Archive for December, 2009

Our criminal Einstein of the week

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” — Albert Einstein

227 Sandy Springs Place: Subject entered Kroger store and apparently did not see the two marked patrol cars parked outside. He ran from store without paying for a $3.50 turkey sandwich.

He was apprehended by deli clerk and arrested. Subject had $51 in his pockets and advised that money was for the lottery. He stated “you have to be in it to win it.”

More Einsteins

1050 Hammond Drive: Just after 4 p.m. a patrol officer spotted a car driving erratically near the parking area of the Publix Store on Hammond and Peachtree Dunwoody Road. He followed the car to the parking area of the Homestead Suites. The car continued to drive erratically based on the fact that it jumped the curb, hit a concrete pillar and then an iron fence. A woman got out of the car, showing a fresh bruise under her eye and a red mark across the bridge of her nose. She was also on …

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Off-duty in the game store’s gift return line

The Christmas holidays are a great time to spend with family and friends, as well as others in the return line at your local retail store — people who would kill you with a shard of glass just to move up one spot in the “Eternal Line of Returns.” The line extends from the store counter to somewhere in central Montana.

Take that and amplify it 50 times and you have the return line at the local electronic games store.

You know those games the kids play, such as “Navy Seals” or other shooter games where they team up and play other people online (“other people” meaning 40-year-old guys who still live with mom)? Well, if you want to see what those 40-year-olds look like, go to the electronic game store on Dec. 26.

They’re easy to spot. Look for the guys 40 pounds overweight, with skin texture that appears similar to a large squid. Secondly, listen. They speak a language unknown to man, but known to the electronic store employee who, in all fairness, has to know the …

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Keep your credit card numbers to yourself

Sometimes it is the things you don’t think will get you that get you. Make sense?

Recently I was sitting in a restaurant, with Detective Sandy, having a nice lunch. We were very low key. I was down to four guns on me and she was around the same number. We could, in a pinch, hold off the majority of an invasion by Canada, if need be, but for now, it was a quiet lunch.

You know those guys who have that naturally loud and very irritating pitch to their voice? They could be having a conversation on the other side of a football field but you could hear every word. Well, one of those guys sat down no closer than 20 feet away from us. The whole time he was ordering and waiting for food, he was on his cell phone and did not stop talking for one minute. I tried to tune him out but it did no good.

I finally gave up and just tried to enjoy my lunch. A few seconds later I heard him, still 20 feet away, order a gift — a book or something — with his credit card. No kidding, he read …

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Swiped dentures and other weird cases

The Sandy Springs Police Department handles a lot of cases. Here are some from the last week or so that don’t quite fit the mold:

20 block of Cedar Run: A woman reported she attended a meeting and, during a break, left her purse unattended. Later she found someone had swiped her dentures from the purse.

Huntingdon Chase Drive: A man reported someone stole a $2,200 plasma TV, $3,700 camcorder, $1,700 Mac computer, $1,200 Visio laptop, $200 i-Pod and a $200 DVD player. All of the items were sitting unsecured in front of his apartment for a week after his eviction.

6000 block of Roswell Road: A man stole a Christmas tree at Whole Foods. The tree was on a stand. He took the whole thing and ran across Roswell Road, followed by an employee in hot pursuit, through the parking lot dividing the Chic-fil-A and El Azteca restaurants.

As he ran through the Chic-fil-A parking lot, three cops — inside the restaurant on a previous call — saw him and ran after him. He dropped the tree and …

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Off-duty for Christmas: Merry fruitcake, you nuts

Some of you may remember several years ago when I started doing weekly reports. I would occasionally write a short story, strictly mindless in nature, to sort of end the sometimes serious business of crime reporting with something a bit lighter in nature.

This is a rehashed article I wrote for the paper a couple of Christmases ago. With the impending holiday dinner on the horizon, I thought I would once again bring this story out of retirement.


