Author Topic: True Crime  (Read 5491 times)

lagatta

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13093
    • View Profile
True Crime
« on: November 12, 2006, 06:46:10 PM »
I posted this on the altsite, but am copying it here. We also remember deBeauxOs's breakin..
-------------------------------

I was the victim of a minor but extremely upsetting crime last night. I was coming home from a dinner party (yes, of course we drank some vino but I wasn't staggering or anything) and climbing up the outside staircase to my abode, when a man of about 35 years of age, white francophone, not much taller than I am, ran up behind me and shoved his hand into my pocket, no doubt looking for a wallet. I don't carry my wallet there but had my keys in that pocket, and he took them. He said he'd give them back if I gave him $20; I of course didn't believe him - he would no doubt have taken both - and he ran off - in a small car parked just below. I didn't get a chance to note his licence plates.

Fortunately my friend M was at home and let me into his place, then into mine (we have each other's keys to feed the cats when we are away). But now a known thief has my keys, so the lock to my front door will have to be changed. Hope the co-op will pay for it.

The keys to all my cat friends are elsewhere, but the key to my bicycle was on the same chain as my housekey.

I may well copy this story to the regular site when it is up. Obviously you can talk about your own true crime stories too.

-----------

Since then, we are going to the locksmith's right around the corner with the barrel (?) of the lock to have it changed, tomorrow morning. Perhaps they will have some idea about what to do about my bicycle lock. Almost the end of the cycling season - it could snow any day - but I ache to get in as much exercise as possible before my world becomes much smaller.

For those who believe in such things, the people where I bought my vacuum cleaner gave me some smudge - cedar and sage. I will use it. I don't literally believe in such things, but I do believe in the power of suggestion.  As deBeauxOs said, one really feels violated by such agressions, even though I don't want to exaggerate - I wasn't raped or doused with gasoline and set alight etc.

Friends have also said I should phone the police. I was too traumatised to  think of that on the spot, and have but the most barebones description of the culprit, but perhaps he is targeting other vulnerable people in the neighbourhood.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

deBeauxOs

  • Guest
True Crime
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2006, 10:03:45 PM »
What is also terrible are the after-effects - jumping at strange sounds, wondering if someone walking behind you on the street has bad intentions.

kuri

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3885
    • View Profile
True Crime
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2006, 11:57:40 PM »
Oh, wow, lagatta! I would have been so frightened talking with him! Good for you for keeping your cool, though.

I hope it isn't too much of a hassle to change your locks.

Are bicycle locks that unique even? They always just looked like skeleton keys to me.

skdadl

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32874
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pogge.ca
True Crime
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2006, 04:34:35 AM »
I would have been terrified too, lagatta, at the time and then feeling so violated afterwards. Good for you for standing your ground -- I hope I could do that, but I don't know.

It might help police just to have good stats on incidence of assaults like this in a particular area, even if you can't remember many details. Well: it should. If they're getting numbers of reports from one area, they should be paying closer attention at least.

There's an interesting discussion going on among a few women on a list that I read, about police advice to women on their safety when out alone at any time. One woman summed it up this way:

Quote
Anyone familiar with The Story of Jane Doe who sued the Toronto Police
force and won  (she was raped in August 1986 by the so called Balcony
Rapist) will recognize this excerpt from her book.

Partial list of warnings by police:

"Don't go out alone.  Don't go out alone at night. Don't go out alone or
at night unless accompanied by someone (male).  Don't open the
windows.  Don't open the doors.  Don't talk to stangers (men).  Don't assist strangers (men). Don't take shortcuts..."

It is now 2006 and women are once more being warned in Vaughan,
Ontario  not to go out running alone.

I have always felt women would be safer, if instead, men were told not to
go out.

To which another has replied:

Quote
While I don't appreciate being told not to go out alone, I'm not sure that rapists would listen to police issued "men do not go out warnings" and, to enforce a gender-biased curfew surely would be unconstitutional. Still, the police could be doing more to make the streets safer, but I for one would much rather run in a group (be it with women and/or men and/or large dogs) than put the male-oriented police restriction to the test.


I don't know. Sometimes I despair about all this.

lagatta

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13093
    • View Profile
True Crime
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2006, 04:54:45 AM »
Yeah. I remember the police here telling women and elderly people not to carry anything to keep their arms free, after a rash of assaults. WTF?!

I do NOT think that social isolation makes women or any human beings healthier or safer...

By the way, not that I don't have the right to walk around at 2 or 3 in the morning, but I didn't arrive home very late - about 10:30 pm on a Saturday night, and there were plenty of people out on the streets. (The ban on smoking in restaurants and bars means that there are always people hanging out in front of them... ;))
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

skdadl

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32874
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pogge.ca
True Crime
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2006, 05:02:13 AM »
Yes -- smokers -- now perforce very sociable people, even if they weren't before.   :wink:

Not that I am often out at nights these days (simply because of my schedule), but I've never felt especially nervous outside for some reason, even though I have been minorly assaulted several times on the streets here.

