As of August, the unemployment rate in Minnesota is 6.2%, the highest it's been in 22 years and higher than the national average. Meg upstairs said she's seen a correlation in our neighborhood between crime and the unemployment rate. She thinks it's about 4%: below 4% this is a perfectly safe neighborhood, above 4% we start seeing more crime. Minneapolis has spent all of 2008 over 4%.
The crooks must wait till these lovely warm days when everyone is leaving their windows open. Of course, we've been leaving our windows open for 3 or 4 months now. They chose yesterday morning, while we were at meeting, to slash our window screen, jump in the window, swipe up as much as they could, and run out the back door.
They got my laptop, camera, all my jewelry, both our watches, our new tote bag (to haul the loot), and they made off with our jar of loose change.
It's a little surreal writing this. Of course it feels very real as I mourn the loss of my things. Most people talk about the sense of feeling violated. "Someone was in here going through my stuff!" I don't really feel that way. I do feel a little more jumpy and suspicious of everyone around here. I keep joking, "Well, there's not much left to steal!" But there are things they didn't take (like the desktop). I can't help wondering if they made a mental list and might come back to finish the job. Yikes! I hope not.
I can't understand the mindset a person must have to feel it's okay to break into a house and steal possessions.
I can't understand feeling so desperate (for food, money, drugs, etc) that you have to steal.
I feel bad for whoever did this, that he or she is so desperate and had to resort to crime. I also feel bad because most of what he/she stole is pretty worthless and probably won't fetch much of a price. (For example, my scuffed up 10+ year old watch; or my computer that won't connect to the internet and shuts down if you don't keep ice packs on it; or my collection of silly animal pins I collected in grade school).
I'm sad we don't live in a world where we can trust neighbors and strangers. I'm sad that we're talking about locking down the computer and putting bars on the windows (we probably won't do that, but some people do). I'm sad that so many people don't have support networks and when things get bad they either go hungry and homeless or they take to crime.