Police say criminals casing Fremont homes as prep for burglaries
Time and again, when told that publishing lists of gun owners (CHL-holders) would provide criminals lists of homes from which to steal guns, or would let potential attackers know who isn't able to defend themselves, the media responded by saying that criminals just weren't smart enough to utilize the newspaper to premeditate their crimes or select their targets.
The Akron Beacon Journal has called it a "flimsy presumption", and Gannett News Columbus Bureau Chief Jim Siegel said warnings about the dangers of publishing the list of CHL-holders "elevate these criminals to a level of sophistication they very likely do not possess..." Even Attorney General Jim Petro called such a scenario "a stretch".
The Fremont News Messenger (a Gannett-owned newspaper) is reporting that at least 21 homes have been burglarized since the beginning of January, by a team or teams of burglars who police say appear to be watching victims' homes, and waiting until people leave before they enter the residences.
"We're surmising there's a bit of surveillance by the burglars," Fremont Police Capt. Sam Derr said.
Derr also told the News Messenger he believes "there are probably two, maybe three groups that are working together."
Sounds like a pretty "sophisticated" bunch, doesn't it?
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Before it was passed, Ohioans For Concealed Carry gave legislators plenty of reasons why Bob Taft's Media Access Loophole was dangerous.
Chiefly, we told them that criminals ARE smart enough to use the newspaper or other records placed in the public domain to pre-plan their crimes.
We told them about actress Rebecca Shaefer, who was stalked and murdered in the early 90's by Robert John Bardo because driver's license information was easily obtained for a small fee. This prompted federal legislation making the dissemination of such information illegal.
We told them that instances of criminals targeting particular locations they know to contain specific valuables (such as firearms), and staking out or casing residences to make sure no one is home, are common and well documented.
Unfortunately for the residents of Fremont, Ohio, there are 21 more exhibits of just how right we were on display, in the form of burglarized homes and stolen property.
An excellent op-ed on this subject, entitled Armed Homes Are Safe Homes, has been written by Doug Patton and published in Men's News Daily. It begins like this:
- Recently, three young criminals in Omaha were looking for a home to rob. Their criteria included an interesting condition. Pointing to a particular target, a townhouse in the northwest part of town, one person told them, “That house has no guns.”
And since Nebraska has no concealed carry law, they could be fairly certain that none of the residents would have one on their person, either.
Shortly before noon last November 11, the three punks (all of whom did have guns, of course) broke into the townhouse, demanded money and order residents to the floor. During a struggle in the hallway, all three intruders fired their guns, killing Trevor Lee, a 23-year-old aspiring stock market analyst.
The only person arrested in the case so far, 20-year-old Ryan Poe, has said that he and his buddies went to the townhouse with the intention of committing a robbery, and fired their weapons at a man who fought back. Apparently, Trevor Lee was that brave man. Brave, but unarmed.
Rapist uses Beacon Journal to lure victim