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The Orchards @ Anderson Heights Homeowners' Blog

The Official blog of The Orchards @ Anderson Heights – made by homeowners, for homeowners

Attempted Break-In

This afternoon, November the 1st, two adults, one male and one female, attempted to break into my house. They banged on the front door and screamed nonsensically for about five minutes, then banged on the garage door for another two or three after that. My family members that were home at the time didn’t answer, and were about three seconds away from hitting the panic button on our alarm system. Thankfully, the whackos hit the road, and didn’t return.

I’m not sure what that was all about, and as upset that it makes me that my dogs, my kids, and my wife were all roused by that, I’m actually glad I wasn’t here for it. Because had I been, I would’ve given those two idiots 357 good reasons to see how fast they could run.

What the hell is going on in this neighborhood? I read about break-ins, vandalism, drunks plowing through the park, and all sorts of other bullshit. I see kids getting stoned in broad daylight, and hanging out in the park at all hours of the night. For as much money as I pay every month to our homeowners association, I’m not real impressed with the level of security in this neighborhood, regardless of the fact that there’s police that live here.

Has anyone else had issues with crazies banging on their door, trying to gain entry?

8 Responses to “Attempted Break-In”

  1. TEG says:

    tags: CRIME THEFTS BREAKINS

    Since June of 2014, we are having a rash of thefts from garages on Hilgenberg, Gault and Humphries….in a few cases; alarms and security cameras alerted the home owners of the thefts in progress and they interrupted them and to help mitigate the loss of their property.

    The perpetrator(s) are in their late teens or early twenties. One single thief was on a bike, the others working in tandem, where in a older white Ford Taurus.

    The ABQ police state that our “gated” community has a lot of petty property theft crimes. I was surprised that this was the first time I had heard about it

    Lesson to be learned: Keep your garage doors down and put cables with locks on your bikes and around the handles of your power tools.

    Also, would the board consider using enTrust (or somebody)as a focal contact for residents to report safety / crime issues and then publish text or email alerts to the community in order for all of the neighbors to not only be aware, but be diligent and detour additional breakins.

    Whether, as an association, we decide not to spend on security measures (even strategically security cameras around the community), we all should expect and accept the probability that your homeowners and car insurance rate will rise even if you don’t make a claim

    I think it merits entering into a dialogue concerning what additional measures we can embrace to make our community safe.

    Thoughts?

  2. Red Skull says:

    Thieves in this neighborhood are running rampant. It’s to the point that they’re stealing copper pipes out of new homes under construction and foreclosed ones, valuables out of vehicles, tools and gear out of garages in broad daylight, and more. I’ve pitched the idea before of a security patrol to the HOA, and was told in no uncertain terms that it was too expensive, and that pool renovations, landscaping, and beautification trumped everything else where money was concerned. While I appreciate the fact that a pretty neighborhood helps keep property values high, a neighborhood plagued by crime tends to stymie those just as quickly.

    My neighbor got hit while he was out of town about a month ago. He told me he got cleaned out of about 5 grand worth of specialized tools. It’s a shame, but in line with what TEG said above: it was a bunch of people that were in the same age group as the ones above, matching the descriptions almost to the ‘T’. We saw them coming and going at all hours of the day, and, while we never caught them in the act, we knew who it was.

    I wish I had an easy answer, but there isn’t one. Security systems are only as effective as they’re designed to be, and can’t protect you 100%. If the HOA won’t invest in a patrol, cameras are a viable option too. I worked in security for years, and the tech isn’t that expensive, and not something that anyone has to watch all day long. Just useful to playback incidents of theft, violence, fire, etc… If you see a pattern develop, or get a description, or a license plate number–at least you have a starting point.

    One thing I’ll say in closing: if and when I catch someone in the act of ripping me off, there’s going to be hell to pay. And while I can’t justifiably pull the trigger on them without cause, I will gladly and graciously beat them to the point that they’re crippled for life, and never think twice about it. At the end of said thrashing, I’ll tell them to pass the word to all their friends about what’s going to happen to anyone that thinks it’s okay to steal in this neighborhood.

