On Monday night, Nov. 15, our home was burglarized. The perpetrators entered our garage, which is not an attachment, but built into the structure, and is an extension of the home’s living space — containing a refrigerator, food, household supplies, etc. They opened both doors of one car and removed an electronic device. A week later, we realized that they also picked up a new chainsaw on the way out.

 

The incident happened in the early evening, and we were home at the time — in fact, in and out of the garage all evening. They must have been very close to the house, waiting for their chance. We live at 1180 Lakemont Drive, on the Plateau, in Meadville. This crime is not a misdemeanor car

theft. The perpetrators “entered a structure with intent to commit a crime.” {18 PA C.S.A Sec. 3502, 3503} Felony.

 

I write a weekly column for The Tribune. In it, is explored the reason why we all like Meadville specifically, and small-town living in general. The word that comes up again and again is “safe”; as well as, “great place to raise a family.”

 

It was recommended that we file a formal police report, for if this is not completed and the items are found, there will be no grounds for an arrest. Then we began to hear some alarming facts:

 

- “This happens nearly every day in Meadville.”

 

- “They actually walk down the street trying every car’s doors; they call it shopping.”

 

- “Nearly every neighborhood in the area has been hit.” But our cars were not on the street. They weren’t even in our driveway; they were in our home.

 

Shame on me, leaving our garage door open in the early evening on a Monday night? How many of us do the same, how many of us expect to be able to do this? How many of us are disgusted, outraged and frankly ticked-off that this is happening in “our” town? It was 7 o’clock. Was it neighborhood kids, kids from another neighborhood, professionals with escape vehicles ready? Were they from our town, the immediate country side, another town or city? Do “any” of these scenarios make you feel any better, worse?

 

It’s funny. I hear about these petty, and not-so-petty crimes everyday — happening to “others.” And I hear how it feels to be a victim, to know that there was a stranger in our home, helping themselves to our belongings. You’ve heard the word “violated” — that’s it. Now I get it. Ponder these thoughts: What if it was our 10-year-old who “surprised” the perpetrators, or my wife, or me? What if I hollered, gave chase and was attacked? What if they were armed with a gun? What if I was armed with a gun? What if someone was maimed or killed as things escalated out-of-control?

 

The items stolen were an iPod Nano 4-gig Silver — serial #7S746EAZYOP, and the FM converter that allows it to be played from a cassette deck. The chainsaw is orange, made by Stihl, model #170, serial #279614S26. If these items have suddenly shown up in your home or garage, or you were offered a chance to purchase them, we would be very grateful if you would call me (724-9040) or Sgt. Ed Kightlinger of the Meadville Police Department directly. And not so much to recover the material objects, but to lead us to those responsible for taking from us something far more valuable — our sense of security.

 

Perhaps, we can begin to send a message to anyone who feels they are entitled to my, your, our “stuff”: Think twice before making this town your target. Some folks are ready to fight back, perhaps all of us will come together, drawing a line in the sand that says “not in my town.” By the way, had they not left the car doors open — apparently to avoid detection — we might have chalked an initial incident up to an absent minded loss; perhaps never connecting the dots to the missing chainsaw. How many of you have experienced a similar “loss”? It began with cars on streets, then in your driveway, now in your garage — do you think it’s going to stop there? Next we’ll read how some young punk with too much induced “confidence” decides to come into your home, point a weapon and demand that you give him what he feels “entitled” to. Or who decides to mug someone out walking their dog at night.

 

So what can we do? I suppose we start by locking it all up, then being vigilant, noticing strange cars, and strangers — if you get hit, you “must” report the crime. Even a small item matters if it helps track down the culprits. Please don’t think it’s too small for our police force. These guys take pride in protecting us and making things safe. They don’t like this environment of fear any more than we do. The protection they provide is part of the benefits of living in the city limits.

 

We are considering forming an official Neighborhood Watch Team. How sad that we must use the resources and time necessary to secure our safety and peace-of-mind. How sad that we now have to fight a fight just to get our town and neighborhoods “back” to where we thought they always were — a “safe” place to raise a family.

Kilburn is a Meadville, Pa., resident.

