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Ominous development

This afternoon the head of our neighborhood association sent this interesting report from one of the residents:

My family and I live in the northwest part of the R*** P*** neighborhood. At 5:15 pm my five children were home together as their dad was working and I’d gone to a school function—about 20 minutes after I left with a girlfriend, whose son was also at my house, a beat-up black Cadillac or that type of car pulled up right in front of our driveway and one man got out and came to the door while three others waited in the car. My oldest daughter (15) watched the man come up to our front door and knock—she didn’t recognize him and got the little ones (4, 3, 19 months) together in my oldest son’s room (11). My son’s room is right next to the front door and he could see the man, in his 20’s, white, buzz cut with light brown or reddish hair and wire glasses. He was also wearing a green shirt that said “Carp” on the back. My daughter said the man didn’t seem too clean and had nothing in his hands to suggest selling something. She said the passengers saw her through our front window and one in the back seat was texting on the phone. The man knocked and then rattled the doorknob for approx 7 to 10 minutes. The man looked into my son’s room through the window and my oldest daughter shut all the shutters and curtains and called the police, but the man and his friends left before the police arrived. My daughter saw the car turn around and drive towards 19th ave. Luckily, we have an alarm and my daughter set it after the police left so she could feel a little safer.

My girlfriend and her son and me and my children were all in my front yard for about an hour before we left to go to the school function, so it makes me think our house was being watched. The odd part is that we had two cars parked in front of our house, so it did look like someone was home. (Normally the cars aren’t there.) Then again, the man definitely saw my daughter and son and heard the younger ones. It seems he wanted in the house.

I’m only going into so much detail because of course I feel terrible that I wasn’t home, but also because it seems like our house was targeted. I’m concerned that these people wanted in the house, that it was daylight, there were obviously children home, and in fact a neighbor’s bike was near our front door but it wasn’t taken.

Holy mackerel! That’s one of the scariest stories I’ve heard in the 17 years or so that I’ve lived in this neighborhood. During that time, we’ve had two home invasions that I know of, but neither involved Bad Guys going after a clutch of children.

The northwest section of the neighborhood is not very good. It’s an area that’s been severely thumped by a series of unhappy circumstances: a slummy supermarket that went unregulated by the City despite chronic code violations; a huge, noisy intersection over which the cops like to park their helicopters while chasing perps; proximity to a set of apartments that have been allowed to turn into tenements and to a blighted district that’s your basic war zone; and most recently the corrosive destruction wrought by the unfinished and apparently never-to-be-finished lightrail train tracks. It was harder hit by the depRecession than any other part of the neighborhood, with the result that even more of the housing than before has been turned into rentals—and they already had plenty of weedy, run-down rentals.

Because of the blighted rentals, it’s reasonable to suspect these characters meant to visit one of their drug-dealing colleagues and had the wrong address. On the other hand, if the mother is right in thinking they were being watched, then obviously they knew only children were home. In that case, it’s very creepy.

I walk the dog at night. And when the weather is nice—as it has been today—I like to have my doors and windows open. Guess I’m going to have to rethink those behaviors…

5 thoughts on “Ominous development”

  1. Funny, I live in one of the best San Diego neighborhoods and still a local girl out running was likely raped and murdered this past week at the local community park.

    This is the park where we take our dog to the dog park and you see families on weekends watching little league games.

    The point is that there are bad people everywhere and you always have to take certain levels of precautions.

  2. That is a very creepy story. The 15 year-old daughter is a total hero, quick-thinking and smart in her responses, otherwise something very bad could have happened, I have no doubt. I bet her parents had discussed this possibility with her, that there was a plan. It sucks that in this day and age parents have to have those conversations with their children, and that children have to be conscious of the fact that some adults are extremely Bad people but one of the take home messages is preparedness, a good idea in any neighborhood. Wow, what a story.

  3. @ Bucksome: That was a horrific event, made even more horrific by the fact that they caught the creep and he has a long history of rape and molestation. One is left with the question of why these people are allowed out, once they’ve shown a propensity to victimize women and children.

    @ Chance: Yes, she pretty clearly is a smart and together young woman. As our neighborhood association leader’s e-mail went on, it was also clear the mother was afraid people would think badly of her for leaving five kids with a 15-year-old. But we used to HIRE 15-year-olds to babysit…it doesn’t seem unreasonable at all for a girl in her mid- to late teens to watch the little ones for an hour or two. Besides, an 11-year-old brother is probably large enough and mature enough to help her with the toddlers. I don’t know what an adult could have done that these two didn’t do, under the circumstances,

  4. That’s pretty horrifying that he stood there that long, trying to get them to open the door, what on earth was he thinking???

    I’m utterly creeped out yet really want to know what he was doing. Did he think he could get them to open the door? Was he just waiting for someone to forget he was there and come out? *shudder*

  5. @ Revanche: Some of these guys are really stoned. Phoenix is the meth capital of the world, and so they’re not only stoned, they’re wired to the teeth. He probably didn’t know quite what he was doing, himself. They can be very aggressive.

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