Press-Republican

Columns

July 16, 2012

Behavior can make you vulnerable to crime

Crime and intruders have been on my mind recently. 

The recent robberies of NBT Bank and Walgreens in Plattsburgh are very unusual here. It is rare that we have crimes of violence by strangers. Most often, crime is committed by people who know their victims and even say they love them. Child sexual abuse and domestic violence are what we typically see. Exceptions are thefts from our cars and homes. 

As I learned from a racoon in our camp last week, being alert and taking simple precautions can greatly reduce the likelihood of being victimized. First, the racoon used the cat door to come in; we closed it, and the next night he quickly saw that we left the kitchen window open, with a loose screen that he easily pushed out. A human with the same intention could just as easily gain access.

EASY MARK

Our communities are not dangerous, but they are not crime-free. We feel safe in the North Country. However, sometimes our behavior makes us vulnerable. Drug abuse is everywhere and more common than we like to think. Some drug users steal whatever they can to buy drugs. An unlocked parked car is an easy mark, even if it is in your own driveway. People looking for money or items to sell try one car after another, going through any that are unlocked.

It does not take long for them to be successful, as many people keep valuables in their cars and then leave them unlocked. As judge, I learned about the missing property when someone was arrested for stealing it. A defendant caught going through someone’s car often also had stolen property from other vehicles. It might be change left in the console, a GPS unit or an iPod. I’ve also seen many cases where checkbooks were kept in the glove compartment and were stolen then the checks forged. Some people keep even more valuable items in their vehicles, like a passport or a handgun. When these are stolen, it has a huge impact.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Big shift in Quebec vote

    Being a man of science, Philippe Couillard, premier-designate of Quebec, chose to use a geological term (though his field is actually medicine) to describe what happened in Monday's election, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg A monastery in the Hebrides, after 1,000 years

    Before Father Seraphim Aldea can build a monastery on Scotland's Mull Island, he needs to have a working septic system, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg Old movies offer more than entertaining TV

    Columnist Susan Tobias and her husband, Toby, are reminded of simple childhood memories while watching an old black-and-white movie.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time