Friday, June 27, 2008

Crime and break-ins

First let me start by saying crime can happen anywhere...Carrollwood...Hyde Park...Brandon. It is not a Seminole Heights phenomenon.

A friend, neighbor, and former customer called me to let me know his home in the Hampton Terrace area had been robbed. This wasn't kids. These were pros. He was only gone from his home about 90 minutes. Though a neighbor called the police it was too late. They took over $14,000 of his possessions. You don't think about how much the stuff you accumulate adds up to until you are faced with the very unpleasant job of itemizing it for a police report!

Given the brief amount of time involved, it seems clear that someone was watching his home and the immediate area. A nearby neighbor left her home about 15 minutes after he left his. The window for this crime is now down to under 75 minutes!

The only description was 3 African-American males and a white pick-up truck given by the neighbor who called the police. No they were not caught.

This should serve as a reminder to be observant about who might be hanging around your home...whether on foot or in a vehicle. If they act suspicious or look-out of place make a mental note of what they are driving, wearing, physical description, etc. It may be important later. Not only that, the last thing any wouldbe criminal wants is to be noticed or draw attention to themselves. Your attention may just give them a reason to move on.


anonaMISS said...

What the heck is going on! It seems like our neighborhood is on a downward spiral. I know that we are in a down economy and times are tuff, but what is the city doing to help. What are their plans on how to avoid the worsening of our neighborhood. You can't walk down one street without seeing at least 3 for sale signs. Unfortunately, our city leaders aren't doing the best job of leading. What does the future of Seminole Heights Hold!

Meg said...

My neighbor's house was broken into yesterday (in Seminole Heights). It was some time between 8 am and 8:30 pm. Is there anything we can do to prevent this from happening? I haven't lived here very long, so if there is a neighborhood watch, I don't know about it.

SSHeights said...

SH is currently being flooded with Section 8 renters- you ain't seen nothing yet.

SSHeights said...

My neighbor's house was broken into yesterday (in Seminole Heights). It was some time between 8 am and 8:30 pm. Is there anything we can do to prevent this from happening?

Yes, you can make sure there is always a car in the driveway whether or not you're home, keep a TV or radio on loud while you're not home, own a large breed dog guard dog (GSD, Rottie, Doberman, etc), and get yourself a pistol to keep near your bed at night (unless you trust that the TPD will arrive in time to save the day)

Also, if you have an alarm system, make sure it has cellular backup as the first thing burglars do is cut the phone line.

Urban Eater said...

Good ole SSHeights. You forgot to menion setting booby traps on your mailbox.

My advice, be aware that you live in an Urban area. It's summer, you're likey to be running the A/C, so make sure all windows are locked. Make sure to dead bolt all doors, whether you are home or not. Then you'll be in the habit. Don't leave blinds or drapes open wide for the world to see in, if you are not home. You have front porch lights, use them. Motion sensor lighting is also a good idea. Be sure to place them at the corners of your home, so that all angles are covered. Don't plant bushy things right up against windows, this only makes for cover.
Most of all, just be aware of what's going on and get to know your neighbors. I know every neighbor that surrounds my home. We all look out for each others' homes.

SSHeights said...

Urban Eater-

All your recommendations are good for reducing your chances of a burglary but do nothing if a break-in actually happens.

What's your backup plan?

Captain Obvious said...

Good suggestions all, but how about taking things a bit further?

1) Everyone who has a camera phone or digital camera handy and sees an unfamiliar vehicle, take a picture of it and send it to someone who can post it on this blog.

2) Ditto for people who don't belong in the neighborhood.

3) Everyone who reads this blog can zero in and help track movements of unfamiliar vehicles and people and let TPD know who to go give some friendly advice to move on. Burglars (especially professionals) are percentage players; if they have a higher likelihood of getting noticed and caught, they'll go somewhere else. (Of course, your basic rock monster smash-and-grab artiste doesn't think this far ahead so they might take more .. active encouragement to beat feet somewhere else.)

Julyn said...

Wow, before long we should not have to pay any taxes. We will all be doing the work ourselves. Yesterday it was drive around and report garbage. Wait! Aren't the trash men getting paid to do just that. Aren't they driving every street already. Why don't they carry an old fashion pen and paper to write it down! Geesh, we have to do it all. Now, I get to police my neighborhood. Why don't we fire them all, find people in today's tough economy that want to work and get our moneys worth.

Anonymous said...

My home was broken into on Monday, 3-29-10 On Caracas Street, not too far from Ella's. They got away with our PS3, gold jewelry, specifically two items with the name "Jeanette" on them, and a sony camcorder. We believe it was two guys, most likely on bikes. If you remember seeing anything that day, please contact me. I want justice!