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Old 07-16-2009, 02:48 PM
 
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Have you ever been mugged or had your car broken into or stolen or apartment burgled in your apartment complex? Was it a gated or non-gated unit? Simple intuition would suggest that gated complexes are safer, but I'm curious as to whether this has worked out for Houstonian posters on City Data.
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:52 PM
 
Location: ✶✶✶✶
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Thieves Target 42 Cars At 1 Complex - Click2Houston.com- msnbc.com (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31856315/ns/local_news-houston_tx/ - broken link)

Anyone can get in if they really want to.
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:57 PM
 
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I am not a big believer in the gates. They are finicky pieces of machinery that people bump with their cars, or otherwise abuse, and they tend to be broken more often than not.

How many of you have followed another car into a gated place before? It ain't hard.

It can minimize foot traffic some. To me the real trick is selecting a complex that basically sits alone and is not in an "apartment row." None of that is a guarantee of anything, but it helps.
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfre81 View Post
Thieves Target 42 Cars At 1 Complex - Click2Houston.com- msnbc.com (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31856315/ns/local_news-houston_tx/ - broken link)

Anyone can get in if they really want to.
Was that particular complex located in a high crime zip code?
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:05 PM
 
Location: ✶✶✶✶
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhang Fei View Post
Was that particular complex located in a high crime zip code?
Not that it matters, because this sort of stuff can happen anywhere.
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jfre81 View Post
Not that it matters, because this sort of stuff can happen anywhere.
It *can* certainly happen anywhere - but the frequency clearly varies by zip code. Someone could have tried breaking into my apartment while I was inside or stealing my bicycle from under me *anywhere*, but it's only happened in a specific neighborhood I lived in, back when I was young, poor and (felt) indestructible.
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:15 PM
 
Location: ✶✶✶✶
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I don't think it's by ZIP code, really. If you know criminals who say "hey, I'd rather break into this car rather than that one because it's in (insert ZIP here) rather than (insert other ZIP here) then you know some rather anal retentive criminals.

Houston's a block by block adventure, as the wise modster says.

I don't really think of the area around the Alexan as "high crime" in, say, the Fondren Southwest sense, if that's what you really want to know.
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jfre81 View Post
I don't think it's by ZIP code, really. If you know criminals who say "hey, I'd rather break into this car rather than that one because it's in (insert ZIP here) rather than (insert other ZIP here) then you know some rather anal retentive criminals.
I think the reason crime tends to cluster in particular zip codes is because criminals live there. I expect that criminals, like non-criminals, like short commutes to and from work. Unlike non-criminals, criminals also tend to be repeat offenders who are out on parole or have outstanding warrants for their arrest. A lot of criminals have impulse control problems* - they can't drive a car from point A to point B without attracting the attention of local law enforcement. The inability to think beyond the next 60 seconds combined with outstanding issues with law enforcement tends to lead criminals to stay within a small radius of their home turf.

There are, of course, secondary issues, such as - (1) gas isn't free - the further away you get from home, the more gasoline you use up and (2) the further your stray from home, the bigger the possibility of getting lost. Why take the scenic tour of Houston when you can grab and go, and be back with your pals taking a stab at a new Playstation 3 record inside of an hour?

* This is the same reason a lot of felons were busted while jumping NYC subway turnstiles - they just couldn't resist trying to get one over the Man, even though they were evading a silly $2 fare.
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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Most gated complexes aren't hard to get in - I follow people in where I live all the time. If the gates function properly, though, it may deter a criminal from getting out by car as quickly (waiting for an exit gate to open, etc).

Fwiw, I lived in a gated mega-complex (blahhh!) and all the wheels were stolen off my car (factory, not worth much). Not sure if it was random or if I was targeted, or if the weirdos who did it lived there or not. The only other stuff happen to me was in an ungated fourplex - someone walked to the back and stole my bicycle that was chained to a pole.

The thing is, both could have been prevented - I didn't have lug locks or a very good chain on my bike. I hate living like I expect people to f*ck with my stuff, but they often do, and the prevention can be easy and cheap enough. Live and learn!

So my advice - scope out the neighborhood, general population, apartment complex size (the larger the worse, in my experience), and proximity to retail/non-residential (along the lines of what modster mentioned).
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
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Well some gated apartment complexes do have security.
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