Local Crime

Still working on the house in Florida. Went to a sports bar to watch the KidsLions (damn you autocorrect) game last night. When I got back to the house, my Dell notebook was missing. But not obviously anything else. They left the SSD, fortunately, which had the OS and my data on it. I’m sure they were disappointed that a $200 notebook with a bad battery was the most expensive electronics in the house. This morning, I noticed that the kitchen window was wide open, which was how they got in.

[Afternoon update, from my new computer]

For those asking, yes, I called the Sheriff’s department (we’re in an unincorporated part of Palm Beach County). They sent out a deputy who took some fingerprints off the window sill.

I went out to Best Buy this afternoon, and found a duplicate of the stolen machine, open box, for $160. Plus, as a bonus, unlike the previous one, its battery charges. So it was a blessing in disguise. I had to go through the pain of setting up Windows on it, but once I finished that, I booted into Linux from a USB SSD, and all is back to normal, with the additional ability to unplug it without losing it,

18 thoughts on “Local Crime”

  1. That sucks, Rand. Sorry that happened to you.

    Hope that maybe the local police may be able to catch those responsible.

    I really hate thieves.

  2. I’ve been burglarized several times over the years (mostly car break-ins), and it always made me feel so violated. You have my sympathy.

  3. Exhibit A in why flashy stuff is a fool’s errand. Better to fly under the radar with stuff that’s ‘scratched & dented’ (to use a financial phrase) than to sink money into stuff that is like a signal fire to thieves. I do recognize that this sounds like a crime of opportunity more than one of intent.

    I also empathize, having recently been carjacked at ‘gunpoint’. Of course, like 97+% of the population, the idjits didn’t know how to drive a manual transmission, and so had to walk away. Bwaaa haaa haaa haaaa!

  4. Gee, I have some old electronics I would love for somebody to take away. It sucks to feel violated and lose something of value, but last time I tried to “recycle” used hardware at BestBuy, it nearly cost me $100 to do it.

    1. Been there. Hell getting rid of anything that can be described as a “TV Cabinet” is problematic. Most consignment stores won’t even look at it.

    2. I feel your pain,man, about the fees charged to “recycle” electronics, small appliances, fluorescent fixtures and bulbs (which we are “supposed” to use, but they do fail).

      I heard that organized crime is getting into the act. It will get to the point where you go on vacation, drive home, press the “clicker” to raise your garage door, and in the glare of your headlights you will see the place stuffed to the ceiling with old microwave ovens?

  5. Somebody’s welcome to take my late mother-in-law’s old Acer, which was almost able to run Windows 10 without OEM bloat. They’ll need to buy and install a hard drive though; the one it had has been donated for target practice.

    BTW, a .22 LR JHP goes right through a laptop hard drive. I’m sure a 9mm would do even better; my .40 Beretta did for some desktop HDDs which are much stouter, case-wise.

    1. If it came with Windows 10, it has a license key for Windows 10 built right into the processor. Or rather, the processor has a signature that is registered with Microsoft — you can simply download Windows 10 (probably limited to Personal Edition) to a thumb drive and you are off-to-the-races with a clean, bloatware-free Windows install.

      I think you are better off putting an SSD in it than a new hard drive? It may be a hassle finding which generation and form-factor SSD is compatible with the thing. The SSD is probably much less armor protected than any of the hard drives, but it may be smaller than McGehee’s shooting skills to hit it?

  6. As a cop I would always tell people who were worried excessively about crime to deposit 25 bucks a month into a “theft savings account.” Then, when the inevitable happens the total is more often than not enough to not only replace the lost items but upgrade. Especially if insurance covers most of the loss. But here is the best part. You usually have enough extra to go out to a nice dinner and kick back with a special beer or some such out of the way treat. Ran into a citizen several years later at the grocery store and he said he had been burglarized twice since and had followed the advice. Now the wife actually gets excited when she sees that the car window is smashed. 🙂

  7. Got burgled once in a country motel in Narromine, Australia. The burgler took my pants and wife’s handbag while we were asleep in the room. Door was locked but it may have been a former employee cleaner. Called cops, turned out two other guests lost stuff too. Do you guys know just how much the contents of a woman’s handbag are worth? Lucky my wallet was still in the airplane. Pants had airplane key however local avionics fixer’s Cessna 180 baggage compartment spare key fitted so we could fly home. We posted it back to him.
    Friend of mine in California reckoned that thievery was tolerated by the authorities so poor people could get nice stuff and the people being thieved had insurance so didn’t worry about it.
    If we are going to have “theft savings accounts” why in hell are we paying cops?

    1. “If we are going to have “theft savings accounts” why in hell are we paying cops?”

      Because otherwise the lamp posts and highway overpasses would be cluttered with hanging corpses.

      1. Exactly.

        As one police officer put it on Quora, the police protect innocent people from becoming the victims of mob justice. He used the example of a vague description of a child molester, and someone with a similar vehicle who was just passing through the community being regarded as the culprit and being dealt with accordingly by the enraged mob. But it could apply to any crime in which the victim or their community thought they knew who the culprit was.

  8. For the same reason you have insurance. Cops can’t be everywhere all the time and catch and solve every crime. Also, getting rid of law enforcement because you might suffer a loss and not have it found and returned by the police every time is just plain silly. And if you think about it your not actually saving any money at all. You’re just setting a little aside so that those silly enough to rant a rave over a small loss can look at it in a different light. I call them first world problems. If your family is healthy, has food and shelter, and you are all safe then how upset should you really be? Be careful, Murphy’s law says life will give you something that will make you forget a lost purse if you complain too much.

    1. You’re just setting a little aside so that those silly enough to rant a rave over a small loss can look at it in a different light. I call them first world problems.

      What is a small loss? The answer is different for everyone and the items lost might have more than a monetary value. Having a computer stolen is a loss far greater than the dollar value of the computer.

      Since many of these types of crimes are committed by the same group of people, it makes a lot of sense to pay more attention to them. Taking down a network of petty thieves can have a large impact on crime rates. That is unless you live in an area where the city leaders have the same dismissive attitude and think that quickly returning these criminals to the wild is the best course of action.

      It does make good sense to set money aside for unpredictable losses. Framing the experience of loss of time and money as an enjoyable experience though? Not buying it.

  9. If we are going to have “theft savings accounts” why in hell are we paying cops?

    Because, sadly, there are other kinds of crime for which a theft savings account is no help.

  10. Better double check that window, Rand.

    After realizing what they stole, very possible they may just try to return it.

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