Several times in recent months, there have been outbreaks of automobile burglaries in different parts of town. The crimes would take place overnight, and usually could be considered a crime of opportunity, as the vehicles breached were left unlocked by owners.
That doesn’t make the victimization – or lack thereof – any less frustrating. At least one homeowner posted a video on social media taken by his security camera. It clearly showed a man walking up his drive and checking his car doors before moving on to the next house in the neighborhood.
These crooks were eventually caught, as most are. But in a similar situation last week in Eufaula, the homeowner confronted the would-be thief, who later turned up at a hospital with a gunshot wound.
There are myriad ways in which a situation such as this can go sideways. Not the least of these is that a property owner could wind up injured or killed in addition to the potential loss of property.
Surely people have a right to protect themselves and their property, and someone who sets out to commit a crime has certainly crossed a line into harm’s way. And when a person believes they or their family faces an imminent threat to their lives, they should do what they feel is necessary to ensure their safety.
However, best mechanism for addressing property crimes is to call the police and allow the professionals to deal with it.
Police agree; a resonating mantra in law enforcement is that a citizen taking the law into his own hands is making a bad decision.