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Thursday, October 6, 2011



Two years ago, before Mrs. Cranky was Mrs. Cranky, her townhouse was broken into.  The future Mrs. C returned home one afternoon, and startled two burglars who quickly exited out the back door.   The police arrived and determined they broke in through a side window.  Mrs. C had an alarm system but it was not functioning.  Calling the alarm company was on her to-do list.

After searching the home it was determined nothing was missing.  One of the advantages of not being wealthy is there is very little for people to steal.  Two weeks later the thieves were caught. 
New Jersey has an agency, VINE, (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) which advises victims of a crime on the status of the crime perpetrators.   This must be a comforting system for many, especially victims of violent crimes, or those who testified in court against the criminal.

When the status of the criminal changes, he is arrested, out on bail, incarcerated, or released, VINE notifies victims of the change in status.  In the case of Mrs. Cranky, the perpetrator was never seen by Mrs. C, he knows the townhouse has no treasures, and there is no real reason to expect he would return to the scene of this one of his many burgled homes.  Nevertheless VINE notifies Mrs. C every time the status of this particular criminal changes.  That in and of itself is not so bad, however, their method of notification leaves something to be desired.
When the criminal’s status changes, VINE gives us a call explaining the change in status.  The call is automated and to insure we receive it, they repeat the call every 30 minutes until we respond with a four digit code.  We have no idea what that code is.  We do not know how to get the code, or turn off the notification system.  Calling VINE gets you multiple machines to “talk” with, and requires more patience and system knowledge than either of us possesses.  Initially this was a minor inconvenience.  We were notified of his (still do not know the name) capture, his bail, his conviction, and his incarceration.  There were four instances of constant phone calls for 24 hours.  Well, in fact they did stop calling after midnight until 8 am.  It was not too awful.  We looked upon it as having a clock that chimed really loud every 30 minutes.
The other day, VINE kicked it up a notch.  Our burglar whom we thought was safely behind bars and no threat to invoke the VINE notification for several years, escaped!  We received the alert every 30 minutes.  This time the alert went on for all 24 hours, including ALL FUCKING NIGHT!

Finally, when we thought the alert system had run its course, our burglar was recaptured.  Of course we had to be notified of this change of events.  We were notified for another 24 hours, including ALL FUCKING NIGHT. 

Two days now without sleep I am pleading with VINE; thank you very much, I know your intentions are good,


  1. Love love your post they crack me the f up love it. Hey stop by my site there is a challenge take it on if you want or not.....

  2. Sounds like harassment to me. Sheesh!!

  3. Cranky

    Being a hater of these things myself I did the old google thing and have found a number that you call to register with VINE. If it's to register surely it can't be automated so maybe you can use it to get them to turn your notifications off - who knows - it's probably the number you already have.


    Good luck with it - no sleep is not good!

    Lou :-)