Heavy Sleeper

A guy in New York City passed out drunk on the street outside his apartment building and got robbed not once, but twice. And he slept through both incidents.

According to the article the victim, we’ll call him Tanner for no other reason than this sounds like something a Tanner would do. Tanner went out and got lit, then ran out of gas right in front of his building. He found himself a nice patch of concrete and snuggled in for the night awash in the cool, fresh breeze of a New York City Friday night. Probably very similar to the soothing stench medley of rotting garbage, urine, and sewer gas.

Over the next couple hours Tanner got robbed twice, by two different people. The first thief stole his “Messenger” bag (I’m thinking more like his murse) and laptop. The second guy, at a different time during the night, rolled his pockets and made off with Tanner’s phone and wallet. This second incident begs the question, what kind of shitty criminal was the first guy?

The fact that the first thief didn’t think of taking the wallet is hilarious to me. I have this picture in my head of this guy sitting on his couch the next morning rocking some fuzzy slippers, boxers, maybe a really ornate kimono. There he is watching the local news, shoveling Fruity Pebbles into his mouth while trying to guess the password of the laptop he stole when the anchor starts talking about the theft of Tanner’s laptop. He stops eating and stares at the screen. Then the anchor mentions the guy was robbed twice, the second thief making off with Tanner’s phone and wallet. Our robber drops his spoon into his Fruity Pebbles and yells, “FUUUUUUCK!”

Palm to forehead, he slumps in defeat as he realizes how much he sucks at crime.

I really hope that happened.

The other aspect of this story I hope is true is a scene, of my own design of course, where the next morning Tanner, the building manager, and two cops are watching security camera footage of his night on the concrete. There’s Tanner, no phone, no wallet, no murse or laptop, hair all disheveled, and head pounding from the dozen or so Lemon Drops he slugged the night before. He has to watch himself sleeping through two robberies. All the while listening to the manager and two cops snickering behind him.

Poor Tanner, or whatever your name is.

PS: The suspects #sharkbait t-shirt is on point. #sharkweek.

PPS: Am I the only one who thinks the suspect is a dead ringer for t he Iron Shiek? I bet very few of you will get that reference.

Reference:

VIDEO: Man robbed while sleeping outside of Brooklyn apartment building; suspects sought (msn.com)

Work Smarter Not Harder, Right?

“Sly smuggler uses Border Patrol for free trips home,”

Time is money.

I’m not a businessman but I’ve seen Shark Tank enough to understand the phrase.

In law enforcement we have another phrase, “You don’t catch the smart ones,”

That’s usually because the would-be criminal mastermind failed to see a weakness in their particular scheme and it got him caught. Maybe a drug dealer didn’t quite know his customers as well as they should have and ended up ripped or selling to an undercover cop, something like that.

More often than not, criminals commit crime because of greed. People sell dope, commit fraud, rob banks, or in this case guide people across the U.S.-Mexico border for profit, as a way of bypassing the career ladder on the way to wealth. When some meth dealer with no job, living in the back room of grandma’s trailer is suddenly driving an eighty-thousand-dollar pick-up truck, police tend to notice. When the dude gets wrapped up because he didn’t have the patience to keep driving a shitty 1995 Honda Civic while setting up a fake auto detail business or some other way to hide his money we say,

“Well, you don’t catch the smart ones,”

While I can’t speak for every cop, and my frame of reference is dated, I always bet that there was some guy or girl out there, probably an army of them, who had the simple discipline to stay off the radar, live humbly, run their schemes, be patient, and cash out down the road. Like Andy in The Shawshank Redemption. In fact, I always wanted to meet one of them, and by meet, I mean arrest. Mostly because I wanted to be able to point to her (It would be a her because chicks are way smarter and patient than dudes) and say,

“Look! We got a smart one!”

I even wrote a disciplined drug kingpin into one of my books, Where Angels Sing. The guy’s name was Harold Washington. He owned a laundry mat, drove a crappy old truck, and just so happened to be the invisible force controlling all the illicit drug trade on the west side of Charleston, SC. I’m not going to say anymore on the off chance you haven’t scratched Where Angels Sing off your summer reading list yet, no spoilers, but worth the read.

Anyway, when I look at this story, it’s one of those where, if I was the Border Patrol guy making the arrest, I’d be hard pressed not to give Mr. Javier Ernesto Ayala-Osuna a little fist bump. If for nothing else then to say,

“Glad we caught you, but, good scam amigo,”

Not to get political, but our border is a shit show. Mr. Ayala brought illegals over the line then turned himself in to the Border Patrol for a free ride home. That’s not only brilliant, it’s a hilarious bit of ingenuity. It makes you wonder how he came to take the chance on a free ride home in the first place.

