A Dear John(s Creek) Letter

by Thomas, June 14, 2007 - 2:45pm

Woke up this morning, fixed breakfast for my wife, kissed her goodbye and took a shower. This is my normal routine. Nothing special, though I do fix a mean bowl of oatmeal.

The house phone rang just as a I stepped out of the shower. I know this is my wife, calling en route to work, because anyone else would call my cellphone. And what does she tell me? For one, she says that the car started. That's good news, as her battery has been a bit flaky. For another thing, she wants to know if I left her car door open. And did I look through her glove compartment. And was I looking for anything in the center console. I answer "No" to all of these questions. This is bad news, because if I didn't rifle through her stuff, then somebody else who is neither she nor I did.

Was anything taken? She didn't think so. Whoever it was, they saw no value in the iPod adapter or any other random ephemera. There's not much we can do. We can't report it unless we're home, so we decide to do so later. She always leaves her car door unlocked, but I suppose that practice will have to change.

A few minutes later, after I finish getting dressed and gather myself together, I head out to the driveway. Now, I lock my car doors, almost always. So I'm surprised to look into my passenger side window and see my own glove box open, my own center console open as well. I test the door, and it opens. Turns out that I didn't lock my own doors last night when we got home. I was distracted, I suppose, from wanting to see if Nikki's car would start. So after testing that successfully, I went on inside.

Was anything stolen? One thing, it seems. A Leatherman multi-tool. It belonged to my father-in-law. He'd left it in my car when last he worked on it. Everything else is still there, I think. The contents of my glove box were taken out, restacked and replaced. I know this because some folded prescriptions from a recent appointment are now in the center of the stack instead of the top.

So there you have it. Both of our cars were visited without invitation at some point last night. In the space of one evening, our neighborhood has become a place where we have to lock our car doors.

And this morning, I asked myself just what were we to do in this situation. We cannot call our local police, because they don't exist anywhere but on paper. Johns Creek might be a "real" city now, but our safety is still secured by Fulton County's Finest. This is just as well, as they've always been very responsive in the past, but still I have to wonder when Johns Creek will start helping itself.

And when it does, will the promised police cruisers make regular circuits through our little neighborhood, situated as it is right at the far southern tip of Johns Creek? We have no home owner's association. Our neighbors live in modest homes. Might we be forgotten?

Crime is a problem everywhere. It exists by degrees. And it would seem that our degree is rising, ever so much. And yet, the most recent expressions of concern and safety in our city of Johns Creek have centered not on actual crime, but on the financial aspirations of John Cornetta, he of the Love Shack debacle from last December. He wants to open a restaurant, so the cry has gone out to defend our children from innuendo and beer.

Is Cornetta a saint? Probably not. But I'm pretty damned sure that he's not walking around with my father-in-law's Leatherman in his pocket. Who is? Some teenager, most likely. One that is disaffected, bored and needing some kind of illicit spark in his life. And he is finding it in my neighborhood. He's taking the easy route now, just peeking in on cars left unlocked, but with each successive thrill, he's going to become more brave.

What, pray tell, are you going to do? You made Johns Creek a reality because you thought we'd be better off as a city alone, rather than as a part of the greater county surrounding. You might have plans, big plans for more police and better roads and so on, but plans aren't watching my home or patrolling my little neighborhood.

So I ask again... what are you going to do?

[Cross-posted at Grabbing Sand]

Tags: crime, John's Creek

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