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Maryland State Police News Release

College Students Help Police Put The Brakes On Auto Theft

(Pikesville, MD)  College students from both Towson University and the College of Southern Maryland help police put the brakes on auto theft.

The Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council, MD/DC Anti-Car Theft Committee (ACT) and the Maryland State Police presented college students with awards in recognition for outstanding audio and video productions aimed at auto theft prevention.  Winners of the 7th Annual Auto Theft Prevention PSA Competition were announced yesterday at Towson University in the Media Center on campus.  Last Wednesday, students from the College of Southern Maryland were awarded for their works at the La Plata campus. It was the first time students from CSM were invited to participate in the competition.

Students were presented with checks totaling $8,500 for their winning entries in two categories: radio and television. Each participant produced a thirty second spot to ultimately be used in media campaigns to reach a target audience who is unfamiliar with the rapidly growing criminal enterprise.  Award recipients were judged on theme, quality, persuasion and creativity.

The grand prize winner at Towson University, Brooks Barry, was awarded $2,000 for his video production.  The winning video presented statistics revealing the many reasons associated with auto theft occurrences.  The bonding moment of the video features a car thief in the driver’s seat warning viewers to learn the facts. Grand Prize Video Winner

There were two grand prize winners in the audio category at Towson University.  The first group of students, Sam Teasley, Jared Brazil, Casey Smith, and Tyler Barnes, produced a :30 radio spot featuring Lassie, a howling dog who informs his owner that his car was stolen after he failed to lock it.  Grand Prize #1 –  Audio PSA

The second group of students in the audio category, Michael Caddigan, Nigel Truesdale, Katherine Ruggiero, and Kayla Mehok, took a different approach to focus on owners who fail to lock their vehicles.  The :30 spot used several layers of special audio effects to create fear in those who neglect, what the commercial makes you believe to be, one of your most prized possessions.  The producers clinch the end with a catchphrase for listeners:  “Don’t go far without locking your car”. Grand Prize #2 – Audio PSA

It was the first year the College of Southern Maryland participated in the competition.  The project was created as part of CSM’s Digital Production Class.

Four college students at the College of Southern Maryland were recognized last week for their productions.  Charles Thompson and Alfonso Thomas were the team to receive the grand prize at CSM for their video. Their winning PSA submission can be viewed at  The team made up of Destiny Houston and Tionte Smiley came in second with their winning PSA submission, viewed at

Auto theft prevention remains a priority for the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council, created in 1994, as a statewide strategy directed at public awareness, vehicle theft by juveniles, law enforcement and prosecution through a grant award process. The Council supports programs intended to reduce motor vehicle theft, improve administration of motor vehicle laws, inform motor vehicle owners of the financial and social costs of vehicle theft, and teach methods of motor vehicle theft prevention.






CONTACT:    Elena Russo, Office of Media Communications, 410-653-4236