JAN. 2, 7:16 A.M.: Good news! The new year is one day old and we already have burglars plundering day-care centers.

Under the cover of darkness, our perps pried their way into such a facility in the 2000 block of West Washington Street. They emptied out the contents of the fridge onto the floor, but didn’t find anything to their liking, so they snatched an RCA handheld boom box and some cleaning supplies from the play area and took off.

The swag was worth $50. Damage to the day-care center: $500.

On the side: A witness “heard several bangs coming from the area of the day care” at 1:47 a.m., Officer Everett tells us. He thought nothing of it. Probably just tots playing in the middle of the friggin’ night – you know, nothing abnormal.

JAN. 7, 7:45 A.M.: Over the winter break – we’d call it “Christmas break,” but the evil forces waging the War on Christmas have ensnared this column’s HQ – some hooligans broke into an elementary school in the 1800 block of Lake Vilma Drive and raided at least nine portable classrooms. And they made off with quite a bounty. In Portable No. 40, they opened all of the cabinet and file drawers and stole a CPU worth $736.99.

“Note that there were several items of value, to include the monitor and keyboard for the CPU, a TV, a VCR and brand-new toys in one of the filing cabinets that were not taken,” Officer Yochelson reports. From other portables they removed more CPUs, some monitors, an LCD projector, a power strip and a few other assorted goodies worthy of special mention: an attendance and grade book; a pair of Prada sunglasses; 12 personal CDs in a plastic tray, used to “play music to the sounds of a real heartbeat that are supposed to help relax or help a child to learn.”

Um, yeah. Anyway, total value of the pilfered goods: $5,109.

Let’s talk security; we all want our kids to be safe. “The point of entry to the school property is unknown as there is no gate that surrounds the school,” Officer Yochelson writes. “The point of entry to all the portables is unknown as there were no signs of forced entry. These particular portables have no alarm systems.”

Oh, and: “[T]here are 10 master keys and five non-master keys that employees have that give them access to these portables. There is one key not accounted for; a custodian recently passed away prior to the Christmas holidays and the key is still in her family’s possession.”

JAN. 7, TIME UNKNOWN: Another school robbery, this time in the 600 block of South Texas Avenue. “[T]wo unknown suspects entered two portable units and removed keys and two boxes containing garbage bags.”

JAN. 7, 10:30 A.M.: Official disclaimer: This column does not endorse using Oxycontin as a recreational drug, much less stealing it to get your fix.

But, if you must, here’s how easy it is to score said drug in this fair city. Find a local pharmacy and approach the counter. Hand the pharmacist a note that specifies what you’re after: “Give me Oxycontin in 40mg-80mg. This is not a joke.” Hold your clenched fist, a can of Dr Pepper or, hell, a banana under your shirt to imply that you have a weapon. When the pharmacist tells you that all he has are 40mg pills, take 73 of them – thus clearing out his inventory – and split.

JAN. 7, 8:49 P.M.: More druggy goodness! A 21-year-old stoner was thrown in the slammer after the cops pulled him over for a broken taillight and detected the scent of fresh cannabis. They asked if he was smoking the ganja. Response: “Not anymore, we smoked earlier.” Reminder: Honesty is appreciated, but doesn’t really help your cause.

The cops searched his vehicle and spotted a suspicious Fix-a-Flat can on the passenger-side floorboard. “Based on training and experience, I know that drug dealers use false containers to conceal drugs,” Officer Jenarine reports. So, he unscrewed the can’s bottom and – voila! – found several clear plastic baggies with nine pills inside.

“The identity of the pills were verified through the drug identification guide book as being MDMA,” otherwise known as Ecstasy, Officer Jenarine writes.

The search also turned up 50 pot seeds. The driver was taken to jail and his car was impounded.

JAN. 8, 11:59 P.M.: To clarify: Just because a bar has outdoor seating, that doesn’t mean the chairs are up for grabs. Our 42-year-old suspect learned that one the hard way.

JAN. 9, 12:46 A.M.: Police Beat Tip o’ the Week: If you are a habitual traffic offender whose license has been suspended for five years and you insist on driving anyway, make sure your headlights are on.


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