JUNE 3, 3 A.M.: Makir R., a maintenance man for Country Place Apartments in the 2400 block of South Bumby Avenue, received a phone call from a tenant who said he couldn't gain access to the laundry room. The caller had a hankering to clean some late-night laundry, but his dirtied duds would have to wait.
Mr. R. immediately investigated the laundry room and realized its doors had been locked from the inside a foreboding discovery. Upon finally opening the doors, the vandalized property was in plain view: four coin-operated washing machines, lying on their backs and scattered across the space.
Only hours earlier, possibly, the quarter-craving suspect(s) tried prying off the machines' coin-reservoir doors, prepared to stuff empty pockets with chump change. The attempt was futile, and the weighty washing machines were sent crashing to the floor. But the coin trays remained unscathed, and the suspect(s) fled, perhaps avoiding all Expressway Authority routes on the way home. Damage to the machines totaled approximately $1,000.
JUNE 2, 11 A.M.: The previous morning, a fellow O-town burglar in need of something struck, only this time coins wouldn't quench desire.
Derrick L., an employee at Church Street Station, locked and secured all cabinets and windows at a business in the 120 block of West Church Street before leaving. When he returned at 10 a.m. the following morning, however, a sobering surprise awaited.
Sometime in between, the suspect(s) approached a window on the building's rear side and smashed it in with an unknown tool. Having crafted an entry point, the burglar(s) removed a wooden wedge securing the door adjacent to the shattered window and entered the building, where the frosty prizes were in place. The thirsty suspect(s) moved behind the bar, prying open a locked cabinet lined with liquor bottles. After stealing $330 worth of booze, 18 perspiring bottles of Miller Lite beer were removed from a cooler, totaling $20.
In the end, although our suspect's(s') actions might've appeared reckless, choosing a lager with only half the carbs of Bud Light proved to be a tasteful choice.
JUNE 1, 6:30 P.M.: In this case, those involved weren't looking for low-calorie treats, but were needful of sugar-powered sweets instead.
Supposedly, all the doors at Modern Welding in the 1800 block of Atlanta Avenue had been closed and locked by employee Jon S. before heading home that evening. Except for one. And the fateful mistake of leaving this particular entry point unlocked didn't cause much "Snickering" among workers come dawn.
The suspect(s) entered the locked, fenced compound that night, possibly by climbing over the fence. Once inside the premise, entry was gained through the break-room door. Inside the silent space, the sweet-toothed suspect(s) began the burglarizing by prying open one luminous food-vending machine and emptying the coin box's clangorous contents. But the burglar(s) didn't stop here. The real goods at hand were five nougat-loaded Snickers bars perhaps the suspect's(s') favorite candy bar? Although the peanut-packed snacks were valued at merely $3, damage to the vending machine totaled approximately $500.
Coincidentally, three males were spotted by officers that evening lugging a backpack stuffed with Pepsi products. It is unknown if this trio of possible Pepsi-perps is related to the case.
MAY 31, 6 P.M.: One day prior to the Snickers raid, a fourth burglary took place, satisfying the needs of another junk-food fan.
James W., a Beefy King restaurant employee in the 420 block of North Bumby Avenue, was locking up after an arduous day filled with Tater-Tot-frying, roast-beef-stacking and milkshake-blending. Sometime between then and Mr. W.'s return at 7:30 a.m., the suspect(s) tried gaining entry into the meat-dishing joint by shattering the men's bathroom window. The attempt failed, and instead, the burglar(s) climbed onto the restaurant's outside freezer. Now elevated, the suspect(s) yanked off the building's soffits and climbed into the attic. Ceiling panels were removed, and the suspect(s) descended into the belly of Beefy King: the rear kitchen.
Once inside, the suspect's(s') sweaty effort paid off with the petty cash stuffed within two registers: a whopping $250. Most amazingly, however, the burglar(s) ably sprung back into the attic, out of the man-made opening and into the blackened night. By the burglary's end, Beefy King sustained $500 worth of damages twice the amount of our burglar's(s') beef-bought booty.
MAY 27, 3 P.M.: The final case reflects the fact that not all wistful suspects are looking to satisfy their needs with material goods.
The weekend was just around the corner, and Room No. 18 had been tightly locked at Audubon Park Elementary School in the 1500 block of Falcon Drive. But the longing suspect(s) lurked nearby, and the empty schoolroom was in store for a surprise.
Possibly drunk, the booze-infused burglar(s) left a collection of empty beer cans in the school courtyard before gaining access to the room. Entry was granted by prying off the door handle, either with a metal pipe later found at the scene or by using Hulk-like strength. But surprisingly, all textbooks, desks and Magic Markers remained untouched. After chugging a few brews, perhaps it was nostalgia that compelled the suspect(s) to revisit the schoolroom, where bittersweet memories of the third and fourth grade lingered.
The sentimental suspect(s) left soon after, keeping the doorknob, possibly, as a souvenir. The stolen door handle cost Audubon Park Elementary School an estimated $100.