Local Leads: 05/27/2009

News you need to know

The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:

HOME INVASIONS UP

Home invasion robberies in Prince George's County since the start of the year have more than doubled compared with the same period a year ago, prompting police to take the extraordinary step of recommending that residents vary their routines and take other precautions to keep from becoming victims. (Washington Post)

ATM SKIMMING

It's called "skimming," and ATM users worldwide are losing millions. The ATM Industry Association describes skimming as one of the industry's most recurrent fraud threats. The practice hit Frederick in April, when the PNC Bank automated teller machine at 191 Thomas Johnson Drive was rigged with a skimming device, Frederick police said. (Frederick News Post)

MOVIE BEATING

A group of young males pummeled a man for no apparent reason as he was heading into a Fredericksburg movie theater Friday night, police said. City police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said the victim, a 20-year-old Spotsylvania man, parked in the lot across from the Regal Cinemas. As he was about to cross the street about 10:15 p.m. to get to the theater, he walked between a group of about eight teenagers who were hanging around the crosswalk. Bledsoe said one of the teens punched the victim in the face, knocking him to the ground. The others began kicking him while he was down. (Free Lance Star

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POTOMAC SECRET AGENT

Signs warning motorists of nearby speed cameras were posted in Potomac over the Memorial Day weekend. The signs were not the county regulated "Photo Enforced" signs, however. Signs posted by an individual calling himself "Potomac Secret Agent" were placed at five locations, Oaklyn Drive, River Road, Tuckerman Lane, Seven Locks Road and Wootton Parkway. The red signs, measuring 18 by 24 inches, carried a variety of messages warning motorists that they would soon be passing an automated speed camera. (Gazette.net)

SCHOOLS VANDALIZED

All four county high schools were vandalized in the last three to four nights and officials think it was probably senior pranks. "It happens this time of year. But the senior pranks have gone a bit too far and we're going to take action against them," said Sgt. Larry Titus, the school liaison for the Calvert County Sheriff's Office. (SoMdNews.com)

LOCAL SPELLER

All 293 spellers are taking the stage at the National Spelling Bee at the Grand Hyatt Washington this morning. The preliminary rounds officially began yesterday when spellers took a written test. Today, all of the spellers will spell on stage twice. Gainesville’s Deborah Horton, sponsored by the News & Messenger, will spell her first word later this morning. (InsideNoVa.com)

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