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You never know what is going on in your behind your neighbor's closed doors, but sometimes when you find out, it scares the crap out of you.

I live in a fairly calm suburb of Milwaukee. Most of the neighborhood crime is crime of opportunity. The area is politically mixed: a lot of hard-core conservatives with a generous mixing of progressives/liberals (or at least Democrats). The Recall Walker campaign allowed us to take the political temperature of much of our state.

I get periodic Neighborhood Watch emails about these crimes, and the one I got this morning was a doozy. However, it wasn't the crime that scares me, it is the victim of the crime that scares me.

Beyond the fried cheese curd, if you please!

A burglary occurred this past Monday in [redacted].  The Neighborhood block watch is working with the Wauwatosa Police Department to obtain additional information and will relay the information as soon as it becomes available.

According to police reports:

At 11:14 p.m. Monday, police were called to the residence in [redacted] following a report of a burglary with the theft of an assault rifle and four semi-automatic handguns.

The homeowner said he’d gone out a couple of hours earlier to get a bite to eat and come back to find some things disturbed and some of his guns missing. He said he wasn’t sure whether he had locked up the home when he left, and police would find no sign of a forced entry.[bolding by diarist]

He said he believed that the burglar had been hiding in the home when he returned, and had then escaped, heard but unseen, just before he called police.

Officers found the home in general disarray, with a number of weapons and firearms accessories scattered on a large dining room table, including a pump-action shotgun, a .22-caliber rifle and a shoulder holster with a number of loaded magazines.

In the attic, officers found an unlocked "cache" of rifles, shotguns and ammunition. All together, the officer said, he saw about 10 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition in different locations throughout the house, all of them unsecured.[bolding by the diarist]

In the man’s bedroom were an empty rifle case and several empty pistol cases. The man said this was what he had first noticed when he came home, and was still taking stock of what he was missing when a friend arrived with her three children.[bolding by the diarist]

He said he took them all upstairs to show them that he had been burglarized, and while they were upstairs, they heard the door alarm go off and the back door shutting.
He had video cameras installed outside the door but had not been able to provide police any footage as of the most recent report.

Police have entered those firearms in a missing weapons database. Officers combed the area and canvassed neighbors, but they found no evidence.

Their only potential lead: Someone had removed a bottle of Patron tequila from a liquor cabinet and then set it down on the floor – and the homeowner said it wasn't him or any of his guests who moved it.

A detective collected the bottle for possible latent fingerprints. There was no report on whether it had yet been processed.

Okay. Sounds like my neighbor has gone full castle-doctrine paranoia by stocking his home with weapons and ammo, and getting security surveillance cameras. He's got an unassailable fortress! Then he leaves his home unlocked for a few hours (because those guns will keep him safe, you know), and returns to find a burglary of HIS GUNS in progress. He's damned lucky he wasn't shot in the process.

Then he has a guest with CHILDREN drop by while he's rummaging around in his cache of unsecured weapons to discover what is missing, and takes them on a tour of his arsenal. He hasn't even called the police yet! Guns are missing, children are visiting the crime scene, and the police are as of yet unaware that a crime has taken place.

And his video surveillance camera? Either it doesn't work, or there's something on it he doesn't want the police to see.

The whole thing is whack-a-doodle and not a little fishy. It's also scary as hell. I am sympathetic to people's desires to keep their home and property and possessions safe. But lots of folks don't seem to think through what that actually means.

arsenal of weapons: didn't keep him safe
video surveillance: didn't keep him safe
door locks: weren't used so didn't keep him safe
common sense: doesn't have it! Can't keep him safe!

Originally posted to badscience on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:41 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), and Badger State Progressive.

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