America has been put on lockdown, so-to-speak. Offices are on lockdown. Restaurants and social locations are closed. Parks and beaches closed. Almost no one is working. Everyone is staying home…right?
Not according to my Ring Alert network. Not according to the guy that tried to steal my car. My car parked on a relatively busy city street, during daylight, at about 1300 hours midweek. I’m home, my neighbors are all home. A fair trickle of cars keep passing by. But still, a car thief!
That is me in the white T-shirt and white socks. That is my neighbor in the all black. The thief is seated in his own vehicle attempting to flee after I encouraged him to get out of my car, the front end showing in the frame.
My neighbor, the guy in the all black, looked out his window and saw the guy sitting in my car. Seeing that it was not me, he called me. Knowing that I am not in my car, and no other person should be, I went out to investigate. Sure enough, there someone was, seated in my drivers seat, door closed.
Cutting to the chase, or more, the action, he decided to instead flee to his own car, the fancy BMW…which was possible more valuable than my own.
But, no, I am not letting this guy get a free run! Besides, he had something unrecognizable at the time, in his hand. I engaged him in a physical negotiation. That resulted in me straddling him inside his car, wrestling for control of his hands, legs, the ignition switch of his car.
Cutting to a conclusion, the cavalry showed up in the form of an LAPD helicopter and nine police cars.
I and my good samaritan neighbor were briefly cuffed. The knucklehead was also cuffed. He went to jail. My neighbor and I were uncuffed, after an uncomfortable period of time and questioned.
So, thank you to the responding LAPD officers, and to an off duty LAFD photographer, that happened to live nearby, that took the crime scene photos.
This all happened in the last two or three weeks. It is the height of this Social Distancing, stay home, stay away from work period in America.
Virus and Social Distancing doesn’t seem to matter. According to the daily alerts I receive on my Ring App, there are willing loiterers, trespassers, mail thieves, package thieves, prowlers and burglars galore, still out and about, day and night. Crime is alive and well during the virus lockdown.
Daylight and mid-week…really!
The message I am trying to put out there to you all is this:
Remain vigilant and alert.
Watch your back.
Criminals are not worried about getting your cold, flu or virus. They are willing to take the risk of capture, because the reward to them is worth it. And the risk of punishment is not so scary.
My guy probably won’t get much of any punishment. No matter that he was caught in the middle of the crime. No matter that I am a retired cop. No matter that I served my country in the War on Terrorism. Active and retired cops generally don’t get much if any consideration when victims of crimes or of violence. Retired cops don’t get any special treatment from the active cops either. Yes, they were nice, after the handcuffing. I would have done the same given the circumstances. But, my civilian experience since leaving the PD and my time with the government informs me that you are on your own, with only the benefit of your CCW status. So you had best be on your best behavior. Unlike criminals!
You, my two readers, most likely have it harder. So, get Situationally Aware, and know that when it hits the proverbial fan, you are the first responder!