The Nerve of Some People’s Kids…

August 28, 2015 at 10:55 am (Cussed Dumbers)

Purchase Before Drinking

Purchase Before Drinking

I meet all kinds of criminals working at Master P’s. Mostly dumb ones, but a few smart ones. Because petty crime in Multnomah County is so rampant, most theft cases end up as a citation, or catch-and-release. If the theft meets certain parameters, we can charge them with a real crime, such as robbery, assault or trespassing. (!!) Smart thieves know if they wander in, hit and walk out, there isn’t much we can do unless we get lucky.

This isn’t about a smart one…

Some weeks back a young man walked into the Nightclub Store, headed for the fine Andre champagne section, selected a bottle of peach flavored, and waved it at me on the way out. “I ain’t paying for this,” he said, in case I was wondering.

I did what I do. Instead of getting all in a dither and calling 911 (“Citizen’s arrest! Citizen’s arrest!”) I head for the street. If a patrol car is rolling by, or Clean and Safe is having coffee across the street, I can get a foot pursuit, maybe the booze back, and it fucks up the criminal’s buzz. (The BEST of punishments, actually.) No such luck on this occasion, but when thieves succeed, they always come back. This same fellow, with the Somalian accent and tiny goatee, had ripped Festus off at the Mothership, stealing four bottles of wine at once. In the process he broke one, cutting an onlooker’s leg. A police pursuit followed, scoundrel (we’ll call him Abdi) arrested, and he was 86ed from all our stores. It never works, but we always say it. It’s rote, like a cop reading you your rights. (“By the way, you are trespassed from all Master P’s stores. Don’t come back. Ever.”)

The other day I arrived at work to mayhem. Two co-workers running tills, freight day, two bosses standing around, and a brand new trainee who looked like she’d be more at home working at Goodwill than Master P’s. She was slow, methodical, and as she IDed the young man at the counter, I looked at him hard. He looked a lot like my peachy-fizz thief, the same dude Festus scrapped with. “What? You don’t remember me? I’m off today, came downtown to do my thing.”

Aha! He looked a lot like the guy who worked at the parking garage across the street. Glad I didn’t jump to conclusions! He took his bottle of peach Andre and left the store. I walked over to the Wall of Shame, flipped a recent mugshot to reveal Abdi’s mugshot from the Festus incident. “Wow, sure looks like him, huh?” I smiled at the new girl.

She looked at the mugshot. “Wow, they even have the same birthday. 1-1-1985…”


After the hubbub died down, I texted Festus. “Come down when you have a minute. I want to tell you a story that will make you laugh, then piss you off.” I knew he’d be mad when he found out I helped SELL wine to one of his mortal enemies.

A few minutes later Festus arrived. We assumed our place “on the porch”, to the left of the entryway, leaning against the gas meter. If people enter the store, you can’t miss them. I began telling him of the adventure, and when I got to the part about how all the employees were standing around and no one noticed, I could see his steam rising. “I can’t believe Southie didn’t notice. They fought. And you didn’t recognize the guy?”

“I thought the guy worked at the parking garage. I also thought it was Abdi, but I wanted to be careful. I couldn’t believe he showed his ID. Dumb dumb…”

“Still, how could Southie not notice…”

As Festus ranted on, I noticed Abdi walk past us and into the store. I slapped Festus on the arm. “Here we go…”

I entered the store, hurried around the counter and dialed 911. I had given the address to dispatch, and a brief summary of what was going on.

“He’s in the store now? Can you give a description?”

I told dispatch, “I can do better than that.” I picked up the bottle of $20 Gato Negro and said, “ID, please.”

“Again,” sighed Abdi.

“Take it out, please.”

He removed his license from his wallet and handed it over. I took it and began spelling his last name. “Date of birth one-one-one-nine-eight -five. A-B-D-I…”

“Give me that!” He snatched back his ID and left the building in a huff. Sans Gato Negro.

“He’s gone, but my co-worker is following him,” I told 911.

“Is there any way we can get your co-worker to come back? We don’t want anyone getting hurt if he has a weapon.”

“Festus is smarter than that. He’s watching from a distance. I will connect him to the officers when they arrive.”

A couple minutes later a patrol car pulled up at the c-store across the street, where they’re used to going. I waved the officer across, and told him that at last report Abdi was in the bar around the corner, and Festus was waiting patiently outside in case he leaves.

“I’ll go see what I can find out, and be back.”

It took about an hour, and Festus returned with the officer. “I told him we were pressing charges.” We were given a case number. There was some question as to whether he’d been officially trespassed, so Festus asked the officer, “Is it okay if I trespass him now, just to be super-certain?”

“Of course.”

Festus must have spent two minutes telling Abdi all the places he couldn’t go and could no longer do. “You should have seen how mad he was. God-DAMN he was mad.”

The question now was, would he be mad enough to come straight back to the store to seek revenge? He’d be released from jail before my shift was over. I braced for such, but we haven’t seen him since he was arrested.

He’s probably shopping at 7-Eleven these days.

1 Comment

  1. Festus said,

    One for the good guys. And after getting up set was a nice ending.

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