Maybe one hot, arid, desert day, he was out of water, or running late for a date back in Mexico, who knows. Either way Ayala finds himself hiding out in the bushes ducking patrols when he says to himself,  

“Fuck it, what’s the worst that could happen?”

He turns himself in, a little apprehensive about the gamble. But then he gets some water, hot food, and a free trip home to not only in time to make his date, but also get a head start on his next adventure leading illegal aliens through the United States backdoor. Like I said, brilliant, maximizing efficiency of operation while at the same time tricking your adversaries into taking some of the burden off your shoulders.

According to the story he did it six times. That’s six trips, $8,000 per head, four to six people at a time for a total of around $288,000 give or take. Can’t hold it against the guy for giving that career path a hard look. Don’t get me wrong coyotes should go to jail, along with the people who pay to be smuggled over the border. But if we as a nation are going to have such senseless policies as catch and release and leave the barn door wide open, you can’t hold it against a good capitalist for trying to get his.

The story notes that Mr. Ayala was only caught because his charges (so to speak) turned him in when they got stopped as a group by the border patrol. That brings me back to my initial rant. “We don’t catch the smart ones,” we do catch the coyotes who decide to let themselves get caught with the people they are smuggling. I guess it never occurred to Ayala that they would turn him in once they realized their journey to the land o’ plenty would hook a hard detour into a DHS detention center. Oh, and that they were out a few thousand dollars for their troubles. In the end it reads like Mr. Ayala got a little too complacent in his scheme. That being said, he did get away with it six times before getting caught so maybe we do catch the smart ones. We just have to wait and catch’em when their guards down.

Reference:

Sly smuggler uses Border Patrol for free trips home – Washington Times

The Mature Blue Stilton, Worth Going to Jail for…

This is almost as bad as when a fugitive falls for the old, “You won a radio contest gag,” which, by the way, I am proud to say I pulled off in the far distant past. But that’s another story for probably never so moving on.

When we look at this story there are a couple of things that stand out. The first being complacency. Complacency is a real concern for anyone working in an operational capacity. Whether undercover protecting an alias, a diplomat working abroad, or even yes, a drug dealer.

Operational Security is the same regardless of what side of the game board you’re on. If you’re on the side of government, law enforcement or intelligence, OPSEC is drilled into your thick skull almost before the ink is dry on your appointment letter.

I guess if you’re a dealer you don’t get that kind of formal education, more of an on-the-job training situation. The story here shows Mr. Stewart, that’s the guy, was wise enough to keep his comms out of the public air, via an encrypted chat service, but became so comfortable in the digital shadows that he thought casually discussing his favorite cheeses on the platform wouldn’t put him at risk. That’s where complacency lies, when things get a little too comfortable. Complacency kills, as the saying goes, or at least in this case it costs you, a lot…like a decade of your life lot.

My question in this whole thing isn’t how the authorities got his prints off the photo. That’s been done. A couple of photo filters, adjust the gradient, sprinkle in a little contrast, and BAM! Forensics. My question is context. This was not a solitary, random post about a cheese no one has ever heard of (or maybe I’m not enough of a connoisseur). This strikes me as the secret squirrel equivalent of taking food selfies. Or maybe he was hosting an underworld dinner party that night and wanted to check with Ecstasy Erica, his MDMA source, to make sure she wasn’t averse to the Mature Blue Stilton. Perhaps he had already had so much trouble with Heroin Karen over her gluten allergy that he was sick of it and decided to run the menu by everyone- menu mystery be damned! Problem was Erica had no idea what the Blue Stilton was and when overwhelmed with frustration he sent her a photo.

“Here!” he could be heard bellowing through the grocery, “It’s a God-Damned cheese! Uncultured heathens…I swear!”

That’s probably not how it happened. But the story seemed more fun this way.

Reference:

Liverpool man latest to be jailed as part of national Operation Venetic | Merseyside Police

You Remember to Ditch the Gun, but Forget the Weed Up Your Ass?

You are a thirteen-time felon by the age of twenty-seven.

You shoot yourself in the junk.

Despite the pain and shock you are cognizant enough to have your girl ditch the gun.

But you forget about the bag of weed up your ass?

The report said Cam, Cameron Wilson but we’ll call him Cam, shot himself through the testicles. If that is true, Cameron Wilson might be the world champion of pain tolerance. As in, “You’ve suffered enough bud, maybe the judge should let you walk on this one.” If he just put one through the bag though, this is incredibly irresponsible journalism.

