Monday, November 06, 2006

Police Protection

On Halloween night, a couple that I know had their house broken into. They were out doing the Halloween thing with the kids, and somebody broke in, stealing a TV and a PS2. I was talking to the guy the following day, and what he said really kinda cheesed me off.

When they got home, they saw that the front door was damaged- the thieves tried to pry it open, but the door held. Fine. When that didn't work, they went around to the back door, smashed the window, and reached in to unlock the door. Once inside, they clearly stayed for a while- not only did they steal the items mentioned, but they also had something to eat.

Okay, so what do you do when that happens? Well you call the police. When the officer showed up, the guy was talking to the cop. He told the officer that he suspected the people across the street were the guilty party. And apparently, one of these jokers was walking down the street, holding his jacket closed, as if he had something hidden underneath. Something about the size of oh, say a PS2. He pointed the guy out to the officer. Who made a note of it. Then he pointed out to the officer that there was a very clear fingerprint on the door handle where the thieves unlocked the door. And also apparently mentioned that it would be a safe bet that there were more prints on the plate that the bad guys used for dinner.

According to what he told me, the cop was supremely uninterested. Apparently, collecting fingerprints "isn't like they show on TV", and it just wouldn't be possible to get any prints.

Well. Even if we assume that to be true (and I don't), wouldn't it make sense to actually try and get prints before concluding that it's impossible? But it would appear that the only task the officer was there for was to get a report, so that the victims can get the insurance money.

Now I am fairly reasonable. I understand that the police have limited manpower, and that investigating a robbery is probably a pretty low priority. But if the victim tells you who did it (and I would add that I and several other people all came to the same conclusion about the neighbors being the likely thieves, without any discussion). It would seem to me that a good way to stop crimes would be to arrest the criminals. It's called "prevention", or if you're a yuppy, "being proactive".

But no, nothing happens. My brother, when I told him this tale, commented that the guy should have asked to speak to a patrol supervisor or someone, since the cop apparently didn't care. However, I suspect that the problem is a bit deeper. I think it's probably just a policy, not to waste time on "unsolvable" crimes, when there are bigger ones out there.

(I would note here that the Feds just came out with a crime report, ranking cities according to their crime rates. My city was about number 275 out of 350- worse tha L.A. or NYC. Makes me feel great).

Another acquaintance told me that he called the police to report a problem near a rental property he owns. They came, but apparently suggested that he only call them to that address in the future "if there's blood. Otherwise, we don't want to hear about it."

As someone put it to me last week, there's a pretty good reason to carry a pistol. But our leftist friends want less police, fewer criminals locked up, and nobody carrying guns. I don't know. Call me crazy, but I want the local criminals to fear my wrath and leave me alone. I've never yet actually had to draw down on someone (and I pray I never will), but if the police are that overwhelmed, then I guess Joe Citizen has to take care of himself. Or herself.

A society of what the loonies would call "Gun-totin-wackos". That's what we need. Thus the name of this blog. (Clever, huh?)

This whole thing bugs me on many levels. Looking at this robbery, it just strikes me that the criminal element has become incredibly brazen. First they try and break in thru the front door, on a night when folks are actually out and about after dark. Then, when they get in the house, they raid the refrigerator. I'm not a psychologist, but to my mind that's sending a message to the victim- we have all the time in the world here, and we can do whatever we want, so deal with it. Probably also some kind of a warning in there, but I don't know.

It just seems to me that the police could have cracked this case in about 2 minutes. If you know that neighborhood at all, it seems pretty obvious that it must have been someone right there. First off, these people have only lived there for a few weeks, but the thieves knew they had kids, and must have seen both parents leave. So they were watching. Further, almost every time I've been over that way there's been someone outside the neighbor's house. I'd guess that it wouldn't be more than 10-15 minutes when someone isn't sitting out on the little deck, and that's during the day. So I would personally figure that someone would be around in the evening, and would presumably be around to scare off any strange people fiddling around the front door. But they weren't, even though I would assume it took a few minutes to try and break thru that door. Finally, I think that the thieves had a lookout. Think about it. If you break into a house, there's always a chance that the residents will come home sooner than you think. So if you sit there and have a bite to eat, you're wasting time. Therefore, someone must have been outside somewhere to keep you from getting surprised. (Also, it would appear that the thieves wandered around the house a bit. Checking it out for other interesting things.)

All of this points to the neighbors. At least in my opinion. But I guess we'll never know, since the police couldn't be bothered to try and solve this case.

Ah well, I guess this is life in the 21st century.


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