Re: House burglary in cohousing?
From: Laura Fitch (
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2009 18:26:42 -0800 (PST)
It doesn't have to be urban.  We are suburban and we have had our share of
break ins and thefts.

We had a resident teenager rob a number of homes when we were all at the
common house for new years eve party.  This was 10+ years ago, and he has
become a fine young man - I think our community handled it well.  I had
someone in my house recently, but he must have been scared out the back door
as my young son came in the front.  He left a drawer overturned (the one
where my son keeps his wallet) so we think it might have been one of his
"friends", but not enough evidence to do anything about it.  We may be
experiencing a type of theft in our common house as we speak.  Returnable
glass milk bottles that our milk man picks up have been disappearing.
Presumable they are being turned in at a store for the $2 return.  This is a
big drag because it could mean the end a fabulous long-term relationship
with a local dairy farmer.

These crimes are minor when looked at in the balance of things.  Generally
we feel safe here, but many of us are locking our doors more.

On 2/7/09, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]> wrote:
> On Feb 7, 2009, at 4:45 PM, Rob Sandelin wrote:
> > Has anyone in any cohousing group anywhere ever experienced a house
> > burglary?
> We had a young boy go into a home and take a camera and some other
> things while the residents were taking naps. He was local boy about 10
> or 11 whose mother was training him to be a thief. He once tried to
> take a tricycle, riding it down the sidewalk in plain sight one
> morning. The resident who saw him asked him where he was going . He
> said, "Oh, I'm just out riding." The resident said I don't think so.
> The tricycle was for a 3-4 year old. He had done similar things in
> shops, public buildings, etc. For his own good, if nothing else, he
> was remanded to custody.
> Someone crawled through an unlocked window at night when the residents
> were away on vacation and stole a brand-new Macintosh, less than a
> month old. The residents hadn't worried about that window because it
> was over a basement entrance, maybe an 8 ft drop. We know there had to
> be two burglars for one to lean from the guardrail over to the window
> and open it, the other holding the feet or whatever. Once inside, he
> or she closed the window and went out the front door.
> We had a couple about 19-20 who were probably given the code to the CH
> years ago by one of our then teenagers and were coming in at night to
> have sex and watch TV. Everyone who saw them thought they were someone
> else's guests -- not having sex -- that we discovered later. If they
> came in when someone was there they would go to the elevator. We
> thought they were going upstairs to someone's apartment but they were
> going to the basement. Finally they were seen too often by the same
> person and the police were called.
> No charges were pressed but there was great debate about it. If we
> didn't  prosecute they would continue their life of crime. But on the
> other had caused us no harm. We should have been more diligent in
> changing our codes. I grew up in a Baptist church where the tempter is
> as guilty as the tempted.
> This is an urban community and I think there is certainly as much
> crime in the areas around us as we have had. This is a report on 8
> years. We may have less crime than we would otherwise. Hard to tell.
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing,Washington DC
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