We have seen many posts on the listserv about items being stolen from AP residences. Last night was my turn. An LED Christmas light projector was stolen from our front yard. A hula hoe landscape tool was used to pull the projector close enough to the fence to pick it up. The tool (evidence?) was left behind.
The subject of these property crimes has two parts for me. First, though it is irritating it is also a part of living in a city center. Most people in our area are responsible and contributing members of society. Some are economically and ethically challenged. Like ants at the picnic, we must deal with them if we want to enjoy the many benefits of our neighborhood.
That doesn’t mean we should do nothing about these property crimes. The first thing is to secure your things as well as is practical. I thought my projector was safely away from the fence in a locked yard. I was wrong but my replacement projector will be better secured. Locked fences and enclosed storage will head off most problems. Locking cars and not leaving valuable items in them are also good ideas. Many people have alarms and/or video camera systems to deter crime and to help identify perpetrators. But — no security system or precaution is foolproof.
One of the best crime deterrents is the nosy and observant neighbor. Areas where people know each other, recognize the normal patterns of their surroundings and will report suspicious activities are less attractive to criminals. The APNA board recognizes this and is discussing how to reestablish a Neighborhood Watch program. If you have thoughts on this, please talk to one of our board members or post on the listserv. The social events sponsored by APNA are already helpful in bringing people together; let’s build on this by having block events and reaching out to those living nearby.
If you are victim of a crime in progress or a serious crime, call 911 immediately. If the crime is theft of a low value item, report it on the police department website at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/apps/crime-reporting/. Police are usually too busy to respond to minor crimes but it is still useful to document the theft. If the perpetrator is apprehended, usually through being caught at some other bad behavior, your report may be evidence used in prosecution. Keep anything left behind as further evidence. If you want to make an insurance claim, the police report number will be needed. Even if you have theft insurance, claims for small items may not make sense since there is a chance your premiums could be raised.
We should try to control what we can, our own behavior. Let’s work together to reduce these annoying crimes.
Ken Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org