Friday, September 25, 2009

To Serve and Protect?

My house got broken into sometime between 8PM Monday night and 7AM Tuesday morning.

A person or persons crawled under my garage door (it was open 6-12 inches to let the cat out) opened my car door and stole several small electronics.  My husband, baby and I were home at the time. My neighbor down the street had her car window smashed and her purse stolen that same night. The thieves later tried to use her ID to clear out her bank account. Thank goodness they were not successful.

I live in a small, quiet neighborhood in a small town. It's mostly young families and older people here, and there are only 2 streets and around 20 homes. It's the kind of neighborhood where you wouldn't expect this kind of thing. Ever since it happened I've been on a mission, not only to catch the thieves and get my stuff back, but to make sure it never happens again.

This week I've spoken to the police department several times, visited and called pawn shops and written letters to all my neighbors telling them about the incident and asking them to keep their eyes open.  I'm also gathering details on starting a neighborhood watch program.

It's been good to have a project and make me feel like I'm at least doing something about what happened. And it's been great finally meeting some of my neighbors.

One lady called this morning and told me some rather distressing news.  She actually saw two young men in hoodie sweatshirts at 5:30AM Tuesday morning on foot in our neighborhood. They seemed out of place, especially given that it was the middle of a thunderstorm at the time, so she called the police. The cops never came. And they never called to interview her either. Not even after two police reports were filed about incidents that occurred that very night.

I realize that petty theft doesn't amount to much on the crime scale. And if this was a bigger city I'd assume the police were out chasing down murders and rapists and the like. But this is a small town. Petty theft and drunk college students are what keep our police force in business. A murder would have been front page news for months. And 5:30 on Tuesday morning when the bars close at 2AM makes it unlikely they were checking college kids.

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