Wanting burglary victims punished ignores “complexity of what’s happening,” Brattleboro lawmaker Tristan Toleno told a group of residents concerned about rising property crimes.
"Balint said she understands the trauma these crimes have caused in the community and related her own experiences of living on South Main Street. "My car has been broken into numerous times," she said. "I've had things stolen from my yard. I also had my house broken into. They bashed in my front door." The burglary occurred when she and her family were in Burlington. "The house had been ransacked," said Balint. The intruders took medication, cash and other items they knew they could sell quickly, and left more than just damage to the front door, she said. "When you feel violated in that way ... my first worry is my kids. How are my kids reacting to this? Kids are really resilient ... but I can tell you that deeply impacted my kids ... to find footprints in their bedrooms of the men who had gone through their rooms was devastating to them." It's not unusual to want such a criminal punished, said Toleno, but that ignores "the complexity of what's really happening." Addiction, poverty and despair are key contributors to crimes like this, he said. Members of the community need to focus on holding offenders accountable while addressing the root causes, said Toleno."
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