Crime Rate Increasing.

Crime Rate Increasing  What can we do? The Crime Rate has increased across Mid-America, and we must live differently today.

Home Invasion
Home Invasion

Living in a bedroom community, I never imagined having to think twice about opening the front door, leaving the garage door open, or taking a walk around the block with the house unlocked.  That is, until now.

Fear is a built-in protection. Our instinct for preservation is core to our being. Sunday, I experienced an unexplainable rush of adrenalin and a desire to protect my loved ones. Crime raised its ugly head. Early Sunday afternoon, our youngest son dropped by for a visit. He attended church less than a mile from our home. He asked, “Did you hear about the murder?” “What?” “I just left our church. The police drove up and suggested we go on lockdown.”

Sitting up on the edge of the sofa, my heart pounding, I asked, “Lockdown? Why?”

He proceeded to recant the officer’s information. A woman had been murdered. The suspect, a young man in his twenties, wearing a hoodie, was seen near the church. He had not been apprehended, and the police and highway patrol were searching the area. He was considered armed and dangerous.

Our grandson was out working at a horse ranch nearby. I texted him. “Be on the lookout for dangerous murderer. Call for details.” Within seconds my cell rang. “Yeah. I talked to the officers. The man is hiding at your church, G-Ma.” My church? That’s closer than my son’s church. “They think he’s ggot a hostage. There are over ten cops all with assault rifles. You stay in. We’re fine.” A hostage. Who could be at the church, this time of day? The Pastor?

Closing my cell, I asked my son, Jeff, “Did you shut the garage door when you came in?” “Sorry. I’ll get it. Want me to check the doors, too?” “Good idea.” As the afternoon progressed, the lack of updates increased the tension. Finally, the local news came on and left us more bewildered. There had been no hostage. The perpetrator had parked his car at our church. The officers had swept the woods for hours and finally given up the search. The police had gone home.

The shooter was thought to be in the woods near our home. Darkness settled in. We went to bed. Our bedroom has a glass door to the patio. Was the mam hiding outside our house? Could be. I hope our little dog, Barkleah, doesn’t want to go out tonight.

By morning, the shooter had been located in the woods on  the church property.. He’d died of a self-inflicted wound. My mind raced back to a knock at my front door two days earlier. As I opened the door that day, a man easily six feet six and three hundred pounds took up the doorway. Why had I opened that door? He began a sales pitch. He put his hands on the glass and gently pushed. My heart quickened. If my husband hadn’t heard the conversation and come to my rescue, then what? 

 Crime rates are up. We all need to think twice before opening doors, offering a ride, leaving external doors unlocked or allowing strangers in our homes without proper ID. Turn on your security system. Use it to keep yourself alert to entries. It only takes a second to go from safe to risky.

Don’t live in fear. Live smart.

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