Apparently it’s that time of year again in Madison Park. The beginning of the good weather (is that what this is?) usually means a few things for our waterside residents: a surfeit of door-to-door magazine sales thugs, a sudden absence of on-street parking, and an increase in the level of criminal activity, especially break-ins. On this last item my evidence is entirely anecdotal, but I think we have arrived. Just in the last week or so our little corner of the Park (near the Reed Estate) has had more than its share of criminal activity. We’re often subjected to car break-ins and other dubious behavior (last summer, for example, someone shot a small, bullet-sized object of some kind through one of our high windows), so what’s going on is nothing entirely unexpected. It’s always something. But a recent house break-in near us, where a lot of valuables were reportedly stolen, certainly ups the ante. Since we’re not supposed to talk about this burglary (the owners don’t want the neighbors to know they’ve been victimized apparently) I don’t know whether there was an alarm system in place or, if so, the system was turned on. We believe the homeowners were out of town at the time.
The same weekend that this break-in occurred, another of my neighbors discovered that his truck had been broken into while it was parked on the street; and, in an apparent botched attempt at hot wiring, the perpetrators had broken the steering column. Nothing was stolen from the truck, however, leading him to conclude that something had probably scared the thieves before they could grab the goods. Last summer, a neighbor had his SUV stolen from his driveway, right out from under his bedroom window. The police later surmised that a tow truck may have been used to cut down on the noise. I guess that we have our sophisticated criminals as well our less-experienced types.
You might think—if you didn’t live in the Park—that this area is relatively secure and crime free. Not so, for whatever reason. In the seven years that my wife and I have lived here we’ve been surprised by the number of suspicious activity reports made by our neighbors (especially those on the blocks to the north of us, who have an excellent email-based alert system for this kind of thing). And of course there are the actual crimes (including a major case of stalking, multiple thefts of Christmas decorations, vandalized signs, and various smash-and-dash thefts from on-street vehicles). No murders reported, as far as I am aware, however.
I am trying to get some statistics on crime in the area, and I may devote a future blog entry to this subject. In the meantime, with regard to crime in the Park I guess it’s a case of caveat lector (let the reader beware!).