Misplaced Trust

An interesting footnote, when all is said and done, to the saga of three of Minnesota’s biggest idiots is the supposed use of a newspaper-delivery job to scout burglary and robbery victims. It’s not notable because it’s original; far from it, in fact. Rather, it’s notable because it’s quite widespread, yet we rarely give the perpetrators a second thought.

It takes a fair amount of effort, determination, and time to become a letter carrier, and be allowed to go door-to-door throughout the city. The requirements to become a paperboy, and do the same? A middle-school education, more or less, and a willingness to work for minimum wage. I’ve had my own encounter with shady paper carriers, but in my neighborhood, it’s faux-homeless who are most often a problem, going door-to-door begging for money while seeing who isn’t home, or is elderly. Fairly literally, every time one of these guys comes to my door, asking for money ($20 for a shave and a haircut? What, do I look stupid?), there’s going to be one or more burglaries in the area that evening, regular as clockwork. (What gets me is, it’s never the same guy…) Last year, a guy went around the area, trying to sell steaks out the back of a truck – and also preceded a string of burglaries by about six hours. A few weeks ago, some college-age kid with no uniform, no ID, and nothing but a clipboard with a legal pad on it came through the neighborhood, offering a “free home security evaluation”, with the promise of “free installation” of a security system from a firm that doesn’t exist. I wonder how many people fell for that one?

I’m certainly not suggesting a policy of “trust no one”; rather, I think a good home security system, a little common sense, and a healthy skepticism of strangers and their motives can help prevent a variety of types of unpleasantness.

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', General, Security | on November 24th, 2007| Comments Off on Misplaced Trust

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