A recent story out of the Boston area has caused quite a bit of a stir in the Bay State this week. It seems that in Beverly, MA this past weekend, police officers scoured neighborhoods looking for unlocked cars with valuables inside. When they found them, they left behind notes for the owners with tips on how to safeguard their property and locked the doors. About 100 notes were left by officers during the initiative, some found by people on their way to work Monday morning whose keys had been locked in their cars.
We have heard many people sounding off on this topic, and opinions seem divided fairly evenly into two camps:
1) The police were doing something positive for the community and helping people. The did this with the best of intentions.
2) It was a harmless activity; there was no contraband found or seized. Therefore the activity wasn't unreasonable.
3) Even more resources would be spent on finding criminals if the goods ended up stolen.
4) It is just plain common sense to lock your door in this day and age, having someone point it out is helpful.
1) The whole initiative was a gross violation of the fourth amendment and the police powers.
2) It was a waste of resources to have officers going around pulling door handles.
3) If any normal citizen were caught opening car doors by those same officers, they would undoubtedly have a lot of explaining to do, maybe even in court the following Monday.
4) People should be able to leave their car doors unlocked if they so choose; the state should stay out of their business.
So what do our readers think? Were the police acting as helpful civil servants in this situation? Or were they instead violating citizens' rights? We would love to hear from you in the comments section below.