back to article Cops called after pair enter Canadian home and give it a good clean

O Canada, great northern land of milk in bags, merciless winters, maple syrup and leaving your front door unlocked, at least according to firebrand filmmaker Michael Moore. However, Mounties have warned residents of Nova Scotia against the latter after two women entered a home uninvited – and cleaned it. The homeowner, who was …

  1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    anti-crime

    The late Terry Pratchett refers to these activities as anti-crimes and his example was breaking-in-and redecorating. Not too far from what actually happened.

    It was a case of mistaken identity, I do admit. On that note, does an act have to criminal intent or is the execution of the act enough to be a crime? I suppose it depends on the act.

    1. bencurthoys

      Re: anti-crime

      The standard common law test of criminal liability is expressed in the Latin phrase actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, i.e. "the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty". In jurisdictions with due process, there must be both actus reus ("guilty act") and mens rea for a defendant to be guilty of a crime (see concurrence). As a general rule, someone who acted without mental fault is not liable in criminal law. Exceptions are known as strict liability crimes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: anti-crime

        "As a general rule, someone who acted without mental fault is not liable in criminal law. "

        Yet in the UK it is often said that "Ignorance of a law is no defence". Given that the last Labour government apparently introduced over 3000 new criminal laws then it is highly likely that we all break laws unknowingly.

        1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

          Re: anti-crime

          Ignorance of the law is not 'mens rea'. Those who have a sub-normal mental ability can steal without understanding that this is wrong. It is the intent to do wrong that is the mental awareness. Much wrong is also against the law, but some isn't, and yet most people can draw a line where right shades into a very narrow band of questionable before we're in the territory or wrong. Cleaners who mistook the house clearly had no idea of doing wrong. Those who claim they didn't know it was wrong to steal a co-worker's packed luck clearly have a mens rea that they crossed the line, because nobody who knows the 'rules' of the workplace (and decent behaviour) can pretend they didn't know stealing was wrong.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: anti-crime

          I think it's necessary to have a tradeoff - if someone from the tribal areas of Pakistan decides to kill his daughter, we want to be able to lock him up despite his belief that it's OK because of the society he comes from. After all, he did intend to kill her and we're pretty much agreed as a society that wanting to do that is a bad thing.

          On the other hand there have been cases of teenagers asking another teenager for an ecstasy tablet and then dying, resulting in a conviction for the donor. That's a grey area - they know that Es are illegal but they have no intention of doing anybody any harm with them. You would think that the case could be made out for possession but not manslaughter. But we have judges who then get strongly criticised by the Appeal Court, so perhaps ignorantia juris non exculpat should also be applied to m'lud sometimes.

          1. Jtom

            Re: anti-crime

            On this side of the pond, I would believe giving someone E and it resulting in a death, generally would be classified as negligent homicide. That’s when someone unintentionally kills someone due to a reckless act. I suspect most would consider giving someone a questionable drug to someone, even if asked, is a reckless act.

        3. Giovani Tapini Silver badge

          Re: anti-crime

          I think the point is that regardless of "I didn't know it was against the law" excuses, you are likely to still know what you are doing is likely to be with bad intentions regardless of your knowledge of the law.

          In this case the cleaners didn't even break in, the door was open. They went in without breaking in, they cleaned. Both these actions done with only good intentions. Therefore I reason out this to be an "anti-crime" as described above.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: anti-crime

            More of an "Anthea-crime", I think.

          2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

            Re: anti-crime

            "

            I think the point is that regardless of "I didn't know it was against the law" excuses, you are likely to still know what you are doing is likely to be with bad intentions regardless of your knowledge of the law.

            "

            Not in this day of 1000 new laws passed every month. If you were working in a charity shop for example, would you know that it is against the law to sell a pencil sharpener to a 15 year old? (It is a "Bladed article" which may not be sold to children - you'll see it has to be approved if you scan one at a self-service till).

        4. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: anti-crime

          "

          Yet in the UK it is often said that "Ignorance of a law is no defence".

          "

          Ignorance *of the law* is no defence, but ignorance *of the facts* certainly is. e.g. it is no defence to say, "I did not know that it is illegal to possess cocaine." But it is a defence to say, "I did not know that the substance in my possession was cocaine."

          The converse is also true. You can be convicted of being in possession of talcum powder if it can be proven that you thought it was cocaine.

          In this case, the fact that the cleaners believed that they were in the correct house certainly is a defence.

