Burglars in my town!

Linda Bittle
Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Other News

I've always felt pretty safe here in Council, Idaho. But today, just a few blocks from where I live, someone broke the door in a house and stole Christmas presents! The police told them that there's been several recent break-ins. Stealing things to trade for drugs, they say. They only hit the front room, taking small items and leaving larger ones.

I know this stuff happens everywhere, and coming from the Seattle area in 2016, it was a daily thing. The office where I worked was broken in to over New Years evening. I found it when I went in to do inventory on January 1st. It shook me up pretty good.

I feel like we (the landlords and I) have done what we can to make it hard to break in here. But it's not impossible. If I'm home, I feel pretty comfortable that they won't catch me by surprise. The little dog is a very alert and noisy watch dog, and I have a shotgun, which I am willing to use if someone comes in my house while I'm there.

I do worry about what happens when I'm at work. I don't have a lot worth stealing. But that doesn't stop criminals from taking what they want. I plan to leave the TV and a light on when I go to work in the morning, and change the light I leave on when I come home for lunch, just to look like the house is not empty.

Mostly, I want to remind everyone that our things are of interest to bad people. Take a minute to evaluate your locks, and your safety plan. Think about what your Christmas decorating that's visible from the street says about what might be of interest to criminals. Let's not make it easy for them!


  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Drugs are definitely becoming a problem in small towns. One of my relatives tells me tales from her small town in Wyoming. I also read a non-fiction book about how meth has taken over small towns throughout the country.

    The drug use probably started out of boredom, then leads to ruined lives.

    Keep vigilant and safe.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,641 admin

    @Mary Linda Bittle

    You can purchase (starting at $9 at Amazon) a timer that you plug lamps or a radio/TV into. You can program them to go on and off when you are not home. Might give you some peace of mind if you are unable to get home to do your light changing.

  • wbt.affiliates
    wbt.affiliates Posts: 100 ✭✭✭

    I used to dispatch for local law enforcement in a tiny town in the Colorado mountains. The house across the highway was broken into, but I saw the perp leave the residence, so called it in. He had been a guest in my home once (only once - he was a slob). But while I was dispatching I heard a couple of deputies talking about a local burglar. One of them laughed, "Yeah, I took him in. He protested that we were targeting him, that every time something was stolen, we looked for him first, so I told him, 'Well, Wayne, if we hadn't caught you with stolen goods in the back of your PICK-UP, we might think otherwise.'"

    I never came across much meth use, but a big-time drug dealer lived in our county. We couldn't catch him. He never broke any laws in our community.

    Not even small towns are immune. I like the idea of purchasing light a timer to plug in while you're gone. You can also buy dog barking audios as well.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well, today was quiet, and so far as I know there were no new burglaries. I was extra vigilant walking to and from work today. (It's only 5 or 6 blocks, depending on how you count the parking lot at school.) I do not know anything about cars and trucks, or how to describe them, except for color and general size. I never recognize even friends if they are in their cars. I see how this could be a problem if I did see something suspicious! Afraid I'd be the world's worst witness.

    I mean, I drive a burgundy Bravada, but that's the best that I could do for my own car. I do take photos every year when I put the new sticker on the license plates, but what do I need to pay attention to in order to describe a suspicious vehicle to the police? What's the most helpful information to relay?

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    License plate number would be ideal. I know from personal experience, however, that it is hard to read the plate properly without persons in the car taking notice.

  • merlin44
    merlin44 Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭

    Even a small barking dog can be a deterrent, criminals don't like noise and don't know the dog's size. @Mary Linda Bittle it's good you have a shotgun and the knowledge to make use of it if needed. For a woman alone, a firearm is an equalizer.

  • I used to leave the back door unlocked during the day because I'm in and out all day. I do have a privacy fenced back yard but no lock on the gate or anything. Lately, however, there have been reports of people just walking in and such. So I lock it now. But seriously not many will get by our lab lol. She is one solid dog and very protective. She has only ever been aggressive when someone with a hoodie pulled over their head walked up on us quickly at night; it was a good thing my daughter had a good hold on her lol. She loves kids and most women but is quite selective when it comes to men. She was a street dog who adopted us when she was about 6 months old and we suspect she had been mistreated by a man or men. Anyway, she makes my feel much safer.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Excellent! Thank you.

    When I called the police back in Washington the morning I found the office trashed I was pretty well impressed with the small town police response. I was smart enough to call 911 from the land line on the front desk rather than use my cell phone so that they could locate me. I was pretty rattled and could barley remember the street address, so that was good. The 911 operator asked if the criminals were still on the property, which I did not know since I'd stopped as soon as I saw what had happened, so I told her I was going outside to wait.

    The responding officers were quick to arrive and get the initial information. Because there were several somewhat connected offices, including a dentist, in the 2 level building, and because the side door had been broken in, they called for backup. The second car also arrived quickly. Then I got to see the 4 officers enter the building from 2 sides, just like on TV, guns drawn and yelling and everything. I hid behind one of the business vans. Anyway, the building was cleared, and we got down to notifying the boss and the other business owners, and the paperwork.

    The officers were kind, and walked me through the needed report. Aside from cash from the busted lock box, the other thing missing was a slection of nice Mora knives with the ferro rod in the handle for starting fires. One officer said that that might actually be helpful information. I expressed some doubt about that because a lot of our customers carried those knives. The cop simply said, "Ours don't"

    And I think that was the moment that I got scared more than mad. Because the way he said it made me remember that criminals are a different sort of people. They don't play by the rules, and they don't care who gets hurt. I don't intend to get hurt.

    Here are 2 books that I highly recommend, and try to read once a year.

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