Talk about an inside job.
Between the time my son Joe left for work around 7:45 a.m. and the time he
returned for lunch at 12:15, the door to his modest, second floor, on the main
drag, good neighborhood (at Mill Run in Hilliard) was kicked in and everything
fenceable was taken. Like many other twenty-somethings Joe is a musician who
loves electronics. Gibson electric guitar, Yamaha acoustic guitar, key boards, microphones,
speakers, amplifiers, custom computer, laptop, 42-inch flat screen television, training
weights, game systems, games, DVDs, luggage, and white athletics socks were taken.
The exercise bicycle, identification records, wall hangings, kitchenware and
toiletries were inspected but left in place. A couple of beers had been taken
from the refrigerator and left on the counter.
I spent that night on Joe’s
couch and the next day we were joined by one of his friends as we hung a new
door (complete with steel “extensions”). There was some nervous joking about
getting a shotgun, a rotwieler and steel bars in the entryway. As we finished,
the ADT Security salesman showed up to express his sorrow and offer a system. “We
follow the police reports,” he explained. Right.
I asked Joe what the
police had suggested he do. They said get a dog. So the next day we went to the
pound and Joe chose Bebe a 1-year-old shepherd/lab stray with high pitched yap
that seemed a little more energetic than my son. Joe has since renamed the dog
DV or Devi for Devious I’m told. And other than tearing out his linoleum
bathroom floor, the dog has been great, if you don’t mind being dragged by a
dog on leash in the rain and snow, three times a day, plastic bag in hand.
Joe says his neighbors are
either young professionals like him, college students or older folks. Many
already have dogs -- probably not even realizing what their pets are doing for
them -- just with a bark or two. I say Joe needs to get the older folks out of
their homes and walking around during the hours the younger folks are at work.
The workers could return the favor later in the evening – as they walked their
Of course it makes me
realize how vulnerable we are out in the country. Yes we have two big dogs, but
there are not a lot of folks around to hear them bark. I’ve decided it is all
the more reason to make a trip around the neighborhood and remind everyone to
keep an eye out for each other. The hood is what you make it, and what you
prevent others from making it. We all carry cell phones with cameras. The least
we can do is snap a photo of a suspicious vehicle. Several neighbors get daily
exercise along the local roads. We all could take a turn. And when something
does happen, we need to put the word out. A warning might make prevent the thieves
from using the same approach again.
Joe has insurance and he’s
done a good job of keeping receipts and serial numbers. I am sure Nationwide
will be on his side. His confidence is a little shaken and he’s very angry. In
addition taking several years of music he has written, the robbers violated the
secure feeling he and the rest of us want to feel in our homes. I fear that it
is a sign our economic and drug-influenced times are making folks more and more
desperate. The Internet and pawn shops make quick sales easy.
I tell Joe it was just bad
luck. I’m sure many of his neighbors have the same set of earthly goods he
possessed. It was just a matter of picking a place that would be unattended for
a couple of hours. Next time they will have to deal with a well-reinforced door
and a really terrifying yapper.
Watch out for your
neighbors. Ask them to do the same.