By Melissa Kositzin
Apparently there is a belief in this fine country of ours that if you move to Any Town USA, you have achieved the idyllic state of living in an area where there is no crime ever, and you don’t have to lock your doors and windows, and you can leave all of your valuables in plain sight in your car and nothing bad will ever happen. Ever.
Please wake up and lock your damn doors already!
In our sleepy college town for the past four years during the months of August and September — when students are moving back into town for the new school year — we responded to an average of 85 parties per month. Problems associated with these parties include noise, vandalism, and out of control drunk kids.
Some of those kids are smart and try to walk home from the party instead of driving drunk. Kudos to them for avoiding that tragic fatal accident. Unfortunately, sometimes they wander into the wrong house on their way home.
To a drunk college kid, these houses look alike.
Imagine your surprise when you come downstairs for a glass of water and find a drunk kid snoring away in your living room. No, I’m not kidding. It happens so frequently that when we get these calls from the reasonably panicked resident, we are able to say with some confidence that the strange person in their home is not there to steal their stuff, but was simply looking for his or her own bed. Our officers then arrive whereupon one of three things will happen: 1.) the student will be released to a friend and taken home to sleep it off; 2.) the student will be arrested for being drunk in public and not able to take care of themselves and 3.) transported to either the jail, or the hospital and then the jail.
How can you the homeowner avoid this situation? LOCK YOUR DAMN DOOR.
Here’s another call we love to take: I went out to my car this morning to go to work and all of my stuff/CD’s/radio/GPS/toys/presents/important papers are gone. I’m so sorry to hear that, was your car locked? No.
Let’s see, how can you avoid being a victim of this crime of opportunity? LOCK YOUR DAMN DOOR. (It might also help if you BRING YOUR VALUABLES INSIDE THE HOUSE.)
Of course, there’s also the caller who screams, “my car has just been stolen!” Okay, did you see it happen? Yes, I left the keys in the ignition and went back into my house for my purse/coffee/cat, but I was just gone for a minute!
How could you have prevented this one? That’s right, LOCK THE DAMN DOOR!
I know, I’m not sounding very empathetic or sympathetic. I promise I’m not like this when I’m actually answering your call. This is just my way of saying, I’d rather NOT be taking your call at all. If you would just take some small precautions — LIKE LOCKING YOUR DAMN DOORS — you too could prevent crime…
Because most criminals are not rocket scientists; they’re just opportunistic.
In all seriousness, October is National Crime Prevention Month.
Here’s a quick video demonstrating some crime prevention strategies you can implement to keep you and your family safe.
Crime Prevention video:Lakeville PD’s Top Ten Crime Prevention Tips
Did you note the number 1 tip from that video? Let’s review; it was: LOCK YOUR DAMN DOORS.
Be safe out there.