          1. ma1010 Silver badge

            Re: anti-crime

            You can be convicted of being in possession of talcum powder if it can be proven that you thought it was cocaine.

            I remember one case where a coke addict called the police and wanted them to arrest someone for selling her baking powder instead of cocaine. The cop didn't arrest anyone, but had a good laugh. He told the caller that he could arrest her for possession if she'd had real cocaine, so she should be happy she only had baking powder.

        5. Toni the terrible
          Black Helicopters

          Re: anti-crime

          Well it is often noted by some Police that there are three type of People; The Police themselves, people who have commited a crime, and people who havent been caught yet

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: anti-crime

      " On that note, does an act have to criminal intent or is the execution of the act enough to be a crime? "

      When the Sexual Offences Act 2003 draft was first presented for public consultation - it was quickly noticed that "indecent exposure" had been redefined. In the previous law it was "intent to cause alarm/distress".

      In the new draft it was merely "to cause alarm/distress" - with a further modification that the judgement was made on the basis of a hypothetical "most vulnerable" person - rather than an actual observer.

      Sections of the drafting committee justified the removal of "intent" because "there currently aren't enough convictions". After protests the "intent" was put back in for the wording of the act. I am not sure if the "hypothetical" victim status was retained.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: anti-crime

        Odd how you go from a story about breaking and entering to indecent exposure. What are you trying to defend here?

        1. Spazturtle Silver badge

          Re: anti-crime

          "Odd how you go from a story about breaking and entering to indecent exposure. "

          Not really, the law regarding sexual crimes is where the most debate over intent exists.

          1. AMBxx Silver badge
            Angel

            Re: anti-crime

            For an anti-crime, in the early days of home Internet, I had a firewall that would report the IP address of people supposedly trying to hack me. It was normally just that they had a badly configured PC or virus. If they were running Windows 9x, it was easy enough to browse their PC and leave messages on the Start menu about updating their security.

            No idea if anyone ever read the messages though.

        2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Linux

          Re: anti-crime

          Odd how you go from a story about breaking and entering to indecent exposure.

          You could certainly go from "cleaners" to "exposure" - indecent or otherwise in the days of "Eurotrash" on Channel 4, with Chris and Ralf, the Nude "Romeo Cleaners" from Berlin

          http://www.rapidotelevision.com/shows/shw.73.php

          icon: "Mr Penguin"

    3. regregular

      Re: anti-crime

      "Anti-Crime"

      I like it. This should be done in the digital realm.

      Find those unpatched plastic routers with known vulnerabilities on the internet, gain access and update the damn firmware.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: anti-crime

        In the UK, if the door is not locked then it is not breaking and entering, and if nothing is stolen or damaged then it's not burglary.

        Which leaves only trespass, which I think is a civil matter.

        I remember as kids our doors were never locked, I had no key but would come home from school to an empty house and just walk in. Sometimes a friend would come in, shout to see if I was home and just leave if no answer.

        I lived in SF Bay Area (East Bay) in the 1990s, in a house with 6 people and 2 keys. The house was never locked. One day we found kids in the pool in the yard, but they hadn't realised the house was open and had climbed the fence.

        1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

          Re: anti-crime

          werdsmith» The house was never locked. One day we found kids in the pool in the yard, but they hadn't realised the house was open and had climbed the fence.

          That is the only proper way to do it.

          As a child, I would never have dreamed of entering someone's house unless I knew that I was allowed in, but climbing over their fence, well, that was perfectly OK. In the same way that I would never, ever steal from a shop but I had no problems helping myself to the apples from neighbours' trees.

          1. Black Betty

            Re: anti-crime

            Scrumping (the proper technical term for nicking fruit from a tree) is still theft.

        2. FozzyBear Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: anti-crime

          "In the UK, if the door is not locked then it is not breaking and entering, and if nothing is stolen or damaged then it's not burglary."

          UK , Australia and Canada all follow the Westminster system. The precedence of property theft have been established for centuries. The reason many of us were sent to Australia in the first place.

          Unless the Section has been amended it would still be considered Break and Enter.

          Whilst the door was unlocked, a seal (door or window or other means of access ) was broken ( in this instance Broke means simply opening the door without damage). You could not charge Break, Enter and Steal as obviously nothing of value was stolen

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: anti-crime

            UK , Australia and Canada all follow the Westminster system. The precedence of property theft have been established for centuries. The reason many of us were sent to Australia in the first place.

            Wow! I knew you were getting on a bit but I didn't realise you were quite that old!

