An outbreak of violent crime and suspected gang activity has led Laurel Town Council to establish an emergency curfew for non-residents at an apartment complex.
The measure approved this week makes it unlawful for a non-resident to be on the grounds of the Carvel Gardens and Carvel Gardens Annex Apartments between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Laurel Police Detective Sergeant Derrick Calloway said the action is in response to a wave of robberies, stabbings, a shooting and other crimes over the last three months. “A majority of this crime that we’re seeing is coming from outside of the apartment complex. A lot of the people we’re dealing with now are coming from Maryland: Hurlock, Cambridge, and the Federalsburg area,” Calloway said.
Residents of Carvel Gardens are being advised to keep a photo ID with them at all times. Visitors during the curfew period are required to have a visitor’s pass, which must be arranged through a resident and be obtained from the management office. The curfew is in effect until further notice.
Calloway said the Police Department, Mayor and Council of Laurel will review the effects of the curfew and determine if there has been a sufficient decrease in criminal activity before lifting the curfew on non-residents. “A lot of this isn’t so much the residents of Carvel Gardens, but the influx of out-of-staters and people from other areas coming here to commit crimes,” Calloway said.
Violators of the emergency action could face a fine of at least $500 and/or 30 days in prison.
Laurel is a town of about 3,700 residents, and its police force numbers about a dozen officers.