The Perfect Elements for a Crime

Did someone pull off the perfect crime last week in San Jose? Consider the elements: The house in question, including the address, was published in many news accounts. The occupant was publicly known to be traveling during the break-in. Police in San Jose, due to a lack of officers, do not respond to crimes in progress unless bodily harm is imminent. Oh yeah. And they don't investigate burglaries after the fact.

For these reasons, San Francisco 49ers player Ray McDonald became another crime statistic in San Jose. He was the victim of the robbery.

In a previous high-profile incident, McDonald was arrested for domestic violence. He remains under investigation but has not been charged. Meanwhile, his home and elements of his personal life have become public information. The burglars may have been after the oft-mentioned firearm that has been rumored to exist at the residence.

According to people who live in the area, burglars are prevalent in the neighborhood.  Apparently these burglars also watch television. They knew the 49ers were playing a game in Arizona last weekend. What chance did McDonald have in these circumstances? He might as well have put a sign on his lawn saying, “Please feel free to rob this house. I will be out of town.”

Privacy, even for non-public individuals, is a quaint notion that no longer exists in our society. Technology—smart phone cameras, social media, etc.—has eradicated the entire concept, and the law is feckless to the point of absurdity. When celebrities can have nude pictures stolen and posted online, when GPS systems can be hacked to follow your every move and people's phone's can be accessed to expose who you are, what you have done, when you are doing it and even where you live—well, game over.

Not even Supreme Court Justice William O'Douglas’ famous penumbra of the Fourth Amendment can save individuals from the technology criminals use to obtain our personal information. Google anyone, and unless they are entirely off the grid, some personal information can be obtained.

Hackers recently infiltrated Home Depot’s credit card system. All that personal information is in the hands of thieves. Law enforcement can only try to play catch up.

But there are some things you can do to protect yourself in anticipation of a breach of privacy. Of course, many of these "protections" are invasions themselves. Cameras, credit monitoring services, alarm systems—all can be helpful, but nothing is guaranteed.

If you are a public figure, like Ray McDonald, it is much harder to protect your privacy. The best hope for McDonald, or any victim of a crime, is to have a competent police agency thoroughly investigate the incident and bring those who violated the law to justice as a warning to others.

Rich Robinson is an attorney and political consultant in Silicon Valley. Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside.

18 Comments

  1. Rich can you tell me the difference, if any between a Miss America Pageant and pro sports? I’ve been seeing the fem-dems sharing someones rant on the pageant, and here are my thoughts.

    Pro Sports VS Pageants.

    Similar:

    Both focus on physical attributes
    Both put little focus on a persons ability to think critically
    Both Set up unrealistic body images
    Both have people running around in skin tight clothing
    Both make people that don’t fit the unrealistic body image feel bad about themselves.

    Dissimilar

    Football brings in more taxes than pageants
    Football gets more tax breaks (even tax free)
    Football stadiums tear up neighborhoods as aging politicians try to build effigies to themselves
    Football fans have been known to tear up neighborhoods after losing a game (beauty pageant attendees have never done this)
    Football has been wrought with spousal abuse
    Football players have been involved in tons of major scandals.

    While I’m all for people being healthy and fit, I don’t think showing little boys these steroid ridden, violent “Free passed” through school thugs is the right role model for them. I don’t think giving them free passes to the county shooting range, and helicopter rides is right either.

  2. Rich,

    What a piece of crap article, trying to place the blame on the police department that out very city council has ruined. And you wonder why do not investigate burglaries. Because there or no officers left to do so. If you want to protect your privacy do not get arrested for domestic violence and your information will not become public information.

    Are you representing Ray in court?

  3. Oh, forgot to ask, where was the alleged victim, is she still living in the house? Does he have an alarm at his residence? And with all the money a professional football player makes, how about a private security officer to watch his house on away games, maybe a trusted house sitter? Humm. All the blame is on Ray.

      • Kind of like leaving your keys in your unlocked car. Guess all the blame is on the person who drives your car away.

        • > Kind of like leaving your keys in your unlocked car. Guess all the blame is on the person who drives your car away.

          If you find someone’s wallet, you get to keep the money, right?

  4. I actually thought that the perfect crime was one that nobody knew was even committed. But then I guess that would be hard to write about.

  5. “Police in San Jose, due to a lack of officers, do not respond to crimes in progress unless bodily harm is imminent. Oh yeah. And they don’t investigate burglaries after the fact.” “He was the victim of the robbery.”