            You could not charge Break, Enter and Steal as obviously nothing of value was stolen

            Well, there was the electricity they used.

        3. danbishop

          Re: anti-crime

          Actually, technically, "in the UK" there's no such thing as breaking and entering.

          In Scotland there is. In England and Wales there is not. Instead you'd be charged with criminal damage for whatever you broke getting in, or of course burglary if you go further and steal something and/or assault someone.

          In this case, as you quite rightly say, nothing was broken so the only offence is trespass and that is indeed civil.

          As for Northern Ireland... I don't actually know... Google time for me.

      2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: anti-crime

        > Find those unpatched plastic routers with known vulnerabilities on the internet, gain access and update the damn firmware.

        Colleague of mine sort of did that: broke into servers of his internet provider and patched a (nasty) kernel bug in all of them. Things went to court. Judge: "So, are you root-at-provider-dot-com?". Sadly he got more than just a slap on the wrist.

        That judge -------------->

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: anti-crime

          "So, are you root-at-provider-dot-com?"

          In order to patch a kernel he must have been at the relevant time.

      3. Paul

        Re: Sounds like many sites will publish enough hints

        pop over to shodan and get started!

    4. JustWondering

      Re: anti-crime

      If someone trespassed on my property with the intent of cleaning my house, a small bribe would probably absolve them of any legal repercussions from myself.

    5. Robert Brockway

      Re: anti-crime

      Some offences have an element of intent, some do not.

      There is a defence in common law called "honest mistake of fact" in which a person can be excused from otherwise criminal behaviour by virtue of really believing they were acting lawfully. The example given to me many years ago was of a person driving the wrong car out of a carpark because it looked exactly like their car (to a reasonable first approximation) and their key worked. Back in the old days of physical keys there weren't that many combinations so the chance of a matching key was higher than many might expect. Also, very old keys were known to be good at opening car doors.

      Obviously, this defence does not work for all crimes.

      1. Mr Booth
        Facepalm

        Re: anti-crime

        Believe it or not, this actually happened to me. In my university days I had a lovely green '79 Mitsubishi Lancer GL. One day, I hopped in, started the car up, reversed out and had the feeling something wasn't right. I noticed the faint smell of cigarette smoke (I am not a smoker) and wondered if someone had been in my car. It was only when I opened the glove box, only to recognise nothing in it; that I had indeed taken someone else's car. I was mortified, so discreetly reversed back, and parked the car, locked it and sheepishly found my car parked a few bays down.

        A few weeks later I saw the same car, and for shits and giggles decided to park next to it. As it was exam time I found a nice observation spot in one of the libraries and watched to see what would happen. Sure enough, a parade of people doing double takes, a bemused security guard and yes, the owner of the other car backing my car out of the car park and driving about twenty feet down the road before realising their mistake. The real kicker was that our licence plates were almost the same, the only difference was the last two digits were reversed.

        1. Donn Bly

          Re: Ooooh...

          In my college days I can remember one of my roommates going out on a cold and snowy morning to warm up their car, which also involved cleaning off about a foot a snow and digging it out from where it had been plowed in by the plow truck. However, when he went to leave for classes he noticed a problem in that the car he warmed up was a stick, while his was an automatic.

    6. VikiAi Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: anti-crime, breaking and redecorating

      I've seen plenty of redecorating that /should/ be a crime!

  2. Alien8n Silver badge

    Wish I could have Canadian neighbours, would love for someone to break in and clean my house. Mrs Alien finds it a struggle nowadays and although the Podling is grown up and living at home still she's not quite house broken yet...

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Stop

      Come on opening an unlocked door is not breaking in.

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Come on opening an unlocked door is not breaking in.

        "Breaking" doesn't actually require that anything be "broken" in terms of physical damage. Someone who has permission to enter part of a house, but not another part, commits a breaking and entering when they use any means to enter a room where they are not permitted.

        Scenario: Capita's Uninvited eNforcement Team enters your home to see if you have a TV, is that illegal entry if you left your door open?

        1. james 68

          In the UK forcing a door or window is "breaking and entering", entering through an unlocked but closed door or window is "illegal entry" and entry through an open door or window is "trespass" which can be upgraded to "criminal trespass" if there is intent

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Door locks.

    We often don't lock our door where I live in the UK, and I've lived here for 24 years.

    AC because although it's a very safe area, it only stays that way if people aren't aware.

    1. Mr Sceptical
      Terminator

      Re: Door locks.

