Thursday, July 27, 2006


My neighborhood is quiet and safe. But then really, crime can happen anywhere I guess. Our neighborhood association has sent out some rather alarming emails lately about break ins. For the first few days after I read these reports I was scared, but then I went back to my usual thinking that nothing goes wrong in my 'hood.

Yesterday as I was driving to my Wednesday night class, I saw a man running between 2 houses across the street and then into my little 80-something-year-old neighbor's yard. It was one of those instances where I'm sort of singing along with the radio, getting the a/c in my car cranked, and not really conscious. So I just watched him as he loped across the street. But then I realized, "That's sort of weird. He didn't look like a jogger. He didn't look like a neighbor. And HEY WAIT, what the hell is he doing running into Louise's backyard anyway????"

So I backed up my car, and looked right into her yard where he had made his cut thru. I noticed a neighbor across the street witnessing the same thing. "Do you know him?" Neither one of us did.

I called 911 because that's what my neighborhood crimewatch told us we were suppose to do if we saw any "suspicious activity." Was this suspicious? A man running in between houses? I have to admit I felt a little lame making a call to the Dallas PD about a man running thru my neighborhood.

I've laughed before at some of our neighborhood crimewatch emails. One in particular was so stupid in it's reference. It said, "Be on the look out for 2 black men." What kind of a description is that? It sounded so redneck! So when the 911 operator asked me for a description I hestitated to say "black man." I said, "He was tall, and really skinny with black track pants and no shirt." And then she asked, "Was he black, white, Mexican?..." Ok, there. She asked, whew.

Then I saw a car driving around up and down my street a few times. This guy who was driving seemed to be involved. He was driving fast and he seemed to be freaking out and very hyper. He yelled out from his car, "Where did the black guy go???"...I just said, "That way...."and pointed and then asked, "...and who are you?" as he sped off. But then my neighbor and I looked at his licsense because he too seemed awfully suspicious. I thought maybe he was the get-a-way car driver for the runner. My neighbor thought maybe he was in an opposing gang looking to hurt the guy we had seen on foot seemingly running for his life. Again, I called 911 and reported this guy as well.

Clearly, imaginations can run wild. I had decided my neighborhood was out-of-control dangerous. The only reasonable thing to do is to put our house on the market immediately. It's just not safe here anymore.

Well, as it turns out, the first man I called 911 about, the black man that is, had shop lifted from my neighborhood Tom Thumb and the second man I called 911 about, the Mexican man, was actually an undercover cop chasing him.

Whew. Sigh of relief. This wasn't a burglar of the neighborhood, or a gang related problem. I can keep living here. I can keep my house.

But today I got an email that someone's house was broken into on MY STREET yesterday morning.
There goes the neighborhood... My quiet, safe little neighborhood isn't as safe as I had thought. Crime happens everywhere.

No comments: