Things your burglar won’t tell you

We were researching burglaries in St. George after I noticed more home burglaries than I remembered there being in year’s past. As it turns out, home burglaries follow a close second to vehicle burglaries. Business and storage shed burglaries were rare in comparison.

The same day we published the article, I received this email and I thought it was worth sharing:


1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week.  While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste… and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it..

5. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom – and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door – understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.)

10. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.

12. You’re right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television.


1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard.. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

3. I’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s human nature.

4.. I’m not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

5. I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I’d like. I’ll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It’s easier than you think to look up your address.

7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air.. To me, it’s an invitation.

8. If you don’t answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina, Oregon, California, and Kentucky; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.

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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in In Jen's Opinion



Don’t shoot the messenger

I’ve been following this story in China where a toddler was run over by not one, but multiple vehicles. As she was lying bleeding and dying in the street, pedestrians kept walking, drivers kept running her over. Who knows where her parents were. Finally, someone ran to her aid.

It’s hard to imagine a world so desensitized and selfish but it’s happening.

Here in Washington County I’ve seen countless vehicle accidents lately. Too many people have lost their lives, many came close. Talking to Officer Craig Harding on the radio show last week, we discussed that many accidents are due to distracted drivers, i.e. cell phones.

A couple years ago I was driving on Bluff Street when I received a text. I responded to the text and then pulled into a gas station. A man in the vehicle behind me scolded me for it. It was embarrassing to say the least, but I learned a good lesson. Now I try to put my phone where I can’t reach it while I’m driving. I’ve seen the videos on YouTube. The teenagers dying in car accidents because they were talking and driving or texting and driving.

Today I was driving up the Boulevard. Ahead of me in the left lane I saw that a city worker had put out cones as he worked on the road. I slowed, looked behind me, turned on my blinker. The car in the right lane slowed, made sure there was enough room to move over, and let me in. As I began to merge, I saw in my rearview mirror a gray Ford truck zip around that car and cut in front of them, narrowly making it and nearly running me off the road. I swerved back into the left lane and braked hard to avoid the city worker walking in the street, unaware that he could have just been killed.

We’ve all been there. A car cuts you off and you’re angry. You want to get even but you don’t. You want to call the police and get them ticketed, but still you don’t. As the blonde driver passed me, she looked right at me but continued her cell phone conversation without so much as a wave, an apology, even a hint of sorrow that she just cut off two vehicles and could have gotten a pedestrian killed.

I wasn’t angry. I was shocked.

I looked at her license plate but knew I wasn’t going to call the police. But I did notice the sticker in her back window advertising a local business. I knew the owner. I wondered if he’d be surprised if an employee was driving recklessly while advertising his business. I liked this owner. Many times I have referred friends and even strangers his way. I respected him.

I thought I’d give him a call. I was polite. It wasn’t his fault. First I asked if he had an employee with a gray truck or if the gray truck belonged to his business. He hesitated and stumbled on his words a bit, but he said no. I didn’t feel like it mattered anymore then. No point in bringing it up, but he asked me why. I casually and quickly recounted the events and was just about to the end the conversation with a but-since-you-don’t-own-the-truck-definitely-not-your-problem-have-a-good-day tone in my voice.

Had I been walking, his reply would have stopped me dead in my tracks.

He got angry with me. Really angry. He said something like “haven’t you ever made a mistake” without giving me a chance to answer.

I would hope that if my mistake was endangering other people’s lives, that someone would have informed me. You’d think I’d sent SWAT to his doorstep to arrest his wife with the way he got upset.

I lost respect for him at that moment. I will never again refer people to his place of business, which I’m sure suits him fine since he doesn’t appear to respect me either.

When did we become that sort of society where hurting other people, violently or physically, or narrowly doing so, for our own selfish purposes (a phone call that just couldn’t wait), that we get angry at those who simply talk about it? We get angry with those who ask us not to endanger the lives of others?

Maybe I should have said nothing and minded my own business. But then again, since the blonde nearly forced me to run an innocent man over, I would say that was somewhat my business.


Posted by on October 28, 2011 in In Jen's Opinion


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Elmo tells CNN he’d fix Congress with play dates

elmo fixes congress with play dates

Those who know me know that I am huge fan of Elmo. I can’t help it. His laugh gets me every time. I’m that annoying person in the store who always pushes the Elmo talking dolls repeatedly.

But now I have even more of a reason to love Elmo.

Elmo joined CNN’s Erin Burnett to speak up about how he would fix Congress. His answer was surprisingly simple: play dates.

Elmo also suggested that everyone bring their food (a much better idea than taking it from someone else), and that they must all share their food with each other. He then suggested everyone sing together.

(Watch video here)

I told you it was simple. And for a moment, it almost gave me hope. I’m sure that will dwindle the second I watch another GOP debate or an interview where Rick Perry just can’t let go of the birther issue with Obama. (Does Perry have nothing else to run on?)

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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Politics


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Is Sherri Shepherd saying only white people are racist?

barbara walters says nigger

Some words should just never be used. Not by whites, blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, women, men, children, Mormons, Catholics – not by any of us.

I can think of a long list of words that fall into this category. They are words I just don’t ever, ever use. Such as “cu**,” the “N” word, “tits,” “cock,” etc.

Other words in my home that cannot be used are “stupid,” “shut up” and “freaking.” It’s really quite irritating to hear a 3-year-old say, “I said freaking stop.” I try to teach my children to use better vocabulary and some words are just degrading and disrespectful. When we allow others to use these words against us, we are saying, “I don’t respectful myself so you don’t have to either.”

That said, while I don’t believe in using certain language, why is it okay for some and not others based on their gender, race or sexual orientation?

I read an article in QSaltLake yesterday that said “… where queer-minded people …” It used the word “queer” multiple times. If I said that, as a heterosexual, in any of my articles, I’m pretty sure I’d be getting some hate mail.

Then I watched the highly debated clip from The View in which Whoopi Goldberg says the “N” word, multiple times. Barbara Walters, saying the name of an actual place and not in slang, says the “N” word. Sherri Shepherd has a come apart.

Watch clip here

Skip to 2:40 into the video and you clearly hear and see her telling Walters that it is okay for Goldberg to say the word, but it is NOT okay for Walters. Why? Because she’s white.

Am I the only one realizing that this makes Shepherd racist?

And since she continuously shows her racism throughout the nearly 10-minute clip, why isn’t everyone outraged about this? Instead they are angry with Walters and those like Dr. Laura for saying a word, not in harshness, that black people say all the time.

Are only white people racist? Do other races get a pass for some reason? Aren’t bad words still bad words no matter who says them?


Posted by on October 17, 2011 in In Jen's Opinion


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War on Drugs: DEA focuses on the innocent

When we hear that the bad guys are selling drugs to our 11-year-old middle schoolers, we are grateful for the protection of the police department. When we hear that an innocent man was shot as a drug dealer fled police, we are grateful for the justice system that locks up the drug dealer. When a 28-year-old mother is killed in Philly after being the innocent victim in a shootout intended for someone else, we mourn and ask what more can be done. When Mexican Drug Cartel come to our unsuspecting, quiet towns in Utah and put citizens in danger by starting marijuana grows in the places we hunt and camp, we celebrate the local police and DEA who hunt them down. When the DEA seizes the property of a rancher who unknowingly rented a room at his hotel to a drug user, we … wait, what?

The War on Drugs is meant to fight the bad guys, isn’t it? Our taxpayer dollars are being used to hunt out the gang members who ruin the lives of children and illegally cross into our country to sell drugs to those who should be in treatment, right? It’s not possible that the DEA and our own Attorney General Eric Holder would do something out of these guidelines, is it?

Sadly, it seems so.

While 51% of Americans are paying for 49% of Americans (does not include non citizens) to be on welfare programs, while protestors are storming the streets and bridges of the cities around the country begging the government to intervene in unfair corporate practices (even though it’s the government’s fault), while Eric Holder continues to deny his involvement in Fast and Furious, a retiring couple who was trying to live the American Dream is having their land unfairly taken from them by the very organization that is supposed to protect them: the DEA.

Sound disturbing? Read the story.

Russell and Patricia Coswell are hard-working Americans now victim of civil forfeiture laws, which say that because some of the people who rented rooms at the Motel Coswell were drug users and arrested for drug practices, the DEA can now seize the property estimated to be worth over $1 million – even though the DEA admits the Coswell’s have done nothing wrong.

The Coswells themselves have tried to keep drugs off their property, installing cameras and calling police to report suspicious activity.  And now the federal government has filed papers in court to seize the property.

“But civil forfeiture laws treat property owners worse than criminals. Criminals must be proven guilty before their property is taken. Once the government targets a property for civil forfeiture, however, the property owner must prove his innocence. For the Caswells, that means squaring off against the U.S. attorney’s office in federal court to make the difficult if not impossible case that they did not know that guests brought drugs into their rented rooms.

