In regard to the letter "Call 911 or let thief help himself?" (Aug. 11): I have lost track of the times my property has been stolen or vandalized in the 15-plus years I've lived in Riverbank. If there is a "next time" for the writer, and he's at a safe distance, try to take a picture of the thief. I know someone who videotaped their neighbors disturbing the peace. They showed the tape to the police who then took action and the problem was solved. Many times, the thief will have a lookout, so confronting them as you suggest might turn into a two- or three-on-one situation.
Some may advise a neighborhood watch; again, be cautious. Your neighbors might be in on it and you could be giving information to someone who is directly or indirectly involved. Unfortunately, these days it's not unusual for parents to actually encourage bad behavior. Finally, leave a paper trail. Report every incident and make sure you get a copy of the report. I learned from experience.