Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

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williaty
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Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

Post by williaty » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:29 pm

I live in a kind of weird transition zone on the triplepoint of rural, trailer park, and yuppie suburban. There's a community web forum for the area allows us to trade info on what's happening but this one has a lot of people puzzled. Last week, people started reporting strange things going missing from their yards. A garden gnome here, a patio umbrella there, etc. People thought it was kids being dumbasses. This week, the temp of thefts has exploded. Every night, several houses are being hit and the amount of stuff being taken is growing. Yards are basically being stripped bare of all decorations, patio furniture, hammocks, etc. Someone even had his flag and flagpole stolen last night. So far, no one has reported a grill being stolen but I suspect that might have to do with how huge and heavy grills have gotten in the last 5 years. Everyone is pretty much baffled by this except one person suggested that it was probably because you can take this kind of stuff to any second-hand store and flip it for cash without raising any eyebrows. He thought that might mean it was meth heads finding new sources of cash now that scrap metal isn't worth anything.

1) Has anyone heard of anything like this happening before?

2) Has anyone heard of an official report on what this sort of behavior is really after?

3) Given 1 and 2, is there any way to predict what I need to make sure to bring in and lock up vs being so uninteresting that I can leave it in place? We're semi-rural, so we tend to be able to leave a lot of stuff stored outside against outbuildings or under overhangs, etc. I'm wondering if we can leave garden hoses on the hose hangers, leave the watering cans out, etc or not.


So, any suggestions on how to protect our property from this are welcome. Yes, the property is already illuminated around each building.

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Re: Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

Post by fatty21 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:40 pm

There seems to be an uptick in dog nappings. People will steal pets right out of the yard and sell them through CL, etc.

Its happening so much that leo are posting on facebook that they're only rumors lol.

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Re: Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

Post by williaty » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:55 pm

fatty21 wrote:There seems to be an uptick in dog nappings. People will steal pets right out of the yard and sell them through CL, etc.

Its happening so much that leo are posting on facebook that they're only rumors lol.
Actually, that's another thing that started in this neighborhood within the last month. Enough have gone missing that people have organized into groups to walk the non-yard areas in the neighborhood (lots of woods, creeks, ravines, etc) looking for the missing dogs. I think we're at something like 10-12 missing dogs for the month and three dog-nappings interrupted by someone (all 3 resulted in the same description being given of the car trying to steal the dog).

Actually, it's worth saying that they're larger dogs going missing now. About 3 years ago, we had large predators move back into the neighborhood and the small dogs that got let out alone at night didn't last very long.

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Re: Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

Post by The Twizzler » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:21 pm

It sounds like you have a drug addiction problem in your area. Anything outside that's not bolted down or very heavy is a target. Honestly, if someone steals some patio furniture, copper, or whatever I didn't secure outside I will blame myself for it getting stolen. The best defense is a neighborhood watch and good lighting. If they break inside that changes things. You should be prepared to defend yourself.
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Re: Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

Post by TacAir » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:33 pm

Start looking for vans or PU trucks with a back window missing. Here (in Anchorage AK) we have entire neighborhoods swept clean of any thing - front or back. Gangs of kids will work the street, tossing the loot in the back of the van/truck. Sometimes at night, at times in broad daylight.

Sadly, a law was recently passed here that has made it all but impossible to lock up thieves. Steal 3 cars? Get 18 months, suspended.

Good luck - I doubt it will get any better....
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Re: Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

Post by raptor » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:45 pm

Install cctv to see what is going on in the yards.

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Re: Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

Post by Zembecowicz » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:16 am

Do you have any new "neighbors"?
Back when I lived in the city there was a rash of catalytic converter thefts right around when some rather interesting people moved into a house a few blocks up from mine. They moved away and exhaust system components quit vanishing. Nobody was able to prove anything, but it was pretty widely believed that they were responsible.

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Re: Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

Post by williaty » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:19 am

Zembecowicz wrote:Do you have any new "neighbors"?
Back when I lived in the city there was a rash of catalytic converter thefts right around when some rather interesting people moved into a house a few blocks up from mine. They moved away and exhaust system components quit vanishing. Nobody was able to prove anything, but it was pretty widely believed that they were responsible.
No change in ownership on our main road but I don't have any idea if back in the side streets anyone is new. The militia compound was rebuilt shortly after it mysteriously burnt to the ground just days after being raided by the Sheriff's Department's tank. The hillbillies have doubled the number of broken cars stranded on their grass. We're getting some HUGE high density housing developments nearby but I don't think anyone is moving into them yet.

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Re: Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

Post by fatty21 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:32 am

It definitely sounds like drug habits. Nowadays theres always someone driving around doing some curb picking to put on craigslist, flea markets and whatnot for cash. Hell, people get so lazy to just watch for free stuff on craigslist to run out and grab it and put it back up for sale on craigslist if it can land them an extra buck.

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Re: Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

Post by taipan821 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:01 am

TacAir wrote: Sadly, a law was recently passed here that has made it all but impossible to lock up thieves. Steal 3 cars? Get 18 months, suspended.
Know the feeling and I wish your community luck. kids as young as 12 are grabbing keys and going for joy rides, the law is too lax on them. heck, one group turned up to their court hearing in a stolen car (this is townsville, Queensland, Australia)

the court solution, relocated them to other towns to 'bring crime rate down' in Townsville
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Re: Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

Post by Zimmy » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:40 am

We had that happen years ago in my rural area. It seems everyone in the area got hit but me. I'm sure we were skipped for several reasons. Long driveway without visibility of who might or might not be home at any time, big ass mean looking dogs, and my relaxed face looks like I want to kill someone. What do they call that now? Resting Bitch face? :evil:

The whole ring got busted and it boiled down to a local's rebelious daughter coming of age and orchestrating a bunch of ne'er-do-well classmates in a case of homegrown crimes instead of some outsider moving in.

