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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

The solution to petty crime…


Good morning Netizens...


From the Spokesman-Review: Spokane police Chief Frank Straub said Friday that the disbanding of the department’s property crimes unit in 2011 is an “urban legend” perpetrated by former administrators looking to boost funding for the department. The story goes on to state as fact that “The unit exists, he said, but it also focuses on fraud and computer crimes.”


Oh? In our little neighborhood, we seem to have a vision of crimes against property that suggests otherwise. A series of property crimes have gone largely unreported because no one in the neighborhood has any faith whatsoever in the property crimes unit. Car prowling has seen a steady increase in our neighborhood, despite the fact that most of our residents have car alarms installed. Wise residents do not leave valuables in their cars, or else windows get smashed and property gets stolen.


Nearly everyone has backyard lighting that gives them some sense of security, but to what end? If you are fortunate enough to catch sight of someone breaking into a garage or outbuilding, by the time the police arrive the burglars are long gone.


Pardon me for speaking out of class, but I simply do not see any alternatives to plain old-fashioned vigilantism. When I was a young if I was stupid or incompetent enough to get caught pilfering one of the neighbor's prized pumpkins or late-summer watermelons, I certainly could expect an occasional blast of rock salt from a double-barrel shotgun once in awhile. I can still remember bawling like a motherless calf when the doctor started removing the rock salt (and even some bird shot) from my delicate backside. Eventually I learned to always ask nicely or else do without.


A double-barrel shotgun loaded with rock salt and bird shot is a better alternative than cops who won't or cannot investigate petty burglaries. Of course, your thoughts may differ.



Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.