Oroville Mercury-Register

Consequenc­es of a good deed


I walk daily. When someone’s newspaper has been left at the street for more than a day, I usually take it to their front door and leave it there.

Accumulati­ng newspapers is a sign to thieves the home might be unoccupied. Recently, a resident appeared to be on vacation because of accumulati­ng papers. For perhaps a week, I took the paper to the door and left it with previous ones.

Last night, I walked with a friend who lives near that home and she told me the resident died, a single man in his sixties. I told her I took his paper to his front porch each day, thinking he was on vacation. “So you’re the one who did that!” she said. “The neighbors thought he was OK because his newspaper was picked up every day.”

His body was found when his car alarm went off for over an hour and neighbors knocked on his door, got no response, and called the police who found his decomposin­g body.

I wonder how things would have been different if I had not picked up the papers. Certainly, the neighbors would have knocked on his door a lot sooner. I am sobered by the thought of how a good deed could have such negative results. I could never have seen this one coming.

— Brian Kraemer, Chico

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