Police! Help!

This morning I read an article in the paper about a Richmond police initiative that is making people angry.  In an effort to help the good citizens of Richmond protect their property, the police are roaming neighborhoods between midnight and 4 am and peeking in  parked cars.  If they see valuables in plain sight, they are knocking on doors, waking owners, and admonishing them to keep their property out of sight.  This has been in response to a rash of car burglaries.

Can you believe that people would actually be angry with being awoken in the wee hours of the morning to be told they are careless?  Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?  I mean, I don’t think the police are going far enough, if you ask me.  If I had my way, I’d have the police be even more intrusive because I need all the help I can get.  These are some of the things I propose:

  • I would like the police to check and make sure I’ve put the garage door down when I leave the house.
  • If I give the police my key and my security code, can they come into my house and make sure I’ve turned the stove off?  Unplugged the coffee pot?  I would also give them permission to taste the stew bubbling away on my unattended stove and adjust the seasonings.  Might as well, if they are  in my kitchen anyway.
  • Police should patrol inside of grocery stores.  I see many women who leave their pocketbooks (purses to you younger women) in their grocery carts while they wander halfway down the isle to retrieve a box of Cheerios.  A lot of admonishing is obviously called for there.

I’m just wondering, though, as helpful as these things might be, if police might find better things to do with their time than to babysit careless people.  If people continue to leave valuables in plain sight, even though they’ve been warned over and over again that they are asking for trouble, then  getting burglarized should come as no surprise.

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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37 Responses to Police! Help!

  1. Al says:

    Why, just the other day when I was in Richmond, I forgot to button the flap on my wallet pocket and a policeman came up to point that out to me. And they say there’s never a cop around when you need one.

  2. Colline says:

    People need to be more careful with their belongings. They should be putting their belongings out of sight in their cars, closing their purses, locking their doors. All they need to do is spend time in a country where stealing is rife, they would learn very quickly. It is sad though that we have to do these things but stealing of a symptom of a larger social problem.

  3. sliceofshanghai says:

    I would love to have the police warn me against buying counterfeit tickets here. I am in this paranoia state of mind after what happened two weeks ago. If I knew what would happen that day, I would be delighted if the police had knocked on the door at 3am that same morning!

  4. pattisj says:

    I like your thoughts on this, how they might be even more helpful! Thanks for the laugh.

  5. judithhb says:

    Well Susan just last week when I was walking Lotte a man who I see on occasion at the park came up to me. “I’m a policeman” he said showing me his warrant card. I had left the window in my car down just enough for someone to put their hand in the car and steal my wallet that was apparently in full view on the front seat. So I got a fright, closed the window and promised him that I would be more careful in future.

    • Coming East says:

      Wow, you were darn lucky, Judith! At least the policeman came up to you on the street in broad daylight instead of knocking on your door at three or four A.M.

  6. Once more, my day has begun with a smile… thanks so much! Great read.

  7. I would LOVE to have someone at my beck and call to make sure I turned the iron off!, which 99% of the time I do, but as I’m driving away from my house I always seem to ask myself that question.
    Great Read!

  8. I can’t decide what I think. One the one hand, it’s very small-town friendly service. On the other, it’s sort of mind-your-own-business and don’t show up until I call you. Anyone opening their door at 4am to find a police officer is going to have a heart attack. Are the paramedics standing by as this happens?

    • Coming East says:

      I’d be scared to death, SC. I agree that the idea was a thoughtful one, but I still think it is a bad idea. If people can’t be responsible for making good decisions, even after numerous service announcements that warn us to never leave our valuable visible in our car, then people will suffer the consequences.

  9. Guilty of always leaving my handbag in the trolley! But as it’s a backpack and weighs a ton, I always argue that I’d see anyone crawl away with it! ;)

  10. Dor says:

    I agree Susan, especially with the last part about people being responsible for their own carelessness. That’s the way we all learn. Great post! :)

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Dor. I was really surprised that the Richmond Police Department would think that was a good idea. Can you imagine how you would react if a policeman came to your door at 3 am? I’d be freaking out, worrying that something terrible had happened to someone I loved.

      • Dor says:

        Yes – I would react the same way. However, I would probably never leave anything in my car again. So in some sadistic way, the Police undoubtedly think this will cut down on crime in the long run.

  11. Huffygirl says:

    You and I are on the same personal responsiblity bandwagon I think.

    When my son first moved to a busy neighborhood in Chicago I warned and warned him about leaving valuable in his car. He scoffed at me – “No body cares enough to steal my CDs and change” , and what could I, a small town girl, possibly know about living in Chicago? Well finally it happened – someone smashed the window, and stole his CDs and change and he had the inconvenience of trying to get the window fixed, in the winter no less. It took a long time before he finally told me about it, feeling so sheepish he was.

    • Coming East says:

      Yes, hard lesson learned without a knock on the door at four in the morning, HG. People know better, and no amount of nagging (which is what the police action was all about) is going to make some of them act responsibly. I don’t want the police acting as my mother. They have better things to do with their time.

  12. Great read! And I agree. There’s gotta be more to do than waking someone up who left their phone in the car. I mean, I would never, ever accidentally do something like that. Nope. Not me. ;-)

    • Coming East says:

      I actually am very careful about not leaving anything in sight in my car, even though I lock in in my garage. But I’ve been married to someone who was a narcotics agent, a detective. A chief of police and a director of safety and security, so it’s been drilled into me. But many people don’t give it a second thought and pay the price. Thanks, DF.

  13. You are so funny. Sensitive topic played out quite humorously. How many times as a teacher, did I store away a cell phone, gold ring, piece of electronic equipment, or billfold carelessly left in class, then made the phone call or wrote the e-mail, not to worry? Makes me wonder if the prize patrol or the HGTV dreamhouse giveaway folks knocked on one’s door in the wee hours, if people would mind, or would they commit PR suicide? Not that they would, of course…

    • Coming East says:

      Um, I’d be very respectful of HGTV knocked on my door at four in the morning to tell me they are doing a makeover on my house. Maybe I should send them my address, Georgette?

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