Crimes of Opportunity

Have you ever been the victim of a burglary? A car theft? Has someone ever stolen your mail? Maybe even your car?

If so, have you wished you’d provided yourself just one more layer of protection — one more lock on the door, a car alarm, for instance — that might have thwarted off the culprits?

Undoubtedly, if you’ve been victimized, you have. And I’d like to hear your story.

I’m currently working on a piece about “crimes of opportunity” — basically, anytime a thief doesn’t have to try hard to get at your stuff.

Opportunity theft happens everywhere, but statistically, it’s been increasing over the last few years in the North Kitsap area and Bainbridge Island — places where in some cases residents need only lock a door and the thief might have moved on.

Got a story to tell?

12 thoughts on “Crimes of Opportunity

  1. I have had a number of things stolen from my home area; these things were small, easily hidden and carried, and virtually untraceable.

    The most recent were some small items from my front porch on Halloween. Some low-life decided that they needed my cigarettes and lighter more than I did. A few weeks before that, a number of gardening/yardwork tools grew some legs and walked away. A few months ago, I had to pay out about $500 to repair the damage from someone ripping the stereo out of my car (worth about $50).

    Yes, I’ve thought about how much I’d like to have more security systems installed, maybe a remote-controlled taser to zap those losers who can’t get stuff for themselves. The problem is that it’s usually more trouble than it’s worth, and it’s more annoyance to deal with every day. As much as it would come in handy those few days when something gets taken, it almost seems like it’s not worth the expense of living in a fortress the other 360 days of the year…

    It’s sad that there are always those people who feel they must take things from others instead of getting it themselves.

  2. Just wondering why the three robberies in the same area in less than a week have not been listed here or in the 911 log? Horse & Cow, 19th Hole, and Hank’s Grocery have all been robbed in one week’s time frame and all 3 are within a couple block radius?

  3. I am sorry for your losses, but thankful that the thief/thieves/ stole your cigarettes…better that a thief develop lung disease …Lung Cancer … than you.
    BTW: I know folks who have security cameras hidden around their property.
    I was told the satisfaction they gained was worth every dime they paid and effort to install.
    All they had to do the next time they had a problem was take the tape to the police as proof . The security cameras ended a long, ongoing problem.
    Dogs and motion detection lights are the first line of defense…and usually all that is needed.
    Security cameras, hidden or visible are a splendid second line of defense or a first line of protection.

  4. I’ve had cars broken into twice, both of them more than three decades ago. My current car has an alarm system and wonderfully secure locks.

    About sixteen years ago my outgoing mail was stolen, so I have a Post Office Box.

    I was burgled twice, once in 1964 and then in 1992, with an attempt or two in between, and some other alarming events involving folks who wanted in to my home when I wanted them off of my property.

    Where I live now, I have an illusion of security. It feels so safe that I sometimes forget to lock my door when I go for a walk. I like feeling that safe, although I know that it is only an illusion.

  5. Well her I am on another topic of crime. I have been robbed blind. I actually lived in Sleepy Olalla and was broken into 5 times in less than a year. My cat was even stolen by, we believe a State Worker. Neighbors told me her car was the only car they had been seen pull into my driveway that day. The previous day she had stolen my children and had stated she was worried about the cat. Long Story. But I was victimized yet again, by another common criminal. My house was robbed so many times my homeowners insurance canceled me saying I was high risk. Why? I was not the reason I was being robbed. By the time the cat was stolen they were down to taking items, such as curtains and towels. Anyway it cost me a small fortune to be re-insured. I will never live on a corner in a rural area again.

  6. I usually lived in the country, out of sight of the nearest neighbor and was never robbed to my knowledge.
    I had a wonderful serious dog – and motion detection lights everywhere…lots of warning to a potential problem.
    I would not live in such a place without a dog to warn off possible robbers and alert me at the same time… and cannot imagine life without a dog in it.
    I cannot imagine any place being the robbers magnet your place was.
    How awful it must have been.
    Why do you think you were robbed so many times?
    What safeguards that clearly didn’t work – did you use?
    How best to protect ourselves against thrives?

  7. My serouis dog was also taken. My alarm system was of no use the burglars were long gone before police could arrived. I had motion lights,and all of the normal precautions. All the burglaries took place during daylight. Bad luck I guess Oh well now I went home on Sunday to find my computer gone. Glad it is the slowest one I have ever owned. The joke is on them. I live in the woods. Guess maybe I should consider relocating to a more populated area.

  8. I’m sorry, Elaine, but if your ‘serious dog’ was taken, it wasn’t a serious dog … and I’m surprised you continue to live there.
    I hope you do consider a better neighborhood…nobody should be in the neighborhood you’re in now.
    What does the Sheriff’s Office recommend?

  9. Sharon, the dog was very serious, we think she may have been drugged, she was a very expensive dog. As for my neighborhood it is one that attracts burglars because there may be many valuables, and it is secluded. The first string of thefts began in Olalla then I moved and again I was hit. Hopefully someone will read this that has bought something for a very good price and realize that they may have been a promoter of theft. Burglars would not steal as often if there were not a market for their goods. This is big business for many in what looks and feels like upstanding business’s. The theft at construction sites are tremendous. Many of the things stolen from contractors would be only useful to yet another contractor.The same goes for jewelery. Years ago I saw a young woman in California in Jewelry Store with a box of obviously expensive gems. The Jeweler bought them for change. I took my business elsewhere because of this. No neighborhood is immune. Our Sheriff,s are so busy chasing dangerous people that burglars are not a priority for obvious reasons. Theft does not only include material items intrusions into ones personal lives is also a type of theft.

  10. I’m sorry for your loss, Elaine.
    You must be heart broken over the loss of your dog.
    Have you contacted the breeder and /or dog trainer to alert them and get their ideas to help you find your dog. You would be surprised how many good dogs are found through such channels.
    I presume you alerted the authorities over the jeweler you spotted getting jewelry for little cost…at the least, they’ll know to keep an eye on him.

  11. I read with sadness all those who are victims of crime in theis area. I did some research and found out that if a thief is caught the Kitsap County Jail does not hold them. They feel that this is a “petty property crime” and it’s not worth keeping them in jail. I was told of one guy who is arrested repeatedly for stealing cars and he gets released within an hour. This county does not seem to want to keep them locked up. When they do take them to court more than likely the crime will be plea bargained away and he’s not charged. One of the rich neighborhoods actually hire off duty cops to patrol their homes and streets. The sheriff’s priority seems to be traffic enforcement, so after you get a ticket you go home and find your house burglarized.

  12. Nick why don’t you volunteer to be a Reserve Deputy to learn firsthand what law enforcement folks do?
    An article recently pointed out that many folks have the open door policy to burglars…unlocked doors to homes and cars.
    Seems many of us can’t be bothered to do what we can to protect ourselves against burglar and when robbed, blame the officers.

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