Friday, 17 January 2014

Media Attention

Pursuant to last evening's post, it occurs that I may not be the only person who has been victimized by would be purchasers/recipients of goods. Perhaps others have had break-ins or been robbed subsequent to selling something on-line but they may not have made the connection. They may not have reported the crime because it appears that theft, robbery and property damage is under reported.

What a perfect way for a thief to scope-out a prospective hit. In fact, I was surprised when I picked up a free item offered on Used Ottawa last week that the people asked me to come on a certain day because the next day, they would be away all day long. If this isn't an invitation to someone with malice and greed on their mind, I don't know what is.

I must explain that I believe that the perp is someone who came recently to this house because no other people have been by and a stranger would not simply be trying doors and going up stairs to see what was there. No, the person who stole three pairs of boots knew that they were there and he returned for them. 

Despite reporting the theft to the police, they seem intent on collecting statistics rather than solving the crime. I have the email of the people who've been here to pick up items over the past week. I can isolate the person who I believe is the perpetrator. All they have to do is to find out if he has a history of theft or if he is a junkie. 

When I had a vehicle stolen a year ago from my garage behind my house, the police were slow to act. It wasn't until the press got interested in the fact that hundreds of vehicles had been stolen over several months that things started to evolve.  

With this in mind, I wrote to our national broadcaster today and outlined the situation. I will write to other media over the weekend and see if any of them can see an angle. To me, it is about public service and the press owe it to the community to inform people about a potential problem. 

Here's what I sent:

I am concerned that there may be a situation of which thieves are taking advantage.

The other day, I was robbed of three pairs of winter boots from a shelf on the landing outside my door in the three-unit house I live in on xxxxx St. I believe this occurred in the middle of the night, Thursday, Feb. 16/14. These boots were not visible from the front entrance and lower landing so the person had to know about their presence. 

Over the past week, I have been giving items away on Used Ottawa and I think that someone came and picked up their item which I would have left on the shelf with their name on it, noticed the boots and then returned subsequently with two shopping bags to steal them. One pair was brand new, bought on Wednesday 8/14, a pair of rubber hunting boots with cleats attached. Boys size  5.

The person would have known that the owner of the boots has mobility and safety issues because of the cleats and the fact that he removed two canes which were propped up in the boots. He may have taken the other two pairs opportunistically. 

With so many people involved with Used "name the city" and Kijiji, it may be that crimes are being perpetrated as a result of initial contact made when the thief scopes-out homes when he comes to pick up an item, free or otherwise. 

I have lived in my building for 30 years and aside from a break-in 25 years ago, there has never been a problem. Yes, the front door to the building isn't locked but many multi-unit buildings' front doors are unlocked in order to allow access to mailboxes and tenants' apartments. Many apartments in older houses do not have door bells or intercom/buzzer systems. 

This may be a random occurrence or, then again, it might be the beginning of something huge. 

I suspect that the person stole my boots and sold them for what he could get in order to supply a drug habit. 

It particularly rankles that he had the gall to accept a free item and then come back and rob me. 

There is, indeed, something to think about here.