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Crime is hard


DP Veteran
Apr 22, 2019
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Political Leaning
Here's a problem with crime and politics: it's much easier and more effective politically to attack political opponents on issues about crime, than to actually reduce crime in an appropriate manner.

Incumbents say the numbers are better than they'd be with their opponent, and challengers say they're terrible and they'll improve them.

A moment ago, I saw a local news story about four teenagers caught for car-jacking. With them was a loaded "ghost gun", untraceable. They carjacked, the car was spotted, they drove at high speed, the chase was ended for safety (a practice after a history of high speed chases killing innocent people), then a helicopter spotted the car again, they crashed is and were caught.

Oh ya, they'd been caught for OTHER carjackings a bit earlier. One was wearing an ankle bracelet.

Now what's the discussion? We can talk about police budgets. We can talk about harsh punishments (involving minors in this case). We can talk about parenting and education and culture wars. But the basic issue is that there are people like this who become a 'menace to society' and it's hard to 'fix'.

(I actually had a car stolen in roughly that area by a teenager who was caught; when I showed up for his trial to testify, his lawyer pled him guilty avoiding trial).

I know a young woman, very unfortunately, who is a career criminal. I've known her for perhaps 15 years. She has a history that's hard to describe. She's a con artist who tries to talk to people, scoping them out for future crimes. That's how I met her, her pretending to know me, and my making the mistake of considering helping her as a poor young person, not knowing of the crime.

She would occasionally show up, sometimes after midnight, begging for some little help. She'd say things she thought I wanted to hear; how she was trying to quit drugs, how she had a drug dealer boyfriend who beat her. But she couldn't really hide her big problems like an out of control temper; I learned her "street name" was "Psycho".

I came to be burglarized twice of thousands of dollars while I slept. I figured out it was her especially when she showed up and talked her way into the front room, and claimed to have 'OCD' and to desperately want to help me pick up some papers lying on the floor. What became obvious was her concern that they might cause noise when stepped on the next burlglary.

Her criminal history is hard to describe. I've gotten glimpses from things like some police records found online, and they include many drug offenses, assault, countless car thefts, robbery, and I've lost count of what else. I saw a news story when she, while pregnant, led police in a high speech chase in a stolen truck, ending when she turned it over on top of someone's car in their driveway, with drugs involved.

This person can be sentenced to any number of punishments; they seem, to me, effectively unfixable. After being burglarized, I did a bit of amateur detecting, and learned of things like a previous 'crack house' she was well known at; when I took a look, I met to young guys on bicycles who knew her and said she borrowed $20 years ago and not repaid, they hoped she got caught.

I learned she had a whole network of criminals, all 'street urchin' types, involving drugs and such. The one bit of justice I got was when she came in a stolen vehicle asking to get gas money. I called the police with the license number, it was stolen, they came and arrested her. When the owner of the vehicle picked it up, he seemed 'normal', but nervous, and I extracted from him that she was his drug dealer.

What are real solutions? 'Lock them up'. Well ya, and that's a whole topic to talk about, but there's more to it, including that they get out. But any good discussion of policies seems to get lost in the politics of using the issue of crime for political attacks. That's all it seems useful for.
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