Survival Guide for Baytown (or any city)
Once sleepy Baytown now has a daytime population of over 125,000 people. We are no longer a small town and it’s time to recognize we, as long time residents, are living in a community that routinely experiences big city type crimes. Our police force is growing and hope is on the way. In the meantime, we can do things to hinder crime.
The city of Baytown has a website located here: http://www.baytown.org/ and each day about 7am, they post the crime report in the police section. The last seven days reports are available and I would like to see this archived, so the general public can be better informed.
Since Baytown is conveniently located off two major highways, it appears criminals come into town to “shop”. Professional criminal men and women prey on our city, so do not assume it is “only some kids” committing crime. I refer to these vermin of society as professional, not because they are experts, but because they steal, rob and commit crime routinely. It’s their job. It’s what they do. They view the good working men and women with total contempt and dismiss us as nothing more than some “thing” to plunder.
Armed robberies, purse snatching, auto burglaries and outright auto theft have become the norm in this city. Counterfeit currency is passed on a regular basis. Dangerous and illegal drugs are rampant and many times the very people who traffic in “dope” are driving our streets and based on the police report, using the very drugs they are selling. In the past week, I’ve had to pull to the far right of the street 4 times to let one of these 2-lane drivers go past. It defies logic that people can be such bad drivers. When I see drivers exhibiting odd behavior, I suspect they are doped, drunk or yakking on their cell phones.
Registered sex offenders abound and live in our neighborhoods. You should know exactly where they live. http://www.familywatchdog.us/
Baytown has a high rate of hit and run car accidents, sometimes four in one 24 hour period. I suspect drivers do not have insurance, so they drive off, but I can’t confirm that. What I can figure out, is the need to carry paper and pencil in your car or truck and the second you experience an auto accident, you immediately attempt to get the license number of the offending vehicle. Do not automatically assume the driver will render insurance and personal information. Use your cell phone to get a picture of the person and the car. If they drive off, call 911 and just pray you are not on a county road, so local police will respond.
I picked the last week at random and gathered this information from the police report: Assaults – 22, Auto-related thefts – 33, Shots fired – 14, Thefts, armed robberies and burglaries – 52, Forgeries – 4 and homicide -1. This is an average report, except for the homicide. I did not include the hit and run accidents and aside from the homicide, the crime that alarms me most is the armed robbery category. Armed robbery is a violent crime and numerous times in the last few months I’ve read where 4 to 6 men have violently beaten and taken money from whole families. They break down the door of your home or apartment and rob you.
I’ve noticed a trend in the report concerning purse-snatching while ladies shop. I hate to stress the obvious, but ladies, do not leave your purse unattended while shopping, or it might disappear along with your credit cards, keys and identity.
When you park your vehicle while shopping or going into your home, lock it and make darn sure you have nothing of value clearly visible. It amazes me how many people leave a lap-top computer in their cars for thieves to steal, purses too. Thieves don’t need an excuse to steal, but there’s no sense making your vehicle irresistible.
Ask a friend to observe you from a criminal’s point of view. Are you unintentionally making yourself into a choice target? Is there a behavior change you can make that will give you more protection? Many criminally minded people are not stupid, just dishonest. They watch for targets of opportunity, and then they go shopping. They can sense vulnerabilities and are drawn to potential targets as easy money. The opposite is true also and if you take precautions to make yourself undesirable as a victim, they can sense this also.
Take a stroll around your place of residence. Are the shrubs hiding the view through the windows? Would a motion sensor or mercury vapor light make your house less desirable to an intruder? Is it pitch-black around your house at night? Do you habitually leave your garage door open or unlocked?
Do you leave your keys in your car while you run into the store to grab a quick something? Do you always lock your car at night or while shopping? Are there desirable items clearly visible in your car, like CD’s, computers, purses, etc.? If we can’t stop them, let’s at least make it difficult…
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