      Is that because of the 'Beware of the Leopard' signs on the doors?

      Icon for any intruder's appearance afterwards ->

    2. Chris Miller

      Re: Door locks.

      We don't need to lock our doors (SE England) either, as evidenced by the rare occasions on which we forget to. But you should be aware that if you suffer a theft and haven't locked your property, your insurer will almost certainly deny any claim.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Door locks.

        Indeed, one could fit a Yale IoshIT lock and achieve similar...

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Door locks.

      Where I grew up (and where my folks still live), most people leave their front door locked, but that's because everyone goes in and out through the back door*, which is often left unlocked. It certainly wasn't unusual for a neighbour to walk into the kitchen and just shout to try and attract our attention.

      * fnar fnar.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Door locks.

        Ditto with the use of the back door. It was only once my parents were in their late fifties and turned paranoid ("all them immigrants in town, coming over here and working hard in our fields") that they got to locking the back door half an hour before sunset and the back gate half an hour after sunset. And then started leaving the gate locked during the day ("Betty down the road got burgled, you know" - Yeah, Mum, that was four years ago, when she was in hospital for a fortnight and the place was signalling **EMPTY** to the world 'cos her lad never bothered with the curtains when he watered the plants morning and evening, and Betty told me aaaall about it yet again just last week).

  4. frank ly

    Mistakes Happen

    Here in the UK, I was told, by a roofer, about another roofer who took off and replaced the roof slates of the wrong house. I seems his clients had arranged for it to be done while they were on holiday and it was the holiday season so the owners of the 'wrong house' were also away on holiday.

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: Mistakes Happen

      Absolutely.

      Many years ago (1970s/80s) my Dad had a carpet warehouse.

      We had a job to supply and fit new carpets to a new-build house on a new estate while the owners were away on holiday before moving in when they got back.

      They returned from holiday and asked where their carpets had got to.

      “We fitted them.”

      “Where are they then?”

      It turned out that the builders had different plot numbers to the actual house numbers (WTF?), and we’d fitted it at the Plot number, not the House number.... Both houses were empty with it being a new estate, partially sold.

      Luckily the correct house was almost identical in size and a trip to move the carpet and underlay was all that was needed... the Gripper-Rods stayed and they got new ones.....

      While I'm at it, 1970's glam-rockers Sweet came in (at the height of their powers) and bought a load of carpet from us too (I don't think it was like Vic Reeves/Bob Mortimer's "Slade on Holiday" but would have been brilliant if it was!)

      Steve

      1. Steve K Silver badge

        Re: Mistakes Happen

        I should have said that they had only originally popped in to ask for directions to the video rental shop, they were sure it was nearby.

        (...and that's how one of their hits came to be named. Yes - I know that early 1970's UK did not have video rental shops or that many video players either, but it was too good a line to waste.)

      2. GlenP Silver badge

        Re: Mistakes Happen

        It turned out that the builders had different plot numbers to the actual house numbers (WTF?),

        Not all that unusual. Where I live they extended an existing road and added a new cul-de-sac as well.

        Plot 1 became 23 xxxxx Road, Plot 3 became 1 yyyyy Close. There was certainly potential for confusion as initially the post code databases only new the plot numbers.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mistakes Happen

        "[...] and we’d fitted it at the Plot number, not the House number [...]"

        Our street has that sort of mismatch. One block has consecutive doors numbered 2, 4, 6, 10, 12, 8. The first is slightly hidden in the end side of the block so there is an occasional query to its whereabouts. The 8 is in the other end side - and you see delivery people standing outside the adjacent doors marked 10 & 6 looking very puzzled. "You want number 8? - round that corner past 12".

        Looking at the internal household separations in the block's two floors - you can see how someone allocated numbers by putting them in a progression on the plan. "bottom right, top 1, top 2, bottom left, top 3, top 4"

        A colleague had a detached house in row built on a spare strip of land at the end of an existing street. He had the one that started from the old development's boundary. Strangely his lean-to garage was not attached to his house - but to the neighbour's house wall. It was separated from his house by his garden pathway. Any garage noise only went into the neighbour's house. This symbiotic layout continued for the rest of the houses until you reached the end one - which had a detached garage at the end of the street.

        Presumably the houses had been built with conventionally attached garages - starting at the end of the street. Then it was realised that there wasn't room to have one on the house on the old boundary. Too late to shift everything a garage width left. So the houses' legal boundary lines were presumably redrawn to reflect the state of affairs - and the house at the end had enough vacant space for a detached garage to be added.

