Life Can Be Hard – Why Make It Easy for Criminals?

I may not have a Ph.D. from Harvard, but I like to think that I have common sense.  Like Jim Croce once sang, “You don’t spit in the wind, you don’t tug on Superman’s cape, and you don’t mess around with Jim.”  Words to live by.

Unfortunately, there are those that live here in the Pacific Northwest that must believe they live on a faraway utopian planet and not in the real world.  Yes, we’re fortunate to have very little crime on the island, mostly crimes against property, and the last murder took place probably ten years ago.  But, when you read our local police blotter, so much of the crime never had to occur in the first place if people just used common sense.

Here are some recent entries from our police blotter.

One Day

8:13 a.m.  An unlocked vehicle on C Street NW was entered by thieves.  Stolen were a wallet containing a driver’s license, ferry passes gift cards and checks written to the vehicle’s owner.

9:04 a.m.  A car was broken into at an apartment complex on W Road while parked in its garage.  Both the car and the garage were unlocked.  Cash was stolen from a wallet in the car.

12:36 p.m.  Three vehicles were broken into at a residence on N Place.  The garage where the vehicles were parked was left unlocked.  All of the vehicles were entered but only one had items stolen from it.  A stolen purse was later found by the residents near the home but the wallet containing bank and insurance cards and a driver’s license was missing.

12:42 p.m.  A car parked on L Avenue was broken into and items were stolen.  The victim believes thieves entered through the unlocked rear hatch.  The thieves took items containing bank information belonging to the victim and her mother.

10:30 p.m.  A vehicle on S Lane was entered and items were removed.  The unlocked car was parked in front of a resident’s home on Friday evening and not re-entered by its owners until Sunday evening.  It was discovered that an iPad and a laptop left in the vehicle were missing.

Another Day

9:24 a.m.  A couple on K Lane had planned on having a garage sale but cancelled it.  They placed an advertisement on Craigslist but soon cancelled it.  They left some items in their driveway that were for sale and others that were not contained in boxes or covered by blankets.  Others were in a shed and in the carport.  The morning of the cancelled garage sale, they heard people outside and saw some of them putting boxes into a truck.  They asked the people to leave.  The couple called the police when some people continued rummaging through their goods.  Many items not intended for sale were taken, including a laptop and camera as well as boxes for storage containing family heirlooms such as World War II medals from relatives.

7:02 p.m.  A house on M Road was broken into and items were stolen.  The front door of the residence was left unlocked when the resident left for work that day.  Upon returning home, she noticed that items were missing from the home and other items were moved.  The stolen items included an Apple iPad, a gold engagement ring, gold wedding ring, two gold necklaces with diamonds.  The total estimated value of the items was $3600.00.

Yet Another Day

7:43 p.m.  A H Road business had $100 stolen from the cash register and $75 from the safe.  The theft occurred between closure of the business the previous night between 9:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.  Police said the till had a key in it and the safe is kept unlocked.

There you have it.  I’m not condoning the actions of any of these criminals.  Their behavior is inexcusable.  But I’m convinced none of these crimes would’ve been committed had the owner locked their car, garage, home or safe.  These are crimes of opportunity and the police blotter shows that seldom is a car or home actually broken into.

All the grief associated with a stolen credit card, checkbook or other valuables could have been easily avoided if people just used a little common sense.  The only thing missing from the blotter was the report that some of the victims left the heater running in the car so the criminal wouldn’t catch cold while rifling through their stuff.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

  • wally

    I’ll agree that if the car or house is locked there would be somewhat less theft. However, if everything is locked, the next step of breaking and entering will increase since that would become the next option for the criminal who doesn’t find the unlocked property to satisfy his/her need.

  • Bruce A

    Locking up is simply common sense. Another thing missing in may peoples lives.

  • Florida Jim

    The old, old days of not having to lock up are long gone.

  • Randy

    Locks make thieves have to work, don’t they??

  • Lenchie

    I go into two directions thinking about this topic. While I can’t help but understand your point of view, Bernard, I still feel like it is saying that the victim of rape is at fault because she dressed too provocatively…

    • chief98110

      I agree with you first analysis but not on the rape thing. I hope you are not saying that we should leave our doors open and rely on the notion that most people are not thieves so we should take no proactive steps to prevent crimes.

  • California70

    I do “get it”, because I grew up in Washington State.

    During the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond, nobody ever had to lock a car or the front or back door either. Back then, people in Washington State were well eduated, highly patriotic and most people went to church.

    Unfortunately, thing in Washington State have changed and not for the better. These people are now for the most part, a bunch of liberals. To me, that means lacking in common sense.

    So you see Bernie, these people who are leaving their cars and garages unlocked, are either older people who still think life is safe in Washington’s small towns or just a bunch of uneducated liberals without any common sense.

    • Ron F

      I am not sure there is a correlation with being liberal, uneducated or not going to church and not locking doors on your house or car.

  • Dave O’Connor

    Look at how we vote:
    We left the national wallet on the seats of Congress, personal information (intelligence) open to the page “Me”, gave away our market goods, heritage (like those rings and necklaces) lay prey, and we still keep voting to leave the keys in the ignition.
    And this is all done wittingly and willingly by people we suffer to believe have reached the “age of reason”.

  • Rick Johnson

    The way things are going in this country, it’s going to be the supposed ‘have not’s’ that prey on the perceived ‘haves’. We lock our doors and keep the alarm systems on.

  • Ron F

    Some people get lulled into a false sense of security because of where they live. I can understand it when people live on an island in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, some people are just careless or forgetful. I am not sure that it means that they do not have common sense. Most of us have common sense in some things but not all things. Most people lock the doors on their homes and cars and most people know better than to leave things, such as laptops, in unoccupied cars. But obviously enough do not so they become attractive to criminals.

  • robin in fl

    I never lock my doors of my home.
    then again I live in FL in a small town where EVERYONE knows most EVERYONE has guns,and FL has the ‘castle doctrine’ which tends to make it ok to ‘get the bad guys’ …and the fact that I have dogs doesn’t seem to make for an easy target to steal from..funny ,I guess when a person sees 4 pitbulls for some reason it makes them think twice I guess ,not quite sure why since PB’s are really such ‘sweety pies’!!!.

    Though I do see the folks in the city parts getting robbed blind and carjacked ,all the while complaining if a dog barks,,go figure!

  • Nancye

    My son and daughter-in-law used to leave their house to run errands without locking the door. When I confronted them about it, the answer was, “Oh ‘they’ can get in if ‘they’ want to”, to which I replied, “Well, maybe so, but you don’t have to help them, do you?”

    As far as I know no one ever did, but…….my son and daughter-in-law still didn’t have to make it easy for some burglar to just walk in and take everything in the house.

    • post*tenebras*lux

      Agree with your son, Locks are for honest people.