  3. TEG says:

    As a neighbor; in speaking with neighbors who have been robbed or incurred expenses related to repairing damaged garage, patio or front doors, including screens and stucco from attempted robberies, they also talk about the expense of replacing tools, electronics, computers and such….and the dilemma of reporting it to their insurance company in fear of being dropped or their rates raised. Inevitably the question comes up regarding; “what is cost for alarm and monthly monitoring”? That would start at @$40 a month for the lowest level of protection…by the way! Also, some people feel there is shame in having a police car at their home. No one seems to know if there is or isn’t a process to report, escalate or alert the HOA and their neighbors.

    When you consider an estimate solely for “on site security staff” being $100k, imagine if 100 people were robbed, incurred only a $1,000 loss of property and then had to purchase an alarm and monitoring service, in response to preventing future thefts?….well, I think there is an economy of scales to be leveraged here by addressing this continuing issue as a community. Video monitoring is much more economical….besides, if Walmart, Home Deport and Lowes have security patrols on a part time basis by outside contractors, I can’t imagine they pay $100k a year for it. We could piggy back on security patrols along with “others” and be apart of their patrol route. Because right now, we are shifting a “community expense” to individuals….and ultimately we ALL pay the price when it gets out of control and home values become more depressed and insurance costs rise.

    Even, can enTrust provide us with some options? I’m not an expert and am just throwing out some ideas. I just feel we need to have a discussion to acknowledge the problem, and what are our options and then put a plan together. Talking won’t impact our reserves. Being smart and effective will benefit everyone here at The Orchards.

    Does the City of ABQ’s police department not provide routine patrols? Or can we ask that our liaison with police department help us get them. If not, we should ask some of the police officers that live in the community if they would consider “working” part time for the association and provide patrols and the visibility of a patrol car on our streets to deter thieves.

    I realize that the “by-laws” exclude the responsibility of providing security by the HOA, but remember – WE are the HOA and can control our own destiny and make choices.

    Sierra Ridge (the sub-division just north of us) now has neighborhood crime signs posted on the street lights. I think these signs are “giveaways” from the police department….and along with a blue print – how to communicate suspicious activity or a violation, to neighborhood, it would serve as a low tech, low cost – “first step” in getting organized and taking a stand against the opportunistic snatch and grabs that have been occurring.

    WE all recognize these are ultimately narcotics driven crimes.

    Respectfully, can sit down with our board members as neighbors? With the goal to contribute, not to complain and criticize about everyone and everything? I welcome hearing something back from our board members, and thank them in advance for their service and consideration

  4. Red Skull says:

    You raise a good point about police officers in the neighborhood. I bet if the HOA offered to waive their monthly dues in exchange for service a few nights a month, or organization and support for others willing to help, a lot of them would be glad to pitch in and contribute time and effort to curb the problem.

    As far as the APD and routine patrols…I’ve asked several officers about this in my dealings with them. They care little about petty theft, and pretty much tell you there’s nothing they can do. They’ll submit a report, which will get put in the ‘hell freezes over’ file, and that’s the end of that. It’s a moot point unless you have evidence, catch someone in the act, or find your belongings in someone else’s possesion.

    I notice the HOA is pretty quiet on this. They’re usually the first ones to chime in when it comes to people posting issues. Truth is, as far as I can tell, that they’ve pretty much thrown the towel in on this subject, and have left the residents to fend for themselves. Disappointing considering what it costs to live here.

  5. cazilm says:

    I specifically asked the HOA about security cameras, and why the gates are locked open for hours every day morning and evening, when we were robbed. I can’t say it was a “break in” as we left the garage door open – something we did all the time where we used to live – and two clean cut, teen age/young adult Caucasian males came in, stole tools, and took off in a light gold/champagne colored sedan. We also have both an alarm system and now, internet-based security cameras, so any future efforts will be duly recorded and shown to the police.

