Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rant: Neighborhood Thugs

I haven't written lately mainly because I'm pissed off and am very likely leading an interesting life, which I will rant about later on.  My rant here has to do with neighborhood thugs, petty thieves and career criminals who have burglarized Chatelaine's home yet again.  This is the second time in three months - I wrote about the first occurrence here (My Life: RFI from LEO) and here (My Life: RFI from LEO - Updates).  Since then a few decisions have been made.

The first time Chatelaine's home was broken into, the thieves were forced to go in and out the back window, the reason being that Big Mike had installed dead bolts on both front and back doors.  This time the thugs decided to do some advanced planning and brought along a crow bar which they used to destroy the back door.  Then they tossed the place, and by that I mean they tossed it.  Every single thing that could be moved and examined was moved... either out the door or left in the center of the room.  They even went into the attic.  This happened over the weekend, as Chatelaine had left to visit her son, Big Mike, in his new home in Columbus, Ohio and do a little cleaning for him.  When she returned on Monday she discovered that her home was all torn up and the thieves got away with the TV set, a few small odds and ends that they missed the first time, Big Mike's old paintball gun (circa 1955) and a small gold bracelet that she misses for sentimental reasons.

Again, Chatelaine called the police.  Again, the police asked her what she would like them to do.  Again, Chatelaine explained that since breaking into someone's home and stealing what little they had was a crime (see the Ohio Code here) and since they were detectives, maybe they'd like to come over and detect just who is was that broke into Chatelaine's home (again) and arrest them, extract a confession, charge them with the crime, get a grand jury to indict them, provide them with a public defender, a fair trial and arrange a fine hanging.  I, Mad Jack, will cheerfully volunteer to trip the trap on the gallows if the hangman calls in sick that day.

The official response to all this was a good deal less enthusiastic than most of us would like.  While it's true that there's enough crime in the city of Toledo to keep all the law officers busy, I'd like to hear about a better response from a Toledo Police Detective than, "Well, what do you expect me to do?"  That's obstructive and it isn't going to get the police any new members for their fan club.

When my own dear mother's garage was burglarized the Sylvania Township Police sent a detective over to talk to mom.  The man was nice, he spent time showing Mom how to make her home more secure, he talked to me on the phone, and he made it clear that he was concerned about Mom's safety.  No, he didn't catch the burglars, but it wasn't for lack of trying and at least he came out and said that a crime had been committed, it was wrong, and the police would do all they could to prevent any further such crimes.  And that is one whole helluva lot better than nothing, and it's a damned sight better than some corpulent doughnut muncher asking obstructive, rhetorical questions of a poor old lady who has nothing left to steal, but who now has an alarm system and is also now out $1000 in damages to her house, and who owns a new TV set that she didn't need.

When she reported the crime to her insurance company, the insurance company informed Chatelaine that she would have to get an alarm system installed or they would cancel her homeowner's insurance.  Chatelaine has lived in that house for about 40 years, which works out to 480 months of insurance premiums.  This is the second claim she's filed.

There are certain industries in the United States that it is impossible to over-regulate, and the insurance industry is right at the top of the list.

Chatelaine now has an alarm system courtesy of ADT, and a few hidden cameras provided by Big Mike.  This is all well and good, but what we're really worried about is urban legend.  You see, the socioeconomically disadvantaged, informally organized group of unsupervised youth who allegedly perpetrated this crime (AKA scumbags, perps, etc.) may have conducted their thorough search because they believe that Chatelaine is one of those old people who appears to be dirt poor but who actually has several hundred thousand dollars stashed away in the walls of her house, or her mattress, or under the floorboards.  Some place that the scumbags failed to look.  And, since they searched and didn't find anything like that, the money must be very well hidden, so the next time they show up they'll kick in the door when Chatelaine is at home and persuade her to tell where the money is.

I can just see these putty heads selling the TV, buying a bag of weed and convincing themselves they're right about their story, then trying to decide just who has the, ah, skill set to get Chatelaine to tell where the money is.

My own suggestion involves moving Chatelaine down to Big Mike's house for an extended vacation, removing the ADT signs from around the house and putting the garbage cans out a little early, right along with the box the new TV came in.  I'd stay inside the house.  I think this might be called entrapment or something, but perhaps not.

It's very likely that I'll take Chatelaine around to the various pawn shops nearby and we'll see if anything turns up.  Meantime, we're trying to convince Chatelaine that it may be time to move South to Columbus and find some safe digs.


Capt. Schmoe said...

It's enough to make you mad, Jack. The issue presents quite the paradox.

Law enforcement has obviously given up on investigating burglaries. Yet, if you were to find the correct perpetrators and administer some baseball bat justice, you would be prosecuted for battery or possibly assault with a deadly weapon.

It seems the property owner gets it from both sides. They can't administer justice and the system won't administer justice.

Good luck.

Older School said...

You should also put up big signs that say, "THIS HOME PROTECTED BY SMITH & WESSON. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK."
Don't they have a Castle Doctrine law in OH?

I think it's time that you play the big cards.

Mad Jack said...

I've got a 12 gauge coach gun, complete with open hammers and a full box of 25 shells. Next time Chatelaine goes out of town I'm going to see about staying over a night or two...