Shaw Listserv: “Package stolen on 5th St, confronted thief”

From the Shaw Listserv:

“This past Friday, while circling the block to find parking, noticed a package in our door. After parking while walking the 50ft from our parked car on the 500 block of R St. to our house, my wife and I passed a young African American male walking a bike with a brown mail package in one hand walking westward on R St. I didn’t think much of it – its important to me not to unfairly profile people. I got to our door and saw our package was gone – removed in the last 60 seconds since we’d seen it from out car.

I turned around and ran down R St. to 6th to look for the kid who I’d just saw and spotted him on the the other side of Rhode Island walking north on 6th St. I saw the package in his hand, but the brown wrapping was removed and it was a white shirt-like box. I was in front of the Chinese food place on 6th, looked to my left to the garbage bin, looked in it – and saw the brown wrapping addressed to me. Enraged, I ran across traffic on Rhode Island, coming up behind the man/kid picked him up and threw him on the ground, screaming at him like a maniac. He said he was sorry several times at which point I released him, grabbed my mother-in-law’s birthday gift for my wife and stormed back across Rhode Island. At my wife’s urging, I did report it to the police – who said I should’ve probably called before I confronted him. I should’ve stayed and called the police and taken a picture, but I wasn’t in that state of mind at the time. We couldn’t find him. He took down my information. The police said these kids usually come from a different area of town – so they aren’t recognized. This kid/man seemed about 18, red t-shirt, black do-rag on head, athletic shorts, walking a black bike.

I was surprised at how angry I was – but it enraged me to feel violated in front of my face, in my home. And its important to me not to negatively profile every young African American kid in the neighborhood who looks like they might live in public housing because – like all of us – most are not behaving this way. But it pissed me of to have this happen.”

125 Comment

  • I agreed with everything this guy said… until he got to the bit about public housing.

    • I’m pretty sure the reason he made the whole “public housing” comment was to he was shed light to the fact that he’s actively trying to AVOID falling into the trap of stereotyping based on the kid’s appearance. I actually really respect candor he’s showing in admitting this.

    • Agreed. It’s great to say that you make it a priority not to profile people but if you make statements that blatantly imply you have a different opinion of those who might “live in public housing” then I think you need to re-evaluate your perspective.

      • Especially that by saying “like all of us, most are not behaving that way,” he immediately creates another dichotomy by implying that “all” excludes African-Americans in public housing.

        • I think by nit-picking how things are said, you miss the true intent of what the writer was saying. this is why every single attempt at discourse about race issues in this country fails. everyone looks for the minutest way to become offended.

          • YES!!!!!!

          • OR this guy could take a good, hard look at how he phrases what he says about African Americans (which is a reflection of how he truly feels) and take that as an opportunity to improve his perspective?

          • One of them just stole from his house. And you think the way he phrases sentences is the problem in how he views them? SMDH…

    • Yeah, I am glad he got his stuff back and I would have been mad too. But I have no idea what a “young African American kid in the neighborhood who lives in public housing” looks like. You saw a package on your porch. Then you see someone walking down the street with a package. You find that your package is missing. You track down the person you saw, confirm he has your package, and take it back.
      What does the kid being black and/or “looking like he lives in public housing” have to do with anything? If it had been a middle aged white guy would the OP have just let it go?

      • “But I have no idea what a “young African American kid in the neighborhood who lives in public housing” looks like. ”

        You must either live in Georgetown/upper NW or simply don’t get out much. Come hang out in Columbia Heights sometime and you’ll find out exactly what he meant.

    • its okay to not agree with 100% of something.

    • Yeah, that was the part where he entered the land of #fail

    • I also bristled at the public housing reference.

  • I know this isn’t the right, or safe thing to say…but i’m proud of you! i’m glad you’re unhurt. I’m hoping that maybe your confrontation will make that kid think twice.

