A Cautionary Tale

A recent news story told of a family who parked their car at the airport. Like everyone else in the world, they left their garage door opener in their car. Thieves broke into the car, took the garage door opener and checked the registration for the address. They came to the house, opened the garage door, and entered the door to the house, where they took whatever they wanted, including their other car because the keys were laying on the kitchen counter.

I don’t know if this is true or not because it doesn’t say they stole the car from the airport, just the garage door opener. That just seems like lazy thievery to me.

On the other hand, what thief would want the hassle of paying for airport parking on both the car that brought him there AND the car he stole? And what if the victims had been gone for an extended trip? If their stuff was anything like our stuff, the parking fee would cost waaaaay more than the sum of everything they own. Pretty sure they could only fence it at Goodwill. And Goodwill would probably charge them to haul it all away.

And I’m not sure I believe that the keys to their other car were just laying there on the kitchen counter. I mean, really. Who does that? They’d be in someone’s purse, or on their bedroom dresser, or forgotten in the security tub at the airport.

But there’s a lesson to be learned here. A simple precaution you could take so this never happens to you … Never buy a house with a garage.

How else can we outwit the bad guys?

6 thoughts on “A Cautionary Tale”

  1. i’ve heard a version of this story before, and the thieves usually had an insider working at the airport. i don’t remember if it was a parking attendant (who would know which cars were headed for long-term parking) or security (rent-a-cops, looking for a little extra cash) but they knew how to avoid being seen and were able to check into several cars.

    both my grandmother and my mother in law keep all their keys on hooks near the phone in the kitchen. in addition, they have the names, addresses, phone numbers of family and friends written in and around a calendar just above the keys, plus master birthday lists and the addresses of vacation houses whose keys also happen to be sitting there available. people leave stuff in plain sight all the time. ironically, these twp particular people would take this sort of news story as proof that guns in the home for protection are necessary and are wary of people in their community who they don’t know that don’t look like them. they’re the ones who fear the world is an evil place out to get them.

    on the other hand, i live in a neighborhood where people don’t lock their front doors at all and the delivery folks – USPS, UPS, fed-ex, etc – all know this and leave packages inside the front door if nobody’s home, even if they require a signature. there’s a whole lotta crazy trust going on…

    and i like it.

    because if you live in fear that people are out to get you and your stuff then you come to view the entire world as ‘them’ to be feared and mistrusted. i lived in some sketchy neighborhoods in my youth (and taught in some rougher ones) and it wasn’t until i was held up at gunpoint that i came to understand what was truly of value in this world. every day is another day full of people and memories and good times, and none of what was taken from me that night would have been worth keeping or fighting for in exchange for everything since.

    how do we outwit the bad guys? first, we don’t give them reasons to come looking for us. yes, i’m being miss american and saying we need to eliminate poverty and bring about fellowship to all. and that’s really it. hiding your keys in your house doesn’t make you less a victim – living in a neighborhood where thieves can clean out your house unnoticed makes you a victim. communities that are as detached as their occupants, that’s the real crime. not recognizing that we actually do live in a two-tiered society and that the middle class vanished a long time ago, that’s what the news is really about. /rant.

  2. I’ve heard plenty of reports about theft of garage door openers from vehicles — even those parked while attending a play in Denver. What an easy way to rifle through a house knowing how much time you probably have.

    It is a sad state of affairs that a stranger can enter a home and remove items without neighbors noticing — or caring.

    1. Hmm. My neighbors for the last two days have had a large panel truck outside their house with a “Heating and Air Conditioning” sign on it. I assumed they were getting an air conditioner, but it never occurred to me to go knock on the door and ask. Maybe bad guys are emptying their house of all valuables. I am kind of the Gladys Kravitz of my neighborhood, but I think I’d prefer to assume that my neighbors aren’t getting fleeced every time I look out my window.

  3. I heard about someone who would go to restaurants etc. and snatch purses from under restroom stalls. the lady would tell the management, but eventually go home. then they’d get a call from the restaurant saying they found her purse. she’d go back only to find that no such call was placed. she’d return home to find it burgled. a very clever way to make sure someones out of the house.

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