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Letter: Parents Going on Vacation, Beware

One local reader, who said she preferred to remain anonymous due to the nature of her letter, asked us to share this warning with fellow parents.

One local reader, who said she preferred to remain anonymous due to the nature of her letter, asked us to share this warning with fellow parents. It appears below in full. 

Hello, I am a concerned parent who's home was mildly taken advantage of by some of my son's friends while I was away on vacation. Last night another parent came home to find their house damaged and also burglarized of a laptop and camera.

I was hoping Albany Patch could send out an email warning parents about this.

In my case it was a friend of my son's who came over with some girls from another town. (When parents leave town the news travels through a network and the word gets out.)  

They took some small statues and a door hanging. Not worth too much monetarily but the point is it's a violation of our space.  

If I was a parent going out of town, I would want to be warned about this, so I could put valuables in a safe place.

James Simmons July 06, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Chief McQuiston has kept a Vacation Home Watch program available despite the staffing shortages.
JW July 06, 2012 at 02:08 PM
How was restitution made to you and your family? It's awful that your son's "friend" would do this.
Dover July 06, 2012 at 09:50 PM
The news traveled fast through "the network" because your son shared the information with his friends. From this story we can also discern that your son makes poor choices in friends. The concept of making wise choices is one that is best taught by parents. Bemoaning the aftermath of poor choices is a useless endeavor unless it leads to a wiser future. And I believe you meant "monetarily" and not "momentarily," unless it is talking time for the affront of the theft to be fully realized?
Ross Stapleton-Gray July 06, 2012 at 10:35 PM
The phrase that jumped out at me was, "some girls from another town." Felt like the phrase "painted hussies" was sure to follow. What town they were from is less the issue than, "were (or weren't) known to my son," which touches on the issue of trust. All in all, though, a far less disastrous outcome than many that have occurred since the intersection of teen lack-of-wisdom/surplus-of-libido, and texting.
hanspeter July 07, 2012 at 04:25 AM
geez Dover, are we ever judgmental.
Lady July 07, 2012 at 04:53 AM
Instead of harping on this parent who is trying to help us, let's learn a little something. Kids from great good average and bad families make bad choices. Please everyone be aware that adults break into homes when your on vacation too. Have newspapers picked up and leave a light on. And press charges. Adult or child. If its a minor, their friends will see there is a punishment and hopefully be afraid to try the same thing at another date. Thank you writer for bringing this to our attention.
Margaret Tong July 07, 2012 at 05:02 AM
I'm not a parent, but I was a teenager. We all were. I'm always amazed that parents think of teenagers as an alien species. "mildly taken advantage of" is less traumatic than being completely vandalised. Teenagers just don't think about 'stuff' or consequences. When I was a teenager, I wouldn't have left myself at home alone. Even now, as an aging person, a paid up member of the Albany Senior Centre, I like to open my windows and blast my music.
Ross Stapleton-Gray July 07, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Sarah and I used it when we left on vacation: you need to file a form in person, in the police dept. lobby (ideally when other visitors aren't being arrested for indecent exposure, cf. the latest police blotter). It also helps if you know your neighbors... if the teen next door had ever thrown an unchaperoned party, we'd have been happy to look in if it looked like things were getting out of hand. My parents left me at home when I was in high school, but that was pre-cell-phone, and I wasn't exactly a party guy. :-)
JW July 08, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Lots of good comments here, especially Lady's. When we were going out of town a couple of years ago, my 17 and 21 yos stayed behind. I spent a fair amount of time explaining that while I trusted them, I didn't trust all the kids who might hear we weren't home. My kids were careful, didn't have parties and invited only one or two close friends over. They knew we were concerned and acted accordingly. All was well and we returned to an intact house.
Gary Tang August 23, 2012 at 07:28 AM
We have been gone many times with our kid's friends played at our home. We had no problem.

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