According to the above flyer issued by the Chula Vista Police Department, “San Diego County’s top crimes are vehicle theft and vehicle burglary.” In Samantha Wilson’s estimation, that means “it’s safe to say that there’s a strong theft culture here in San Diego.” Wilson should know: on October 19, her purse was stolen from her 2010 Honda Civic, which was parked outside a friend’s house in North Park.
“I called the police,” reports Wilson, “But when they came, they started asking me all these questions. Was the car locked? Did it have a security system activated? Could I have parked it somewhere besides the street? Was the purse on display? It was almost as if the purse getting stolen was somehow my fault. And all this time, I’m thinking, Why aren’t you dusting for fingerprints? Or looking for witnesses? Why are you talking to me?”
Wilson was aggravated, but also too lazy to do much about it. “Which is pretty much the same reason I didn’t lock my car that night. But it’s not a crime to be lazy. I went to the SDPD’s website to register a complaint, and while I was looking for a Contact Us link, I found the Department’s guidelines for preventing auto burglary. Besides scolding me about always locking my car, the guidelines told me not to let my guard down when parking in secured parking garages, and to park in well-lit areas. But why should I have to live in constant fear? Why are the police telling me how to live my life? I’m not the criminal! If I don’t feel like locking my car and hiding my valuables, I shouldn’t have to! Instead of advising me on how to prevent these kinds of crimes, how about going after the people who are actually responsible? Namely, the bastards who stole my purse. The cops even went so far as to say that 'the goal is to make them stop victimizing your neighborhood through prevention.' So suddenly, I’m to blame, not only for my the theft of my own purse, but for helping to create an atmosphere where burglars feel free to act with impunity on other people’s cars? Suddenly, theft culture is my fault somehow? We’re through the looking glass here, people.”