It all started for me almost three years ago. In all of my years living in St. Clair, MI 48079, it marked a new era for myself and my young family. The era of locking my doors and living my life being suspicious of everyone who walks into my house had now begun. Locking my doors was not the end of the world, but living under a cloud of fear and unknowing is no way to live.
I wasn’t sure if my wife just needed bowling money. The second time it happened that week, I started to wonder. We then realized that someone was entering our house at night, and cleaning out wallets and purses. After verifying none of our family was at fault, we filed report with the St Clair Police Department. No one has since been arrested and obviously nothing has been returned. I still harbor a sense of sickness in my stomach as I recall my wife and I forcing ourselves to go through our 3 and 5 year old’s bedrooms to make sure there were no large bills stashed. (Part one of living in suspicion.)
A couple of months later, I made the mistake of leaving my truck door unlocked one night. This time the culprits helped themselves to the basics; ashtray change, cell phone charger, and a few packs of smokes. But what cost me the most was that they used my garage door opener to gain entry into the 24 by 24 building that sits in our backyard. Marine stereo systems, tools, and bikes were taken in that incident. A police report was again filed. Same results as the first one.
Over the course of the next several months, various items have walked off of our property. Items range from firearms to video game consoles. I recently totaled the dollar amount of all of the items and it is in the neighborhood of $5,800.00. The last few times, I didn’t even bother to go and make police reports. They seem burdened by the notion of filling out papers.
About 2 weeks ago, at a vacant home that sits approximately 500 feet from mine, police were called as a man was seen loading items into a truck and trailer. The man was not the owner, but simply a local idiot that thought he could make a few dollars pillaging. The police were kind enough to let the man return the items and send him on his merry way. After hearing about the “10th Street Thief,” I rushed to the police station with an updated list of all the items that have been stolen. A pimple faced cadet with a squeaky voice informed me that all the “real cops” were out to lunch and that someone would contact me. They didn’t. I went back two days later, and talked to a different cadet. Never a call back.
The man that was let go for the 10th Street incident has quite an interesting record. I was hoping this crime would trigger a possible search of his residence. Not the case. I have yet to be contacted by the Police Department, and this criminal still roams the streets of St Clair. Perhaps if there was a crime at the Tim Horton’s Donut Shop, a full investigation would take place. But as for us common law abiding citizens, our needs are at the bottom of a priority list that includes stake outs near local taverns to enable the police harassment of patrons, and the big crack down on driving while text messaging.
They did find the time, however, to remove the signs my wife put up. These signs told the tale of the robbery that recently left my children without their entire Wii video game system. Sorry guys and gal of the SCPD. Did the signs make you look bad? Don’t worry about the signs, you are doing a fantastic job of looking bad all by yourselves.
I am not alone in my displeasure. I will not list the many other citizens I have talked to on this same issue. I am sure that while criminals freely roam the streets, I will pay for this whistle blowing. Here comes the 5 over speeding tickets, taillight citations, and might I be lucky enough to have a bloody glove planted in my fishing boat?
Let it be known, criminals. Like many other law abiding residents of this town we grew up in, I have replaced those guns you stole. My family also knows how to load them and pull the trigger, and bullets are cheap. Our police force didn’t have to murmur a word to let us know that we are on our own in this manner. Their silence speaks volumes. There’s a new sheriff in town. He or she might not have a badge, but look in the mirror. It’s you and me, folks. We are on our own.
Fisherman, carpenter, vigilante. (makes me sound a little like Jesus…)