Here’s a brief historical perspective of crime:
The first evidence of men goes back to the time when they were nothing more than dinosaur appetizers, running amok and occasionally into one another. Eventually, they banded together to hunt and share, and were known as hunters and gatherers. They compiled their goods, storing them in caves, grunted and then continued to hunt.
Other men, later known to us as thieves, also roamed the earth, stealing from the hunters and gatherers. They pillaged the caves, taking food, clothing and, sometimes, women, causing the hunters and gatherers to say “Hey! Where’s my food and clothing?” which did not fare well with the women, resulting in the earliest accounts of divorce and lawyers.
Eventually, men took note of the thievery and developed measures to prevent it. Those measures included traps, comprised of a hole in the ground covered with grass, sticks and an angry prehistoric warthog. In addition, when they hunted, men left a few of the guys back at the cave to protect the goods.
When the thieves arrived, confident the area was clear of hunters and gatherers, they sauntered into the cave only to be ambushed by the left-behind guys, and thus, received what is known as the first recorded serious whoopin’ by man. The thieves absconded to a place now known as a safe-space, and never again returned to this particular cave. They learned to carefully choose only those caves they were certain did not contain the “guys.” This method became known as “old school,” and is now mostly outdated.
What is clear, and has been for centuries, is that crime, like water—maybe electricity — but certainly like water, follows the path of least resistance.
Here are a couple of springtime trends to look for. By now, most of you should know the IRS scam that involves a call to you informing you that you owe money. To resolve it, simply purchase pre-paid gift cards and send them to the provided address. I hope you know the IRS doesn’t do business that way. But what if you file your taxes and, later, you’re informed by the actual IRS that someone filed taxes in your name already and received your refund? Obviously, this is fraud, so what do you do?
First things first. The IRS will not provide you with any information on the fraud until they receive a police report. Call your local police agency and report the fraud. Get the report, make several copies and provide the IRS with the information and case number (found on the top right or left on the report) to document the case as fraud so you can proceed with your tax filing.
Another seasonal crime involves burglars, working in tandem, committing quick hit-and-run thefts from homes. One thief knocks on the door and tells the occupant he’s with a tree or landscaping company, clearing trees next door or clearing an easement. He distracts the victim by asking him or her to walk the property to understand the project that’s taking place next to it. The second man enters the home, stealing whatever he can find in five minutes.
Remember, every crime has what I call a “trigger,” or a clue to raise your mental alarm. In this case, the man insists the homeowner walk the property. It may be totally legit, but if you recognize the trigger, you can respond, “Okay, just a minute,” and then lock the back, as well as front, doors. Also remember, nothing is too insignificant to call the cops when you have that “feeling” something isn’t right.
Stay safe this spring and enjoy the pollen!