    Semi- related: why steal packages? I mean, how often is it really something that someone can fence? is it just the thrill/act of taking something that belongs to another person? my own experiences have been always a book that would not entertain or pertain to someone under 20. Or a friend who had bookmarks stolen. or postcards….

    • Same thought about why steal packages?!? Maybe people still get expensive electronics delivered that makes the effort worthwhile…but if you’re anything like my household, most of what we get delivered are things like dog food and cookbooks. Not anything I imagine can get any money? (or maybe I’m wrong).

      • We’ve been lucky and never had anything stolen. But we have entertained ourselves with thoughts of what a package thief might do with “Rational Dialectic and Autonomy: A Hegelian Critique of Straussian Rhetorical Analysis”.
        (I made that up to poke fun at my spouse, who buys a LOT of books, all with titles just like that. Hi, honey.)

        • The only package I had stolen was a regular bath tub mat. I hope someone is enjoying a safe and gripping shower experience right now…

          • The best think I’ve had stolen was a David Beckham calendar that my friends sent me as a joke gift. I hope that went to good use by the thief.

          • I had a pair of heeled Doc Martens oxfords stolen. I hope someone is joyfully clomping around looking retro.

    • justinbc

      Because if you’re a kid with no job or school during the day (when most of these packages would be sitting out on a doorstep) then the very possibility that something in the package MIGHT be of value is better than your zero dollars per hour current earnings. Most of what I have delivered is trivial, but I do occasionally order very expensive things. UPS is good about either putting the package over my fence, or if it says fragile leaving a note for me to pick it up. USPS, not so much… they just set it on my steps to be snatched.

      • Why don’t you have them shipped to work, if something is so expensive?

        • Not everyone (i.e. most feds) can get packages at work.

        • Due to “teh terrorisms,” federal employees are not allowed to receive personal mail at their offices. That covers a very large segment of the DC work force (including myself).

        • My office won’t allow employees to receive personal shipments. (Fed Govt Agency) So I send them to my husband’s law firm.

          • reeeeeally? wow. that’s fascinating! I had no idea. I’ve lived here for 17 years and i’m very happy that myself and all of my closest friends have never had to work for the feds!

        • justinbc

          They would not be allowed to be delivered to where I work. When I know I’m having something expensive delivered I either take the day off or do work from home so I can be there to sign for it.

    • Probably part thrill and also part ease– almost like a lottery. You could get an ipad, you could get a dumb book and toss it three trashcans down the street. No real effort either way. (I had someone steal a book once and toss it three trashcans down, I knew my neighbors there so it worked out for me).

  • So you assaulted a person because they stole a shirt? This isn’t helpful, and if anything, I’d be more insecure about the possibility of retaliation. Package theft is a pain in the ass and I’ve been victim of it a few times, but if you can actually pick up a person and slam them on the ground you could potentially hurt someone very badly.

    • I’m a pansy liberal, and I can almost guarantee you this kid is going to think twice before stealing something off of someone’s front door step. It probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but kids like this think they have free reign and rarely consequences significant enough to make them change their behavior.

      • Oy, I have to uncomfortably second this opinion. I’m guessing that the overwhelming majority of package theft (98% ?) goes completely undeterred. At least there’s -some- cause/effect happening here.

      • Or, the kid is feeling deeply embarrassed, and will think that only a bigger, badder crime will restore his self-confidence. He’s possibly considering his status, too, if his friends hear about the beat-down. Do you think that he’s going to tell his friends “No, I’m not stealing any more packages. I got caught and yelled at one time.”

        • Sure, those are options. Now what if he was caught by the police instead – is that really much different from being apprehended by the OP? Same shame and embarrassment. Do you have a suggestion on how something like this could be effectively handled without doling potential “shame and embarrassment” to the criminal?

          • houseintherear

            The theif could have a proper punishment from the court system, like time in juvenile hall or hours of community service where a location/time is specified. When a student steals in school, they receive a punishment… with the rationale, from us adults at the schools, that if they steal as adults they will be propertly punished by the law enforcement system. This doesn’t happen here in DC, and that’s why the crime continues.

