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Extra safety in rural Rhode Island

Many years ago, the RI DEM (Dept. of Environmental Management) had a problem with gangs from Hartford, Connecticut coming into Rhode Island and hanging out at the Beach Pond Boat ramp. Violence often occurred, there was larceny, and worse yet, drugs were rampant. The RI DEM closed the beach and made the boat ramp available to boaters and fishermen only. Picnicking isn’t even allowed. The gangs stayed in Connecticut. Well now they are back. 

There is a rash of stolen motor vehicles from Hopkinton to Burrillville and numerous B&Es (breaking and entering) into other vehicles and also some homes. This crime spree is occurring in western Rhode Island, west of Route 95. If you live in a rural area, you know that it can take time for law enforcement to respond. Here are some precautions you can take to protect your family, home, and vehicles:

1) Improve the lighting of your yard. Replace any blown spotlights or porch bulbs.

2) Trim tree branches high enough on the trunk so as to have a clear visible field of view in your yard, or preferably to the street.

3) Involve your neighbors to do the same as you are – all in the same “boat” makes a safer community.

4) With your neighbors, help develop neighborhood watches. For those “Night Owls” ask them to be vigilant and investigate any unusual sounds.

5) Get a dog. One that likes to bark when an intruder approaches.

6) Watch out for cars with Connecticut license plates. Call in those vehicles if you feel they are acting “suspicious”

7) Trim any bushes or evergreens that an intruder can hide in near your home. The trimming will also improve your field of view.

8)  Keep your vehicles locked at all times, even during the day.

9.  Keep your doors locked at home at all times, too – even when you are out working in the yard, and if you only rush out for a short errand. How many break-ins don’t require any breaking in at all!

10)  Do not leave valuables in the car or truck. Or at least make sure the belongings are hidden from view.

11) If a vehicle will not be used for 2 or more weeks, disconnect the battery.

12) Get an alarm for your car and/or home.

13) Purchase a surveillance system for your home and property. There are many infrared systems that can see 50′ in the dark with high resolution. These also have battery operated cameras that can be placed anywhere, and even seen from your iPhone.

14) Use your Second Amendment rights for protection. Midstate Gun Company in Coventry has many different pieces of hardware for your specific needs and also has the training and safety courses to ensure you can handle these devices correctly, if you choose to. The sight of one of these items is often deterrent in itself.

While there is no complete guarantee from being a crime victim, taking the above precautions will ensure a severe reduction in the likelihood of becoming a victim. Numerous arrests occurred at the particular time with the Hartford gangs, but they never really go away, and we’re hearing more about their presence in rural communities, as they are still crossing the border to commit crimes. Apparently, Rhode Island is seen as easy pickings. Don’t you be.


Jeffrey “Jeff” Gross spent 21 years as an Analytical Chemist at the USCG R&D Center in Groton, Connecticut, Woods Hole Laboratories, and Helix Technologies. Changing careers is a “great learning experience for everyone”, Jeff says, and I’m an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, a student of the sciences, and the world. The US holds too many wonders not to take a chance and explore them”.

Jeff is a Model Train and Railroad entrepreneur. Proud Golden Retriever owner. Ultra strong Second Amendment Advocate and Constitutionalist. “Determined seeker of the truth”. 

Jeff is a RIFGPA Legislative officer, Freshwater Chairman, NRA Liaison, FRISC Delegate.

His subjects include Outdoors, Second Amendment, Model Railroading, and Whimsical.

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