December 19, 2010

Nosy neighbors are crime stoppers

  The area is full of Christmas cheer as we move into the holiday season, but at the same time, the bad guys are hard at work trying to remove Christmas cheer from the neighborhoods.
  TV-13 in Houston reports that a Harris County family of five was robbed at gunpoint last week just as they arrived home from a shopping spree at a local mall.
  The victim, Henry Rodriguez, said he, his wife and three daughters had just finished shopping at Best Buy and purchased some expensive electronics. The armed robbery occurred in the driveway of the Rodriguez home just as they pulled in.
  There were three men, two armed with handguns. The robbers blocked the Rodriguez car in the driveway then demanded all five family members get out of the car, place packages on the driveway and open the trunk.
  “It was like they knew everything we had purchased,” said Mr. Rodriguez. The family was ordered to lie face down on the driveway as the bandits grabbed the goodies, backed out and sped away. The whole incident took place in less than two minutes.
  A Harris County constable said the robbers very likely watched Rodriguez at the checkout stand to determine what he’d purchased, then followed him home where the robbery took place.
  These kinds of crimes are becoming more common across the country at this time of year when people are spending money on expensive gifts.
  Most police agencies recommend active neighborhood watch programs as a possible deterrent. “When you hear a car pull into your neighbor’s driveway, look out the window. If you see something that doesn’t look right, call 911 and report it,” said a police official.
  A police chief, long retired from a small department in the South Carolina Midlands, once observed, “The best crime deterrent is a nosy neighbor!”

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