        • So now it’s bad to physically confront a thief not because of the danger it poses, but because you might damage his already fragile self esteem, and he might go on to commit more crime?

          • I think it’s been pretty thoroughly proven that there isn’t a whole lot of deterrent effect in ANYTHING we do to criminals. Life sentences, various kinds of shaming, hand-chopping, flogging, execution… it’s ALL been tried.
            So it’s bad to physically confront a thief because it puts you at risk and does zippity-squat for deterring future crime. will send you another one of whatever it was.
            So in terms of what to do about it… we have to get seriously hard core. I don’t think many American would have the stomach for it. We have to create the kind of atmosphere and opportunities that will prevent folks from turning to crime in the first place.

      • No kidding. Reading about this kid getting a beat down is the best thing I have read so far today. Nice to see the good guys win every once in a while.

        • I’m no where close to being able to pick up and slam anyone, but if I could, in a case like this – yeah I would. I did get immense satisfaction recently after running down the street after a guy who stole a bicycle wheel (I saw him) and snatching it out of his hand. (Of course, It was 8 a.m. on a busy street and I had the sneak-up-behind him advantage.)

          For the criminal, there is absolutely no reason not to steal packages. Even a bag of dog food or a box of diapers can be sold for $5.00.

    • I was so proud of both my neighbor and my neighborhood when I read the part about picking the man/boy up and slamming him on the ground. If more neighbors did things like that, perhaps these quality of life crimes in Shaw might actually decrease. I’m 100% perfectly fine with tuning a guy up if you catch him red handed committing a crime like this one.

    • justinbc

      He didn’t say it was a shirt, he said it was a shirt-like box, whatever that is.

    • Good lesson taught

    • The prevailing attitudes like this around here pretty much guarantee that this type of crime will never go down in DC.

    • Whatever….. stop whinning!

      Bravo to the OP

    • while i agree that the potential for physical harm make it far less than ideal course of action, lighten the help up francis.

  • It’s definitely not the safe thing to do, but if more people were to stand up for themselves in this way, thieves would be far less brazen.

  • It’s important for you not to racially profile people, but not important for you to refrain from attacking them over stolen mail? Okay then.

    • This person wasn’t apprehended because of their race, but because they stole something. Why are you so dense?

    • justinbc

      The alternative in this scenario would be he yells at the kid “hey stop!” and then gets outrun and loses his package. I have little sympathy for possible injuries to someone who purposely broke the law against another citizen.

    • Re: “attacking them over stolen mail”

      It might not be legal or smart but I have no problem with this as long as you don’t injure the thief. Knocking him to the ground and scaring the hell out of him is perfectly fine with me.

      That said, it’s always possible the thief could pull a knife or gun, or get friends and give you a serious beat down. As the OP said, though, when you’re angry about being violated sometimes you push back, smart or not.

      • justinbc

        If I were the OP I would be more worried that the person I just assaulted knows my address and can come harass me or my wife any time he chooses (and as you point out possibly with friends). If I were the OP I would definitely be investing in a security camera right about now.

    • sounds fair to me actually.

    • Why is that so hard to understand? I’ll tell you what: I know full well that if I steal something from someone, that person might decide that they want to give me a beat-down. And I’m okay with that.

  • Bravo my friend, bravo. While I acknowledge this could have turned out much worse for everyone involved, I completely understand what you did. One of the reasons people seem so ready to steal these packages is because there is very rarely any consequences.

  • If your location is right, I live on the same block and have had this happen to me twice. The first time I caught it on camera, and confronted the guy (black male about 35 years old wearing the same thing he was when he swiped my package from under my front porch), he of course denied the whole thing. The police were very unhelpful, questioning whether or not they should even be talking to me – god forbid they help someone not in their district (we’re on the border) while sitting in their car. When they did finally decide to start looking for the guy he was long gone. The detective who came to get the video footage from me was brutally honest – “we’re not going to make this a priority”. The second time it was a black child – no more than 8 years old! Also caught on camera, but my first experience told me that I’d be wasting my time calling MPD, and I was heartbroken that a child so young was doing this.

