April 14, 2022
When I woke up this morning Melissa told me we had forgotten to lock the door last night. We usually leave the front door open with the screen closed so we can see outside during the day. Now that we have Zena there is added incentive as she will go to the front door and look when she needs to go out. I usually close the door and lock it when it gets dark so others cannot look in. Melissa opens the back door to regulate the temperature for her succulents on the sunporch. This also provides easy access for Zena to the pool deck. At night she will lock the door when we no longer use it. Apparently, we both forgot last night as the front was closed and not locked and the back was wide open.
When I looked online, I found that an overwhelming majority of burglars enter homes through the doors and windows. Thirty-four percent use the front door, while 22 percent get in through the back door. Another 23 percent use first-floor windows. That represents 79 percent of all burglaries, and often those doors and windows are not locked. Leaving items in your yard can be another target for burglars. According to Leonard Sipes, former director of information services for the National Crime Prevention Council, “The overwhelming number of burglars are unskilled people who go through open or unlocked windows and doors. Simply locking windows and doors will prevent most burglaries.” Happily, despite failing to lock both doors we were not targeted for a burglary.
While research says 93 percent of Americans lock their doors, that means 7 percent do not, and whether you lock your door seems to be a cultural norm. If you grew up locking your door, you continue to do so. If you grew up not locking your door, you continue to do so. For Americans 65 and over 12 percent do not lock, compared to 4 percent of those under 30, with other age groups in between. Fourteen percent of those who live in rural areas do not lock doors but only 5 percent of city dwellers, 6 percent of suburbanites, and 7 percent of those who live in towns. When I lived in the Bay Area every door on campus was equipped with an automatic door lock. In the town where I now live residents leaving their garage open. We had a rash of burglaries last year and no one could understand why. Maybe it had to do with leaving the door open?
THOUGHTS: When I was younger, I did not lock my car and at times left valuables in plain sight. My mom noticed this as we drove into the church parking lot and suggested I lock my car. I exclaimed, “We are at church, is someone here going to steal from me?” Mom replied, “I am not worried about the ones in the building, I am concerned about those in the parking lot.” While I locked the doors for her, I continued to not lock my car until someone stole several items I left on the front seat. Now I always lock my car. Times and cultures change. Some say adjusting to these changes is just giving up, others will tell you it is being realistic. Act for all. Change is coming and it starts with you.