Are You Aiding and Abetting Criminals?

By
Real Estate Agent SL3287291

Many people aid and abet criminals and are not aware of what they are doing.

There is an upscale gated community in my area that had 11 criminal events in one night.

Working with the Property Manager I was able to interview all 11 of the residents that were victims of the crime spree.

It is often the thinking of people who choose to live in a gated community that because there is a gate and on-site security officers that they do not need to be concerned about safety or crime. It is true that a gated community can be safer and therefore a more comfortable place to live. But a gated community is never crime proof.

In my interviews I found the following information:

A. 8 of the 11 criminal events were the result of residents who parked their cars in the driveway failed to lock the vehicle when they retired for the night. The criminals simply opened the door and rummaged through the car and took wallets, credit cards, cash, jewelry and other items of value.

B. 3 of the criminal events involved the criminals entering the house to take purses, credit cards and computers. 

How did they enter the homes? One resident did not close the garage door when the went to bed. They also did not lock the door from the garage into the house. So the criminals simply walked in and took what they could find.

2 of the residents whose homes were entered had parked their car in the driveway and had failed to lock it. Inside on the visor was the garage door remote. The criminals opened the garage door and since the door from the garage into the house was not locked they easily entered the home to take what they wanted.

In all cases the resident was at home. In all cases the residents had failed to take very basic steps to secure their property. So, the residents had aided and abetted the criminals.

These were not mastermind criminals. They did have experience as they had gone into several gated communities and did the same thing.

When the criminals left the gated community in a car waiting outside, they drove about 10 miles and stopped to get gas. They used the credit cards just taken.

Then came their big mistake. They went to Walmart. There they quickly used the credit cards to purchase Gift cards which would not be traceable. This was smart. But they chose to do this in Walmart which has more security cameras than any place. When the police found that the stolen credit cards had been used they quickly went to view the video and were able to identify the criminals and they were soon taken into custody.

The Residents were not taken into custody for aiding and abetting criminals but they had a very traumatic event that shook them up for some time. The thought of criminals wandering around inside the home while they were asleep will remain with them for some time.

100% of these criminal events could have been prevented by the Residents. Not one event resulted in a forced entry.

Are you taking the necessary and very easy steps to secure your property?

You might want to share this tip with the people you work with, your clients, your family and friends.

Presented as a Safety Tip.

Comments (53)

Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I am much like those folks.  I don't think my car is locked right now.  My wallet is in it.

Nov 08, 2015 09:58 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Tammy, I hope you carry a rabbits foot. 

Nov 08, 2015 10:38 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

There are a lot of things that folks can do to keep the criminals at bay.  It looks like some folks need a reminder of very basic things they should be doing to keep themselves and their possessions safe.

Nov 08, 2015 11:18 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

We always lock our cars and tell our guest to lock their cars as well. 

Nov 08, 2015 11:34 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Joan, it is amazing what some small basic precautions can do to protect a person's property. 

Thanks for commenting.

Nov 08, 2015 07:58 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Rebecca, that is good advice. Remind your guests to lock their cars.

Nov 08, 2015 07:59 PM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

John, I am guilty of doing all of the above when in a hurry, have to pay attention more, thanks for post!

Nov 08, 2015 10:20 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Beth, my goal is to inform and remind. Be safe!

Nov 08, 2015 11:32 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

John, this is a good reminder for everyone who reads this post!

Nov 09, 2015 03:48 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

John - I will bet they don't do that any more.  People get lazy because they think they live in a good neighborhood.

Nov 11, 2015 03:54 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Grant, you are correct, I think people often have a false sense of security. Criminals always look for "soft targets". 

Nov 11, 2015 03:58 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Thanks Sharon Parisi, I do hope people will remember to take steps to be safe.

Nov 11, 2015 04:22 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

John, Good post. I try to think smart and always lock my car except in my own garage. 

Nov 11, 2015 09:18 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Thanks Debbie for the comments. It is all about being smart. Glad you lock your car.

Nov 11, 2015 09:22 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

John, a lot of us are very careless about locking up.  Luckily for the victims of this spree, the criminals were pretty stupid.

Nov 16, 2015 10:32 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Patricia, criminals who were not all that smart invaded a lot of people's lives in a short time. Just think what could have happened if they were smart.

Thanks for commenting.

Nov 16, 2015 08:45 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Oh my!  These people set themselves up as easy prey!  

Nov 20, 2015 11:08 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Thanks Sharon. I wrote this hoping to help others take simple steps to avoid these types of invasion. Yes, each of them set themselves up.

Nov 20, 2015 11:16 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

John, living in a gated community does mean you are safe, you still have to remember to shut and lock doors.   Amazing! 

Nov 29, 2015 10:12 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

You are so right Joan. It seems to be the simple things in life we forget and then pay for.

Nov 29, 2015 10:29 PM