    I’d highly recommend a security camera (and post a sign saying its there), and telling the MPD that you want a detective to come to your house to take a statement. My neighbors, who by the way KNEW the guy who took my package but refused to give me a name, said that everyone there knew the detective had come out. Might be somewhat of a deterrent. Also, be aware of delivery times (they follow the delivery trucks), and make use of Amazon lockers if you can. I’ve just accepted now that I can’t have anything of more than $100 delivered to my house when I’m gone. We shouldn’t have to do things like this, but until the gets a little better, we just have to ride it out.

  • Seems meeting theft with violence isn’t the way to go. The police do track and arrest package thieves, according to police/neighborhood listserve reports.

    • Have you ever tried speaking to the police about anything like this? Their words and actions consistently make it clear that they can’t or won’t do much of anything about minor crimes like package theft.

      • In addition, cops want to juke the stats. A petty crime like this means they will weasel out of writing a report, since it’s not a major crime like theft with violence or breaking and entry (i.e. crimes that tend to leave paper trails, insurance claims, etc). No cop is going to take a report on this stuff when you can just file a claim with Amazon and get it replaced for free.
        In addition, there are jurisdictional issues with mail fraud, which is supposed to be handled by the Postal Police.

  • I’m on the same block. My next door neighbor and I have had 3+ packages stolen in the last week. Found one discarded in the alley. Heads up people!

  • We’re at 4th and R and just had 2 packages stolen. Our neighbors as well.

  • I live a couple of blocks away and I’ve just gotten to the point to where I don’t have anything delivered to my house. There is pretty much a 100% chance it will get stolen.

    • I agree. I don’t have anything delivered to home now that can’t easily be replaced or is more than like $20 in value. It’s just not worth it!

  • I’m black, and this kind of stuff pains me to no end. You didn’t do anything wrong, apart from putting yourself in potential danger. But let’s be honest, no way would you otherwise have gotten your package back. Trust me, as a black man I would have zero reservations about doing some damage to someone like the young man you encountered. I would have prob gone further than you before my senses got the better of me. 99.99% of young black men in DC do not go around swiping packages, so no reason for us to tolerate those who do. This stuff makes me what to move overseas, somewhere where I can avoid the burden of blackness. I hate myself today.

  • 4th and Florida resident here. We’re fortunate that we can deliver packages to our office, because I see discarded packaging all the time, sometimes even in our front yard. I’m not sure I condone attacking the thief, but package theft is so frequent and obnoxious I can understand the rage. The littering is what gets to me, and I’ve had my moments of fury.

  • You had every right to be angry. I’m sure my husband would have done the same thing. However, the public housing comment was a little much.. You already mentioned that you didn’t want to profile…but assuming he lives in a public housing–is in fact profiling.

  • Popville: where no one has EVER made assumptions about someone based on their appearance.

  • Bravo. With decent citizens like this, there would be a lot less b.s.

    It’s we urban LUBrals, so polite and tolerant and forgiving, that encourage misbehavior by rogues by acting as if we don’t care.

  • I’d be pretty scared about retribution. Kid knows where you live. He may have friends who punk him about being beat up and not stealing the package. I hope for your sake he has nothing to “prove”.

    Be safe and think twice next time. The shirt wasn’t worth it.

    • I had this thought, too. One one hand, I can’t say the thief didn’t have some payback coming. OTOH, people are crazy and I would not want to have to keep looking over my shoulder waiting for revenge. Hopefully the OP remembers what the kid looks like so they can be alert for any trouble.

    • If the kid was cruising for packages, chances are he didn’t notice the exact address. And he threw away the wrapper with the exact address.

