Tuesday, November 15, 2011

'Tis the Season

If you're a resident of Centerpointe, please make sure you're on the emergency e-mail blast list (contact Centerpointe.blog@gmail.com for information on that).  This thing is invaluable for heads-up, as was proven twice lately: 
  • In September, when armed suspects were fleeing through or near the neighborhood after having hijacked a cigarette truck, and
  • Yesterday, when a woman on Walnut Pointe emerged from her shower to find a black man standing in her hallway, having kicked in her front door, with another man upstairs apparently trying to steal her electronic equipment.   
Following yesterday's event and given that it's the Holiday Season, I have seen fit to decorate our back door according to my own personal taste:
On the BACK door, inside, inaccessible to children. 
There's only one reason why anybody would be reading this calling card: because they're about to come through that back door without an invitation.  Maybe a stocking stuffer such as this would make them think twice. 
That may seem a little extreme, but having suffered a devastating robbery previously in another neighborhood, I don't have much of a sense of humor about this stuff.  Seriously, the folks who break into residential houses around noon on weekdays are often fairly systematic about it.  They often survey an entire neighborhood, pick the best targets, and then hit them one by one over the course of time (such was the case in my former subdivision, where we were apparently the first target... the police did not catch that group until the third or fourth neighborhood break-in, I was told at the time).  In other words, just because there was one home invaded yesterday and the bad guys "ran away" does not mean that they are now "gone".  

This incident also doesn't mean that residents should over-react, but it does mean that you should double-check your home practices (for instance, don't be predictable in your coming and going behavior) and keep a sharper eye out. 

Burglaries, robberies, and home invasions happen everywhere during the holiday season in particular.  The neighborhood newsletter will have additional suggestions on safe practices when it is distributed later today.  And here's a very succinct set of safety recommendations from the Nashville police department.  I like this one because they do not mince words. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Suburban pests, Part 2: Wandering Wile E.

In my post the other day, I stressed that dog food should never be left outdoors unattended, because it is guaranteed to attract the kind of rodents (mice and especially rats) that will proceed to penetrate your house.

Dog food also attracts, well, dogs! including the kind that are not domesticated, as this morning's story in GCDN attests: authorities had to shoot a coyote that had gotten itself cornered in League City back yard a couple of miles from here. 

I have no evidence that dog food was involved in that particular incident, but you can bet that no coyote would be motivated to penetrate deep into a dense suburban neighborhood for the purposes of a recreational sight-seeing tour.  Almost everything wild animals do is predicated on their food source and, right now with the drought, food is scarce, and dog food looks mighty attractive. 

Coyotes in suburban neighborhoods is nothing new, although it's rare to have to dispatch one inside someone's fenced yard.  They thrive all over greater Houston.   Before Section 9 was substantially complete, I saw coyote tracks all through this part of Centerpointe, as they foraged at night for tortillas and pizza crusts that the builders' tradesmen would dispose of indiscriminantly.  They are found in abundance even in deep urban areas such as Memorial Park

So please do not leave dog food unattended outside.  Nobody, including a coyote, really benefits from an authority having to discharge his 12-gauge shotgun inside their neighborhood.