    2. IHateWearingATie
      Pint

      Re: Mistakes Happen

      Exactly this happened to us, though it was a few repairs rather than a full replacement. Came back from a few days away to find a bill from the roofer and the tiles still broken on our roof. Careful questioning revealed that the same house number on an adjacent street had had their roof repaired for free....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mistakes Happen

      Several years ago I arranged for a local roofing company to replace the central heating's damaged ridge vent. I took the day off work so I would be able to let them in the house and get into the loft.

      About the time they were due to arrive I decided to take a "before" photo of the old vent. However, when I went outside, I was stunned to find there already was a new vent up on the roof! I hadn't noticed it when I came home the previous evening because, being winter, it was already dark.

      I phoned up the builder and they said they had come a day early and had done it all from the outside.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mistakes Happen

      Meanwhile in the US of A: http://www.kait8.com/story/38733963/suit-alleges-wrong-house-demolished-in-jonesboro/

    5. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
      Happy

      Re: Mistakes Happen

      Whew, I'm one of the lucky ones! Had my roof replaced 1.5 years ago while on vacation. They did a great job and it's holding WAY better than the cheap job from 8 years prior. They also fixed flashing issues the "other guy" didn't. Much better clean up, too. (Didn't find entire nail-rolls in my gutters or clogged downspouts.)

      Insurance paid for it all owing to a wind storm; we were among hundreds, if not thousands, in the area to suffer. Before the job, roofer made his estimate and I had to tell him, "Look, the insurance is willing to pay THIS much AND my $xxxx deductible on top. You don't have to low-ball this one!" I don't know what he charged them in the end but I got a free pass. (Having their guy come out to do the estimate AND padding their bottom line makes sure they do the right house! Plus, we're the only one in the neighborhood with purple shutters; hard to miss.)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Milk in Bags?

    Seriously?

    1. Mr Sceptical

      Re: Milk in Bags?

      Yes, some supermarkets here do that too. Think it's saving some plastic over a 'bottle' container.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Milk in Bags?

      Used to be quite common in the UK - decades ago. I seem to remember UHT coming in plastic bags. That was in the days when normal milk came in glass bottles, before they invented plastic. Last time I saw bags of milk was on Alderney about 30 years ago.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Milk in Bags?

        Used to be quite common in the UK - decades ago. I seem to remember UHT coming in plastic bags. That was in the days when normal milk came in glass bottles, before they invented plastic.

        The main dairy in my home town switched to plastic bags in the late 60s, and got loads of complaints - not about the bags, but because people were no longer being woken by the early morning clinking of glass bottles, so ended up late for work.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Milk in Bags?

          but because people were no longer being woken by the early morning clinking of glass bottles, so ended up late for work.

          I was lucky when I was a kid, because my neighbour was a milkman and I was woken up at five o'clock every fucking morning as he tried to start his fucking Ford Anglia. And if it was the weekend or the summer holiday and I was trying to have a lie-in, he'd be back by eight thirty with an electric milk float jammed full of crates of noisily clanking empty bottles to have his fucking fried breakfast before clanking off back to the dairy.

          Good bloke, mind.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Milk in Bags?

            "[...] he'd be back by eight thirty with an electric milk float jammed full of crates of noisily clanking empty bottles [...]"

            In England in the 1950s our Co-op milk float was horse-drawn. It is said that the driver could just busy himself with the bottles - and the horse would automatically keep the float moving to convenient points in their regular round.

            Norman Wisdom's "The Early Bird" in 1965 indicates that such floats were possibly still in use.

            NSFW? The obvious clip for "The Fastest Milkman in the West" with carts from an earlier era.

          2. Pedigree-Pete
            Thumb Up

            Re: Milkman neighbours...@ Rich11.

            Consider yourself lucky. Visiting my gran in N.Yorkshire the dairy nearby not only had lots of clanking bottles but pretty loud hoses hooves and cartwheels on cobbles.

            Similar at my other Grans with the rag and bone man in Ireland. PP

    3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Milk in Bags?

      I remember when bags came in. We all had to buy plastic holders for the bags. They actually work well and there's less land-fill.

      1. Jim Nagel
        Thumb Up

        Re: Milk in Bags?

        And when the Canadian milk bag is empty, it's flat -- unlike those rigid plastic UK milk containers that take up as much space empty as they do full.

        Moreover, the sturdy one-litre Canadian bags are exactly the right size to hold folded letter-size paper, so wash them and repurpose them for filing.

