Snitching?

fenderchamp

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Is snitching always bad? I am confused.
I will try to make this quick. I have lived in the same house for over 20 years. It’s not necessarily a close neighborhood but we all do know each other. About a year and a half ago some new renters moved in a few houses down. Without going into specifics, it’s just safe to say they are undesirable neighbors. Obvious hard drug use. People sleeping in their cars on the street and what not.
This morning my wife found a Facebook post with still shots from a security camera showing our neighbor stealing an industrial work trailer. My wife asked me if she thought she should notify the victim that we know who took his trailer. I said yes absolutely. She contacted the victim he was very appreciative.
My wife forwarded the post to a few of our neighbors that we are close with. I was astonished when two of them responded that we need to mind our own business. I have lived near these people for years. If someone were to steal their property I would absolutely notify them.
I understand the no snitching philosophy. To some degree anyway. But in my mind a trailer is a tool. If you steal a man’s tool you are hurting his ability to support his family. It scares me that my neighbors would have this mentality.
Are we wrong? Is this how society has become. Where we will sit by and let people be victimized?

Snitching??? I don't think that's the right word for it.

I'm sure you would like to run those renters out of your neighborhood, I wouldn't want them in mine. They'll be stealing something from you next, or maybe worse.

When somebody is behaving in a way that is harmful to other people, whether they are letting their big dogs run loose in the neighborhood, exposing themselves, passing out drunk in their car in the driveway, abusing their wives and or kids and or husbands, stealing stuff, vandalizing or damaging property etc etc etc, and you are aware of it I don't think it's 'snitching', reporting it is kind of your civic duty, unless you don't care about the place you live. Even more so is it not snitching if it's in your own neighborhood. All rationalization about "considering trailers to be tools" aside, what if the dude ripped off your TV set or your guitars or your wife's jewelry, or even your trash cans It's all the same. Why would you want to enable that scumbag thief to be stealing from his neighbors. #!!! that guy.

I would have simply called the police, I don't know that I'd tell everyone in the neighborhood about it or tell everyone that I knew who stole the trailer, or that I called the police, I would have simply called them and given them all the information I had, and asked the wife to be discreet as well, if I actually had to ask her.

My silence wouldn't be motivated by fearing that my neighbors would tell me I should mind my own business, but simply due to the fact that common sense would dictate that discretion and self-protection would be wise. You never know, that dude might torch your house or slash your tires, or beat you up or shoot you or poison your dog or whatever in retribution, when it gets back to him. I wouldn't be forwarding stuff around via the emails and social media about it either probably.

Reporting crimes that occur in your neighborhood is a good thing. Joining your neighborhood watch, or starting one is even better.
 
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Lotek

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I think you did the right thing. Partying and drug use is one thing, it hurts them. Not your problem. Theft is a community issue, and I think the community should stand up for and help each other. Your isolationist neighbors don't want to help, so don't communicate your actions to them. But I still think it's the right thing to help them when there time comes.
 

soundchaser59

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I was astonished when two of them responded that we need to mind our own business. I have lived near these people for years. If someone were to steal their property I would absolutely notify them.
I would ask them in that same public forum if the person was stealing their trailer or their car, would they still want me to "mind my own business?" If they found out later that I knew who stole their car and I didn't say anything, would they complain about my silence? Or would they just shrug and tell themselves "Oh well, he was just minding his own business like we told him to."

@StoneH summed it up perfectly. Minding our own business and remaining silent is exactly why we have so many of the problems we have today.

The only thing I would have done different is I would have reported it directly to the police instead of the neighbor. Let the police approach the neighbor and tell them a thief was taking their stuff. They would probably explain that a friendly watchful neighbor turned it in, and you should be grateful.

We had the same thing in our neighborhood. A punk kid thief was caught on camera hitching up a trailer and trying to drive away with it. The owner showed up and stopped him and the thief unhitched in the middle of the street and drove away. Fortunately the guy caught it all on camera. A couple weeks later the whole neighborhood reported this guy for driving 60 mph all over the area. The cops slowly closed in on him and finally pulled him over a few blocks from here. He had pot, coke, pills, knives, and a home made explosive device that explodes when he throws it down hard on the ground. He almost killed a kid on his bicycle when he ran a red light and didn't stop. He ran over the bike and narrowly missed smashing the kid. If we had all been "minding our own business" then that guy would not have spent the last 6 months sitting in jail awaiting trial on 3 felonies. I hope he gets to spend a few years in prison. Thankfully his benevolent grandma refused to bail him out this time. It was her truck he was driving and he was living at her house. I hope the police searched her house and made her think twice about enabling the guy.
 
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feldkeen

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I’ve notified the mods….. not really.

I think you notify the people who have been taken advantage of.
 

catdaddy

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As everyone else has opined, you absolutely did the right thing. As for the neighbors who suggested that you mind your own business, I suppose it's possible that they might have some information concerning your thieving neighbor not being just a criminal but a dangerous one, and that they may be concerned for your safety if it becomes common knowledge as to who turned them in. That's the best spin I can put on it, and if they really think that what you did was wrong, then I wouldn't hold out much hope for them being rational or decent human beings.
 

StoneH

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Not a week after installing security cameras on my home, I got video of a guy "breaking into" my (unlocked) car. I didn't think the IR footage would be useful, but I gave it to LE anyway. They compared it with color video from a convenience store taken that night (same clothes, ballcap backwards, IR reflecting logo on cap). The guy and his accomplice were known to the cops and responsible for dozens of car burglaries that night. I will always have security cameras.

(And I get pictures of bears knocking over trashcans that I can post on "Nextdoor" . . . kidding.)
 