Merry fruitcake, you nuts

As the Christmas holidays close in on us, we carry on the age-old traditions of our relatives. Among those traditions are scaring the hell out of the small kids with second-rate Santa outfits that make Uncle Gene look more like Nunda the Ax Murderer than St. Nick.

The money we spend on this holiday is obscene. Every year I vow to stop the madness, set an example and refuse to accept anything materialistic — until I see the cool stuff I want.

I like to listen to Christmas music during the holiday …

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Holidays and thefts from cars just go together

It happens every year about this time, but we do get spikes in the crime stats, mostly from an increase in thefts from cars. Here’s a short quiz for you:

What is the common denominator that ties all these thefts from cars together? (Like this is hard. It’s a reminder; just go with it.)

  1. All of the cars are from fabulous Sandy Springs.
  2. They all have those little “family member” decals on the back. You know, the ones with the dad, mom, kids and dog that they put on the back window. Detective Sandy and I have one. It shows us, the kids and our Glocks. Very cute.
  3. (Yeah, this is the one.) There was something in there to steal.

Between now and Dec.  24, when I actually shop, it gets closer and closer to crunch-time. There are more cars packed in the shopping center lots for longer periods of time. Remember: It’s like the two guys being chased by the bear. You don’t need to outrun the bear — just the other guy.

Crooks do follow the Risk vs. Opportunity formula and it …

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There are new laws, stupid laws and should-be laws

There are a lot of new laws hitting us in January, then again in July. Local and state laws are amended, sometimes dressed up to look amended, and sometimes new laws are put into play following legislative approval.

Some laws, introduced but not passed, never get so much as a public mention. Depending on where you live, some of those laws shot down may include:

  • No pot-bellied pig racing before noon on Sundays.
  • Wet T-shirt contests are forbidden during pot-bellied pig races.
  • Required height/weight to be in proportion in order to wear Spandex.
  • Restrictions on bicycle helmets so they look like giant mushrooms.

Stupid laws actually on the books include:

  • Restrictions on handcuffing another person wearing a clown suit.
  • Donkeys in bathtubs,
  • One cannot make disturbing sounds at a fair. (Not counting the sound of me throwing up after riding anything that spins.)
  • Local ordinance requiring the owning of a rake.

And on and on. One new law is the Super Speeder Law. Essentially the law …

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You can prevent holiday-season crime

We are in the holiday season. This means another year of trying to dodge the dreaded fruitcake encounter, putting a few pounds on just when you were starting to make progress, your weird uncle showing up and leaving you wondering how the heck you came from the same gene pool, credit card woes, traffic, crowds, and again, back to the overriding fear that if you do eat from a fruitcake, it truly never really digests — and what the heck are those green things in it anyway?

We are looking at an upswing in crime stats, and not happy about it. Two areas of concern:

  • Burglary, primarily residential, especially apartments.
  • Thefts from cars.

There are people out there, dressed like you and me, who spend the day trying to figure out who the victim will be. Their criteria: Path of least resistance.

  • Example of good criteria: Car, unlocked, bags and GPS there to be taken.
  • Example of bad criteria: Car locked, no bags or GPS in sight and a large Rottweiler sitting in the passenger seat …

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Teen driving safety: Teach ‘em to fix a flat tire

There are lots of things parents should teach a child as they go from being a 10-year-old pain in the butt to a 15-year-old pain in the butt.

That’s not exactly true. They’re a pain in the butt at just about any age, but there are things that need to be taught. At a young age, kids are taught that they can dial 9-1-1 for a police officer, or dial 9-1-1 to tell the police officers who came to their school that day that they enjoyed the presentation, or to tell the 9-1-1 operator that they don’t like their brother or sister.

Later, you try and teach your kids to actually use the dirty clothes hamper, located not more than six inches from the pile of clothes on the bathroom floor that apparently was a better landing zone.  Maybe you made an attempt at teaching them how to make the bed. (Pause here so you can laugh, especially if you have boys.)

As they get older, you are all too soon faced with allowing this thing — with all the maturity of a pinecone — near your car. …

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