Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Crime Time in the Forum Prime Time

Recently, the "nice" forum has taken a "nasty" turn and the "nasty" forum has flipped the script and turned kind! Blows my mind! Crime time in prime time. Stories of theft so absurd...to the forums here we'll be heard!

If you follow my blog, then you already know that since moving to Belize, I was the victim of a theft. I had left my bicycle at the bottom of the steps, and forgotten the time. By the time Sean came in (after dark) the bike was stolen. I do not make excuses for the thief. Whoever took the bike, was undoubtedly, wrong. (Thou shalt not steal. -Even made God's top ten list.) But I also don't absolve myself of guilt in this crime. I was aware that I needed to bring that bicycle inside, it just slipped my mind...and slipped off my porch. FOR THE RECORD...I lived in a tiny little community in the states. The kind of little place where everyone knows everyone, and the lady across the way can tell you what kind of car your sister drives. She knows because she sits at her kitchen window watching all the neighbors. When she sees the Black Escalade parked near your house, she REALLY watches. Poor dear must have been disappointed when she did not see a gangsta thug drug dealer...but instead saw a tiny little skinny lady and her infant. The point is...she watched...she knew from then on at what time your sister arrived, and at what time she left. Once...no exaggeration...she came and caught me as I got home from work. She told me about a shady lady who came to my home about 2 in the afternoon. The lady drove a Blue Ford Focus...and Nosy Neighbor even had the plate number written down. I guess Focus Lady knocked at the kitchen door, but when no one was home, she proceeded to walk all around our home. She appeared to be "scoping us out" to Nosy Neighbor. I thanked Nosy Neighbor for keeping her eyes open, and took her scrap of paper with the plate written on it. Then I called our realtor and told her she could add a security system to our listing...live monitoring. The Realtor was perplexed, until I explained that I had her plate number written down by my neighbor, Head of Security Nosy Neighbor. Yup...Realtor WAS Ford Focus Lady! ...Even with all that monitoring of the neighborhood, I had theft in the states. On two separate occasions, I had bikes stolen from my porch. (Once it was located right away...the neighborhood drunk had helped himself to a ride home.) The second time, the bike was found...but it had been spray painted black and left in a barn. The point of this is...One can not leave items outside for very long even in the safest of US neighborhoods. I knew better...BOTH places.

There IS crime in Belize. Perhaps there is even more crime per person than in the states, I don't know the statistics and so I will not pretend to be an expert. (I feel sure some "expert" or other will correct me in my comments if I am wrong.)  The larger Chinese stores have video monitoring... a sure sign they have been the victims of shoplifting. Homes have burglar bars on the windows, and dogs...BIG SCARY DOGS. Dogs that look hungry. Dogs that would make one think twice before messing about. I assume there is a need for such security measures.....But also...Using common sense can help prevent crime. Bring your bike inside. Don't roam the streets drunk and alone after dark. If you get a Heeby Jeeby vibe off of a person...don't associate with that person. All of the same things one does to prevent becoming a victim of crime in the states...do the same things here. The only thing I do differently in Belize is...I don't have a gun. (yet) I would never use a gun to protect an item. I was raised better than that. But I would stand in the corner, gun drawn, and DARE a thief to TOUCH me! (One to the knee...one to the elbow...people are less of a threat after that...go figure.) I am close to the police station here, and as things stand right now...If entry was made into my home...I would run to the police station as fast as my skinny legs will carry me! Laptop be damned! I'm OUT if someone comes in! And I feel fairly confident that the police would assist me. I may never recover my stolen items, but I would be safe. And I would not have to grease any palms to be safe.

This blog has taken a "tone"...A tone of paranoia that I don't like one bit. What I mean to say is this...People are safe here. People are generally kind and helpful. Sure... There are criminals looking for something for nothing. People like that are everywhere...not just Belize. Use your head. Stay aware. Know where to go for help if you should need it. ...and bring you bike in when it starts to get dark.
I'm thinking maybe I'll get a dog. I am a cat person...but even the steely eyed 19lb Chief doesn't look like much of a deterrent to crime. I do think he's doing well making new friends here in Belize though.

No comments:

Post a Comment