The bad guys have been caught! The crime of burglary carried out by a professional group of breakers-inners was rampant in our neighborhood. This was too close for comfort, so when the police department invited us to a neighborhood crime watch meeting we were anxious to go.
The police made a strong point that burglars do not want to enter a house when anyone is home. They want to get in, take their loot and leave immediately. They may do a surveillance of the neighborhood, parking a car and watching patterns of homeowners coming and going. People with regular hours, leaving and returning home at the same time every day may be attractive marks for burglars, since it becomes clear when they can break in without anyone being home. If you see a strange car parked in your neighborhood call the police to report it. If you see strange men carrying TV sets and computers out of a neighbor’s house definitely call the police.
The doorbell rings and you look through to see who is there.You don’t recognize the person, what should you do? Ignore the person? If children are in the house with instructions not to open the door for anyone, what should they do? If you don’t respond you may send the message that nobody is home, making your house a target. Speak through the door, without opening it. A ploy often used is the delivery man bringing a package to the wrong address. It is possible to correct the address with the door still closed.
It is a good idea to invest in timers for lights. Set them to put on and shut off lights, radios or TVs at different times. Dogs are great announcers of people coming on your property.
If you see a home having a teen agers’ party with no adults present, report it to the police. There are often older kids there, possible with drug problems. While the party is going on, they may wander around the house and take anything they could sell for some quick drug money. Often a theft is not noticed until months after the evening of the party, when an adult searches for a piece of jewelry.
Neighbors can cooperate and report any suspicious activity in the area. It helps the police do their jobs more effectively when they have the cooperation of people aware of their surroundings.
But please don’t report ME; I often walk around the neighborhood for exercise, and not to “case” your house!
Comments on: "CRIME WAVE" (42)
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So glad you and your neighbors are working together to stand against the bad guys. I found a guy casing our neighborhood once while children were walking to the bus stop. I went outside with a watering can and pretended to water my plants. I noticed that the driver in a truck that didn’t belong to any of my neighbors kept eyeing one of the middle school girls and in that moment, I snapped. Watering can in hand and a banshee scream to wake the dead, I marched over to his truck to confront him and he took off. Then I jumped into my car to chase him but he got away. My husband and children were horrified that I’d done that but I just knew that guy was up to no good.
The point of the story is not to be foolish like me but that it really helps to know your neighbors, what cars they drive, what their children look like so that you can “keep watch” and act because sometimes you only have a split second.
It is lucky that you, with your maternal protection gear in hand, looked beyond the obvious and saw the danger lurking for those poor children.
We were told always to get a license number, if possible. That is better ID information than a description.
Thanks for the advice! My husband recently called the police when he noticed a man lurking in front of our neighbor’s house. It turns out it was our neighbor. He was checking on his own generator during the storm. oops.
The neighbor should thank your husband for being so observant. Or was he trying to “borrow” the generator during the hurricane?
Great advice, Ronnie! It’s always a good idea to watch out for your neighbors. I’d rather call the police and be wrong than to assume nothing is wrong and find out someone was hurt. Stay safe!
Definitely true. Just always assume nothing is right, everything is wrong, and people will certainly look out for you (by crossing the street whenever they see you coming!).
This is really timely for me. I was walking around our complex the other day when someone pulled a panel off the wooden fence then saw me walking by and quickly tried to hide against the fence. I figured he was getting ready to try to break in or at least scope out the place. (There would be no strange car in the parking lot because he was coming through the fence.) Freaked out, I went directly to the manager’s office and we called the police. There have been some break ins around here several times since we’ve lived here. If only these people would put that kind of thought and energy into a job . . . I just can’t even imagine what crazy stuff goes through the mind of people like that.
Oh, Linda, how frightening. You did the right thing, reporting it to the police. If they get told about these incidents in quickly they might have a chance to catch the thief in the act.
It’s just so hard to imagine how people can be so sneaky, dishonest and calculating . . .
…and yet, if you read the replies to this post, you’ll see that many people have had experiences or thoughts of being abused by criminal activity.
I know, it really is scarey when you think about it. I guess the trick is to be aware and prepared but not be scared. Hey did I just make up a slogan??? Hahaha! 😀
Good advice. Crime wave? In Miami the drive-by shootings are now so common they rarely make the TV news or newspaper. My daughter and family survived two just three weeks ago.