My much greater fear is of a break-in, of being trapped inside and having to face an assault alone.

A long time ago, vmichel told us a hair-curling story about listening to a couple of guys who had broken in and were moving about downstairs as she cowered on a second floor, trapped and trying to figure out what to do. Luckily, they never ascended. I think I would have died of fright waiting, though.

k'in

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2334
    • View Profile
True Crime
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2006, 04:30:17 PM »
lagatta wrote:
Quote
I do NOT think that social isolation makes women or any human beings healthier or safer...


I agree totally.  I am not the least bit agoraphobic and have felt totally at ease in many of the world's stereotypical scary places.  I do feel that the type of crime that happened to you (knowing someone has *your* keys) is creepy as would be someone stalked by a violent ex-husband. The random stuff, while it was scary at the time, is in the past. I don't think about it really at all.  I did not like being told to avoid a (busy) intersection for the rest of time.   It's good to exercise reasonable caution of course and always trust your instincts but life is too short to live in fear.  

I hope you're OK.  This criminal was probably looking for the quick cash and not interested in stuff (would have come back within the first couple of hours knowing you would immediately change the locks).  Once I had my wallet taken from my office but they only took the cash.  I got the wallet back with the credit cards, ID (they dropped it on the stairs).  It wasn't good but at least I didn't have to replace the cards.

Herr Magoo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2297
    • View Profile
True Crime
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2006, 04:39:52 PM »
I think almost any crime carries with it a certain feeling of violation.  Our garage was broken into within a week of moving to our house.  We had stored a bunch of our belongings there (eager to unload them when moving, and we thought we'd take our time and move things into the house when we were ready).  I lost a bunch of camera gear, and really, maybe other stuff too and I just haven't noticed yet.  But certainly there was the realization that some fuckwad took it upon himself to break in and help himself to my belongings.  Just imagining him opening boxes, looking about, deciding what he wants to steal as though he's been given some kind of quiz show shopping spree among my stuff, was galling.  

Sure, the camera equipment was just "material things", and certainly if you're playing some kind of party game and you have to decide what's more important, people or things, you and I would choose people.

But if the question is "Which is more important:  my belongings, or some asshole getting to sell my cameras to buy dope", I'm going to go with "my belongings", thanks very much.  I worked for them, not him.  I have a use for them other than pawning them, he doesn't.  Most importantly (and I'd think, obviously) he has absolutely zero right to them, and absolutely zero right to be in my garage.  No circumstance of his life gives him that right.

This happened over a year ago, and I still get up and go to the window if I think I hear a noise in the yard or the garage.  All because some asshole wanted free money, and stealing it from me was easier than the way I got it.
ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,

lagatta

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13093
    • View Profile
True Crime
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2006, 05:14:14 PM »
Yeah, I think the shithead (who has a car, so he isn't utterly destitute) was just trying to score some quick cash for an addiction. Or else (and even worse) he is or they are systematically targeting vulnerable people such as women alone, seniors, whatever.

My bicycle repair guy, who is a gay punker type - his hair is now blonde with a red crest in the middle - and thus a likely target of such shitheads, was utterly livid.

The thief probably ditched my keys in disgust, but obviously one cannot take the chance.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

k'in

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2334
    • View Profile
True Crime
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2006, 06:17:54 PM »
Magoo, lagatta-just to be clear, I have "no" use for these type of criminals-nada, no way, no excuses.  We willingly live ethically, honesty work hard for what we have so I really don't care what motivates someone to take something they didn't earn.  Good point lagatta that often the criminal preys on those who are materially poorer than they are.  And you both had someone violate your personal space so it isn't a random crime.  I have defended Jack Layton here (and elsewhere) when he stated he wanted to (realistically) get tougher on crime.

The point I was trying to address was that often the police will further try and undermine the confidence of victims by telling them not to do certain normal things (i.e. the not carry things, walk in certain areas) to promote a culture of fear (resulting in more $$ for the police budget that doesn't necessarily trickle down to the community safety level.)

lagatta

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13093
    • View Profile
True Crime
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2006, 06:25:01 PM »
Oh k'in, I most definitely agree. People have a right to go shopping. Moreover people have a right to go out for a long-awaited supper on a Saturday night and have a few glasses of wine and a lot of conversation. (I was NOT blotto or anywhere near that - the friends would definitely have put anyone blotto in a taxi).  I was happily walking home from the bus up from friend's house - there were people out, laughing and smoking. And sure I was arriving at a cosy place with a purring cat and a warm bed.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

 

Return To TAT