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Friday, November 21, 2008

A time for crime.

In our neighborhood we are surrounded by the big, the bad, and the ugly. Recently the gang violence, the break ins, and the door to door panhandling have increased. What can we do about it? Well, as of now we keep our eyes open, our phones close, and a safety precautions on high alert. Also, you can join your neighborhood crime watch meetings.

I live on a fairly busy street. It is a main road for most emergency vehicles, so the traffic is rather heavy. I ignore the traffic and take precaution exiting my driveway. I have had an accident within a block of my house due to a local bad driver. I have seen my fair share of accidents on this street due to congestion.

Our street leads to a local grocery store. The carts are frequently abandoned in our yards, the beer cans dropped on our lawns, and the intoxicated pedestrians wake us up at night. We clean our yards, call in the carts, and use our pillow to block out the drunken dumb-dumbs.

Now I am starting to draw the line at the soliciting. How many times can a person tell you 'no' before you get a clue? I am not looking for a new religion, I can not afford to trust a check with a stranger, and I do not want to give you my spare change. I have a yearly panhandler that comes to my door like a stray dog. My husband gave into him once and now he feels he can keep coming back. My husband is too nice. I am not. I regularly turn him down. It is one thing to be asked in a parking lot. It is a whole new thing when they come to your door step.

Ten days ago I had a transient come to my door with a ladder. He wanted to sell me this old ladder. Normally, I would decline nicely, but not that day. On that day the guy showed up at my doorstep at 11:55 pm. I informed him of the time, I closed the door in his face, and I reported him to the police. I am assuming they never found him or they never looked because he was back today. Today he was wearing the same clothes when I first saw him and he wasn’t carrying anything. When he came back a second time today he was in a different coat and he was trying to sell hand tools. Drills to be exact. So naturally I reported him to the police again, because today I recognized him as a transient that was living in the alley behind my house. I got a bit of grief from the lady who answered the call, but who is to say this guy isn’t breaking into our homes. Recently the break-ins have been frequent in our neighborhood.

My sister-in-law regularly asks me, “Why don’t you sell your house and move near me?”. I always answer the same, “There is crime everywhere. Why move when I know what is going on here and I know what to expect.” besides who really wants to live near their in-laws?

1 comment:

Stephanie Frieze said...

Have you tried putting up a “No Soliciting“ sign by your door?

Unfortunately, it is likely that the number of people looking for help will go up as the economy continues to decline and the alleys may become full of homeless. Many of us are only a paycheck away from disaster. Once my children and I became homeless unexpectedly and were on the receiving end of help.

When we lived in Nahcotta, a small village on the Northern end of the Long Beach Peninsula, a neighbor would come over from time to time attempting to sell things because the family was short on money and food. Attempting to sell her houseplants was a way of preserving her dignity a bit. Because I knew the husband spent money on booze instead of his family, I took food out of our cupboard and left it on their porch when they weren’t home instead of giving them money. I remembered what it felt like to not know where my children’s next meal was coming from. At least I felt better about giving their two little boys food instead of money that might end up being spent differently than I intended. Eventually they moved to a tent somewhere there on the peninsula. It is not always clear how best to help someone.

How wonderful that your sister-in-law cares so much about you as to want you closer by. I wish we would have been able to live nearer to my husband’s family.