Toadtele

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There have been some great responses here. And I appreciate them all.
I should clarify some things.
My wife found the Facebook post regarding the theft. It didn’t occur in our neighborhood. She just recognized our neighbor and his truck from the security footage. She notified the owner of the trailer. She did not contact the police.
As far as the other neighbors, we did not just randomly notify all of the neighbors. We forwarded the post to neighbors that had already communicated their concern about the renters.
It upsets me even more that these neighbors will call me to complain that the renters pitbull’s are running around the neighborhood raising hell. I am not the block watch Captain. But when a neighbor tells me they are concerned that other neighbors may steal from them, and then I see evidence of those neighbors stealing from other people, I think it is prudent to inform people.
 

fretWalkr

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I usually associate snitching with prison movies. It's pretty common nowadays for people to share videos on social media of property theft and also sending the videos to local police. They would also be interested in hard drug use and people passed out in cars in the neighborhood. You and your neighbors might be best served if these folks were encouraged to take their party and money making schemes elsewhere.
 

getbent

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The good--> letting the folks who had their property stolen know where it was and presumably who took it.

The bad--> sharing it with the other neighbors. Let the process run.

Recently, there was a package thief on our street. Security cameras helped determine it was the gf of a young man two doors down from the victim. With one visit to the neighbors, the items were returned, apologies issued and assurances that the gf would not cause any further trouble.

I left my truck unlocked (my mistake) money and tools etc were stolen from it. I had it on camera. Guess who? I went 4 doors down, met with the neighbor, got the tools etc back, and the neighbor brought me the cash the next day. We agreed that action needed to be taken beyond that as we don't all want to just retrieve our things from his house.

There is a cultural element to the this story, but, we saw, the following weekend the gf moved away.

Note: we did not receive any apology or recompense from the girl. But, had we pressed charges, we likely would not have gotten anything back for a long time.

No further crime over the past month.

No mention on FB or Next Door except that the issue had been resolved.
 

Toadtele

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I seem to be getting some grief for informing neighbors. Here is my modest analogy. If you have someone who tells you they are concerned about a dog because it looks like it may bite. There has been no evidence that it will bite but they fear that it may happen. Then you have evidence that this dog does indeed bite. Wouldn’t it be the right thing to do to tell the person concerned that yes this dog does bite, there is evidence of it biting, so please be careful.
My point is that if someone is concerned about the dog biting, and you tell them yes this is a dog that does bite, why would they tell me to mind my own business.
 

kuch

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We can't turn a blind eye to criminals and we need to speak up against injustice....
I'll get off of my soapbox now....
 

String Tree

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Is snitching always bad? I am confused.
I will try to make this quick. I have lived in the same house for over 20 years. It’s not necessarily a close neighborhood but we all do know each other. About a year and a half ago some new renters moved in a few houses down. Without going into specifics, it’s just safe to say they are undesirable neighbors. Obvious hard drug use. People sleeping in their cars on the street and what not.
This morning my wife found a Facebook post with still shots from a security camera showing our neighbor stealing an industrial work trailer. My wife asked me if she thought she should notify the victim that we know who took his trailer. I said yes absolutely. She contacted the victim he was very appreciative.
My wife forwarded the post to a few of our neighbors that we are close with. I was astonished when two of them responded that we need to mind our own business. I have lived near these people for years. If someone were to steal their property I would absolutely notify them.
I understand the no snitching philosophy. To some degree anyway. But in my mind a trailer is a tool. If you steal a man’s tool you are hurting his ability to support his family. It scares me that my neighbors would have this mentality.
Are we wrong? Is this how society has become. Where we will sit by and let people be victimized?
Leadership by example.
You did Good.
Keep doing good.
Others will follow.
 

1955

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Things are different now, and I proceed accordingly.
 

Killing Floor

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If someone broke into my property I would be very appreciative of anyone who helped me. You did the right thing. Don't worry about trolls.
 

dsutton24

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I guess I'll never understand the future. If you think you've done the right thing, why do you care about what others think? It's one thing if you're a sociopath, and don't give a hang about anyone other than yourself. But a guy committing felony theft? Do what you know is right and to heck with the nutjobs who will make excuses for bad behavior.
 

oregomike

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Is snitching always bad? I am confused.
I will try to make this quick. I have lived in the same house for over 20 years. It’s not necessarily a close neighborhood but we all do know each other. About a year and a half ago some new renters moved in a few houses down. Without going into specifics, it’s just safe to say they are undesirable neighbors. Obvious hard drug use. People sleeping in their cars on the street and what not.
This morning my wife found a Facebook post with still shots from a security camera showing our neighbor stealing an industrial work trailer. My wife asked me if she thought she should notify the victim that we know who took his trailer. I said yes absolutely. She contacted the victim he was very appreciative.
My wife forwarded the post to a few of our neighbors that we are close with. I was astonished when two of them responded that we need to mind our own business. I have lived near these people for years. If someone were to steal their property I would absolutely notify them.
I understand the no snitching philosophy. To some degree anyway. But in my mind a trailer is a tool. If you steal a man’s tool you are hurting his ability to support his family. It scares me that my neighbors would have this mentality.
Are we wrong? Is this how society has become. Where we will sit by and let people be victimized?
That's not snitching in my book. You might have saved someone's job, at most, or minimum them needing to replace an expensive piece of equipment. Tell your judgy neighbors to take a hike.
 

Happy Enchilada

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Yet another reason we keep both our Explorer and my Colorado in the garage at all times. My son's ancient TrailBlazer sits on the curb, but so far no problems there.

A comedian whose name I forget once commented that we spend tens and possibly hundreds of thousands on vehicles, and then park them in the driveway so we can store boxes of worthless crap in our garages.
 




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