  • Good for you OP. I would have done the same thing.

  • This makes me sad to no end. As a black man, I’d like to say that you did nothing wrong, perhaps besides putting yourself in some danger. But let’s be honest, if you hadn’t chased the kid down, there is NO way you would have gotten the property back. Frankly, as a black man, I would have probably been unencumbered in teaching the kid a painful lesson before my senses got the better of me. 99.99% of young black men in DC don’t go around swiping packages, so we have no obligation to extend toleration or understanding to those who do. This sort of stuff makes me what to move (back) overseas, to a country with few black people, where the burden of blackness perhaps isn’t so severe. I grew up well-ensconced in the upper middle class (though my parents grew up poor in the Jim Crow south) and don’t readily relate to the black underclass in DC, even if I have an understanding of their historically-wrought afflictions, hardships, and pathologies. But of course such distinctions are lost on most (primarily, but not exclusively white) people. I’m depressed and must admit that – in my most vulnerable moments – often harbor disdain for lower class blacks for “making me look bad.” So if I proceeded to rough that kid up something fierce, it would stem more from “embarrassment” than the fact they he lifted my property. Because he stole some much more valuable: my ability to walk around without the black stench of suspicion surrounding me. That’s all.

    • Damn dude, that’s deep as sh!t But it’s also very well said. If you don’t already, you should write down more of how you feel. Maybe it’ll be cathartic. Maybe it’ll reach other young black men who feel the same as you.

    • You are an individual. You don’t carry the black race on your back. Furthermore, the underclass whatever the race are human beings you should relate to them as such. The guy who ran after his package did. He took a hughe risk -safety, could be suied, but his human interaction though violent may have made an impact( hopefully poistive). I think you should seek a forum to discuss your feelings of depression and embarrassment and what appears to be too much concern about what “White people ” think. I have white friends I care about what they think because they are a part of my life. I can’t be responsible for what people who don’t know me think. I hope you find freedom.

  • A few weeks ago a guy stole my bike from my front door, and I saw him doing it. I yelled out the window, hoping to stop him to no avail. I only wished I had the guts to run after him (I’m a chicken, I guess, and it was 1 am). Kudos to you for getting your package back.

  • This is less about race and more about a punk thief who was taught there are consequences. Good job OP!

  • Hi guys–who do I contact to get on the Shaw listserv? Just moved to the area.

    • Welcome to the neighborhood! Just google Shaw Neighborhood List and join the Yahoo group.

      • tonyr

        Post Message :[email protected]

        Subscribe :[email protected]

        Unsubscribe :[email protected]

        List Owner :[email protected]

  • We’ve had numerous packages stolen on the 1600 block of 4th St NW. I’m tired of people stealing our mail, breaking into our houses, and bashing our car windows. Really tests one’s patience…

  • First I was like, justice will be served. Then I saw you confronted him in a manner that I am glad you BOTH didn’t get killed or whatever. Then I saw you made that comment about public housing and that made me lose all respect for you.

  • Did the kid/person steal your package? Maybe, or maybe not. Are you guilty of assault and battery? Yes, absolutely – regardless of the presumptive theft.

    • Don’t be so coy, the punk stole the package

    • justinbc

      What do you mean maybe or maybe not? If the kid had the package that was sent to his house there is no maybe involved. It didn’t just anthropomorphize and jump off and porch lovingly into his arms.

      • Here’s why “Maybe, or maybe not”.

        Just like you and I – anyone can post anything they want on this blog or elsewhere on the Internet. If for the sole reason of its having been ‘published’ you believe what you’ve read – God bless you.

        • justinbc

          Seriously? Yes, it’s entirely possible this whole story is fabricated. But why the hell would we work off that premise? We can only go on what we’re provided here.

          • Why “work off that premise?”

            Because people are human – they are biased, they lie, they have poor eyesight, they have poor memories, they drink too much, the lighting was bad, their ‘team’ lost, they invade Iraq, and on an on.

