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Our View: Take simple action to avoid victimization

No one asks to be a victim of crime, nor do we deserve to be.

Yet every week in this newspaper we see stories of residents being victimized — from petty theft to assault to property damage, and seemingly everything in between. Sometimes those crimes are unavoidable; there’s certainly little we can do to prevent hooligans from egging houses or keying our beloved vehicles.

Other crimes, however, are able to be warded off. This week we learned about a spate of burglaries in the Stonemill Farms area allegedly perpetrated by juveniles during daylight hours. Few scenarios are more alarming to most of us than the thought of a stranger in our homes looking to take what’s ours — even if it’s teenagers targeting beer and video games.

But as Woodbury Public Safety Department officials reminded us this week in the wake of the burglaries — which resulted in the arrest of two teenage boys — there are simple prevention efforts we as residents can take.

The gist: Don’t make your home an easy target. Close your overhead garage door when it’s not in use. And lock your doors when you’re not at home. Generally speaking, burglars are opportunists. Rare are the prowlers we see depicted in movies who put great care and study into their break-ins. Most are just looking for an easy way into a home to grab loose valuables and to slip back out.  The key to those crimes is easy entry. Why make it easy for the bad guys when under most circumstances, it’s just as easy for us to prevent it?

True, it’s a sign that the Ozzie and Harriet days are long gone, even in the affluent suburbs. But better to take these simple precautions than have our belongings be long gone as well.                                                                                       

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is a regional/enterprise reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage includes St. Croix County government, higher education and state politics in Wisconsin. 

(651) 301-7867