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ROY KENT: Be mindful of bad people doing bad things

December 12, 2017 GMT

This time of year brings out the best in people.

It is the opportunity to help out strangers through donations to food banks and clothing drives. It is the opportunity to get that special something for that special someone. It is the time of year where families get to be, well, families.

Meanwhile, this time of year also brings out the worst in people.

Every week, Memorial Villages Police Chief Ray Schultz sends out a newsletter to those people in the area his department protects. But no matter how much he - and all law enforcement, for that matter - wants to protect people from crime, he simply cannot do everything.

There was one special victim who, despite her best efforts, could not help but become a victim: Schultz’s own wife.

According to Schultz, his wife went out shopping at multiple stores. After a few stops at various stores, she put something from the front of her car into her hatchback so nothing would be in sight for would-be thieves.

“This is where the thief(s) most likely saw the ‘goods’ and decided that this was the vehicle to hit,” Schultz said.

But it wasn’t a broken window or anything else that showed specially purchased presents for loved ones including children and grandchildren were stolen. Insidiously, it was something worse.

“She finished her shopping, got back into her car and went home. Much to her surprise when she got home and went to retrieve her haul from the rear of the car, it was empty. Missing were all of the gifts, her gym bag and sunglasses. It appears, that while she was in the store, the brazen thieves entered her car and took all of the gifts. She went back to the Marshals to inquire on any video surveillance only to learn that there was none and that the store had recently learned of other similar thefts in the area and were considering hiring a security guard.”

Rather than think everything was fine, it was not until Schultz’s wife got home that she realized she had been the victim of a crime. She did everything right and bad people were still able to steal from her.

It might seem like a little bit of overkill but when shopping at a mall and running out to your vehicle to drop of some packages before doing a bit more shopping, move your car. Yes, you may lose your awesome parking spot right next to the door, but it could also throw some unscrupulous people off the trail of your purchased goods.

Schultz said, “When out shopping and placing gifts in the car or moving them to hidden/out of sight areas and if you are planning on stopping at other locations and continuing the shopping, make those changes occur before going to the next store.”

It is up to all of us to make sure criminals have as hard a time as possible when it comes to stealing our stuff. Lock your doors. Makes sure your windows are rolled up. When possible, park only in lighted areas. Keep all packages, purses and bags out of sight. If you see someone who makes you feel uncomfortable, do not simply lock your car and walk away. Get back in your car and move somewhere where you feel safer.

It would be nice for anyone caught stealing from a car would face a mandatory 30-day hold in jail. Make their Christmas horrible. Make the Christmas of their loved ones really bad. It may not have that effect but it’s worth a shot. However, that might fall under cruel and unusual punishment.

There are bad people out there doing bad things, especially this time of year. Let’s all of us make their days out there filled with as much hardship as we can.