Even more shocking, local police and the federal government have a direct financial stake in the forfeiture. Through so-called ‘equitable sharing,’ Washington pays local police departments 80 percent of what they seize and keeps the rest.”

I’m wondering why they don’t come for our local Motel 6. Guess there isn’t as much profit in it.


Posted by on October 13, 2011 in In Jen's Opinion


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‘Occupy’ organizers: Where were you?

When Occupy Wall Street began protesting a month ago, I was excited to see “something” being done. It wasn’t necessarily the “something” I had been arguing for on Fox News Radio each time I compelled listeners to pay attention to what is happening to America and what our government is doing to it’s citizens.

I am new to this realization that our freedoms have been taken away from us little by little, in such a way that we freely give them up believing it will keep us safer. I am new to the realization that more taxes and more spending and more entitlement programs and bailouts are bankrupting not only our country, but individual households. Greed and fear have gripped our nation until we’ve begged the government to save us with stricter laws and more welfare programs, while hardworking Americans are laughed at and called “selfish.”

So when the Occupy movement began, I was excited to see some action. And then came “Occupy Saint George,” and I watched from the sidelines to see what they were about. They have said they are not sure what their demands are, but they are going to be heard by marching through city offices and attending a city council meeting to make their presence known.

By all means, there are usually plenty of seats. (They do realize some key officials are not in this week due to the Wagon Train, right?)

It wasn’t long ago, maybe a month ago, that the City of St. George held an open town hall meeting where residents could be seen and heard. Where were these protestors then, I ask? Two weeks Fox News Radio held a city council candidates debate and asked for public input and invited them to attend the event for free. Where were the protestors then? Primary elections were held in September, and only 12% of voters showed up. Where were the protestors then? When you are asked to volunteer and make your community better, are you there?

One of the Occupy Saint George organizers is occasionally there. He has made his presence known, he has made his voice heard. I commend him for trying to help make the city a better place to live. But I wonder, is that what they are asking for? And how do they plan on doing it aside from a few protests on Saturdays?

To all Occupiers, I know what you are against. It is easy to point blame and say “things suck.” But tell me what you are for. Tell me what you believe in, and tell me how you are going to accomplish it. Are you going to volunteer and participate in your city dealings, or just complain about them and march in a few protests until you find something better to do with your time?

Before making “demands” on the city or the government, first establish who is responsible for answering to your demands.

You are. We must take responsibility for our contributions to the mess before we can fix them. If you really want change, it starts with you. And until there is some organization and clear goals from the Occupiers, I fear no one will take this very seriously.

And if those goals include more laws, more government, more invasion of the free market by Congress and forgiving student loan debt, then Occupiers are only asking for more of what they say they are against.


Posted by on October 11, 2011 in In Jen's Opinion


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This is what we’ve created: Judge Judy points out flaws with entitlement programs

Before you read this, please view the above video in its entirety. I was told this clip was removed from CBS. I hope the video works by the time you read this.

(Waiting. No seriously, go watch the video. I’ll still be here when you return.)

Did you watch it? Are you shocked? Has your jaw dropped to the floor?

I should end this blog right here. The video says it all.

But if you watch it, you realize there are still those out there who don’t get it! $70,000+ thrown down the drain! $70,000 to educate a man who doesn’t understand that he has to pay rent with the money the taxpayers gave him for RENT. He decided he didn’t want to pay rent, so he spent the money elsewhere. On himself, he admits. And the worst part, he doesn’t see the problem with that.

As Judge Judy said, we don’t want to pay for your rent, but the government says we have to!

Folks, I don’t want people living on the streets and going hungry but where does it end? Our entitlement programs are not only helping to bankrupt our country, but this is the type of Americans we are creating. What a sad future for our great country if these people will be running things some day.

And while I’m complaining, a message to our Congress:

Please stop using our hard earned money on people who won’t return the favor. Please stop using our taxpayer dollars to fund wars we didn’t agree to and aren’t officially involved in. Please stop building universities in countries that hate us and don’t want us there, but will take our handouts. Please quit taking away our manufacturing jobs and putting Americans on unemployment, and then giving 52 billion dollars to a bank that should have gone under and doesn’t deserve to remain in business. Please stop bailing out large corporations at the expense of the people who elected you into office.

Because if you don’t, we will take back America. We will vote you out. We will march peacefully on the Brooklyn Bridge regardless of how many of us you arrest. We will stand united for the people, not for the members of Congress who steal our money to gain power.

God bless America!


Posted by on October 3, 2011 in In Jen's Opinion, Politics


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