Sunday, January 06, 2019

Porch Pirates

The City Journal article about porch pirates was interesting, but I think it misses an important piece of why it bothers us so much.

We want to live in a certain type of place.  We want to live in a place where we don't have to lock our doors, where we hope people will keep half an eye on our place while we are away. People who violate that are taking more than a delivery of a cute coffee mug or a few shirts on sale. While they are not breaking and entering, are not actually invading our homes, they are invading our property, our space.  They are not just taking something from our bank accounts, but from our lives.  Thieves stealing our stuff from the warehouse on its way here would be an irritation, not an infuriation.

We regard it as a crime against our community, and we would also be upset if a neighbor's items were stolen, more than we would if the neighbor's goods were stolen from his car while he was shopping at the mall.


Murph said...

One man's loss (through theft) is another man's opportunity.

Full Disclosure: (a) I've ordered one, hopefully to be received in the spring, and (b) the owner/developer, Ben Dehner, went to HS with my kid.

A local TV station recently interviewed Ben:

james said...

The porch is perhaps not technically "inside" the house, but neither is it entirely "outside." So there's a gut reaction to the crime--the criminals feel almost like home invaders.

But you're right, we want to be able to trust. The price of not being able to trust is very high, both psychic and financial.

HMS Defiant said...

You build trust by killing thieves caught in the act. You don't catch and release. You pretty much build trust the old fashioned way.

dmoelling said...

When I do projects in Latin America, my engineers from that region are constantly assessing the crime potential in every neighborhood we eat in, shop in or work in. Sometimes they go overboard and see risks where there are none, but that is a consequence of living in high crime zones.

I tell my young engineers here in Connecticut that in the 1970s to go to New York city you would expect to be mugged if out at night. They can't believe it. My stories of Boston's "Combat Zone" get similar incredulous looks.

There were reasons that theft was treated so severely by our ancestors because it was so destructive to society. I just had my digital identify stolen due to a data breach and had to hop on corrective measures. Now someone was walking around as me opening credit accounts. I think a few floggings or hands chopped of might be appropriate to these thieves as well.