I have been burglarized three times. Twice first degree (home) in 1979 - three weeks apart; the third burglary was second degree (storage) although it held the entire contents of my home while my new home was being built (November 1989).
The latter I caught with the assistance of law enforcement at a Neighborhood Watch Meeting as the host and hostess in Oroville, Calif., held the meeting at their residence.
The moment I stepped into their home, it was as if I were looking into my home. The hostess wore my clothes. That burglary severely impacted me. I literally was hunting people down for months, and ended up with the brother (in-law) of the couple hosting the meeting as a Susanville Prison guard. People who steal are the scum of the earth and do not deserve chances without severe punishment, and I do not mean through rehab.
My personal property in the burglaries was partially regained and the cost enormous. The first two burglaries property was traced because of the driver's license number etched on the property which police found five years later in an arrest of an individual (Santa Barbara, Calif.) In the third burglary, I had a detailed computerized log of everything packed (Oroville). I cannot stress this enough - have your valuables permanently identifiable where law enforcement can trace them back to you, and take pictures.
Keep in mind most items are mass produced so make sure items of value have a mark on them that you match with the photograph, so you can tell law enforcement where the mark is on the object - otherwise you risk not being able to prove that property belongs to you. I was fortunate, because I used my head and had experience by the third burglary. I'm also not one to stand by idle-like thinking all will be well if they just get caught.
Perpetrators avoid jail time thanks to religious organizations/groups who are goody two shoes thinking God will save them and help the perpetrator become saved from the depths of hell. Let's face it - criminals always make it appear they have found their almighty Savior, God, Jesus, after they have been convicted of a crime because they want their time reduced. Praise the Lord. In my book, compassion and forgiveness occurs when people and animals are not hurt, otherwise throw the book at them. I am fed up with the terms first offense when the offender has been caught the first time, but surely not the first time involved in a crime.
I have minus zero tolerance for anyone who steals property that does not belong to them, and even more fed up with offenders who feel others property belongs to them because they have a drug habit and a bad hair day.
We are all taught the same information through basic education of what is right from wrong - regardless of what type of adults raise us. I do not believe in compassion for any perpetrator who has injured another emotionally, mentally, financially, physically and do not agree one speck with rehab. When a driver of a vehicle gets a first ticket the court doesn't say you poor thing let's send you to rehab so you don't have to pay the ticket.
Protect property by purchasing a burglar alarm system. And better yet - set it when you leave. It's a lot cheaper than going through a burglary. Another thing people don't think about is when they move from point A their property becomes uninsured unless you contact your insurance company regarding homeowners/renters insurance of the properties new location.
Also, if you move your property by a rental truck the property is not insured, but likely is if moved by a major moving and storage transport company which most people can't afford and even at that check the agreement. Property placed in a storage locker is uninsured so whatever is burglarized from there - and trust me, this is very common - you can kiss good-bye your property because the storage company is not responsible.
Nanci D. Lemburg is a Gardnerville resident.