Friday, March 24, 2006

Shoplifting: Case #08 - The Plate

   Impulse theft. He'd parked a muddy red Toyota outside the main windows. Male, early 20's, chunky and pasty. Looked like the Pillsbury doughboy's crime prone, dumb cousin. When the alarm rang out he froze, brows furrowed. Thinking.
   Ahh, the criminal mind. Then he bolted -- must've remembered lunch.
   Dropped his keys once on the sidewalk and accidentally kicked them. Then he dropped them again as he fumbled with his locked car door. As heists go, this was terribly lame.
   Derek and Professor charged out the door as if the perp had nicked their cigarettes. I walked to the cube and nonchalantly wrote down his license plate number. Phoned the police while Mandy told me the car make, model, color, number of doors, etc. ... We had plenty of time. The red rocket wouldn't start.
   Rrrr rrrr rrr oooohhmmm. Rrrr rrrr rrr ooohhmmm.
   Professor pounded on the hapless car hood. "Surrender! Confess! We caught you on video!"
   Worse, Derek had disappeared near the car's radiator.
   Mandy and I argued whether God's will or fate had cursed this hombre with the terrible misfortune to be so utterly stupid.
   With the sixth crank, the reluctant roadster wheezed into life. Jesse James punched it in reverse, then dropped his jaw onto the floor.
   Derek had succeeded in unscrewing and removing the front license plate, which he raised high like a championship belt.
   Cool trophy.
   Police nailed him two blocks west. Car ran out of gasoline at the intersection.
   Girlfriend's car.
   Actually, it was her daddy's car and he already had opinions about this rebel Romeo.

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