Stolen

Nothing angers me more than to have property stolen. It doesn’t matter how inexpensive or expensive an item may be. Stealing is stealing. Recently there were a couple of thefts at work. What angers me is that the person who did it was not remorseful, and he created chaos for those left behind in his endeavors. He didn’t have enough evidence against him to convict him, and his victims were left picking up the pieces. Then in the same week, a young woman I have never met was victimized at a local church. The church left her a care package, and someone stole it even though it had her name on it. I guess they needed it worse than she did.

To say that I’ve never stolen anything would be a bold face lie. But karma caught up with me. I learned there was nothing to be gained from stealing. Sometimes it’s understandable, like when someone is trying to take care of a very sick baby and doesn’t see any other way to take care of that child. Look at people like Fantasia Barrino from High Point, NC, who won American Idol. In her story, she talks about how she had to steal medicine to take care of a child. There are always stories where it’s understandable why people do the things they do. It doesn’t make it right, but they did it for the right reasons.

None of us are perfect, and there are times in our lives that most of us hit rock bottom. How we handle our fall from grace helps us grow in the long run. Hell, all you have to do is turn on the news, and you hear about the story after story where people have stolen things. My ex-husband, who is now married to a deputy sheriff, once stole a city street sign. He never got caught, but I can’t help but think that the fact he recruited teenage kids should have been enough to have given him karma for a long time.

Then my friend Ken had his car stolen in the middle of a damn snowstorm. To make matters worse, the guy who stole it left his temporary drivers license in Ken’s parking space. Genius. That was one of the most classic situations I’ve ever seen because there was enough information to help the police capture the guilty person. Had they not returned to NC, Ken would never have known what happened to his car. Since they stole his car, they drove past one of Ken’s co-workers and friends who told him where they had seen his car. They stole it to Virginia and went back to N.C. They got into a wreck and found themselves in a bad situation. Fortunately, Ken could get transportation after that incident, but not long after it happened, someone else tried to break into Ken’s car.

These last few months, I have seen and heard about so many thefts. So what can you do to make sure your items are protected? If you have big things like cars, trailers, tractors, etc. Make sure you have insurance on them. I know you may think you don’t need it, but if a theft happens, at least you have some protection and don’t lose everything.

The following information comes directly from the Houston Police Department, making sure to give them credit because it’s good and beneficial information.
10 Ways To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Shielding your private information with no risk of a breakdown may be impossible these days. But there are some simple ways to protect you from becoming a victim of Identity Theft. The Houston Police Department provides these simple but essential tips to protect you and your name.

  1. “Destroy private records and statements. Tear up – or, if you prefer, shred – credit cards statements, solicitations, and other documents that contain personal financial information.
  2. Secure your mail. Empty your mailbox quickly, lock it or get a P.O. box, so criminals don’t have a chance to snatch credit card pitches. Never mail outgoing bill payments and checks from home. They can steal from your mailbox and can erase the payee’s name with solvents. Mail them from the post office or another secure location.
  3. Safeguard your Social Security number. Never carry your card with you or any other card that may have your number, like a health insurance card. Don’t put your number on your checks. It’s the primary target for identity thieves because it gives them access to your credit report and bank accounts.
  4. Don’t leave a paper trail. Never leave ATM, credit card, or gas station receipts behind.
  5. Never let your credit card out of your sight. Are you worried about credit card skimming? Always keep an eye on your card or, when that’s not possible, pay with cash.
  6. Know who you’re dealing with and pay attention. Whenever anyone contacts you asking for personal identity or financial information, make no response other than to find out who it is, what company they represent, and the reason for the call. If you think the request is legitimate, contact the company yourself and confirm what you were told before revealing any of your data.
  7. Take your name off marketers’ hit lists. In addition to the national Do-Not-Call registry (1-888-382-1222), you can also cut down on junk mail and opt-out of credit card solicitations.
  8. Be more defensive with personal information. Ask salespeople and others if information such as Social Security or driver’s license number is essential. Ask anyone who requires your Social Security number about their privacy policy and does not want your information given to anyone else.
  9. Monitor your credit report. Obtain and thoroughly review your credit report (check for a free copy at http://www.Annualcreditreport.com or by calling 877-322-8228) at least once a year to check for suspicious activity. If you find something, alert your card company or the creditor immediately. You may also look into credit protection services, which alert you when a change occurs with your credit report.
  1. Review your credit cards statements carefully. Make sure you recognize the merchants, locations, and purchases listed before paying the bill. If you don’t need or use department-store or bank-issued credit cards, consider closing the accounts.” (https://www.houstontx.gov/police/crime_prevention/id_theft.htm)

I hope none of you have to deal with stolen goods but if you do, learn how to protect yourself from future problems. Be proactive by preparing yourself for future issues. You don’t want your pockets empty. Take care of yourselves and have a great weekend.

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