Kilburn is a Meadville, Pa., resident.Not in my hometown
 
Writer's house was burglarized while he and his family were at home
 
On Monday night, Nov. 15, our home was burglarized. The perpetrators entered our garage, which is not an attachment, but built into the structure, and is an extension of the home’s living space — containing a refrigerator, food, household supplies, etc. They opened both doors of one car and removed an electronic device. A week later, we realized that they also picked up a new chainsaw on the way out.
 
The incident happened in the early evening, and we were home at the time — in fact, in and out of the garage all evening. They must have been very close to the house, waiting for their chance. We live at 1180 Lakemont Drive, on the Plateau, in Meadville. This crime is not a misdemeanor car
theft. The perpetrators “entered a structure with intent to commit a crime.” {18 PA C.S.A Sec. 3502, 3503} Felony.
 
I write a weekly column for The Tribune. In it, is explored the reason why we all like Meadville specifically, and small-town living in general. The word that comes up again and again is “safe”; as well as, “great place to raise a family.”
 
It was recommended that we file a formal police report, for if this is not completed and the items are found, there will be no grounds for an arrest. Then we began to hear some alarming facts:
 
- “This happens nearly every day in Meadville.”
 
- “They actually walk down the street trying every car’s doors; they call it shopping.”
 
- “Nearly every neighborhood in the area has been hit.” But our cars were not on the street. They weren’t even in our driveway; they were in our home.
 
Shame on me, leaving our garage door open in the early evening on a Monday night? How many of us do the same, how many of us expect to be able to do this? How many of us are disgusted, outraged and frankly ticked-off that this is happening in “our” town? It was 7 o’clock. Was it neighborhood kids, kids from another neighborhood, professionals with escape vehicles ready? Were they from our town, the immediate country side, another town or city? Do “any” of these scenarios make you feel any better, worse?
 
It’s funny. I hear about these petty, and not-so-petty crimes everyday — happening to “others.” And I hear how it feels to be a victim, to know that there was a stranger in our home, helping themselves to our belongings. You’ve heard the word “violated” — that’s it. Now I get it. Ponder these thoughts: What if it was our 10-year-old who “surprised” the perpetrators, or my wife, or me? What if I hollered, gave chase and was attacked? What if they were armed with a gun? What if I was armed with a gun? What if someone was maimed or killed as things escalated out-of-control?
 
The items stolen were an iPod Nano 4-gig Silver — serial #7S746EAZYOP, and the FM converter that allows it to be played from a cassette deck. The chainsaw is orange, made by Stihl, model #170, serial #279614S26. If these items have suddenly shown up in your home or garage, or you were offered a chance to purchase them, we would be very grateful if you would call me (724-9040) or Sgt. Ed Kightlinger of the Meadville Police Department directly. And not so much to recover the material objects, but to lead us to those responsible for taking from us something far more valuable — our sense of security.
 
Perhaps, we can begin to send a message to anyone who feels they are entitled to my, your, our “stuff”: Think twice before making this town your target. Some folks are ready to fight back, perhaps all of us will come together, drawing a line in the sand that says “not in my town.” By the way, had they not left the car doors open — apparently to avoid detection — we might have chalked an initial incident up to an absent minded loss; perhaps never connecting the dots to the missing chainsaw. How many of you have experienced a similar “loss”? It began with cars on streets, then in your driveway, now in your garage — do you think it’s going to stop there? Next we’ll read how some young punk with too much induced “confidence” decides to come into your home, point a weapon and demand that you give him what he feels “entitled” to. Or who decides to mug someone out walking their dog at night.
 
So what can we do? I suppose we start by locking it all up, then being vigilant, noticing strange cars, and strangers — if you get hit, you “must” report the crime. Even a small item matters if it helps track down the culprits. Please don’t think it’s too small for our police force. These guys take pride in protecting us and making things safe. They don’t like this environment of fear any more than we do. The protection they provide is part of the benefits of living in the city limits.
 
We are considering forming an official Neighborhood Watch Team. How sad that we must use the resources and time necessary to secure our safety and peace-of-mind. How sad that we now have to fight a fight just to get our town and neighborhoods “back” to where we thought they always were — a “safe” place to raise a family.
 
