A break-in

There really ought to be a B&E internship program or something. Not a high grade on that effort, dude.

I set my burglar alarm last night around midnight, soon after picking my daughter up from her homecoming dance. I went upstairs and brushed my teeth. Not five minutes later, the alarm started wailing. Some guy broke into my house. He had just tried to break into my neighbors’ house, setting off their alarm. He ran off, one step ahead of the police. They told me that they already have a suspect who’s been arrested for similar crimes in our area.

There really ought to be a B&E internship program or something. Not a good grade on that effort, dude.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect, tnr.com, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

8 thoughts on “A break-in”

  1. Night-time residential burglaries are very odd. If the perp was looking to steal stuff they’d be more likely to do it during the daytime. Night-time burglaries can more often turn into sex crimes or robberies, meaning the perp has a higher risk tolerance. Or maybe the guy is just mentally challenged or belongs in a psych facility. Or all 3.

  2. Stupid? Maybe just desperate. A junky in search of the wherewithal for a fix is a sorry sight to see.

  3. In August 1989, I was sharing an apartment at 101st & West End Avenue in Manhattan. At about 2 a.m. I heard the sound of glass shattering and my roommate yelling. I picked up an aluminum baseball bat and found this 5’6″ (more or less) kid in the hallway. He said that he had broken in to get a glass of water: climbing seven stories up a fire escape and breaking through a glass window.

    I just laughed. I’m certain he wasn’t coming to rob us and was probably running from someone. I managed to go back to sleep after the cops came and arrested him. He paid restitution for the broken window and pled guilty to malicious mischief.

  4. I was broken into a couple years ago – I slept through it as did my pitbull mix. Evidently the guy was good….he poked around, took nothing, and hopefully reported to his nefarious pals “Don’t break into that place, all they have is BOOKS!”

  5. Bummer — I was just going to suggest a dog. ; >

    Just out of curiosity, how do you know there was a burgling if you slept through it and nothing was missing? Somebody else saw him/her? Not challenging the story, just nosy!

  6. When I went down stairs in the morning all the drawers and cupboards were open. My first puzzled thought was to wonder if there had been an earthquake, then I found a cut screen. And no, I don’t leave the windows open usually, but that evening I did. Duh!

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