        I'd welcome it if UK supermarkets were to move to bagged milk.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Milk in Bags?

          "[...] unlike those rigid plastic UK milk containers that take up as much space empty as they do full."

          Like most plastic bottles they are only sturdy when full of incompressible liquid. When empty they are easily crumpled by hand until almost flat. Only the neck - by virtue of its tubular shape - might need the weight of a foot. The really rigid plastic bottles seem to be for things like caustic cleaning fluids.

    4. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Milk in Bags?

      Back in the 60's -70's my grandma used to get milk in 5 gallon bags in a box, thdy went into the milk dispenser, (just like one I saw in a hotel breakfast room this summer), at grandma's house there could be 12 people scrounging for food and drink at a given time. It was a pretty cool idea!

      1. AIBailey Silver badge

        Re: Milk in Bags?

        Yup. Usually clear bags holding about 4 pints (I'd guess).

        My wifes aunt works for a "welcome wagon" - when someone new moves into the area they get a visit from the wagon, which generally involves being told about the vicinity, given a load of vouchers for local businesses etc. One of the things they also get given is a plastic jug for milk. Slip one of the milk bags in, snip off the corner and away you go.

        1. CanadianMacFan

          Re: Milk in Bags?

          4 litres comes in a bag that contains three of the bags of milk that you put in the plastic holder.

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Milk in Bags?

      True. And a leg at each corner.

    6. Citizen99
      Linux

      Re: Milk in Bags?

      Are the bags re-cyclable when worn out, I wonder ?

      Only this morning we had an email from our dairy that they are discontinuing plastic bottles and going totally to glass (which we already select anyway).

      Back in the '40s at my Grandma's house (UK) the milkman came to the door with a portable churn , and a pint measure ladle with which he dispensed the milk into your jug.

    7. Glenturret Single Malt

      Re: Milk in Bags?

      Many years ago, I recall laughing at the Goons plans to export water to Brazil in brown paper bags.

  6. Steve K Silver badge

    A clean getaway

    They made a clean getaway at least

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's better to leave your doors unlocked than have your back door smashed in, in my opinion.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Stop

      You don't have contents/home insurance then?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "It's better to leave your doors unlocked than have your back door smashed in, in my opinion"

      Opportunistic thieves want an easy quick access - like trying door handles. They can do this under cover of a serial activity looking like distributing leaflets etc.

      Apparently the worst thing to do is to block their exit from the property.

    3. BigSLitleP Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      "It's better to leave your doors unlocked than have your back door smashed in, in my opinion."

      Why can i only hear this as a sexual innuendo?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Because it was, ooh er missus.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A sexual in-your-end-oh?

  8. LeoP

    No problem leaving the door open here in Austria ...

    ... since miscreants most likely don't know, that my dog's looks and her behaviour differ heavily. She is also very curious, turning her attention immediately to everything that "normally isn't there".

    And just in case we would find the burglar and the bitch sleeping arm in paw in the hallway, when her alpha-brainwave emitter did the job and made him fall asleep while giving her the dose of cuddling she insists upon.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: No problem leaving the door open here in Austria ...

      ... since miscreants most likely don't know, that my dog's looks and her behaviour differ heavily.

      Read a story recently about people in some average (i.e. not particularly safe, nor unsafe) neighbourhood, who found their dog had managed to open the front and back doors so that it would be able to lie in the open front door with a good refreshing draft wafting through. Initial reaction: "Oops. Err. Burglars?". Second reaction: "Noone's going to check if that 75 kilos of DOG will allow them in. Or back out."

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: No problem leaving the door open here in Austria ...

        "Noone's going to check if that 75 kilos of DOG will allow them in. Or back out."

        That depends on whether they can open tins or not.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: No problem leaving the door open here in Austria ...

          The dog or the smackhead burglars?

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: No problem leaving the door open here in Austria ...

      That's because every house in Australia is home to multiple species of deadly spiders hiding in every dark corner, which are far stealthier and scarier than a dog of any size! So just put your valuables in said dark corner and thieves will only be able to steal your TV.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: No problem leaving the door open here in Austria ...

        That's because every house in Australia is home to multiple species of deadly spiders

        Austrians tend to have little fear of finding deadly spiders in their Lederhosen. And kangaroos, wombats and dropbears are a little thin on the ground too.

  9. mevets

    Canadian door locks....

