NOV. 8, 11:10 A.M.: Our teenage hoodlum walked into a video game emporium in the 2900 block of East Colonial Drive, brandished a weapon, demanded cash from the register and, oddly enough, a driver’s license from everyone in the store. And then he took off without even jacking a copy of Guitar Hero III, World of Warcraft or some other craptacular game over which pimply-faced nerds throw away their lives and retain their perpetual virginity. We don’t get the kids these days.
NOV. 10, 6:04 A.M.: Remember back in high school when you could sneak onto local golf courses at night and joy-ride in those totally rad golf carts? (Not us. We were well-behaved adolescents and never ran afoul of the law, honest. But we’ve heard stories.) Turns out, such behavior is illegal – who knew? – and the people who own said golf carts aren’t thrilled when you do it. A few (presumably) young toughs didn’t get that memo. They broke into the golf cart barn at a course in the 4220 block of Clubhouse Road, stole three golf carts and went cruising. Come morning, one cart was flipped over, another was covered in spray paint and the third was in a lake. Total damage: $8,000.
NOV. 10, 4 P.M.: If two guys jumped you inside a Mercy Drive supermarket, choked you and jacked your wallet, you’d probably want to prosecute, right? Not our 51-year-old victim, who asked the cops to let it go.
NOV. 11, 12:11 A.M.: “This is an ongoing problem,” Officer Gregg complains. Thugs are making a habit of snatching toiletry supplies – toilet paper, soap, shampoo – from a provider of portable potties in the 340 block of North Orange Blossom Trail. The suspect(s) crawled under a chain-link fence to gain access to their booty. They did set off an alarm, which in turn alerted Officer Gregg, who may have been able to nab our hygienic burglars save one teensy problem: “It was learned that the Brinks alarm has a 20 minute delay and [victim] was notified of that problem.”
NOV. 11, 1:46 P.M.: Sometimes, writing this column provokes visceral responses. Our next tale is such an instance, one that left this columnist yearning for a return to the days of public floggings. A 25-year-old woman was driving her family’s ice cream truck in the 3500 block of Spaulding Road when two 20-something dudes flagged her down. One wanted a hot sausage sandwich – the roving ice cream business must have changed since we were younger – and our soon-to-be victim complied. While she was making the sandwich, the other punk walked to the driver’s window, pointed a handgun at her and demanded money. She obliged. And then he pulled the trigger. Nice guys, huh? Fortunately, his handgun misfired. He asked if she had forked over all the money; the victim said she had. The two men fled on foot.
NOV. 12, 5:49 A.M.: Our next perp was either psychic or really hungry – and really lucky. Over to you, Officer Fellows: “[Victim] was waiting at the bus stop [at the intersection of South Street and Lionel Avenue] when she noticed a brown or black car slowly drive by going south on Lionel Avenue, turn west of South Street, then park in a nearby driveway. A small framed black male, approximately 5 feet, 10 inches with medium brown skin, wearing baggy black pants, a tan-colored jacket with a hood trimmed in white, exited the vehicle and walked towards the bus stop. The unknown suspect walked past [victim], and then returned, taking [victim’s] lunch bag. The suspect kicked at [victim] and acted as if he was going for a weapon on his waistband. [Victim] started yelling for help, and the suspect ran away, getting back into his vehicle. The suspect was able to get [victim’s] lunch bag, which also contained her driver’s license, credit cards, and approximately $123 in cash.”
NOV. 12, 8:30 P.M.: Police Beat Tip o’ the Week: If a police officer pulls you over and asks to search your vehicle, and said vehicle contains a half-pound of booger sugar, a gun and a large sum of (possibly ill-gotten) money, politely decline his offer. Sure, maybe they’ll go get a search warrant and you’ll be screwed anyway, but if you let them inside your automobile you’re just making it easy for them. And it’s not like your acquiescence will save you a trip to 33rd Street, as our 35-year-old Chevy Silverado driver discovered.
NOV. 12, 10:32 P.M.: Our mother – always a nervous sort – warned us never to leave our valuable unattended, even in our own house. We thought she was paranoid. Guess not. While our victims were somewhere inside their house in the 520 block of Conway Road, our suspect removed the screen, reached his hand through the open kitchen window, snatched a purse and took off. Lesson: Always listen to your mother.