Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Stolen Bike

Recently my one of my neighbors came home after a day trip to find their children’s scooters and a bicycle missing from their porch. With the help of some neighbor children, 4 days later they were able to find the stolen items. Apparently two young children were with an older cousin. The cousin just walked on the porch took the bike and then gave the scooters to these two children. My neighbor found out where the two children lived and spoke to them and their mother. The children’s mother indicated she would take care of it. The items were supposedly all at the cousin’s house. The items were returned with most of the stickers, decals, and handler bar streamers removed, obviously done in an attempt to disguise to whom the items belonged to. My neighbors are good people who chose to deal with the issue in a positive manner, inviting the children to come and play at their house where the children could use the bike and scooters. Their hope is that they can develop a positive relationship with these children and be a good role model for them.

I think they are choosing the right approach and hope they are successful, else we will be seeing them as teenagers ripping off cars.

I have issue with the mother of those two young children and the mother of the cousin. We don’t have a bike and scooter fairy in our neighborhood so they had to know they were stolen items. This mom is teaching her children that crime is okay.

Actually it was fortunate it was young kids who liberated the items. If it were older kids or adults who stole the bike and scooters were would have never seen them again. They would have been sold for drug money at our local stolen property redemption centers (aka pawn shops.)

These neighbors are doing a good thing. They have a safe supervised child friendly house that has drawn out many of the neighboring children from the isolation of their houses to play with their own children, helping building a sense of community for those children and their families. My neighbors try to establish relationship with the parents just as their children establish relationships with the other children. They hold events such as Easter Egg hunts, Halloween parties and Christmas Parties open to these children and their parents. In a small but significant way they are also helping rebuild and revitalize this neighborhood.

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