2006-04-06 / Letters to the Editor

Thieving cowards strike at home

I'm writing in response to the theft of four garden sculptures/ ornaments from my front-yard garden at 85 High St. this past week. Although not totaling more than $200 in monetary value, I'm angry primarily because of the personal sentimental value of two of the items in particular: one an item given to me from the garden of my deceased father, the other a unique sculpture created by a personal friend and given to me as a gift. The other items were inexpensive store-bought items that can easily be replaced. The items in question are irreplaceable because of the personal memories associated with them.

Having reported the theft to the local police, I don't know whether or not it is at all realistic to expect that they may show up somewhere soon or be returned to me. The items of importance to me are a 'runof the-mill' concrete-cast frog, perhaps 8 inches long by 6 inches high, and a more contemporary creation out of metal parts and an old army helmet made to look like an oversized 'army ant.' It is larger, perhaps 2 feet square in dimensions with a height of 12 feet or so.

It'd be ideal if the individual( s) who took them would simply return them, no questions asked. Return them at night, under cover of darkness - after all, that's when you took them in the first place.

While admittedly I may be jumping to inaccurate conclusions, my suspicions lead me to believe the items were taken by a relatively young person. Those things taken are relatively lightweight and portable, while other items in the front garden are heavier and less wieldy. They were left behind.

I was informed by police that there have been numerous similar incidents reported in the general neighborhood - on Clarke Street, Windsor Street, and Southwest Avenue - including the theft of a unique bootscraper from the entry of the new Jamestown Fitness Center. Whoever is behind these thefts obviously knows the neighborhood fairly well, and most likely is a Jamestown resident.

I hope the thieves responsible are not viewing these escapades as simply harmless childhood or teenage pranks. Taking another's personal property without permission is not a laughing matter. At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon at the ripe old age of 52, I wonder if they realize they could be charged with criminal tresspass and theft if caught.

And guess what, kids, potential employers and college admissions counselors don't look kindly on job and school applicants with arrests on their record.

It's something for the parents of these individuals to consider also. If juveniles are involved, it's you parents who will be held liable for financial restitutiton. And having had experience in the not-too-distant past, with parents on this island who exhibit what I like to call the mychild could-not-have-possibly-beeninvolved syndrome, I suggest you engage in some frank discussion with your kids regarding such behavior and its consequences. And remember, kids will not always tell you the truth when their familial survival instinct kicks in.

So, if anyone knows something about these thefts, I'd certainly hope you'll do the right thing. And I don't mean 'rat out' your friends or accomplices. Rather, simply return the items to where they were taken from and refrain from such irresponsible and, yes, criminal behavior in the future.

Kevin A. Somerville

Jamestown

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