For those of you who have never read my blog articles before, I have experienced a great deal of theft since moving to downtown Dickinson in the Spring of 2017. In my almost 51 years of being alive, I had more theft in Dickinson during these past three years, than in the entirety of my previous 48 years, living in eight different states.
In 2017 I had my truck stolen, with $2,500 worth of tools, equipment, and valuables in it. In 2018 I had a mountain bike stolen off the back of a different vehicle, by two people who used a rotary Dremel tool to cut through the cable lock, and a short time later someone cut through the cable lock on a different bicycle of mine parked in the apartment building bicycle rack.
In 2019 and 2020, one of my neighbors had a locked bicycle stolen on two different occasions, another neighbor had his vehicle luggage carrier stolen, one neighbor had his wallet with a week’s pay inside of it stolen from his vehicle parked in his driveway, an apartment neighbor had a revolver stolen from behind the backseat of his vehicle in the parking lot, another apartment neighbor had his stereo and speakers stolen from his vehicle in the parking lot. There were more thefts than this, it’s hard to remember them all, and many attempted thefts.
In 2018, I installed two security cameras outside of my apartment that record continuously. When I am home, I can usually see the video monitor that shows what is happening outside in the parking lot and out on the street beside my apartment building. Do these cameras record these thefts and attempted thefts, and do I give the video to the Police? Yes.
From watching the video monitor when I am home, from watching the video recordings of the thefts and attempted thefts, and being outside my apartment building, I can tell you what is happening and what to look for.
During the afternoon and evening, males between the ages of 17 to 30 walk the streets like they are trying to get somewhere, but if you watch them, watch what they are doing, and where they are going, you will see that the route that they are taking is not necessary or not getting them anywhere the quickest or most direct way. Nor are they going to or coming from a place of employment, store, or business.
When I am walking, I don’t walk as close as possible to parked vehicles, within inches, when the roadway and sidewalk is 40 feet wide, but I am not checking to see which vehicles have the door lock buttons pressed down, and what items are inside of parked vehicles. I also don’t walk holding my phone at chest height, video recording what is inside of parked vehicles on the street, but I am not planning on coming back late at night to steal things.
A few of my neighbors and myself, we have followed the people who have walked beside our vehicles recording what is inside of them, and we have called the Police. One time the Police did catch and arrest one of these people a short time later, for fleeing, eluding, resisting arrest, and other charges. Another time, by the time the Police arrived we couldn’t find the person, but a short while later another apartment resident caught this person in the fenced-off, utility corridor behind the apartment building, questioned them, and told them that they had to leave.
The thieving people are usually males between the ages of 17 to 30. They are usually drug addicts and drug users. They are unemployed, do not have steady employment, or do not have good employment. They live in low-rent apartment buildings, subdivided houses made into low-rent apartments, with their mom, or with their grandmother.
If they lived with their father or grandfather, these older males would say, “Oh no, you’re not going out at 1:00 a.m. to steal things in this neighborhood and bringing it back here.” But women, who knows, maybe they are either dumb or they play dumb, their little angel who has been arrested multiple times for theft and possession of drugs, he’s just going to visit his friends at 1:00 a.m., he’s not doing anything wrong.
Because the Police can’t be everywhere at once, and it is technically not illegal for unemployed, drug-addict, criminal record males to be walking the streets between midnight and 3:00 a.m., the Police have a hard time preventing or catching these thieves. And because mothers and grandmothers are either dumb or are playing dumb about the five bicycles, five car stereos, five laptop computers, and five mobile phones stashed in their garage or basement by their unemployed, drug addict son, the thieving continues.
In the past two days, I was out working on my vehicles during the afternoon and evening, and never ever before have I seen so many young males between the ages of 17 to 30 wearing hoodies, walking down the streets and sidewalks getting as close as they can to parked vehicles, and looking in parked vehicles. They were like moths or insects buzzing around and bumping into a porch light as far as cars parked out on the street.
This neighborhood that I live in is a bad neighborhood. It is mostly a blue-collar, lower-middle-class, poor, drug addict neighborhood. It’s the very low rent apartments, high number of subdivided homes made into low-rent apartments, poor single mothers and poor single grandmothers, that provide the habitat for these unemployed, drug addict, criminal record, thieving young males.
What can you do? Whenever you see a male between the ages of 17 to 30 walking down the street or riding a little BMX bicycle down the street in Dickinson, don’t try to think that they are going to or from work, going to the store, or going to visit a friend. They don’t have a job, they don’t have any money, and if they are going to visit someone’s house it is drug related. Watch what they do, watch where they are going, try to figure out where they are going or where they are coming from. They are out looking for anything that they can steal.
Make sure that every window and every door in your house or apartment is closed and locked. Before you go anywhere, and before you go to bed at night, make sure that all ground-floor doors and windows are closed and locked, especially in the basement, and the garage.
Install flood lights and motion activated lights to illuminate your front yard, back yard, and vehicle parking areas. Try to reduce the amount of possible concealment around your house, such as overgrown hedges, bushes, and shrubs. Do not leave anything outside during the day or night that would attract thieves, such as bicycles, lawn mowers, snow blowers, air compressors, chain saws, welders, motorcycles, fishing poles, golf clubs, ice chests, etc.
Apartment building owners and home owners need to install fencing not just to keep people who don’t belong from accessing their property, but to block off the backyard cut-throughs that neighborhood children create, but end up getting used by vagrants and thieves at 1:00 a.m.
Most importantly, start watching what passersby are doing in your neighborhood, and ask yourself what are they doing, do they belong here, do they have a reason for being here, do they look like they are actually trying to get somewhere, or do they seem to be here for some other purpose? If you see someone acting suspicious, let your neighbors know, so that they can watch too, put away their belongings, lock their vehicle doors, and start being more careful about locking up their house.
These young adults that you see walking around the streets in Dickinson, do not give them the benefit of the doubt anymore. You don’t have to stop and question them, just recognize that they are a threat, because so many people in Dickinson are drug addict thieves.