    I think it varies by where you live. When I lock my doors, it is to keep my friends and drunk strangers from wandering in. The latter happened to Justin Trudeau one year before he became our Prime Minister [https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/update-on-trudeau-break-in-probe-expected-tuesday].

    I suspect Nova Scotia is mainly the same; but some areas of Canada are more paranoid and prone to spontaneous violence.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Canadian door locks....

      I live in a college town, and if you look at the police reports every few weeks there's an instance of a drunken guy or girl walking into the wrong house, or residents of said house waking up to find some rando who smells like a brewery snoring on their couch.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Canadian door locks....

      In Canada it varies so much the government created the Crime Severity Index to take into account the volume of crime and the relative seriousness. If you live outside a high CSI area (or culture) you are incredibly safe from violent crime even though the CBC might suggest otherwise with endless gun articles and certain crime coverage.

      Searching for communities with high Crime Severity Index will show that many Canadians really are prone to spontaneous violence including that from strangers. Bin der myself, CSI seems pretty accurate IME.

      Increasingly it is becoming less acceptable for some of those Canadians to remain quiet and be the willing victims other Canadians demand. Canada could be made safer but that would mean addressing some of the foundations upon which Canada is built and there is no money or power in that.

      Meanwhile a neighbour trespassed and cut down some trees for a fence. Owner didn't care but still got all the firewood from the trees, beer is sure to follow. Such is life in an area with a single digit CSI, which is far better than the 1,000+ found in some Canadian communities.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We trusted each other more in the past - and we had less stuff that people could walk off with too - today you can walk in and steal a $1000 phone and TV and cycle off - used to be that stealing a phone or stereo system meant that you needed a truck.

    Back in the 80's when I lived in rural Maryland and Iowa City nobody bothered locking their doors.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      WTF?

      A TV you can cycle off with?

      today you can walk in and steal a $1000 phone and TV and cycle off

      If you can cycle off with a TV it's hardly worth stealing anyway.

  11. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Meanwhile in London...

    I imagine the Ecuador Consulate is hopefully leaving its front door not merely unlocked but also ajar in the hope the cat escapes before the free cleaners arrive...

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Meanwhile in London...

      before the free cleaners arrive...

      In a car with a blue flashing light on the roof

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Meanwhile in London...

      the free cleaners arrive...

      "'morning. We're here for Julian's clock."

  12. Chris Miller

    I know folks in the US who live in a rural community where no-one locks their doors - theirs isn't the sort of place where you get many 'strangers'. Not everyone lives in large cities.

    1. Nunyabiznes

      Raises hand. I do have keys to the house, but damned if I use them much.

      I'm more worried about a civil suit from the would be robber because of hearing loss from my dog welcoming him/her into the place.

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Pirate

      theirs isn't the sort of place where you get many 'strangers'

      "Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again until they get the hint."

  13. FuzzyTheBear
    Happy

    No point

    There's no point locking doors where i live. Crime is almost 0 / year. Never heard of a break-in anywhere in the area i lived in for a decade. So .. yes back door is opened .. come in . have a beer and if you care do the dishes while you're here .. i dont care :) BTW i do have a load of wash i'd be delighted to have done .. ill throw in an extra beer for that and since it's now legal .. ill leave a joint in the bottom of the basket for your trouble :)

  14. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    The only thing that could make this story more Canadian...

    Is if the cleaners profusely apologized to the homeowner for coming on his property and cleaning his house.

  15. earl grey Silver badge
    Pint

    Ah, glass milk bottles

    Remember them (and wifey still has one of the metal bottle holders) well. As one of seven sprog we would use at least a bottle per meal in our aluminum glasses (remember those?). I still have a scar on one finger from slipping and falling whilst carrying one of those bottles.

    Even beer was better back then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, glass milk bottles

      "[...] still has one of the metal bottle holders) [...]"

      With a little dial and pointer to indicate how many pints you want? Possibly an extra indicator for eggs?

      In the UK a disadvantage of doorstep bottles of pasteurised milk was that birds discovered how to peck a hole in the thin aluminium caps. That gave them access to the cream layer - wonder if they learned to differentiate the cap colours denoting high cream content? IIRC a study showed that it was a new behaviour that then spread amongst such bird populations.

      We had the sterilised milk which came with a steel "crown" cap. In very cold winters the cap would be supported above the bottle on a frozen pillar of milk.

      At school we had a small bottles of milk - IIRC a gill or 2 gills? Not particularly nice in winter if they had been stored next to the classroom radiator. There was always someone willing to drink surplus bottles - unless they had curdled in the summer sun. That free milk issue was eventually stopped by the Education Minister with the eternal rhyming soubriquet of "milk snatcher".

