Stop Thief!

Really? Just taking your computer for a walk?
As regular readers of this humble blog know, my home was broken into 6 times before the thieves were finally caught. During their reign of terror they managed to steal several thousand dollars worth of computers, cell phones, cash, etc. None of which was ever found. So, my opinion of people who prey on others might be just a hair slanted. Mostly I think they are useless parasites. They offer nothing to the world around them and accomplish less. I have bacteria in my lower intestine that are more useful than them. In fact, you do too. So when my super secret, Nude Hippo approved, web-bot brought in today’s news and the top four stories were all about thieves, I figured I had an easy theme. Then, as I was typing this (here at my local branch of the Chicago Public library), a young lady attempted to plug in her laptop. A task which seemed to require her to get on her hands and knees, crawl between my legs and fumble around with the plug until she was able to utter a contented moan.

What the hell were we talking about?

Oh, yeah, thieves.

Don’t like them.

Not even a little bit.

Anyway, since this is a blog about stories and those stories are supposed to entertain you, let’s get this party started. A man in Port St. Lucie, Florida was arrested for the 100th time, his mom must be SOOOO proud, after cops caught him stealing underwear.

A man accused of stealing socks and underwear led police on a foot chase before he was caught hiding behind a trash bin, then arrested for the 100th time.

Joseph Wilson, who turned 50 this year, reached the dubious milestone Thursday in Port St. Lucie.

According to an arrest affidavit, Wilson walked out of the Bealls department store at 10135 U.S. Highway 1 with the merchandise under his clothing. When a loss-prevention officer tried to confront Wilson, he jumped into a waiting minivan and ordered the driver to “take off,” the report said.

Wilson’s friend didn’t take off, so the suspect hustled out of the other side of the vehicle and ran away, according to the affidavit. The officer lost him, but a witness called police a short time later to say Wilson was in the bushes in a Wendy’s parking lot just down the road.

When two officers arrived and found Wilson, the sweaty suspect first said he was out for a jog and just trying to cool off behind the trash bin. Eventually, he cited “hard times” and was taken into custody without any further struggle, the report said.

The merchandise Wilson is accused of stealing was worth $174.

Prior to Thursday, Wilson had a record that included 37 felony arrests, 47 misdemeanors and 15 others. In all, he’s been convicted in 35 of those incidents.

Good thing Florida doesn’t have a 3 strikes law, isn’t it?

Of course, in Tennessee one guy wasn’t going to let a little thing like his ongoing trial for burglary stop him from picking up a little extra cash.

A crime caper has everyone in Franklin, Tenn., buzzing. A man is accused of ripping off a jewelry store during a lunch break in his trial for robbery.

“This is one of those compelling stories that leaves you scratching your head, and as you’re walking away asking yourself, ‘Did that really just happen?'” Franklin police Sgt. Charles Warner said.

Police say Mark Burgen reached over the counter at Walton’s Antique Jewelry and helped himself to pockets full of diamond bracelets, about $30,000 worth.

As he was leaving the store, employee Julie Walton caught him with a stolen Rolex watch in hand. He handed it over, apologized, then fled, she said.

“Just had no common sense whatsoever is pretty much what it boils down to,” Walton said.

Burgen had somewhere else to be at the time — in court. He was on trial for an armed robbery he allegedly committed in 2009.

Jewelry store owner Mike Walton can barely stand to see the surveillance tape.

“You would think he would be on his best behavior, but this guy I guess just can’t contain himself,” Walton said.

When Burgen returned to court for the rest of his hearing, Warner says he hid the loot in the bushes outside the courthouse, so as not to set off the building’s metal detectors.

Officers quickly tracked Burgen down and arrested him for his latest stunt mere seconds after a jury found him guilty of his first.

Walton got most of his jewelry back and says he has since changed his showroom policies and hired a security guard and is now being extra vigilant about keeping all of his cabinets closed and locked.

Franklin police recently began a walking patrol program, and it was one of those officers who just happened to be in the right place at the right time to catch Burgen.

Sometimes they just make it easy don’t they?

When the cops caught the guys who were pestering me there was some question as to whether I could make a positive ID. That was rendered moot when one of them pointed out that I didn’t look so scary without my giant knife.

Anyway, this next story is sad. Yes, cops caught the bad guys, but it is the way they committed their crime that just irks me in ways you can’t imagine. A fake psychic (isn’t that redundant?) scared a young girl into robbing her family’s jewels.

A woman who claimed to be a psychic persuaded a 12-year-old girl to steal jewelry from her family and throw it into a cauldron to lift a curse and appease evil spirits, authorities said Friday.

Jackeline Lopez, 42, of Palmdale was arrested last month for investigation of extortion. She has since posted bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 18.

Lopez did not return a message left on an answering machine at her home.

The girl, a classmate of Lopez’s daughter, stole more than $10,000 worth of unique jewelry from her home before her parents realized something was going on and questioned their children, sheriff’s Detective Luan Dang said.

“The girl was scared and came out with the truth and that’s when we were called,” Dang said.

Three pieces of the jewelry were recovered at a pawn shop, and authorities were looking for a man who claimed some other pieces from the shop, said Deputy Aaron St. George.

The girl met four or five times with Lopez in her garage filled with the cauldron, candles, chalk outlines, beads, dolls and replicas of human skulls, authorities said.

“She had it set up Hollywood-style,” St. George said.

Dang said he couldn’t disclose if the curse involved death, harm or bad luck, but he did say it targeted the girl and there was a deadline involved.

The girl was frightened into stealing the jewelry and isn’t considered a suspect, he said.

Lopez, her husband and three children live in a middle-class neighborhood in Palmdale, 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

There were no signs visible from the street advertising a psychic or palm reader, St. George said.

When Lopez was arrested in September, she was on probation after pleading no contest to petty theft, the Antelope Valley Press said.

Deputies want to know if there were other possible victims in the psychic case. Pawn shops in the area have been alerted to watch out for other items.

Remember my thoughts on people who should be beaten with hammers? Mrs. Lopez should be included in any such discussion.

But, for all the crap above at least those thefts make some sort of sense. New Castle, Pennsylvania cops are trying to figure out how, and why, someone stole their bridge.

A 50-foot-long bridge in western Pennsylvania has been stolen, and its owners say they’re baffled by the crime and have no idea who took it.

New Castle Development spokesman Gary Bruce said Friday that he “couldn’t believe it when they told me it was gone.”

A state police report says the 20-foot-wide span in North Beaver Township went missing between Sept. 27 and Wednesday.

The bridge was made out of corrugated steel and valued at about $100,000. Thieves used a blowtorch to cut it apart, presumably to sell it for scrap metal.

The bridge was used occasionally as a back entrance to the company property. It’s in the woods along a railroad line about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Bruce says he doubts the company can replace the bridge.

How much time do you need to steal a bridge and where the heck do you pawn something like that? It isn’t like no one’s going to notice that it’s missing. Even scrap buyers, who rank below used car salesmen and pimps – but just above psychics – in the ethics’ category, would have a hard time ignoring this.

And, more importantly, what do you use to carry it away in? You can’t exactly toss a fifty foot bridge on your bicycle and speed off into the dark.

Actually, now that I think about it, I really don’t want to know.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeAgLIaHj0M&w=480&h=360]

Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Thursday morning around 9:10!

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