This was posted on the Yahoo! group for our neighborhood association and quite frankly, it reeks of fish. I would welcome and appreciate any and all debunkings and chows
quote:We had a visit from a detective today who told us the person who robbed our house (address in parentheses) has been arrested. Turns out he admits to robbing over 25 houses. He was out on parole for burglary and the detective said he will go back to jail for his remaining six years and they will also try him for some of the burglaries in Riverwest. He said during sentencing they will mention his confession to over 25 houses (why he won't be charged with all 25 burglaries, the detective didn't know and said that was the DA's call).
This man told the police that he targeted white people, not because of any racial animus, but because they usually left money in their house and left doors unlocked or windows open. The burglar said he would never have attempted to rob a house if he saw a TV or heard a radio on so the police suggest leaving a TV on during the day if you aren't home. The detective also said something about the burglar ringing doorbells to see if anyone was home or if he heard a dog and if someone answered, he would just say something like "oh sorry, I was looking for Joe's house." So if you are home and someone suspicious rings your doorbell and says "oh nevermind," the detective suggests calling the police.
While this burglar has been caught, these are important lessons to learn. I know we shut and lock all of our windows when we leave the house every day.
At least that's one more criminal off the streets!
The FOAF chain describes this as a repost of something from the newsletter of a nearby neighborhood association. Both neighborhoods and their associations are examples of urban gentrification (especially mine) and are struggling with all sorts of crime and safety issues as well as property value/public image problems.
The neighborhoods are adjacent and lie within the same police and aldermanic district.
I don't know about the truth of the story on its own, but the suggestions it makes are somewhat valid. According to many things I have seen and read over the years, most home burglars first will ring the bell or knock on the door before attempting to enter a house. They only want to steal things and get out fast and without a confrontation. Dogs are also a deterrant, more because of the noise they make as opposed to any physical threat they may pose. This would obviously depend on how close your neighbors' homes are to you and if they would care to look if they heard your dog bark. Leaving a TV or radio on is also a decent idea because it implies that someone is home to watch/listen and may even sound enough like real people inside to deter a robber.
As for the thiefs targetting white families for specific reasons mentioned, I can't say. It seems a bit racist but they don't specify the race of the burglar (possibly we are supposed to assume he is of another race). It also does not mention how the man knows the families are white. This implies that maybe he "cases" a place first but if he did that one would think he could probably figure out if a person owned a dog or not and know the family well enough to figure out a time of day when no one was home to render the other points rather uneffective.
Needless to say, I'm a bit on the fence. Seems to me that something of this scope would have possibly made it into your local newspapers though.
-------------------- "Silly customer, you cannot hurt a Twinkie." -Apu (The Simpsons) Posts: 2026 | From: 10 miles South of Boston | Registered: Oct 2002
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The story about the burglar may be true or not, but the anti-burglar tips are good ideas. Especially the part about burglars calling to find out who is home. Some weeks ago, we got a call from someone asking us if we had got an alarm system on our house and if we wanted to try the new one his company sold.
-------------------- Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity Posts: 91 | From: Vienna, Austria | Registered: Dec 2003
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In the United States (and really everywhere if you think of it) money is mostly concentrated in the hands of white European-descendants. Because of this if a burglar is going to be targetting people it is very likely he'll end up targetting the richest sector of society, which in America is middle-aged white protestants in affluent neighborhoods.
And really, even if there are a handful of people in those neighborhoods of different races it is likely that they will still have less disposable income and thus less expensive easily resold items within their homes...
It is racial profiling, true, but hey... what works for the cops is good for the crooks.
Posts: 411 | From: California | Registered: Nov 2005
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I was under the initial impression that someone, possibly a police officer - possibly some Yahoo! group writer. was attaching an emotional device to some reasonable suggestions. The reason I thought it reeked of fish is that Barbara seems to have several hundred pages of similar cases.
I simply doubt that some petty, opportunistic criminal is actually "caseing" the residences and upon discovering evidence of brown-skinned occpancy, moving on to the next house. I'm guessing the presence a portable plasma TV would trump any consideration on the color of the owner.