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No More Safe Suburbs: Have You Been A Victim Lately?

Have you seen broken glass on the pavement lately? If you live, drive, or park, in the SF Bay Area chances are you have seen the tell-tale signs of yet another car break-in. The pebble-like chunks of slightly greenish automotive glass are distinct signs of a crime-wave that has been targeting all of us --or, at least, all of us with cars-- for years.

Car break-ins have become so ubiquitous in San Francisco that the SF Chronicle posts a "Car Break-In Tracker" online. You can download the app if you want! Check out the weekly stats for each neighborhood.

Across the bridge in Marin we've felt materially safer for years. Despite the fact that Novato and San Rafael are both, technically, cities, most people in the Bay Area think of Marin as one giant affluent suburb.

The reality is that for some Marinites the county is a Potemkin Village of safety and affluence. Looks great on the surface, but dig a little deeper and things aren't quite as gilded as the realtors make it seem.

Yes, Marin County usually makes the nationwide TOP TEN LIST of most affluent counties. Maybe Marin's kneejerk cultural woke-ism makes sense. This is a county that is part of the .1%, not the 1%, the .1%.

People virtue-signal their "concern" over "inequality" in Marin, but the reality is that at least some of the people labeled "privileged" are falling apart themselves. Read some of the biographies, true-crime tell-alls and semi-autobiographical novels written by survivors of Marin's sometimes questionable culture of indulgence, and it is strikingly apparent that "denial" is one of the metaphorical houses you can live in in Marin.

But, there is nothing metaphorical about broken glass on the sidewalk, stolen catalytic converters, stabbings and burglaries.

Almost two years ago "the inequality activists" went a little bats when the MarinGOP dared point out that we had a San Francisco style homeless style encampment in downtown Novato. According to the comments our article garnered it is "me me me" and "selfish" to want public parks to remain PUBLIC PARKS for the use of the average resident, rather than homeless encampments.

Fast forward to 2023 and the woke virtue signalers are still living in the land of denial. But, for those of us who live in the real world of Marin, there are small but crucial questions we need to ask ourselves every day; Where is it safe to park? Do we have "visible valuables" in the back-seat? What constitutes a "valuable" anyway? We think of laptop bags and cellphones as "valuable," but what if the person who is breaking into cars thinks your sunglasses are a "valuable"? Park in the wrong place, make the wrong decision, and you could be looking at a $500.- bill for a window replacement. We checked it out, a rear-window replacement can cost you about $500.- A passenger window replacement costs anywhere between $150.- to $300.-

In the litany of recent crimes, a car break-in seems like a petty sort of thing. In the past few days alone there was a stabbing in Novato. In the past few months there was a drug bust that netted over FOUR POUNDS of fentanyl, and a multi-person shoot-out.

In general, despite the news stories, Marin County has a median crime rate --half of all American counties have a higher crime rate, half have a lower crime rate. But, our car break-in rates are uncomfortably high.

And, the cost of a car break-in has an echo effect through society.

Our woke neighbors hyperventilate over "income inequality" and the need for UBI --universal basic income-- because, according to a number of possibly questionable studies over half of all Americans don't have $500.- $1,000.- to pay for an "emergency." Well, what is a broken window if not an emergency? If we think about property crime in a logical fashion, taking a laissez faire approach to car break-ins penalizes people living on the financial edge. It penalizes everyone, but it really HURTS people who are scraping by to make ends meet. What does it mean to have a sudden $500.- bill because you have been the victim of a crime?

What if it happens more than once? What if it happens so frequently that ALL of our car insurance rates go up? What is it like to feel vulnerable in the suburbs?

These are questions the trophy-husband of a trust-fund heiress doesn't have to ask. But, they're questions a lot of us do have to ask. And they're questions we, as Republicans, should be talking about.

Have you been the victim of a crime? How much did it cost? Was your neighbor the victim of a crime? How much does it cost society as a whole when crime is normalized?

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