Protect Larkin Gardens, please!

The last piece of metal grille across the
drain in our garden
This is my third installment on Larkin Gardens after the first, Boost Police patrols in Larkin Gardens, please, NST Johor Streets, 23 October 2009 and the second, Resolve problems in Larkin Gardens, NST Johor Streets, 30 July 2012.  In the previous pieces, I fondly recalled the blissful life we enjoyed in Larkin Gardens while asking for more Police patrols and protection because of rampant robberies in the neighbourhood.  After intruders entered our compound and robbed us for the third time in the last six months, it proved that they are getting bolder and more desperate to extract every piece of portable metal to sell.

In June, the intruders stole four pieces of the metal drain covers which we have been using for almost 50 years and a spare, full gas cylinder from our storeroom in the garden.  This week, they came again and relieved us of all the other metal drain covers in the garden, even from under the parked car and flower-pot stand, leaving just one piece that was dented and immovable.  An old metal shelf that was used as a flower-pot stand in our backyard was also lugged off. 

Two old, large aluminum wash basins as well as aluminum trays or loyang that mum traditionally used for steaming yam cake and a few old-fashioned round metal trays, were stolen in their second invasion of our storeroom.  An aluminum kettle and an old tea-pot that mum had retired from the kitchen to use as small watering cans, were also taken away.  These were mum’s favourites not only because they are so handy for watering small pots and hanging plants but because the tea-pot in particular, was a family heirloom, used in our home since our parents were married.

I don’t have to be an economist to understand that this blatant stealing of metal items from public and private properties and disposing them with scrap metal dealers is a matter of supply and demand – and if the metal-mongers accepted any sort of metal items, the stealing will not stop.  The thieves will just get bolder and try to supply any form of metal, whether scrap or stolen, because unscrupulous dealers are ready to buy.  While the recycling of old items may be a good thing, the buying of metal household items that were clearly stolen, borders on pure greed.

Like most items of sentimental value, mum’s old trays and tea-pot are simply irreplaceable.  If a ring or a small ear-ring fell into the sink and dropped into the draining pipe, it is logical to think that if we dismantled the pipe, it may be possible to retrieve that precious gem.  So I guess the only way we may possibly retrieve mum’s items of sentimental value is to track down the dealers who are buying such items from thieves but this is only my wishful thinking!

For some time now, our neighbourhood has been on high-alert for intruders because some families, who left their good shoes outside, realised too late that they are suddenly gone.  The shoes cannot have walked away by themselves so we can safely conclude that someone stole them during the night.  Now the thieves are after metal items and nothing seems to be safe from them if they are not secured by concrete or welded down!

Residents are now wiser and have been pro-actively protecting their own property.  Following police advice, homes are also lighted outside at night – in front and the rear – as a deterrent to intruders.  This however, has not proved to be effective because we are still having intruders in our lighted compound!

A section of our report made
with the Larkin police station
While the Johor police are being praised for drug busts and other major successes, I hope that Johor police chief, Datuk Mokhtar Shariff, can also look into the protection of law-abiding citizens, former government servants and retirees who are being robbed in their own homes in Larkin Gardens. 

It felt even sadder when I went to make a report because the police personnel at the station treated the case with a blasé attitude.  That's because these incidents are happening so often that it appears to be no longer a cause for concern.  But it matters to the victims and the police should not wait for a major break-in, robbery, threat on lives or death, to finally pay attention to this prevailing problem. 

One of our neighbours passed away recently due to old age and after his house was sold, the new owners have yet to move in.  In a chat among the neighbours yesterday, mum learnt that someone spotted lights in that vacant house at night and rather than imagine that there are wandering spirits, our guess is there may be intruders of the human kind.  This is another cause for concern and I hope that more Police patrols and their consistent presence in and around Larkin Gardens will be a deterrent to people with evil intention in our friendly neighbourhood.

Meanwhile, our peaceful nights are being interrupted by disturbed sleep and concern if we will wake up to discover that we are robbed of something else. 

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Johor Streets on 4 December 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment