Local Crime Stories

 

Yesterday I was talking with the proprietor of a local Thai restaurant that I frequent.  While I was eating, a repairman was replacing the glass in the side door and cleaning up shattered glass on the floor.  Being the terminally curious person that I am, I decided to inquire about it.  The owner told me that the restaurant had been burglarized the night before.  This was the second of two incidents in which the same door was hit and cash was stolen.  She expressed her worry over feeling unsafe, and despite slow business in recent months, she was closing early on some nights because she felt unsafe.  She also described incidents experienced by other businesses in the area, including one restaurant owner being followed home from work and mugged at gunpoint in his driveway.

 

Today I was talking with the owner of my local print shop.  His business is located directly across the street from the Thai restaurant.  We were also discussing the local crime, and I listened to several stories from another patron who recently moved away from a nearby neighborhood.  I’ve known several people who lived in this large, well-kept subdivision, and there is a surprising amount of ongoing criminal activity there.  The customer talked about the dangers of living close to Atlanta, and how one real estate agent was giving six months of neighborhood watch patrol as a property closing gift.  Then he talked about his wife’s misfortune; she had left her purse in an unlocked vehicle in the driveway (her regular habit—yikes!  Can you say condition white?  I knew that you could.).  Amazingly enough. . .it was stolen. . .by kids. . .and sold. . .to thugs.  She did eventually find her expensive purse, discarded, missing all of its contents, of course.

 

I was thinking just how close all of this crime is to my home.  Within just a few miles.  People seem to have this rosy view of the suburbs.  I guess this city is much better than where I used to live three years ago; lots and lots of drug activity–also in the suburbs.  The police presence in our little city is not all that prominent in recent years, and even if it were, officers cannot be everywhere at once.  There’s just too much to do.  Maybe there always was!  All the more reason to take my safety as my personal responsibility.  The Thai restaurant owner certainly isn’t taking any chances; if she feels unsafe, she leaves the area.  I remember she mentioned her relief that the crime had occurred while she was away from the restaurant.  She made it clear that her life was more important than making money.  I wonder how many other people feel this way, although it is not fair for us to have to choose between our lives and our livelihood.  Not in this instance, anyway.  It makes me very angry, and I have to fuel that powerful energy into my own mental and physical preparedness.  It is the only way I know to NOT live in fear. 

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