The road to ruin

Published 10:47 pm Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A common response to the type of news that broke on Tuesday — the news that more than two dozen cars had been opened and ransacked in North Suffolk neighborhoods — is to suggest that the culprits probably were kids whose fun got out of hand.

In fact, the lack of rhyme or reason to the choice of what was taken and from where would seem to lend credence to the idea that the crimes were the work of a person or people with minds not fully developed, either because of youth or handicap. Some cars had coins, pocketknives and electronic devices like GPS units or iPods stolen, while other vehicles appeared only to have been searched.

What seems most likely is that a group of young people, flush with the extra time that comes from recently having been released from daily school commitments, went marauding through the Steeplechase and Harbor Breeze communities on Sunday and Monday nights. Unrestrained by common respect for the property and hard work of others and emboldened by the crowd mentality that pervaded in a crew of thugs, they lost themselves in the feeling of power that washed over them as they committed their crimes against sleeping neighbors.


Email newsletter signup

Some power. In it lies the ruin of a generation. In it is the shame of a city. In it grows the seed of even greater lawlessness. And on that decay feeds justice, which in an ironic twist will eventually strip these thugs of all their power, leaving them unable to decide for themselves when or what to eat, where to sleep and how to occupy their time.

We’d like to think that it’s true that kids were behind the string of ransacked vehicles in North Suffolk this week. Somehow, the news would be slightly more comforting then.

But what we’re really hoping for is that one of those “kids” who knows about what went on early in the week in those two neighborhoods to decide it’s time to be an adult — to get on the phone with police and to turn in the culprits, even if it means taking responsibility for their own part in the wave of destruction that took place there. There’s no better first step toward avoiding their own eventual destruction.