JUNE 19, 6 P.M.: A woman was busy beating the pre-summer heat at her home in the 4700 block of North Pine Hills Road. But while she rested, a preteen perp lurked, hungering for fun on a drab June afternoon.
The 12-year-old boy ambled down the road to the woman's apartment, approaching the screened-in back porch. The young man found the door locked, so he slipped his hand through a hole in the screen and unlocked it. Once inside, the boy laid eyes on two irresistibly cool Harley-Davidson replica semi-truck toys. The woman heard the replica-robbing ruckus and peeped out the back-porch windows, where she witnessed the little lad heading for the hills, Harley haulers in hand.
When the police arrived, the woman identified the perp as a neighborhood child, and she knew where he lived. So the two paid a visit to the boy's house, finding the toy trucks valued at about $100 stuffed under his bed. The boy was arrested. Suffice it to say one young boy learned that playtime isn't always a good time.
JUNE 17, 11 P.M.: Two evenings prior, another puberty-stricken suspect struck a home in the 3000 block of Orange Center Boulevard; oddly enough, it was his own home, and the victim was his own mother.
It seems the 15-year-old boy had stolen from the woman who brought him into the world before. As a result, she installed a lock on her bedroom door. But the boy was armed with a screwdriver this time. After unscrewing the door knob, the boy broke the door plate and frame. He gained entry to his mom's room and stuffed two gold chains valued at $200 in his pockets. He also pocketed $20 cash from an envelope containing $220 rent money paid to Mom by his older brother and attempted to cover the theft by changing the number "$220" written on the envelope to "$200." Before tiptoeing back out, the boy unsealed a new bottle of brandy and may or may not have sampled the contents, according to police.
Mom immediately suspected her son had struck again, and called police. The boy told police he gambled away the $20. He was arrested and charged with residential burglary and petty theft. Happily, Mom got her gold chains back.
JUNE 17, 4:10 P.M.: Hours before sunset, an unknown suspect or suspects burglarized a ballpark concession stand, robbing the field of dreams of both food and equipment.
The burglar(s) gained entry to the goodie-packed stand at Eagle's Nest Park, located in the 5100 block of MetroWest Boulevard, by smashing through a vent on the front door with a 3-foot piece of wood. Once inside, the suspect or suspects helped themselves to eight packages of cookies, $20 worth of office supplies and a $50 first-aid kit. Perhaps the ultimate affront, however, was the theft of two boxes of new baseballs, valued at $50 each. Were the thieves jilted ex-Little Leaguers? Were they planning on honing rusty pitching skills? Did they simply not care about the little boys and girls of summer? Police reports do not speculate.
JUNE 17, 3:30 P.M.: What employees of a home development company took to be a normal, quiet Friday turned out, in fact, to be the beginning of a weekend crime spree that saw several fine labor-saving appliances disappear from unoccupied/unfinished homes.
The first such report states that an employee had inspected a fully furnished model home in the 6800 block of Piazza Street just prior to calling it a week. According to OPD's Officer Mercado, the employee stated that "the model home was in place and in good order." Such was not the case upon the employee's return June 20.
During the weekend, someone had gained entrance to the locked home and pillaged the kitchen, taking a single Whirlpool kitchen range valued at approximately $800. The employee reported a crack in the front door, but nonetheless believes the person or persons responsible for manhandling the Maytag used a key to get inside the model home. Still, replacing the front door will cost about $1,000.
A strikingly similar hit was reported only a half-hour earlier, June 20 at noon, when another employee of the same company reported that two homes under construction had been violated.
That employee told police he had scanned two houses being built in the 6900 block of Brescia Way before leaving the site on June 17. Once again, OPD reports indicate that all was well at the time.
And once again, such was not the case on June 20 when the employee returned to the site. Someone had broken into the half-built houses and removed two drudgery-reducing appliances a Whirlpool microwave and a Maytag dishwasher with a combined value of $850. There was no other damage to the unfinished property.
If these two incidents are indeed related, someone somewhere may in fact be enjoying a brand-new set of brand-matched appliances which they did not earn, and have no right to enjoy.