That is horrifying. How can anybody protect themselves and family in random drive by shootings? The criminals are not even aiming for those they hit!
Thanks much for these helpful tips, Ronnie. I really liked Turnip Times’ idea.. “When I am away and it snows my neighbor walks up and down the sidewalk to my front door and drives her car up and down the driveway.” How lovely to have such wonderful people around you!
This maybe an entirely different story around here. A few weeks ago, a close friend and neighbor got robbed. First, the thieves took out her dog (now it may surprise you if I say that I suspect some juju power was involved). Then, they broke into her home. So what people do these days (as we have little confidence in the police) is to either hire a neighborhood vigilante group, or pretend to be awake by putting on the lights and electronic gadgets. To be frank, none of these options really works. All we pray is that those “bad guys” don’t remember us.
How frightening! It must be terrible to live in such an uncertain environment and never feel safe…
Thank you for all the good advice! We’ll definately follow it! Our “very scary” guard dogs are happy to help out as well….
I’m enjoying your blog!
You’re welcome; that advice comes with compliments of the police department. I volunteered to be captain of our street and liason between our neighbors and any news the police want to share. I should have asked whether I get to wear a Uniform!
Just let everyone think your dogs are fiercely scary, and you’ll be safe from intruders.
Thanks for your comment and for following my blog.
Great tips, Ronnie. As scary as this is/was, there are criminals who love to break in when people ARE home. I think a strong Neighborhood Watch group would deter any criminal activity. Glad they caught the bad guys in your area.
About walking around the neighborhood … I do feel uncomfortable doing so when it’s dark and I live in a very safe neighborhood. (This follows years of me living in Syracuse, NY and walking home during the dark. What was I thinking?)
The police refer to those breakins in which they prefer people to be at home “Home Invasions.” That’s pretty scary.
Dark? Not I. I love my cozy warm and safe home once it gets dark.
Scary stuff, that! We have a couple dogs who do their job quite well (so long as no one gets inside…I’m afraid they’d turn into real pussycats then. But we’re not telling.) Glad they caught the bad guys and you can sleep easy again Ronnie!
‘Just remember not to reassure the repairman, or whoever is in your home, that your dogs wouldn’t hurt a fly.
It always surprises me the intelligence of the criminal… and I wonder why they never put it to better use… to beat them one has to think like them, and protect ones house with the things they don’t want to find… nice post…
Thanks, Bulldog; I share your feelings.
But then again, I feel that way about squirrels, too. They are so smart that they outsmart all attempts to outsmart them and keep them away.
If the criminals used their brains for other things that were good, they would probably make a better living… some of them are so clever yet use the brain for the wrong reason… great post…
Thanks for the great info. When I am away and it snows my neighbor walks up and down the sidewalk to my front door and drives her car up and down the driveway. Without that when it snows it is easy to see that no one is home.
What a great idea!
Thanks for the update Ronnie. As you know I was unable to attend the meeting. What a good idea to put it on your blog. Gaye
Many more people will see it here. If one tip helps prevent a burglary it will be an excellent return.
Good story Ronnie. Although you’d make a great burgler because you’re small and can fit into small bathroom windows, (you know I’m kidding). Good story
Hmm; maybe there’s a new career awaiting me!
I enjoyed your presentation of all those beautiful tips.
I seriously love the way you ended it and I hope that nobody reports you because you’ve got good intentions.
I love every bit of this post. Keep up the good work!
I’ll keep it up unless the burglars steal my computer.
Don’t you worry about neighbors reporting you but let me tell you this, theives do mind people who often walk around the neighborhood. I am more worried about them reporting you to their bosses
Maybe I should invest in a brace of Doberman Pinschers to keep me company on those walks!
I got a simple option. Just get yourself a dozen t-shirt’s printed “I AM NOT WATCHING”
Both sides please. You never know
What an original idea; maybe I’ll try it if a new gang moves into the neighborhood.
You didn’t strike me as the criminal sort. Be careful walking!
It must be your influence, Lisa. I was never the criminal sort until I met you!
I have always thought the dog is the best deterrent, I had a friend who had a recording of a dog that was linked somehow to the movement sensor.. I always leave noise on in the house too.. I am glad they found the culprits, must have been a frightening time.. c
I have a friend who was one of their victims. They knew exactly when she was leaving the house and came in, stole her jewelry and escaped before the police answered the burglar alarm. This group was really professional.