Tis the season for gift giving and thieving opportunities

Last week my family and I ate dinner at a local restaurant. We were seated next to a man who started a conversation about the new bridge. After a few minutes we realized that we were neighbors. This was my first encounter with my new neighbor, until the other day when I saw him on my surveillance camera stealing my trailer and a lot of personal items ($10,000 worth of items).

When confronted by the police, he immediately confessed, stating that he was trying to help out a friend who was down on his luck. Helping one person by stealing from another? I call BS.

I will be following this man throughout his court proceedings. I will bring my children to see how the real system works. I will have signs printed and placed on my property warning my neighbors, because let’s be honest, if he did it once, he will probably do it again. The days of feeling that others respect what is yours are over. Don’t be fooled by TV shows that reflect quick justice, that doesn’t exist.

If you don’t have cameras, go get yourself some. For as little as $200 you can get a self-install system that you can monitor from your phone (how easy is that?). If you do find that something has been stolen, report it and follow up on it!

Do not take pity on a thief because they are a drug addict or down on their luck — each and every one of us makes decisions each day to do right or wrong. There is no excuse.

Until we as a society declare that we have “had enough” of justice for criminals and no rights for victims, nothing will change.

I can assure you that if this self-admitted thief gets pity from the courts, I will not extend that pity to those that let him off with a hand slap. Do you want this guy as a neighbor? Of course not.

We are not helping one another by constantly making excuses for bad behavior. Put on your big britches and be responsible for your actions.

During this holiday season, Santa is watching and so are the bad guys so keep your plans off social media, alert the police if you are going to be away and what vehicles should be on your property, and make sure that if you find that you have been a victim, don’t be ashamed to admit it and contact the authorities right away.

Remember knowledge is power and protecting what’s yours is your right. Merry Christmas!


Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.