A Sea of Blue

October 7, 2011 at 4:20 am (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly)

Chalk one up for the good guys.

Cashiers are limited, by rule and reason, from doing much about brazen shoplifting. We try, but we’re walking uphill in the wind and rain. Once in a while, though, the stars line up just right and things work out.

I had one of those times.

It was about 5 PM. Tilly had finally gone home. I had a few minutes before the lottery rush. I pulled up a milk crate to read the day’s headlines. I snapped the paper and read three words when a motion caught my eye. A tall man lurched past, jumping when he noticed me.

He was disheveled, talking to himself. Eww. Was that… feces hanging off his coat?

“Uh… Hey,” I muttered. I didn’t want him shopping, but if he was just grabbing a napkin?… Take two…

Lurch picked up a bottle of Yellowtail Rose, vintage 2010, retail price $8.49. “Fuck you, you fat motherfucker,” he muttered and walked out the door.

Sonofabitch. That’s the third time this week I’ve been called that.

Someone has to pay.

I sure as hell wouldn’t run after him. I don’t run, and if I did, the street urchins would have the store picked over before I could blink. No, we have another plan.

Cop roulette.

I stepped outside, made visual contact with the perp, then began looking for a cop car or someone with a radio. It rarely happens, but occasionally there will be someone rolling by.

Wait. What time is it? Oh, yeah…

I looked to the coffee shop across the street, where a handful of downtown security officers often meet for coffee and to kibbutz. They sit facing a large picture window where they can watch three or four blocks worth of activity. I waved my arms like I was stranded on Gilligan’s Island, and soon the door opened. I wished I had the theme to Dudley Doright on my phone…

Four armed officers emerged. Ralph, the southern gentleman, asked “Which one? The dipshit with the black coat?”

“Yeah, bottle of red wine. He’s talking to the guy at that table. Careful with his coat. He’s dirty.” Lurch was trying to blend in with the sidewalk cafe/pub-goer crowd. They weren’t buying either.

“Can you hold this for a second?” Ralph handed me his jacket. I stashed the officer’s coat behind the counter and hurried back to watch.

Agent Starling had materialized from somewhere. Lurch, aka Dipshit, was now sitting on the sidewalk. Four burly officers stood around him. Starling and an officer I’d not met approached. “Is this your wine?” I took them to the display where the bottle came from. He made notes, took my info.

“Do you want to press charges?”

“I- uh,” I was about to say “Trespass him and we’ll call it good” when I saw Starling, standing two feet behind the officer, nodding yes in encouragement.

“Of course I do.” In retrospect, after that response, it would have been criminal not to.

The reflection of red-and-blue lights from a “real” police car twinkled in the window. Wow, that was fast. I looked outside again, and saw Lurch being put into the back seat. Lately cops just ticket and release on minor crimes. They are actually booking him. Hmm…

After a while, Ralph returned. “Thanks a fuck of a lot for all the paperwork I have to do now.” He said it with a smile, but was busy making notes.

They left. Agent Starling held back. “Thanks for pressing charges.”

“No problemo. Did he have a warrant? Cops don’t usually take ’em away for ten bucks.”

“You didn’t see him take a swing at Ralph? That’s why his ass was on the ground. Ralph didn’t get that old being a pussy.”

“Oh man, I missed that?” I’d have given anything to watch Ralph curb-stomp somebody.

“It wasn’t too dramatic. A bit of arm-twisting. I have to get back to the garage.” She waved adios.

It had been so long since I’d had someone arrested, I wasn’t sure what procedure was. I called Master P and left a message. He called me back. “So, you had some excitement, huh?”

I filled him in. “Yeah, it was pretty awesome.”

“Call the DA before 10 AM, and do what they ask. I’ll pay you for any work-related court time and such. Good job!”

I was on an adrenaline high for the rest of the night. There will be positive residual effects as well. Half the neighborhood saw the guy get his ass handed to him for shoplifting.

Take note, bitches.


1 Comment

  1. @JohnWalsh said,

    Good job!

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