Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stop crime, get arrested


I can’t believe this.

Ok, so: let’s play “let’s imagine”.

Let’s imagine you own a store. A small, independently run store. It doesn’t matter what you sell, but let’s say it’s…flowers.

You’re trying to make an honest buck. You display your wares inside and outside your store for passersby to notice and browse through.

Now, let’s imagine some guy comes by on his bike – with an empty cardboard box – and pulls up in front of your store. He goes directly for the goods. He puts down the box in front of the goods and re-positions his bike. He looks from side to side. He starts loading up his box with your goods. When the box is full, he repositions his bike again, gets on, reaches down, picks up the box and rides off.

Now let’s imagine your security camera caught all of this on tape.

Now let’s imagine this douchebag has the balls to come back to the same store on the same day on the same bike wearing the same clothes.

What would you do?

Let’s imagine you go up to the guy and confront him. How would you handle that?

Let’s imagine you talk to the guy calmly, inform him that you recognize him and that he should stay put while your co-worker calls the police to deal with the matter.

Let’s imagine the guy bolts. He drops his bike and runs down the alley away from your store.

What would you do?

Let’s imagine you chase the guy. You’re a pretty fast runner and you’re not a small person. You catch the guy.

Now what?

Let’s imagine the guy puts up a struggle and maybe even takes a few swings.

Now what?

Well, if you’re David Chen, owner of a flower shop in Chinatown, you tie the guy up and put him in your delivery truck until the cops show up an hour and a half later. Somewhere in between, you may or may not have given the thief a shot or two for your troubles.

If you’re me, you’re applauding Mr. Chen for his actions. A job well done, I say. Although I wouldn’t suggest the shots he and his associates may or may not have given the thief, I don’t exactly blame him.

Problem is that when the cops showed up – eventually – the ride-by flower enthusiast was charged with theft and released on $1,000 bail while Mr. Chen and his coworkers were charged with assault and kidnapping and released on $7,500 bail.

Somehow fighting persistent petty crime doesn’t seem worth it.

So what’s a guy to do?

The icing on the cake is that the thief’s son (forget “alleged thief” – it’s on tape) actually had the nerve to come by the store two days later and angrily confront Mr. Chen for “beating up” his dad. Mr. Chen informed the young man that his father struck him first. Thief jr. apparently claimed he didn’t care if his dad stole something. If not for the crowd of patrons who backed up Mr. Chen, who knows where that confrontation might have gone?

Seems the kid is every bit the douchebag his dad is. Isn’t that sweet?

So let’s imagine this all happened to you. What would you have done?

I'd like to think I would have done pretty much the same thing.

Maybe I should start saving up bail money, huh?

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