine had been letting squeegee boys wash her windows for the past year and always gave them a buck or two for their efforts. When going work one-night last week, one of the boys began to wash her window without asking. Justine rolled down her window to thank the young man but explained to him on this particular day she did not have any money but would pay him tomorrow at the same time. No problem right? She’s been driving through that same intersection 4 to 5 days a week for a year at the same time every night. Unfortunately for Justine, her wallet was on the seat, and the boy reached down and grabbed it. Justine got ahold of it too, and a tug of war started through the window. Eventually, the boy got the wallet and took off down the street.  Justine is a badass. She exited her car to chase down the kid, caught him and got her wallet back. Unfortunately, that’s when she learned that someone else had entered her vehicle and stole it.

Justine is a badass. She exited her car to chase down the kid, caught him and got her wallet back.

Justine is the first to admit that exiting her car to chase down the kid was not the best idea. Heck, I know cops who have done the same thing over the years only to return to find their patrol cars stolen. No, it wasn’t me. 🙂 But Justine posted her story on Stolen 911 to yes, hopefully, recovery her car, but more importantly to share her experience with others to avoid a possible tragedy someday.

More Baltimore Stolen Property Listings on Stolen 911

I put Justine in contact with WBFF Fox45 in Baltimore, and they produced an excellent story about Justine’s incident. This is apparently a big issue in Baltimore because the story was shared over 900 times on Fox45’s Facebook page not even 24 hours since it aired.

So the question is, what do you do when approached by the squeegee boys or similar individuals? When I Googled “squeegee boys Baltimore”, stories came up ranging from articles in the Baltimore Sun and WBAL Channel 11 of similar thefts that have occurred. There is a particular Reddit thread addressing the issue. There were also several stories of the Baltimore Mayor’s efforts to provide safe places where Squeegee Boys have set up legit operations in conjunction with the city and other organizations. I recommend you use one of these by the way.

Or do this…

How to deal with #baltimore #squeegee boys

A post shared by stolen911 (@stolen911) on

But seriously, If you do decide to interact with anyone who approaches you at an intersection, I think the Criminologist Jeffrey Ian Ross from the WBAL story had the best tips.

  • Keep the person in your line of sight.
  • Don’t get distracted looking for money from your console.
  • Don’t put your car in park.
  • Be prepared to drive away quickly.

A cool thing happened while Fox45 was filming with Justine back at the intersection. She saw the kid who had initially tried to steal her wallet. Baltimore PD responded and arrested him. Is it all about stats right? We may not have recovered the car yet, but Stolen 911 will be taking an arrest assist on that one. :).

Stolen 911 is the place to tell the story a theft that may have happened to you. By making a Digital Fingerprint of your stolen property on the site, anyone googling the item will find your post and can submit a tip that leads to a recovery.

If you can, you help the site out by making your Amazon purchases through the portal at the top of every page or by using one of our affiliate links like this one, currently one of my favorite GPS trackers, the Spot Trace. If Justine had one of these hidden in her Chevy, it would have been easy to locate. No shame here. 🙂

As always, be safe.

    

By Marc Hinch

A retired Police Investigator specializing in auto theft and fraud, I now work as an Investigator using Stolen 911 to develop leads recovering stolen property across the US and Canada. You can reach me at @heyhinch or @stolen911 on Twitter.