I bet no-one's stealing gnomes from the militia guys down the street! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

Post by Asymetryczna » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:49 am

Everyone has heard of it before. People love free stuff. One year, my entire neighborhood was raided in a night. Nearly every home that had an unlocked vehicle had everything of value taken from their vehicles. A deputy later told me they busted one group that operated from NY to Florida, visiting communities in teams to check car doors and if they were unlocked remove every valuable. Afterwards, I saw a news report that showed a team in action and they were pretty smooth. I had only recently moved off of a base where we rarely locked any of our doors and often left our keys in the ignition.

First, don't be surprised if anything of value that can be seen is taken if it is not secured. Lock stuff up. Second, file a police report. It helps with insurance and allows the police to track trends as they develop. Personally, I would add that there is nothing wrong with being on good terms with law enforcement and having them sit in front of your house now and then. Third, adequate lighting will keep many people from stealing if only because there is a chance they can be seen. Fourth, dogs help to deter unwanted visitors. Fifth, take pictures of everything of value so that you can file a report with the law and for insurance purposes. Sixth, and I advocate this with everyone, try some trail cameras. It can get pricey to add a lockbox and some of the nicer features but it helps when you can show a picture of the culprits. Fake cameras work as a deterrent as well, but not for professional thieves or addicts. This is an extreme, but one could do all of their yardwork while wearing an AK strapped on their back. People will take notice. I don't recommend it because some of your neighbors will think you are crazy but I find it stops those crews that spray blacktop driveways with that weak petroleum coating from stopping by with their sales pitch all day on the weekends.

Some parts of the Midwest have been greatly effected by a combination of a weak job market and painkiller pill addiction. Addicts will do almost anything to fill their hole. Unsecured items that will resell is almost like hanging a banner from a tree advertising "FREE STUFF."

The value of the this forum certainly includes discussions about emerging technology and skills that will greatly enhance your chance of survival; but, I think that everyone is interested in that interlude between thinking things could go bad and realizing that a line has been crossed that we cannot cross back over. At some point between these two, admittedly, hard to pinpoint markers in time, there is a great number of people that will try to add to their earnings and toy box. This is in addition to those people already doing it because they are afraid of work. Good luck.
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Re: Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

Post by TacAir » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:51 am

taipan821 wrote:
TacAir wrote: Sadly, a law was recently passed here that has made it all but impossible to lock up thieves. Steal 3 cars? Get 18 months, suspended.
Know the feeling and I wish your community luck. kids as young as 12 are grabbing keys and going for joy rides, the law is too lax on them. heck, one group turned up to their court hearing in a stolen car (this is townsville, Queensland, Australia)

the court solution, relocated them to other towns to 'bring crime rate down' in Townsville
nothing like exporting your problems, eh?
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Re: Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

Post by Dabster » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:30 pm

Ten years ago I lived in an older neighborhood where everyone knew everyone and there were no troubles. Then one house became a rental. Then a woman and her daughter moved in. Still great. Then her boyfriend moved in... and the place became unhinged. He was caught everywhere looking for his non-existent dog. He would vandalize what he couldn't steal. I had my tires slashed for talking with the neighbor most closely watching him. The police were called. To their credit they monitored the area more and eventually they locked him up for selling drugs. Neighborhood went back to normal.

I have moved. My new neighborhood is pretty calm. Mostly mischievous kids and the very occasional car prowling but the amount of petty crime in the surrounding city is staggering. The new high quality yet affordable home security cameras are recording everything but when/if they're caught -usually they're out in a day.

I suspect things are getting worse because the economy is wheezing to a halt and it will only be getting worse.
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Re: Sudden rash of burglaries. WTH is going on here?

Post by Stercutus » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:48 pm

I seem to recall saying all this before but....

How Theft of Property Crime Works 101:

The vast majority of people are law abiding citizens. Then there is everyone else. Thieves come in three basic parts:

1. Professional Thieves (smallest group)
2. Dumb kids (2nd smallest group)
3. Substance addicted criminals (overwhelming majority)

This particular group will be either 2 or 3. Since it is the summer time I could go either way. If you find a big pile of destroyed, stolen yard art and other stuff it is kids. Otherwise it is crack/ meth/ pot/ alky/ whatever heads looking for just enough money to get through the next day.

They are taking the stuff to a flea market (Probably two counties over) and selling it to a vendor there for cheap who gives what he can for it and then disappearing.

Now some FAQs:
Why did they take my Garden Gnome? I really loved it.

- If it is kids they are using it for target practice or took it on Spring Break with them. If it is druggies they sold it already to buy drugs.

Will I ever see it again?

- No, unless it went on Spring Break then maybe.

What else are they taking?

- Anything not nailed down that they can get a couple of dollars for. They especially like guns, tools, electronics and money in unlocked cars.

What won't they steal?

- Stuff that is too heavy to carry and can't be carted away easily. Garbage... maybe.

This sucks... how do we stop them?

- Stop? You can't. But since you asked, Here is our 7 step program:

1. Lock up your car, shed, house, sun porch, small pets and everything else that you do not have under direct observation.
2. When something gets stolen call the Police
3. Report items stolen
4. Repeat every time something is taken.
5. Ask the police for an extra patrol in your area
6. Put up video cameras
7. Start a neighborhood watch
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