I live in a pretty nice neighborhood. It is in an unincorporated suburb in Sacramento County, Calif. known as Fair Oaks. The subdivision I live in is a relatively new development (late 70s) called Rollingwood. Although we are certainly not crime-free, the level of criminal activity here is low and for the most part petty. Of course, there are exceptions, but all in all, this is a very quiet neighborhood. One of my neighbors across the street started a neighborhood watch email list so that the residents are kept up to date on what is going on around here. The following letter is to alert my neighbors of a petty crime that occurred in my driveway last night or early this morning…
Dear Rollingwood residents,
Last night I failed to roll up my windows in my car. Although it was parked in my driveway on Long Canyon Dr., and my outdoor lights were on, someone decided it was worth entering my car to see what could be had. Fortunately there was not much there, but some items in the tray of my center console were taken – and the tray was taken as well. There was a small pocketknife, a silver ring and broken silver rope chain necklace… maybe a couple of other items as well. All tolled, these items were not worth much and with the exception of the tray itself, nothing that I will really miss. But the value of these items and whether I will miss them or not is obviously not the point. The sanctity and security of my home was violated and this would (or should) piss anyone off. The crime did not go totally undetected - there are always clues. The following is what I believe to be a probable scenario:
Although I do not know for sure when it occurred, my kids’ dogs were barking at about 5 a.m. this morning. They will bark whenever they sense someone outside my house, but usually it is nothing. This time we should have listened and let them out for if I had, I would be writing a much different story. It is also probable that the dogs scared off the punk(s) before they had a chance to search in any depth – much more was left than was taken. This was a crime of opportunity; there was no need to check to see if the car was open, it clearly was. I have not checked my security cameras yet, but due to where the car was parked and the pre-dawn darkness, I don’t expect they will reveal much. But here is the sad truth; the criminal(s) involved are most likely living among us.
This is a crime a kid would commit – one or more of your kids (not necessarily your kid, but very likely one of our neighbors’) and/or one or more of their associates. It is highly unlikely that someone would be casing this neighborhood in search of a car with its windows open to see what kind of score could be made. These are not professionals, but they are absolutely criminals in training. So here is the $64,000 question: Do you know where your kids were early this morning? Are any of them sporting a slick little pocketknife (it’s red and about an inch and a half to two inches long when folded), or a silver rope necklace or a silver ring? You might ask them how they came up with these things, because they among the things that were lifted from my car. I sure don’t want anyone to take this personally and I am by no means accusing every kid in this neighborhood of being a thief, but the evidence is pretty clear that at least one is. There is an opportunity here for a proactive, alert parent to stop a lifetime of bad choices in its tracks.
Me? I just want my center console tray back.
Michael K. Althouse