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“SMASH CITY” BY ERIK Wemple (4/28) should do much to enlighten many of the automobile owners in this area, especially in the District. After reading this story, any thinking individual should realize that keeping any valuables in their car translates into an open invitation to break-in artists that prey upon unaware car owners.

It boggles the mind when one realizes what valuables some careless people leave lying about in their cars. It is not hard to understand why many of the perpetrators find the picking irresistible. When they can “earn” a few hundred dollars for a few seconds of “work,” with little or no fear of doing time, even if apprehended, their philosophy is not difficult to understand.

Just like shoplifters, people who break into cars are acutely aware that judges will not, generally, sentence any of them to any serious time. Even if they are the proud possessors of a lengthy record.

I am here to warn them, though, that if they do not start cleaning up their act, they may soon be in for a rude awakening. A point of fact: This writer was recently awarded a 10-year sentence for a shoplifting offense. With none of it suspended.

Let the buyer (of trouble) beware!

Arlington County Detention Facility, Arlington, Va.