Here let’s not worry about trajectory, damage, etc. Let’s consider whether or not Mr. Wilson, knew he had weed up his ass when they were prepping him for surgery. If you’ve ever had surgery, you get all those forms and questions before they put you down. The nurse standing over you,

“When was the last time you ate?”

“When was your last bowel movement?”  and on and on.

I’m no expert on smuggling via asshole, but I have to imagine that at some point before the lights went out Cam realized the bag of weed was up there. Maybe the initial adrenaline, fear, and pain might have let things slip his mind in the moment but at some point Wilson remembered where he put his weed. And he must’ve made the decision: I’ve got this, what they don’t know won’t hurt them. Its already up there anyway.

Then they start pushing the meds and the world turns into cupcakes and unicorns.

“I’ve got this,” he giggles without realizing he spoke out loud.

The nurse administering the medication responds, “Yeah, you’ve got this,” trying to be helpful while thinking, this num nuts sterilizing himself is probably the best thing to happen to Wenatchee in the last year.

Cam realizes just as they push the, anesthesia meds, “Wait, did I say tha…?” Snore.

In the blink of an eye Cameron wakes back up. Everything is blurry but he feels awesome. He slurs, “Knew they’d never find it,”

A guy in a dark blue uniform and a broad mustache leans into his field of view. He’s a little blurry too but Cam can see the badge and a Ziplock bag he’s holding up for him. It contains another smaller, dark colored plastic bag,

“Find what, find this?” he asks. The cop gives the bag a little shake for emphasis, “Don’t worry, you’re all cleaned out kid, found the meth in the car too. Lucky fourteen bud. You sit tight,”

“Fuck,” Cam slurs, again not realizing he’s actually talking.

The cop doesn’t miss a beat, “Not with that junk you’re not,”

Reference:

Trouble snowballs for man who shot himself | News | wenatcheeworld.com

Oh, Mayor Mike, Never a Cop Around When You Need One Huh?

Authors Note: This is a work of fiction, a Parody no less so relax. Names and places have been changed to protect the ignorant and misguided. Though this is technically not a story about a stupid criminal, this statement was so ignorant, if I wasn’t such a freedom of speech advocate I would want the man in jail. Anyway…

Mayor Mike Ellyott of Brooklyn Heights, Minnesota is headed home after a long day of pondering what it will be like when a police officer no longer needs a gun to enforce the law. Over brunch he and his advisors had a long and deep conversation about all the ways an armed police force only adds stress to the city. How guns themselves are a long-standing threat to peace. If no one had guns there wouldn’t be violence in the streets. People could carry out their days without having to look over their shoulder every time a black and white police car drove by.

The idea of police cars being black and white even became its own discussion. Why are police cars black and white? So stark. Karen, Mayor Mike’s civic Empowerment Council chair and long-time confidant from their days as women’s studies majors at the University of Phoenix had made a great point.

“Certain colors are more stressful than others,” she’d said, “Why not find colors that foster calm? That way the public stress is lowered, the police will be less stressed, and the cars themselves would brighten up Brooklyn Heights,”

Mayor Mike was not usually an impulse decision maker, but Karen’s suggestion felt right in his bones.

“Let’s do it,” he’d said.

A quick Google search of relaxing color palettes and they decided right there, purple and a muted grey. They even decided to change the department’s uniforms to a muted grey to match.

Monty, his Recreation Director made a good point, “The Minnesota Football team (He couldn’t recall the name) was purple. Some people love sports, this is going to be a hit!”

Being Mayor was a tough job but tonight Mayor Mike pulled his Smart Car into his driveway carrying a big smile on his face. He had been a little nervous after the press conference. The thing he said about guns and traffic stops just came out. It’s usually not smart for a politician to speak from the heart. But it had worked, his friends were so supportive.

Mayor Mike grabbed his canvas tote from the passenger seat and was walking up his step when he noticed his front door looked…off. The latch was open. It was only and inch or two, but it was open.

That’s odd, he thought. Maybe Rosetta, his housekeeper, left the door open again. She’d done it before.

“Hello?” he called as he walked in. He turned on lights as he made his way from the foyer to the kitchen. As he passed a doorway between the kitchen and the living room, he noticed another anomaly standing out from the norm of his household.

It was dark in there, but Mayor Mike distinctly saw a man standing in his living room.

He had a knife in his hand.

