BLOG: All crime is local - | WBTV Charlotte

BLOG: All crime is local

Interesting what we saw happen this past week in the small town of Pageland, South Carolina. Thousands of guns and other property, suspected to be stolen, were found in a residence, business and other facilities occupied by a long-time area resident.  

I was at lunch when this story broke, and the person who was sitting at the table next to me, watching the same TV,  said, "How could this happen in such a small, quiet neighborhood?"  I immediately thought, "How?  Because all crime is local."

Whether it's petty crime or acts of terrorism, the perpetrators at one time or another have been America's neighbors.  Since I don't use the names of the bad guys so as not to further their cause (either past or present), let me give some general examples. Tucson, Arizona - al-Qaeda and 9/11. Lincoln, Montana - the Unabomber. Kingman, Arizona - Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing. Topton, North Carolina - the Atlanta Olympic Park bombing. And the list goes on.  Replace those towns names with what I call "Anytown, USA", and we soon see that the beginning of crime, in fact begins, in our very own neighborhoods.  

Many of us remember the days, especially in small communities, where you knew your neighbor.  As time has progressed though, we worry more that we are violating people's privacy.  For some reason, life has become so dynamic, that we have forgotten what evolution has taught us, that as tribes we survive and as individuals we perish.  

I was working in a major U.S. city a few years ago, where neighborhood crime had increased to a critical level due to criminal street gang violence.  The crime problem got bad.  Then it got worse.  Then it became terrible.  It was only then, almost overnight, that "the silent majority" (you have heard me refer to this group in previous blogs), came together.  They didn't reach to the state, they didn't reach to city hall, they reached within the most basic fundamental unit of society, the neighborhood, to take a stand.  Collectively, the neighborhood became empowered from within. They choose to take their stand as a tribal unit.  And the criminal element?  Without so much as a rumble, removed themselves from that neighborhood and relocated.  

You see, once a community recognizes that all crime is local, they stop looking to the outside and begin looking to the inside.  Then we begin to see what is most important.  Because it is truly that, which we have the ability to influence.  Our own neighborhood.  

My advice, get to know your neighbors.  Get to know your neighborhood.  Don't be paranoid, be vigilant. Communicate among your neighbors.  Because if you do, you will often be amazed at what you hear.

Don't let the bad guys win!

Copyright 2015 WBTV. All rights reserved.

Karl de la Guerra, PPS, CLSS

Karl de la Guerra is WBTV’s security analyst. He has spent the past 39 years in the protective services industry, with experience in military law enforcement, civilian law enforcement and international corporate security management. For more information, visit
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