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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Home Invasions in Roanoke

A couple of weeks ago I had blogged about my fear that we were being targeted for home invasion after someone rang our bell at 4:40am during a stormy night. The following day after I found more evidence of an attempted break-in I called the police back and blogged about that experience. The police poo-poohed my home invasion theory and blamed the 4:40am disturbance on "just kids." A report was never filed. I did let all my neighbors know what we had experienced so they could be put on guard. We would have to protect ourselves since the police did not take us seriously.

Since that "just kids" night, there have been two other documented home invasions. Successful home invasions. One took place in Vinton and the other in Roanoke County just two days ago.

"Detectives are investigating whether the crimes are linked, said Roanoke County Lt. Chuck Mason. The victims of Sunday's crime were targeted by the assailants, not chosen at random, said Mason. He wouldn't elaborate."

One would assume the police know more than they are letting on and that's why they keep insisting the homes were not random targets. Or, are they just making that assumption and saying that to keep the neighbors feeling safe? Both times there were multiple invaders with weapons. Targeted or not, it's scary. Is that why the cops didn't take my report seriously because my scenario didn't fit their preconceived notions of "home invaders know their victims." I don't buy that for a minute. If the house looks like it's an easy score maybe that's all it takes to be "targeted." I believe our potential invaders were multiple as well, and armed with weapons, just based on the brazenness. Thankfully we are armed as well and our home invasion was not successful. We know enough you don't answer the door at that time of night. Others who don't, and probably never even thought about it, could find themselves in the same predicament as these recent victims. Since that Sunday night we've become more aware of our surroundings. I don't like living on edge, but I don't want to be a statistic either.

By the way, how come there hasn't been more news covering the first home invasion in Vinton? I've written on our local newspaper blogs and have asked that question and gotten no response. Am I the only one who feels Roanoke has a crime problem and wants to know what's going on? This reminds me of Roanoke's mantra, "We don't have gangs." Pfffft. If they say it does it make it so? I think people are in denial, even the police with their assumptions that a home invasion means the people who are being invaded are in some way connected with the criminals. Thinking like that is harmful to the citizens of Roanoke. I know all these localities want to say crime has gone down, but under-reporting by not taking a report does not support that claim and is definitely not prudent. If people knew there was potential real danger out there they could protect themselves better. Putting our heads in the sand saying, "This is Roanoke, things like that don't happen here" is naive and dangerous. Wake up Roanoke...

3 comments:

  1. Roanoke can be tricky like that, and certainly not in a good way. It is a small city that desperately wants to prove it is a big city (or can at least compete with the big cities). This doesn't stop at Roanoke City, it extends into the county, Vinton, Salem, and everywhere in the Valley.
    Not only do we have pompous fools strutting around like they're in NYC, but we have people who want to prove their tough & bad-ass criminals.
    I think in a lot of way it makes it a little more dangerous. People in general feel we're safer here. Thugs are desperate to prove their "thugginess" (ok, not a word but I really kinda like it now) and can be more brazen and dangerous.
    Sticking your head in the sand is not the route to go. I'm not suggesting we all start strutting around armed to the teeth either. However, people do need to be aware that like all the snow we recently got (that shocked everyone so much), crime CAN happen!

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  2. Good job with being persistent with authorities. In those cases where they can't find any convincing evidence, officers in many departments are apt to error on the "nothing happened" side.

    Why?

    Because agencies care about there crime stats--it makes managers look good or bad. In their opinion, it can be a matter of not counting something to maintain lower felony counts.

    I am not saying it happened in your case, but it does happen.

    I hope you at least get some additional patrol attention from the ordeal.

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  3. Wow, this is so scary! It's a good thing you're aware and conscientious enough to safeguard your family, but it doesn't seem like the police are being fair to your neighbors and community by failing to file your report!

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