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In my neighborhood

From the neighborhood listserv:

Adolescent males have been hopping up on the cars, and running from one car to another, denting in hoods and roofs. It is too bad these youth can?t stick with throwing eggs, as that is annoying, but easily fixable. Last week, cars at the bottom of the street had crushed hoods and crushed roofs, and last night, it was mid-block. The police are driving up and down the street more often, but this is a very quick crime to commit. If you wake up and your hood is crushed, at least you will know what happened.

I’ve been lucky so far…

Remember in Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea when the giant squid attacked the Nautilus?

If I had to park my car on the street and had that kind of problem, I would buy a can of wheel bearing grease and grease the top of my car.  I would love to watch the next kid slide off. 

Maybe it would be a good idea to get together with your neighbors and see about some security cameras. 

Have you talked to the police? Have they offered any suggestions?

And 20 years ago it was slashing tires…Or how about the brain-trusts that would take a cinder block and smash your dashboard until the $40 stereo fell out…doing about $1500 interior damage to the interior of the vehicle.

punks are punks…their methods have just changed.

Is it insurance fraud if you call your agent to lower your comprehensive deductible? I don’t think so, because you don’t know you will be vandalized, you only suspect.

Fortunately this happened about 10 blocks from me.

Unfortunately with laws as they are, you’d be arrested for it. Setting booby traps is illegal. Not that I think it should be. . .

I could be wrong but I think a lot of this over the top stuff like this is goaded on by TV; especially the garbage put out there by MTV, etc. While I don’t watch, and refuse to watch, movies like Jackass I’ve heard enough about them to believe shows like this encourage this kind of behavior.

Not too many years ago while flipping through the car shows one weekend I tuned in to a show I had never seen or heard of before. Apparently several of these ricer types would hit the mall parking lot at night along with an out of sight camera crew. The gist of it was that they would do high speed runs and doughnuts in the parking lot while avoiding mall security, whom they constantly referred to as “da man”.
When security showed up they would hit the roads at high speed while the camera crew remained hidden and taped the security officers looking around. This show was an utter embarassment and one wonders where people get these ideas?

That being said, I got a good laugh out of Mr. Meehan’s comment about greasing the car. The mental image of someone sliding off on their tail is pretty funny to me.
About a dozen years ago it was believed someone was prowling around my property at night in a certain area. I took a 12" square of plywood and drove about a dozen long roofing nails in it, followed by leaving that widget in the area in question. A few nights later (and I did not hear it) my neighbor told me that he had heard someone scream about 2 in the morning. There was no blood on the nails but the plywood had been moved and the prowler problem ceased.

"Unfortunately with laws as they are, you’d be arrested for it. Setting booby traps is illegal. Not that I think it should be. . . "

Officer, why would I put grease on the ROOF of my car? Must have been those punk kids.

Do you really think the kid is going to call the cops? “What were you DOING on the roof of the car, son?”

How is that a booby trap? No reasonable person would be on the roof of my car.

Greasing up your car doesn’t meet the legal definition of a booby trap because it is not concealed or camouflaged.

One guy at work had said that some kids were going up and down the street knocking mail boxes over while driving. After he had his knocked over a couple times, he went to a local metal shop and got some 1/8 inch thick steel plating welded in a box shape. He dug about 36 inches down in the ground and put the steel frame in the hole. He then poured concrete down the middle of the metal as well as filling the hole up with concrete. After that he put one of those plastic mailboxes over the metal and concrete.
Needless to say, one morning he found a half broken ball bat laying in his yard.

I’d be willing to bet that the guy swinging that bat was hurting a bit too.

About 10 years ago there was several instances of cars being vandalized here. This seemed to happen on the weekends and involved a string of cars over a number of blocks. Busted windshields, mirrors, antennas, etc.

The cops finally caught the people responsible when their vandalism went wrong. Apparently there were 3 sixteen and seventeen year old guys behind this and when one of them leaned out the window of their speeding car to break the side mirror off of a pickup (and a West Coast mirror at that) the mirror took his arm off right at the elbow.
I believe the docs were able to reattach it but it will probably never work right again. Hopefully the 2 who were not injured also learned a lesson.

There are some really great benefits to being the last house on a dead-end in a hick town in Mississippi. Many of you won’t believe this but I grew up in a house and the doors were never locked for more than 10 years. The house was bought with no keys no one seemed too worried.

I think you have to do what you have to do to protect your property. The mention of liability associated with ‘booby traps’ reminds me of a joke about some people studying law in a foreign country. An American lawyer was present, discussing the laws in the United States. Some of the students asked him if it was true that you can fall on a sidewalk at someone’s home, sue them, and get lots of money. He said it was true, and they decided they wanted to live in the United States. The American lawyer asked them if they wanted to go there to practice law, and they told him, “No! We want to go there to fall on sidewalks!”

[b] Setting booby traps is illegal. [/b] 

What trap, I just wanted a nice shinny roof, I must have picked up the wrong container when I polished it.

The house was bought with no keys no one seemed too worried.

That was the way it was at the house I grew up in, only we did have keys, there just was no reason to use them. Today the house next door has been torn down because it was a crack house. Sad.

Yes, in today’s world you would probably end up getting sued if the kid fell and cracked his head open! Cameras would be a better option and you can get them pretty cheap now days!

“How is that a booby trap? No reasonable person would be on the roof of my car.”

No reasonable person would break into a house. Yet it is illegal to set up a booby trap to intentionally hurt the criminal that enters that house. I think the law also looks at how reasonable it is to set the trap. One possible outcome is that as the fool falls off the car, he lands in the road and is immediately run over by a passing car. Then the police will be forced to investigate the incident as a murder. Do you want your local DA determining how you live the rest of your life?

We had vandalism problems in our neighborhood, too. Some kids were driving through with a baseball bat destroying mailboxes on the curb. This occurred several times before they were caught. My wife happened to be walking down the street and saw them at work. She immediately called the police, who set up a road block leaving the neighborhood. The fools even destroyed a few mailboxes as they approached the police cruiser; all witnessed by the officer. The unfortunate thing is that this took a while. While our mailbox was not damaged, some neighbors had their mailbox destroyed 3 times. Sine the kids were caught, there have not been any more incidents. About all you an do is use a neighborhood watch and quick calls to the police to stop it. I guess another thing is for all the parents to make sure their kids know that it’s a stupid, useless act. But that may not sink in with teen males.

“I just wanted a nice shinny roof, I must have picked up the wrong container when I polished it.”

You missed the point. If you play this game, your life is no longer in your control. If the DA wants you i jail, he’ll put you on trial. What you want becomes meaningless.

I had the same problem some years back. I traced it down to a young teenager who had a Camaro, jacked up in the rear, with really loud pipes. About 10:00 p.m. one evenng I heard the Camaro start up and then caught a glimpse of the Camaro coming down our road with its lights off and traveling about 10 mph in low. I had a hunch what was going on and I got in my old 1950 Chevrolet 1 ton pickup truck and, with my lights off, followed them. Sure enough, the Camaro slowed down for a mailbox and the passenger was ready to swing a baseball bat at the box. The Camaro driver didn’t know I was right on his back bumper. At that point I hit the bright lights and nudged his back bumper. That Camaro left so much rubber in the road that there was enough to recap my tires. There was no way I could catch the Camaro in a 90 hp 1 ton pickup truck, but that was the end of our mailbox vandalism.