Editor, It’s the holiday season once again, also known as a prime time for break-ins and home invasions. Every year, just after Christmas and New Year’s Day, there is a rash of thefts of this nature.
It’s not really surprising, considering criminals only have to drive down the street to see what kinds of goods are being “advertised.” After the presents are open, boxes are thrown outside for trash pickup. Would-be thieves easily can cruise by and look at the discarded boxes to see which high-value items might be inside each home.
Make no mistake about it — they are driving around, watching and writing down the addresses of homes that have electronics boxes sitting out front. They’re on the lookout for flat-screen televisions, new computers, stereos, home-entertainment systems, rifles and shotguns, and expensive toys, such as electric cars and gaming consoles.
These crooks are just waiting until after the holidays to strike — when residents have returned to work and school.
For several years now, I have issued this warning to my neighborhood-watch members. Every year, I drive around the city on Christmas Day and the following days to survey the number of homes that have left boxes in plain view — those likely to be targeted. I have no authority to stop and advise the homes’ occupants to take action. That is prohibited by city ordinances and laws.
So, please do the following:
• Break down your boxes and put them in your poly cart or trash bin.
• If your bin is full, cut the boxes up so the size is not a giveaway and tie them up so the photos on the outsides of the boxes are not showing.
• Keep boxes inside your home and take five minutes to drive them to the recycling drop-off center on Isle of Wight, across from the new mini-mall on Highway 84.
Don’t “advertise” your goods and leave your family vulnerable to a break-in. Having worked with the police as a neighborhood-watch coordinator, I have seen too many families whose Christmas joy and happiness were turned into feelings of anger, helplessness and insecurity.
— Terry Doyle
Midway City Councilman