Keeping Vigil: Protecting Your Home From Burglars - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Keeping Vigil: Protecting Your Home From Burglars

SPOKANE, Wash. – Meet Joe Rungo, a reformed convict trying to get his life back on track.  KHQ's Stephanie Vigil spent a day with Rungo to get an idea of how a home burglar's mind works.  Below is the transcript of their conversation.

STEPH: Do People get into crime because it's an easy opportunity, the money's fast?

JOE: "I think a lot of it is where they come from, who raised them, what kind of friends they have. If there's people in their life that show them, "Hey this is what you can do" like people show other people "He you should go to school, or apply for this job, or what would you be interested in as a major."

JOE:" There's a whole ‘nother culture that's like "hey do you want to be a drug dealer? or do you want to help me collect the money that people owe a drug dealer? Or do you want to be a burglar?"

STEPH: Does a burglar Scope a place out?

JOE: "The typical burglar is somebody who lives in the neighborhood he's going to burglarize. It's about opportunity stuff. they're lazy, they'll see a car that's full of stuff and that'll be the car they want to break into, or there will be a house that has a dark front yard, a garage is open and it looks like they can hide."

"A nice barking dog, that helps. More than anything, visibility. If the place is lit up and it doesn't look like there's anything there, the garage is shut, there's nothing expensive on the porch, you know you got a light on, the car is locked up, they're gonna go down the street and  look for the guy who has the bikes out, or the side gate is open and they can get in the backyard."

STEPH: "Talking about Crime and Burglaries and Drugs, are they all interconnected?"

JOE: "I would say so."

JOE: "Drugs, stolen property,, firearms, jewelry, burglary, stolen cars, domestic violence, identity theft, all of it. It's all together. It's basically how it works."

JOE: "The typical burglar in Spokane I would say is on something, owes money for something, needs to be on something or is in between something."

STEPH: "when you think about the typical homeowner who has to deal with that, should they be armed? Should we all be worried that our homes are going to be burglarized?"

JOE: "You know, I would almost say yeah."

JOE: "If I could legally protect myself and there's some crazy person that hasn't been to bed in a week coming into to take my stuff, and I have my daughter with me, I'd feel better with a gun."

STEPH: "When you were out there doing a life a crime and meeting other people who would bring you stolen stuff, do they care that there may be a gun on the other side of the door when they break into someone's house?"

JOE: "I think any human being would think, "Well I can get shot here," but when you're caught up in the middle of the game you're not really thinking about it, all you're thinking about is, "Can I successfully get this and get paid for this."

JOE: "How it works is it's easy come easy go. There's a dozen open garages, there's a bunch cars parked wrong with windows down, there's all kinds of stuff that people can help themselves to quickly and easily and then that's the end of it, you can go on to the next thing."

STEPH: "What Are your days like today?

JOE: "I've got a lot of catching up to do and I don't want to do what I've always done. It's like a constant, I wouldn't say battle because I've got it pretty set in my head that if I behave that way the future sucks if I'm speaking frankly."

JOE: "What's that saying, 'the best motivation for change is usually a great deal of pain."

JOE: "But then the other thought is, everything happens for a reason. I'm here today and this is how I got there and all I can do is just keep going forward."

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