            The fact is that we are often ‘wrong’.

            If we choose, we can “go on what” is “provided” anywhere – in any newspaper, broadcast, blog post, tweet, etc. But for that to be what we can “only go on” is absurd.

            We can also “choose” to question.

            Did the event happen mid-day or at midnight? Does the police report match what was posted on PoP? Was the post on PoP edited or changed at all?

            Of those reasons and others is “why the hell” we would be open to what might not have simply been anonymously posted here.

          • justinbc

            Yeah, but in reality you can fact check any number of those things if you wish. We’re all discussing what’s been provided anonymously here, we have no way to investigate anything beyond this. So it’s really only beneficial to discuss as recounted here, anything else is just making up shit to play devil’s advocate.

          • So you’re agreeing with me.


            1. Because ‘this’ (our lives) IS REALITY. In this “reality” of ours’ we CAN fact check. In the absence of “facts” found we can say to ourselves ‘the facts aren’t known’ or ‘I don’t have all the facts’ or ‘I wasn’t there, so who knows’.

            This applies to newspaper articles, broadcast news, NPR shit (i.e. the Writers Almanac), congressional reports, blog posts, Supreme Court decisions, what you heard on the Red Line this morning, etc.

            2. “(I)f you wish” you CAN check “any number of” the things in this post (see below). Or you can ‘decide’ not to.
            3. Actually, THERE IS A WAY to “investigate anything beyond” what you’ve read online (sorry if I just blew your mind). As I alluded to in another comment to this thread, anyone can parse the OP’s account, reference street views via Google Map (at the same time questioning how accurate Google Map is/isn’t), wonder if the incident happened when it was pitch black outside or midday, wonder about how far away the victim was from his/her victim, contemplate why the OP can’t provide a description of the accused save for being “enraged” and not wanting to ‘profile.’ etc. Or you can just assume whatever is published or broadcast is accurate and the end of the ‘story.’

    • Yeah, this is a total case of mistaken identity:
      ” I got to our door and saw our package was gone – removed in the last 60 seconds since we’d seen it from out car.”
      “I saw the package in his hand”
      “looked to my left to the garbage bin, looked in it – and saw the brown wrapping addressed to me.”
      “I released him, grabbed my mother-in-law’s birthday gift for my wife ”

      You seem to be ignoring all evidence that doesn’t support your theory.

      • If I was the attorney for the kid, we’d sue you and win:

        First, I’d discredit your account. Circling the block, finding a spot, walking back to the house, looking for the package, sprinting to the corner, viewing the kid/man across a busy intersection one block two blocks three blocks away (?).

        Second, I’d discredit you. You were “Enraged” and ran through the traffic on Rhode Island Ave. (endangering yourself and drivers). Then, you – by your own account – came “up behind the man/kid picked him up and threw him on the ground, screaming at him like a maniac”.

        You spotted someone (Was it a kid? If so, how young? 18? 16? 14? 12?) you can’t identify blocks away with a white box (the box being one you’ve never seen before – i.e., you’d only seen a wrapped box correct?), sprinted through traffic (i.e. automobiles, trucks, cycles, ambulances, etc.), came up behind (BEHIND, so you can’t even see their face) the person you CAN’T IDENTIFY, and picked him up (i.e. OFF THE GROUND) and threw him to the ground, THEN “like a maniac” (like a maniac?) screamed at him.

        Third, why didn’t you call the police.

        Fourth, where is the wrapping paper or did you just steal something that wasn’t even yours?

        Is this attacking the victim? Not sure, who was the victim?

        Sorry, I’d just rather not someone body slam myself or child (i.e. boy, girl, etc.) because they “thought” I’d taken their mail.

        • Accountering

          Well, this makes you a horrible person. Congratulations for being someone who continues to make the city worse. I can understand defending criminals in court, everyone deserves a competent defense. But actively assisting criminals to sue law-abiding citizens who are retrieving their stolen property? You are literally the bottom of the barrel. Congrats for that.