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Ah, glass milk bottles

        As a hater of school milk, thanks for stopping it!

      2. Hopalong

        Re: Ah, glass milk bottles

        I seem to remember they where 1/3 pint bottles (190ml approx).

  16. herman Silver badge

    Of course you leave the doors unlocked in Canada. Someone may want to come in and make a cup of tea, eh.

  17. JohnG

    Friendly dog

    "....the home had been left open so that the neighbour could walk the owner's dog."

    The dog was apparently happy for two complete strangers to enter the house and clean it. Presumaby, the dog would have been just as happy if they had emptied the place of valuables.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Friendly dog

      I was thinking the same.

      Presumably the owner later explained to the dog about the perceived benefits of its free board and lodgings?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    House is locked, but the car...

    Our double-car garage can only hold one car when it's a sizeable crossover-type SUV, plus multiple bikes/toys, lawnmower, snowblower, and various manual implements. (The garage "car" is also newer, nicer, and leased; naturally, the missus gets it to take the kids to school and run errands).

    The older (same model), owned-outright car, my daily driver, sits on the driveway instead. Both I and the missus have left it unlocked overnight for various reasons, but usually due to unloading something and the having hands too full to use the key fob to lock up. It is a testament to the safety of our neighborhood that it hasn't been taken yet!

    (At least if I want to pre-start it, missus gave me a remote start unit as a gift for letting her have the leased one. Locked or not, without the key it will shut down as soon as you touch the brake or mess with the wiring -- fail-safe by law.)

  19. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Right

    I think I saw something about this a while ago.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Right

      Paul,

      Liked the Advert :)

      Very funny.

    2. tony trolle

      Re: Right

      I have had police turn up at work while re-imaging a old PC they wanted to look at; luckily old drive was swapped out and bagged (90 day fire safe hold). I guess this had happened before.

  20. Adrian Jones

    But what about the most important question in this article...

    Did the dog get its walk?

  21. EveryTime Silver badge

    We recently started locking our doors, but only because the 2 year old next door likes to come in and play with the toys.

    It's a nice change from living where you couldn't leave the garage door open while running back inside for something you forgot.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Police checked the address for fingerprints but couldn't find any adding it looks like a professional job.

  23. ICPurvis47 Bronze badge
    Thumb Up

    Guard dogs

    One day we were in a hurry to get somewhere (I forget where or why) and rushed out, chucked the kids in the back seat of the car, and zoomed off. Some time later, when we returned home, there was the front door - wide open. Our Golden Retriever was sitting at attention on the doormat, "I'm on guard, no-one gets past me". Soft as tripe usually, but in this case she knew that something was wrong.

    On the other hand, a friend and his wife returned from the cinema to find the back door broken and the burglar sitting on the stairs, mortally afraid of their Alsatian, who had apparently watched as he broke in, followed him around the house in his search for swag, but would not let him anywhere near either the front or back doors. Cops called, and everyone except the burglar had a good laugh. Alsatian was given a police badge to wear on his collar.

    1. Stork Silver badge

      Re: Guard dogs

      I heard a story of even better dogs. A breeder of estrela mountain dogs one morning found two of them were missing. A search showed they had dug under the fence to the neighbours where they were preventing burglars leaving the house, owner was away.

  24. Maty

    Security? we've heard of it

    One of the things I like about living hereabouts is that dinner parties are usually potluck - you each bring a course. After the dinner the hosts wash up, and you pop around to the house over the next few days and root around in the kitchen until you find the plates you brought the food on - whether the host is home is not really relevant.

    Likewise when my wife was visiting family I would discover pre-cooked meals waiting for me in the kitchen, because the neighbours were (unnecessarily) worried about me starving while she was gone.

    You do need to close doors though. Another friend looked over her sofa and discovered a bear dragging out the trash bag from the kitchen, and not that long ago a woman hereabouts was attacked by a cougar while watching TV. (Oh, and in British Columbia, Canadian milk comes in plastic bottles, as nature intended.)

  25. StephenH

    There was an episode of The Amazing Race where the contestants had to go to an address and paint room. They went to the wrong place but the occupant, who didn't speak English, still let the contestants in and paint.

    Only after the task was complete and the contestants asked for their next clue which the occupant couldn't provide did they start to suspect something was wrong.

  26. Alowe

    Did they make a clean getaway?

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