Kilburn is a Meadville resident.Not in my hometown
 
Writer's house was burglarized while he and his family were at home
 
On Monday night, Nov. 15, our home was burglarized. The perpetrators entered our garage, which is not an attachment, but built into the structure, and is an extension of the home’s living space — containing a refrigerator, food, household supplies, etc. They opened both doors of one car and removed an electronic device. A week later, we realized that they also picked up a new chainsaw on the way out.
 
The incident happened in the early evening, and we were home at the time — in fact, in and out of the garage all evening. They must have been very close to the house, waiting for their chance. We live at 1180 Lakemont Drive, on the Plateau, in Meadville. This crime is not a misdemeanor car
theft. The perpetrators “entered a structure with intent to commit a crime.” {18 PA C.S.A Sec. 3502, 3503} Felony.
 
I write a weekly column for The Tribune. In it, is explored the reason why we all like Meadville specifically, and small-town living in general. The word that comes up again and again is “safe”; as well as, “great place to raise a family.”
 
It was recommended that we file a formal police report, for if this is not completed and the items are found, there will be no grounds for an arrest. Then we began to hear some alarming facts:
 
- “This happens nearly every day in Meadville.”
 
- “They actually walk down the street trying every car’s doors; they call it shopping.”
 
- “Nearly every neighborhood in the area has been hit.” But our cars were not on the street. They weren’t even in our driveway; they were in our home.
 
Shame on me, leaving our garage door open in the early evening on a Monday night? How many of us do the same, how many of us expect to be able to do this? How many of us are disgusted, outraged and frankly ticked-off that this is happening in “our” town? It was 7 o’clock. Was it neighborhood kids, kids from another neighborhood, professionals with escape vehicles ready? Were they from our town, the immediate country side, another town or city? Do “any” of these scenarios make you feel any better, worse?
 
It’s funny. I hear about these petty, and not-so-petty crimes everyday — happening to “others.” And I hear how it feels to be a victim, to know that there was a stranger in our home, helping themselves to our belongings. You’ve heard the word “violated” — that’s it. Now I get it. Ponder these thoughts: What if it was our 10-year-old who “surprised” the perpetrators, or my wife, or me? What if I hollered, gave chase and was attacked? What if they were armed with a gun? What if I was armed with a gun? What if someone was maimed or killed as things escalated out-of-control?
 
The items stolen were an iPod Nano 4-gig Silver — serial #7S746EAZYOP, and the FM converter that allows it to be played from a cassette deck. The chainsaw is orange, made by Stihl, model #170, serial #279614S26. If these items have suddenly shown up in your home or garage, or you were offered a chance to purchase them, we would be very grateful if you would call me (724-9040) or Sgt. Ed Kightlinger of the Meadville Police Department directly. And not so much to recover the material objects, but to lead us to those responsible for taking from us something far more valuable — our sense of security.
 
Perhaps, we can begin to send a message to anyone who feels they are entitled to my, your, our “stuff”: Think twice before making this town your target. Some folks are ready to fight back, perhaps all of us will come together, drawing a line in the sand that says “not in my town.” By the way, had they not left the car doors open — apparently to avoid detection — we might have chalked an initial incident up to an absent minded loss; perhaps never connecting the dots to the missing chainsaw. How many of you have experienced a similar “loss”? It began with cars on streets, then in your driveway, now in your garage — do you think it’s going to stop there? Next we’ll read how some young punk with too much induced “confidence” decides to come into your home, point a weapon and demand that you give him what he feels “entitled” to. Or who decides to mug someone out walking their dog at night.
 
So what can we do? I suppose we start by locking it all up, then being vigilant, noticing strange cars, and strangers — if you get hit, you “must” report the crime. Even a small item matters if it helps track down the culprits. Please don’t think it’s too small for our police force. These guys take pride in protecting us and making things safe. They don’t like this environment of fear any more than we do. The protection they provide is part of the benefits of living in the city limits.
 
We are considering forming an official Neighborhood Watch Team. How sad that we must use the resources and time necessary to secure our safety and peace-of-mind. How sad that we now have to fight a fight just to get our town and neighborhoods “back” to where we thought they always were — a “safe” place to raise a family.
 
Kilburn is a Meadville resident.

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