In Jim Cook's Archive


I live in a gated community and when someone broke into my next-door neighbor’s house last week, it was cause for alarm. The thieves smashed through a sliding glass patio door and ransacked the house. My neighbor who is a widower wasn’t home. He was playing cards with friends at 11 a.m. when the criminals struck. The police who investigated told us that break-ins like this invariably happen when no one is home. How the thieves knew he was gone, is a puzzler.

Needless to say, the residents in our neighborhood are making sure their alarm systems are working and turned on when they leave. It’s quite an uncomfortable feeling to think your home might be scoped out by criminals. A new reality in our country is that you, your neighbor or someone you know will likely become a crime victim. I can tell you it’s hard to go to sleep at night when you are worried about a crime that happened next door. My neighbor says he is installing an alarm system. These days, we all need added protection from criminals.

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