Friday, June 20, 2014

Crime in the US and Canada

Just returned from Canada and we had another "its different in the USA" moment.

A house up the street in our quiet Northern Virginia suburb was burgled on Tuesday.  This is unusual, there is hardly any crime of any kind: burglary, vandalism, car theft, ..  You never hear about anything except maybe once a year someone left their car unlocked at the strip mall and some Abba and Michael Jackson CDs were stolen.

Anyway, we arrived back Thursday night, here is what happened:
  1. We get an email alert while we are traveling back from the Sheriff's department reporting the burglary and asking for help and to watch out.
  2. We get visited twice today by plainclothes and uniformed officers looking for information and giving us advice.  They take detailed notes on where we were, etc.  They recommend turning on the burglar alarm.
In our old suburb of Ottawa, if you had a burglary in late June and something like your VCR or TV was stolen:
  1. The police would come and fill out a report for your insurance company.  They would say sorry a lot.
  2. The police would always tell you that "it is probably some kids, school is out and they get bored".  They would recommend putting bars on your basement windows.
  3. You would never hear from them again.
  4. Your house would often get targeted again because the burglars knew you had a newer VCR and stereo to steal.

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