    Rich, none of these statements are true.
    -SJPD does respond to calls in progress, but they do prioritize calls that threaten bodily harm; and that is how all other police departments prioritize.
    -SJPD does investigate robberies if there is evidence that can lead to suspect ID. Read the paper, several burglars have been arrested just recently based on SJPD investigations.
    -It was not a robbery, it was a burglary – and there is a big difference between the crimes. And you know the difference.

    But don’t let the facts get in your way, continue your fear mongering for political advantage.

    Interesting that you don’t blame many of the liberal state officials you helped get into office who have decided that releasing prisoners who commit property crimes like this is a good idea. Property crimes are up throughout the state and the region, not just in SJ. In fact, there have been much greater increases in burglary rates in some of our surrounding cities. Year to date comparisons show they are actually down in SJ.

    But again, don’t let the facts color your poor judgement.

  6. Burglary is a form of robbery–legal definitions and consequences notwithstanding. And due to budget cuts and lack of resources the SJPD–effectively– does not respond to burglaries.

    • Your Richness:

      You wouldn’t be trying to scare the public, would you?

      Mercury News editorial says the crime stats are not as bad as you and the police union say.

      Also, the sky is not falling. We’re not going to die from global warming.

  7. Crime is worse relative to other cities around us. It will continue to get worse if we do not begin to hire more police. Not fear, reality. We will not die from global warming, our children and grandchildren–not so lucky.

    • Rich, Once again you make a statement without any evidence to back it up. I suggest you check the statewide and countywide statistics. Property crime IS up throughout the county. Some of the others cities have experienced a larger increase than SJ. Those cities just dont get the press. Last year when SJ had a 35+% increase in burglary, Sunnyvale and Palo Alto reported over 45% increases. If I remember correctly, the one mercury news article written about the increases reported one city up over 60%.

      Please show us the crime stats from these other cities in the county: Santa Clara, Milpitas, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto. If you look these up, you will then be able to support your argument with facts. I know this is something you are not used to doing, but I encourage you to try it.

  8. As for Merc Editorial, it is all in the rhetoric. Property crimes are at a 10 year high! Crime normally increases during “bad” economic times and decreases during “good” economic times. That we have these many burglaries in SJ (not a violent crime) is directly related to the lack of police.

    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/San-Jose-Residents-Fear-Property-Crimes-Will-Increase-Insurance-Rates-277155901.html

    Link supplied by the Daily Fetch–which provides an amusing round-up of daily stories, albeit with an edge.

    • > Crime normally increases during “bad” economic times and decreases during “good” economic times.

      Rich:

      We’re living in “good” economic times. It’s the Obama recovery, don’t you know.

      Crime is down.

    • Except in San Jose, why the anomaly?
      You really don’t know? Let’s compare Palo Alto to San Jose.

      Schools not surrounded by section 8 and squalor.

      Hands down PA and Stanford have SJSU beat here. SJSU could be a world class school, in fact at one time it was a rising star of education, but unfortunately permeation of halfway houses and section 8 around SJSU has made it a place many would consider too dangerous to send their young daughters too. (Please, stop by my facebook, see what a cute girl I have)

      Unsatisfactory k-8 and prep schools
      When you can afford not to send them there, why send your kid to any school here? Our local public schools don’t really churn out kids ready for Ivy league colleges, let CSU’s.

      Lack of exotic recreation
      The #1 GREAT exotic recreation SF, Oakland, Berkley, and even PA (Redwood city) have that SJ does not, Marina’s. Yatch clubs. We can also throw Horse stables in there. Used to be able to rent and ride them at Alum Rock park, and a few others. All gone now. We do have a private airport, but big whoop, it’s in the ghetto. Reid Hillview is the budget rich mans airport.

      Little class segregation of neighborhoods
      In PA, you have the 101 separating EPA from WPA. That’s pretty huge. In SJ we have the 101, the 680, but instead of a sharp distinction between neighborhoods, there is little physically separating them.

      High Crime
      Goes without saying, even when we WERE the 10th safest city, we weren’t nearly as safe as WPA, not by a longshot.

      Lack of Office space near decent housing
      C level executives do not want to commute more than 10 minutes to work. They also don’t want to drive through tagger and gang infested neighborhoods to reach the office. Ever job creating C level exec I know would rather get less house in PA closer to work, than more house in SJ far from work.

      I’m bored, I can say so much more about this. It’s not an anomaly Rich. Our 2040 plan will do nothing to address the above, and will make it worse through more HD housing.. It’s planned failure.

    • Do a google news search for”palo alto burglaries” and you will get a half a dozen pages of news hits for burglaries in the last couple of months.

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