          • “(L)aw abiding citizen”?

            1. Is the person in question “law abiding”? Do you know his/her record? Do you know of any laws (statutes) she/he has broken that she/he hasn’t been charged with or has broken (or even been sentences for)?
            2. This OP, “presumptive” “law-abiding citizen”, by his/her own account did the “criminal” act of battery, and then strangely, assault (i.e., I’ll body slam you and then yell at you like a maniac). Does the OP (as a self-admitted and yet unprosecuted “criminal”) deserve a defense?

            I’m a horrible person who “continues to” “make the city worse.”

            1. I am a horrible person.
            2. “Everyone” (I assume this means inside AND outside a court room) deserves a defense. Let’s disregard your perjorative use of the word “criminals”.
            3. Depending on when you got here and the measure you use, the “city” has only gotten better in the past 30 years I’ve lived hear and 40 years I’ve been visiting.

            And all this time I thought the city was getting better.

            My bad (just add it to the rest of my “crimes”)

  • I am very sorry this happened to you. Although a lot of these comments here are analyzing your behavior, they seem to forget that you are the victim here. I live nearby, and having packages stolen is a serious and common problem in the city. Nonetheless, while i can’t blame you for getting so mad and confronting the guy in the heat of the moment, it probably was not the wisest thing to do – guy could have had a knife or a gun if he was a more serious criminal, rather than just a petty thief. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the crook that got confronted though – may be it will teach him a lesson.

    To prevent thefts in the future, you could have a discussion with your delivery person on where to hide your packages when delivered, when no one is home. My regular UPS driver hides them so well behind my trash cans that even i don’t notice sometimes that they are there – my trash cans are at the front of the house. They are rarely visible from the street. But it does not happen every time, since sometimes its a different delivery guy.

  • FWIW, reading this a couple of days later, I think you did the best you could under the circumstances, and in fact I think it’s better that the police didn’t get involved.

    I can tell you this based on an experience I had with a teenaged car thief (my car stolen) who the police caught shortly afterwards. This was a boy who had just turned 18 a month before. He had a long juvenile court record, but this time he got charged as an adult. Kid went to jail. His juvenile record helped send him there.

    How many other families has this young man stolen from? And what does this behavior, unstopped, lead to? Shoplifting? Breaking into houses and stealing the copper pipes? Robbery with a weapon? If he had a record already, the police intervention would have made it worse, and led to jail, now or later.

    It shouldn’t have been left to you, but it was better that he got face to face with an adult he had wronged, rather than the police. Maybe your immediate intervention will scare him into making different choices next time.

    I think the criticism is wrongly directed to you. It should be aimed at the adults in this boy’s life, who are obviously not doing their job.

  • I witnessed a package being stolen from my neighbors door step; I chased the guy; who ran into a house; family came out and I explained; police was summoned but said they could not do anything because it was mail and they are not postal cops. I informed the cop that since the package was left on the property it is theft from property; his superiors agreed; neighbor chose not to have him arrested.

    Ok, now the other issue…theft in general with packages…contact the US Postal police…they are the rightful group…they set up. Also, be watchful for persons walking with large but empty shopping bags…they are shopping in your neighborhood. Pay attention to the cars that seem to follow UPS trucks; they park then move then park.

    Neighbor has a camera; theft from auto; you see the guy trying to get in cars; one neighbor’s car got broken into; he leaves nice prints; guess what police no longer take prints off cars. They won’t print you say?? NO, new policy; the police no longer finger print cars theft…why? because they print lab is overwhelmed.

    But Officer there is a video of a possible suspect-there is clear abundant prints and the theft!?! No we can only take a report.

    Grrrrr….his superior disagreed and prints were taken not because they are supposed to print but because we had a video of a possible suspect.

    Hope this helps.

  • You are a hero! Wish we had more citizens like you.

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