Does crime go away in the rain?

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

15 May 2014

Remembering an old, wise friend

Many years back, I worked in the advertising business in Washington DC. If you have ever worked in a major metropolitan area like DC, NY, Chicago or Philadelphia, you know how maddening it can be to get around the city. It was worse in DC because the Metro has no REAL stops in Georgetown. The closest is Foggy Bottom.

To make getting around the city easier, the agency had a cadre of drivers and curriers in its employ. Their job was to shuttle packages and ad execs around the city and pick them up at appointed times. Carole, who ran the agency, had thought of everything.

“On those mornings when the streets were silver and the skies were gray, he had a smile to light up the world.”

All of us spent a lot of time in the company of these drivers and curriers and relied on them for most of our transportation around the city. I also learned a lot from them about life in general.

The gentleman (I use that term in its root sense because he was indeed a gentle man) who ran the department had grown up in some of DC’s most troubled neighborhoods. He was born and raised in the tough streets of the city and had more than his share of hardscrabble experience.

rainI was thinking about him today, because we are having a torrential rainstorm here in NC and I was quietly grumpy about the weather. Rain in these amounts seems nothing so much as an aggravation and an inconvenience for me. But I suddenly remembered the manager of drivers from my days in DC. On those mornings when the streets were silver and the skies were gray, he had a smile to light up the world. I asked him once why he loved rainy days so deeply. No one else seemed to like them at all.

“There is no crime on rainy days”, he said, “Criminals are lazy and, when it rains, they stay home in their apartments.”

I don’t know if anyone has any metrics and measures for this but it made perfect sense to me. So I share it with you now. Maybe we will all smile more on rainy days and enjoy them as they are: respites from petty crime and theft. It seems to be working for me right now.

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