Time stood still for a moment. Mayor Mike and the armed intruder in a standoff. Then it moved, he swore the man with the knife moved but Mayor Mike could not be sure. With a shriek of animalistic terror so high in decibel a chardonnay glass on the counter shattered Mayor Mike ran for his life. His feet scrambling, he ran in a blind panic. With no direction or thought, he sprinted right past the hallway leading to the back door of the house and up the stairs. He locked himself in the bathroom, screaming like a banshee the whole time.

He locked the door and threw a towel hanging from the hamper at it. Then he threw the entire hamper and its contents at the door. Mayor Mike stopped screaming when he backed into the toilet and almost fell in the bowel. He clawed at his pocket for his phone. His fingers would not respond to his commands when he tried to hit the emergency dial.

Finally, the connection started ringing,

Once…

Twice…

Three times…

“Come onnnn,” he whined.

“911 what is the nature of your emergency?” A dispassionate female voice asked.

“Mmm, bla, mmer, blah!” Mayor Mike was so scared he’d lost the ability to speak.

“Ma’am please, try and calm down. What is your address?’

“912 Folsom, this is the mayor!” Mayor Mike cried.

“What is your emergency…Sir?”

“Man! Knife! In my house!” he spurted. “He’s in my house,”

The dispatcher didn’t miss a beat. She transitioned to the Police frequency while maintaining the same unflappable tone, “All units in the vicinity, possible Burglary with weapon at 912 Folsom Street. Complainant states an individual with a knife is in his home,”

Mayor Mike heard the call go out, “Tell them it’s the Mayor!”

There was a pause, “You sure Sir?”

“Yes, hurry,” was the desperate reply.

Another pause, then, “Be advised, it’s the mayor’s residence,”

Unit 3-1-3, at Avondale and Main Street had just stopped for a traffic light when the dispatcher took to the air waves. She interrupted an incredibly involved conversation,

“No, I mean how else do they have a dress unless they ate the last chick they came across?” asked Hammond, driving down the point with a knife hand to the palm.

Burman was driving, “I can’t stress enough how little I care about space bears or Star Wars,” he said in a gruff voice.

“They’re not space bears, they’re Ewoks,” Hammond blurted.

“Still don’t care,”

The car radio crackled, “All units in the vicinity, possible Burglary with weapon at 912 Folsom Street. Complainant states an individual with a knife is in his home,” a dispatcher named Trisha announced.

Hammond grabbed the microphone from its cradle, but he couldn’t trigger the talk button before the dispatcher added, “Be advised, it’s the mayor’s residence,”

Hammond and Burman froze. The microphone in Hammond’s hand dropped an inch.

“BWAHH, HAHAHA! HAHAHA!” The two patrolmen lost it.

There wasn’t a cop in Minnesota that hadn’t heard Mayor Mikes comments on whether or not Police need to have guns when conducting certain traffic stops. What an asshole. And what a horribly stupid thing to say. Statistically, police are more likely to be killed during a traffic stop than any other operational activity, and this guy was supposed to be their leader.

Burnam’s eyes were tearing up. Hammond patted him on the shoulder,

“SHH! SHH!” He knew dispatch had the geolocation of all the squad cars and they were only six blocks away. They had to answer up. He had to hold his breath for a second to keep from cracking up when he went over the air.

“Control,” he wheezed, “Show 3-1-3 in route,” Hammond flipped on the overhead blue and red lights and blipped the siren.

Burnam didn’t peel out to burn the red light like he usually did.

“What are you doin?” asked Hammond.

Burman pointed to the red light above, “Obey all traffic laws,” he said.

“Huh?”

“You didn’t read the updates. Mayor Mike sent a memo last week stating that police, fire, and EMS will do their upmost to emphasize the safety and concern of the public,”

Hammond sat back in his seat, “So out of all people Mayor Mike would not want us to put the public in jeopardy only on his account,”

“No way,” commented Burnam.

“Course not,”

That same moment Mayor Mike screamed, “Help Me!” in Dispatcher Trisha’s ear.

The light turned green but no other cars in any of the four lanes surrounding the intersection moved until Burnam pulled responsibly from the line. He accelerated to the exact speed limit, 35 mile per hour.

“Very responsible,” said Hammond,

“Safety first,” replied Burnam.

The black and white patrol car drove down the main thoroughfare traversing Brooklyn Heights at thirty four miles an hour, a horde of cars backing up behind them. The patrolmen made it though two more lights before the next changed from green to yellow. Burnam slowed to a stop before it went red. The intersection all around them was a ghost town as vehicles to the left and right were not willing to cut off the police car with lights flashing.

“Clear?” asked Burnam.

