Dang! Now I’m stuck in the house for an hour or so.
Thanks to a seemingly endless stream of missives from the neighborhood association warning of burglars who wait and watch on the street and then clean out your house when they see you leave on an errand, I’ve been checking all around before I drive my car out of the garage. At one point, our intrepid leader reported seven burglaries and prowlers caught in the act over a 15-day period—one every two days. Many of the perps arrive in pairs or groups; pretty clearly, some of this stuff represents organized gang activity. Others are singletons. The level of their determination to rip off the residents keeps step with the rise in the unemployment rate:
I’ve received several emails and calls about an incident that occurred in the 8000 block of N 8th Ave today.
A 20-30 yr old Caucasian male approached two homes that we know of in the middle of the day. After ringing the doorbell and pounding loudly on the door but getting no answer, he attempted to drill thru the lock and pry open one of the doors. The homeowner was home but wisely chose not to answer the door for the stranger. When it became apparent he was attempting to break in, the homeowner yelled at the guy and he left.
I’m happy that he left and did not get into the house, but he’s still out there. Phoenix PD was called but the guy was long gone. They indicated they were aware of this guy and have been looking for him. We need to be especially watchful for this creep as it could be very dangerous if he gets into a house where the homeowners are home as he almost did today. If you see someone matching this description, call 911 immediately. You do not need to wait for him to do something. If he matches this description, call 911 immediately. If the dispatcher gives you any grief about it, tell them we’ve been told the police are looking for this guy and our Community Action Officer has asked us to call immediately.
The guy is 20-30 years old, white, about 5-10″, shaved head, dark, tightly trimmed goatee. His face was described as gaunt as you might expect a drug addict to appear. He arrived at the house on a red and black motorcycle, wearing a Yamaha motorcycle jacket and a helmet , carrying a backpack.
Be watchful, be safe, be quick.
Okayyy… Just a few minutes ago I gathered my junk to make a run on Costco, Sprouts, and Target. And what should I see parked about three doors down but an old beige Oldsmobile with someone sitting in the driver’s seat. Just a-sittin’ there, minding their own business, eh? Because I couldn’t see far enough to get the license plate from my front yard, I drove my van down there, wrote down the license number and car description, and then came back. The occupant had a shirt hung in the driver’s side window so I couldn’t get a good look at her. (Some of the perps of late have been women, BTW.) I wasn’t even sure it was a woman or a man in drag—the hairdo looked like a bad wig. It could have been a guy tricked out to look like a woman, by way of camouflage.
Damn it. I had a lot of stuff to do today, and I didn’t have in mind spending an hour or so waiting around for a cop to show up. That’s the usual wait time when you call 911 around here. Ohhh well.
In the protective coloration department, yesterday I realized that if I’m to continue shopping at the Sprouts, Costco, and Target in my general area, I shouldn’t be doddering around the parking lots with a purse slung over my shoulder. Since I charge everything, really there’s no reason to haul a bag around everyplace I go.
For a little old lady to carry a purse into the Sprouts or the Albertson’s shopping center down the street is like wearing a sign saying “Mug Me!” The Albertson’s is just creepy—I won’t go in there even in the daytime anymore. Sprouts’s parking lot is a bit sketchy, too. The Walgreen’s in that strip mall allows young toughs to loiter outside the front door, so when you go in there you have to run a gauntlet of threatening-looking men and boys, and you get to enjoy passing through a thick cloud of their cigarette smoke. They may be harmless fellows, but IMHO if you dress like a violent thug and affect the mannerisms of a violent thug, there’s a fair chance you are a violent thug.
La Maya had a close escape from a mugger at the gas station adjacent to the Sprouts parking lot, and then, more recently, she watched a hooker pick up a john in the parking lot. So, your choices are to burn gas driving into a better area, where the stores are nicer and the parking lots less littered with questionable patrons, or to take your chances closer to home.
So, realizing that when I shop I rarely use anything other than a credit card, I decided to disinter an old fold-over wallet and use it to carry the AMEX card, driver’s license, and Safeway nuisance card. It will fit in my jeans pocket, and as long as I’m wearing a shirt on the outside, the resulting bulge is unnoticeable. With any luck, the perps will prefer to knock over some other little old lady with her purse slung over her shoulder, and maybe leave me alone.
And besides, it has a benefit: one fewer piece of junk to drag around.
Of course, leaving my purse in the house poses the chance that it will be stolen, if indeed The Burgular decides to come visiting. But I have a weird little hidey-hole that is SO strange I doubt even a pro will think of it. So I’m going to hide the purse there whenever I go out.
Image: Burglar’s Tools Found in the Bank, Wikipedia Commons