My CD player was stolen from my car last night. From right out in front of my house. (My most-excellent guard dog remained quiet thoughout the heist.)
Our doorbell rang, twice, at four in the morning; a groggy Terry opened the door to a greeting from one of Cumberland’s Finest. Nice Mr. Police Officer, whose name we never did get, explained that someone had been arrested for stealing a CD player from our neighborhood and he (Nice Mr. Police Officer) had noticed one missing from my car. Since there had been a CD player in the dash when last I left it Thursday morning, I gathered the player was mine.
And how, you might ask, did the perp gain entry to my car to remove the CD player? Well, he opened my door, which was unlocked, removed the goods and went on his merry larcenous way.
I live in a small town. I can breathe in a small town. I don’t lock my car in a small town. (Wow, both Mellencamp and Night Ranger references in the same post. Go me.) I should, I know, as was so rudely demonstrated to me pre-dawn this morning, but I’d almost purposefully stopped locking them because I wanted to trust my town. I wanted to think that Rhode Island wasn’t like Florida, that I didn’t have to be so worried about crime so much. But though this may indeed be a quiet New England town, it’s also not the 1950s and these things happen everywhere.
The kid–and I mean “kid,” because according to the arrest folder I saw this morning at the police station, he’s sixteen–wasn’t from Cumberland, and I’ll be honest and say that actually does make me feel a tad better. Nice Mr. Police Officer told us that more than 90% of the crime we get here is committed by out-of-towners. This kid’s from Cranston, which is a good 40 minutes from here on the other side of Providence; the kid’s as-yet-unarrested accomplice is apparently from Pawtucket, which is right next door and might come closer to explaining why these fuckwits were walking through my neighborhood in the middle of the night.
We’re pressing charges, of course; if it’s the kids first arrest, I’d imagine he won’t get more than a slap on the wrist for nabbing a $150 CD player. (Whether or not it’s his first arrest, I’m not sure it’s his first theft–he obviously knew just how to get the player out of my car. The front panel was pulled forward, as it’s clearly designed to do, and all of the electrical connectors are in fine shape.) And even though it’s only a $150 CD player, which we’ll be getting back from the police once we’ve ID-ed it, it’s really the principle of the thing: if we don’t press charges, we’re saying it’s alright to steal from us. And it’s, y’know, not.
The pressing charges thing has both Terry and I concerned, though–this kid knows exactly where we live. I have little insight into how the mind of a kid like that works. All I know about the criminal brain I’ve gathered through pop culture osmosis, but I’ve never known anyone who’d steal like this so I have nothing to go on. Do we now have to be worried about him deciding to take revenge on us after the judge slaps his wrist?