A fitness buddy of mine had been missing from our Zumba classes for about a month. When she reappeared this week I asked what happened to her. She told me that she had been mugged in the parking lot near her home one night after class.
Fortunately, she was okay but had been terrified to go anywhere at night since the incident. As she shared the particulars from that terrifying night, one thing stuck out in my mind. She said they snuck up on her because they were lurking in the dark. “It wasn’t hard for them to hide since all but one light was burned out in my parking lot,” she said. Then she elaborated, “Several of my neighbors and I talked about how the homeowners’ association needed to fix the burned out lights but none of us ever followed up. I wish I had now.”
I thought about that statement in the context of our slogan, “Take A Bite Out Of Crime®.” It’s meant to remind us that each one of us can (and should) do something to help prevent crime. In this case I couldn’t help but wonder if just one of those neighbors or my fitness buddy had followed up on the lights problem, the thugs might not have been able to attack so easily. In one of our PSAs McGruff said, “All crime needs is a chance. Don’t give it the chance.” Those are good words to live by.
We’ll never know if the lighting would have deterred the opportunistic criminals but lighting up the night might have reduced their chance to pounce on an unwitting victim. Please remember this story the next time you see lights out in your neighborhood. Don’t give criminals a chance to claim another victim.
Download home and personal safety tips from NCPC in the resources section of our website.
Note: Thanks to great work by our local police department, the muggers were apprehended recently.