As parents, we do our best to teach our children the values we believe in, which for most of us would include honesty, integrity, playing by the rules (including the Golden Rule), abiding by the law, and doubtless a few others. But what happens when you and yours are put to the test? Here’s a story about a burglary, and while the ending may not be happy, at least one could view it as positive. This tale also includes an element of tough love, and may cause you to think about how your own family would react in the same situation. I recommend you read this news report from Woods Cross, Utah, and draw your own conclusions.
While a father and son were watching television together, the father recognized his son in surveillance video from a burglary and encouraged him to turn himself in, police say. Jeremy Blair, 26, of Kaysville, was arrested Friday and booked into the Davis County Jail for investigation of burglary and criminal mischief after turning himself over to authorities for his involvement in a computer store burglary on March 6, said Woods Cross police detective Adam Osoro.
How it Unfolded
As Blair and his father were watching the TV newscast, the father apparently recognized his son as the burglar on the screen and, after some persuasion, drove Blair to the jail where he surrendered to authorities. “This case is very unique for a father to recognize that his son has a problem,” Osoro said. “It’s a hard thing to do, but I think ultimately it’s the best thing for the son and I think the father sees that.”
Details on the Crime
Police responded to a burglary alarm at Starwest Computers just after midnight on March 6 and found that approximately $6,500 worth of computer equipment had been stolen, as well as $2,500 worth of damage to the store’s door and displays. Surveillance footage showed two Caucasian men committing the burglary and the vehicle they were driving was a dark Audi A4. “The damage is just so much more than even what they steal,” Josh Holley, owner of Starwest Computers, said. “It takes almost a full day to clean up after them.”
Not the First Time
The business has been the victim of a number of burglaries. Holley said this latest incident is the fourth burglary in three years, with two occurring in the past six months. “It’s extremely frustrating,” he said. “Our insurance company dropped us at the end of the year.” Holly said security measures were increased following the previous burglaries, including the installation of the security cameras that ultimately led to Blair’s arrest.
Big Test for a Parent
Detective Osoro said Blair’s father seemed surprised and disappointed by his son’s alleged actions. He said the father was adamant that his son take responsibility for what he had allegedly done. “He’s a very responsible guy,” Osoro said. “I think he’s proud of his actions. I don’t think he’s proud of what his son has done.” Holly also expressed respect for the difficult but honest decision by the father. “I think that’s pretty awesome,” he said. “Being a parent myself, that’s what I would do.”
A Different Parenting Approach
This issue reminds me a bit of Alex Kelly, the teen from Darien, CT who was charged with two rapes, then fled the US in 1987 and lived on the run in Europe for seven years – apparently supported by his parents. In fact, in 1995 police found pictures in the Kelly home in Darien of Kelly with his parents in Europe, after the parents had claimed to be ignorant of his whereabouts. The parents were later arrested for obstruction, and seemingly it was their arrest that finally drove Kelly to surrender to authorities. He returned to the US, was convicted of both rapes, and served ten years of his seventeen year sentence. While Alex Kelly’s parents may have been confronting a more severe crime, with more serious repercussions, it appears they had a very different idea of what constitutes good parental guidance than the father in the story from Utah.
While FrontPoint is all about providing the peace of mind that comes from protecting our homes and families, it’s good to remember from time to time that there are different kinds of lessons we can all learn from crime reports that come across the wire. Sometimes it’s not just a question of what we do to make our homes more secure: there may be larger issues in play, as in this story, where it’s about the values that we teach as parents. We’ll keep the news, and the questions, coming. We’re not just the leader in interactive, wireless home security – we’re also members of a larger family.