Thursday, August 25, 2016

Another Theft in the Neighborhood

When you hear of someone reporting their home or car was broken into, or a bike stolen off the front lawn, or a million other such incidents of theft, you think, “Those poor people must have forgotten to lock the door or take necessary precautions to protect their property.”  Then you just dismiss the information as ‘just another criminal act in the neighborhood.’  That is unless you are the victim.

We just became the victim.  This time some low-life stole two cordless drills from our garage:

An old but very powerful Porter-Cable drill

And a Makita 18v Drill and Impact combo with case and accessories:

It probably happened during the night because we rarely leave the garage door open for long during the day unless we are in the garage.  Our garage is detached and set back 90’ from the street in a very small cul-de-sac, so it’s not likely they did their thievery during the day.  But if we were home, we may have not locked the side door because we go in and out of the garage many times a day.  No, it had to be at night.

Nothing else was stolen or damaged that we can see.  And one of the drills was so old that it has no useful value unless someone purchases very expensive replacement batteries for it.  But the other 2-drill set will require at least $200 to replace.  And even that’s peanuts compared to what all could have been stolen or damaged.

The greatest loss we incurred was the security we felt in our home and neighborhood.  That is now gone forever.  We will always feel venerable to the infection and many faces of crime.

What have we done about it?  Well, we reported it to the Constable’s office, and shortly thereafter a nice Deputy Constable came by so we could file a Police Report, the first step in any criminal investigation. 

Surprisingly, providing the necessary information about the loss isn’t as easy as you would think even though it is something you own and use on a fairly frequent basis.  For example, I use one of the drills at least five times a week, yet I could not instantly recall if it was a Ryobi or Hitachi or Makita, and I certainly could not recall the serial number, something ultimately needed to confirm that I am the true owner of the drill.

Nor could I produce the exact model number or even an exact description because the Operator’s Manual was inside the handy carry case along with the drills, which I also failed to clearly mark with my name, driver’s license number or some other ownership information which the Police could legally use to retrieve from a pawn shop.  To me it was just a cordless drill, but it was ‘my’ cordless drill, not some lowlife’s opportunity to lower his status as a human by yet another notch.

Anyway, I learned a lot about the legal process after the fact, but a lot more about what I can do to protect my property, and for that matter, myself and my family.  Most of what I learned is actually just good old common sense which sometimes needs a reminder, such as becoming a victim.

I’m also reminded that criminals do not operate by the same rules the rest of us do, nor or they treated any differently as citizens until they are actually arrested and convicted of a crime.  No matter the crime, they continue to benefit from a system of justice that can be harsh or lenient, often with the weight of forgiveness to those who truly deserve it.  I can’t say I will ever forgive the criminal, but I’m not going to let him or his actions affect my belief that most people are inherently good.

Our home security company will be here tomorrow to install additional security features that may or may not prevent a re-occurrence of a criminal act with us being the victim.  But it’s a start.

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