Hammond studied the intersection for ten seconds, “Clear,” he confirmed.

Burnam activated his right blinker and slowly made the turn. He gingerly attained the speed limit before slowing again. A woman walking her dog was looking to cross. She looked at the flashing car. Both the woman and her dog’s head cocked in the same curious way. Hammond lowered his window and waved her across.

“Courteous,” said Hammond.

“Mmm hmpf,”

The patrol car returned to the speed limit four more blocks before Burman again activated his blinker, the left this time. He came to a stop. A beige Chrysler minivan was fifty yards away traveling in their direction. The police officers waited patiently until the confused woman behind the wheel came to a stop opposite them. Hammond waved to her as a means of thanking her as they turned.

Dispatcher Trisha clicked across the radio, “The mayor states he can hear the party in his house. 3-1-3 what’s your ETA?” In the background a high-pitched crying could be heard amongst a muted chorus of laughter.

“Control show us on scene,”

Burnam cut the lights and pulled to the curb one house down. He and Hammond exited the car, softly clicking the doors shut. It was dusk but still light enough to see without their flashlights. The unholstered their service issue Glock 22’s and approached Mayor Mike’s house. From the driveway they could see the front door was closed.

“Control can the mayor come to the door?” Burnam asked in his shoulder mic.

Trisha keyed the microphone but all they could hear over the channel, and from inside the house was a desperate, “Please God Help Me!”

Burnam and Hammond looked at each other, “Sounds exigent,” Hammond stated.

“Control, we’re making entry, give us the channel,”

“All unit’s clear channel for 3-1-3,”

Burnam took point and after getting set at the front door he put a boot to it, splintering the frame and denting the locking mechanism. The two flowed into the foyer shouting, “Police! Police! Come out with your hands up!”

The two cops moved in sync from door to door, clearing hallways and other potential danger areas. All the while they heard mumbled cries, from upstairs. As they came to the living room Burnam covered the kitchen as Hammond sliced the pie, revealing the living room before him step by step. When he saw a figure standing in the center of the room he shouted, “Don’t move!”

The figure didn’t move.

“Got one in the living room,” Hammond called, “Put your hands up, do it now,”

The figure didn’t move, it was dark in the living room, he could only make out the silhouette of a man, something was in his hand,

“I said put your God damned hands up!” he shouted. Then he clicked on his flashlight.

The bright light revealed a mannequin, faceless, dressed in a weird, grey/brown Brooklyn Heights Police uniform. Hammond pulled a rolled-up note from the plastic left hand. It was for Mayor Mike,

“Mike,

I was so excited about the new direction for the PD that I ran over to the uniform outlets and pulled this together as an idea, isn’t it great!”

signed Monty.”

When Hammond turned with a quizzical look on his face Burnam was there to snap a photo with his phone.

“What the fuck?” griped Hammond,

“At least you didn’t shoot him,” said Burnam.

“Control be advised, Mayor residence clear,”

After a pause Trisha came over the radio, “Copy, residence clear,” the laughter in the dispatch center was louder now.

Hammond and Burnam were studying the new Brooklyn Heights Police uniform while they waited for Mayor Mike, there was violet striping down the leg,

“There is no way I’m wearing this,” Burnam declared.

“You smell piss?”

They turned around to see Mayor Mike descend slowly down the stairs. His face was streaked in tears, eyes puffy and red. He walked in between them to look at the ‘intruder.’ Burnam and Hammond shared a look behind his back. Hammond nodded in gesture toward the seat of the mayor’s pants. They were soaked.

“Nothing to worry about Mr. Mayor,” said Hammond quenching a grin.

“Just glad your alright Sir,” added Burnam, stone faced.

Mayor Mike looked too exhausted to speak.

Hammond watched him, “You know Sir, I see you don’t have an alarm, that kind of thing really helps put people at ease,”

“Having a gun in the house helps too,” added Burnam.

Hammond’s head snapped in Burnam’s direction; eyes wide. He was biting his upper lip so hard he might draw blood.

The mayors head perked up.

Hammond keyed his mic and started for the door, “Control, Mayor secure, show us 0-8 (available for call),” as the two cops fled the scene.

The following day both men were detailed to the newly created Mayor’s (Armed) Protection Detail. Neither asked how often or when the mayor thought they should carry their weapons.

They were also plainclothes so Burnam never had to wear the new uniform.

Reference:

https://www.bizpacreview.com/2021/04/14/brooklyn-center-mayor-police-dont-necessarily-need-guns-for-making-traffic-stops-1059671/