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Opinion | Burglar arrest shows that when you bond with neighbors, the whole community benefits
On our website this week are two articles that don’t seem related. Yet they are.
First, we meet Tia Borgioli, whose family has lived in Snoqualmie for two years, and who happens to be, through circumstance as well as by design and effort, deeply connected to her neighbors.
So connected, in fact, that she put herself in harm’s way to protect, not just her family, but her tightly-knit neighborhood. Tia did something that I think many others might not have the guts to do—confront two burglary suspects, demand to know their business, and then promptly call the cops. She braved a gun to the head in her effort to stop the threat of crime in her neighborhood.
She was able to do this because Tia is a good neighbor. She knows who her neighbors are. They know who she is. Since they’re not strangers, they can mind each other’s business in the event of a threat—like door-to-door robbers using a U-Haul van as cover for their dirty deeds.
Borgioli has given a lot of thought to why she stood up to the burglary suspects. Knowing all that she does now, she’d do it again.
“The one piece I can really take from this is, I feel like my community, my neighbors, the people over here—they mean so much,” Borgioli told me. “When people come into your community and break into your homes, it makes people feel really unsafe and untrusting. It made me realize that we need to take our neighborhoods back.”
Taking them back is a lot simpler than we suspect. As Tia points out, there are a lot more residents and neighbors compared to the criminals. Knowing that gives the vast, law-abiding majority that much more power.
I’m still struck by the network of links, in a neighborhood, that made Tia’s response possible. How many other Valley neighborhoods can boast this kind of connection? How many of your neighbors do you know? Would you have the background knowledge necessary to intervene—if not stand between an armed man and his getaway, then at least to know when something’s wrong, so you can call for help.
This is a good reminder to always call 9-1-1 when you see something suspicious.
Being connected is a kind of preparedness. Preparedness is also the topic of our piece on the local Search and Rescue team members. It’s been some years since we underlined the 10 Essentials, vital items that can save your life when you’re in backcountry, or just driving over the pass.
The recent search for the lost wingsuit-wearing Florida skydiver brings this home. You never know what can happen, in the wilderness or your neighborhood.
Prepare yourself, both with a kit, as in the 10 Essentials, and with connections and knowledge, in your own neighborhood, so that you can stay safe and deal with trouble when it comes.