    But I digress – as I started with, I asked the HOA, specifically Pat Parkison, about security cameras and open gates. She indicated the winds made security cameras unworkable as they would be blown down, and locking the gates open decreases wear and tear – and that the gates would also be locked open any windy days.

    Now, it seems to me that other organizations manage to have security cameras that do not blow away, so maybe what we need is for these issues to be brought up at the next HOA meeting and discussed in that forum, where the community can decide if we want to invest in that level of community security.

    As far as a neighborhood watch program – I’d be happy to volunteer and to participate in such a program. And if the resident police officers had the time and some incentive to assist, that would be great too (but hey, everyone needs down time, let’s not put the responsibility on them).

  6. webmaster says:

    Hello,
    I’ll try to address all the questions you all posed below.

    @TEG
    Great idea on the Point of Contact person for recieving and posting alerts so they may be distributed. Perhaps you are that person?!

    Many people have signed up to receive email alerts on the blog – perhaps you could take advantage of their existing subscription. Also, many people have “liked” the Orchards facebook page – which could be another possible tool.

    I would say that it is not the Management Company’s responsibility to provide security in OUR community.

    @Red Skull
    The HOA runs on a fixed buget and is revised every year. Every year the Board decides to raise the assement, people have issues with it.

    There also a lot of people (owners/banked-owned, etc) that simply do not pay.

    There are many foreclose and bank-owned homes that the rest of us have to make up for. So the bottom line is, our budget is based on 100% of the lots paying their dues. That said, the cost of 24X7 patrols would result in a significant increase in everyone’s dues because of the cost.

    I would also say that it won’t work. Community Policing works.

    We all should get to know our neighbors, turn our lights on and watch out for one another.

    APD has stated many times that they would help out anyone wishing to set up a Neighborhood Watch Program. And if you are familiar with those, they work on a block by block basis.

    As for cameras: we have already started the process in getting cameras installed. There are currently cameras at the pool providing coverage there. The system is exandable and we are waiting to begin Phase 2 in 2015.

    There are many challenges with gettnig cameras placed at the gates – so we are working through those and we’lll have cameras soon. But again, budgets are limited and we must account for these types of projects when the new budget is created and approved.

    I would love to sit down with you and anyone else who wants to get involved and contribute, collaborate and participate. I’ve lived here for nearly 7 years and have been on the Board for about 5 of those in some capacity. I have yet to see a surge of people wanting to participate in the goings on of our community!

    So I’m glad to hear that you want to work together on a solution!

    Perhaps the first place we can start is the upcoming Annual Meeting. It will be on November 9th, 2014.

    I will also be organizing/attending the Halloween Potluck – so I hope to see you there!

    Lastly, as far a NW programs go, I have created a few articles with information on them. Please check them out:

    http://www.theorchardsblog.net/2011/03/18/how-to-start-a-neighborhood-watch/

    http://www.theorchardsblog.net/2009/08/22/neigborhood-watch-2-0/

    http://www.theorchardsblog.net/2011/03/17/start-project-lead-by-apd/

    @Red Skull
    I have been very busy with work. I apologize for not replying quicker. The other 3 Board members do not visit the blog as often, unfortunately.

    @Cazilm
    Please see above for details on the security cameras!

    And Thank You for volunteering! Please check out the links above to get started on your Block’s Watch. If you have any questions on getting started, post back here and I’ll see if there’s anything I can help with.

    I will try to get a representative from APD to attend our Annual Meeting.

    Thank you everyone for posting.

    Chris Perkins
    President, Orchards Board of Directors

  7. webmaster says:

    Also – if any of you are on fb: you can jump on there too: https://www.facebook.com/orchardshoa

  8. David Wurz says:

    Can we get the street light at Humphries and McKinnon fixed again? It’s out for the second time in 2 months!!!

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