Burglaries eat at community’s foundation

They aren’t often the crimes that earn the big headlines or that prompt infectious fear the way violent crime does, but burglaries eat away at the foundation of a community. They can strain relations between neighbors, strain between residents and police and frustrate residents and police.

Minot endured a rash of burglaries last year, but the reality is that they continue to plague the city. Police logically assert that drug abuse greatly fuels the problem, with addicts desperate to convert your belongings into narcotics. It leaves no one truly safe with police resources stretched to address all of the crime in town.

Although the quintessential property crime, burglary has a decided effect on victims. There is a sense of violation that takes some time to fade. Most people feel home is their one secure place, their sanctum, the one place where they and their families are in control of the setting. Yet all of that goes out the window after a burglary. It’s deeply unsettling and the invisible wounds leave victims’ essential trust torn. In aggregate, the fibers of a community are torn by burglaries.

Yesterday’s Minot Daily News shared a few ideas of how to protect oneself from burglary – and taking precautions is an unfortunate reality of living in modern Minot.

The best advice might be to be watchful and to communicate with neighbors. If you see something, say something. If it doesn’t meet the threshold to logically call police, still make sure to discuss anything remotely suspicious with your neighbors. If there is a question of threshold, then call police and let them sort it out – or at least show a presence. But always, always, talk to neighbors. Strong neighborly relations are a norm in our culture. If burglaries tear at the fiber of a community, neighborly relationships build them.

It’s unfortunate Minot has to experience challenges like this, but it is a sign of the times. Since burglaries are so often linked to drug abuse, it seems unlikely they are going to go away anytime soon.