Police Beat

June 29

(2009-305571) 8:52 a.m.: I have some bad news: This column has failed. Remember a few weeks back when I told you that the Beat had been nominated for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies award? Well, the results came in June 26: Honorable Mention.

Honorable. Mention. I got AAN's version of the "you showed up" award. Oh sure, I could talk about how it was an honor just to be nominated and blah blah blah, or maybe point out how some columns — cough Blister cough — have been completely shut out by the AAN judges. But I'm much more petty than that. I need validation. So I took a peek at the three columns that came in ahead of me in the small-paper nonpolitical columns category and they all suck and I was totally robbed, of course. Go figure.

There is one takeaway from the AAN awards that must not be overlooked: Among both small and large papers, this is the only nominated column that's dedicated to crime. That means I have the best crime column in the country! Hot damn! I'm raising my fee!

OK, I'm not. The media business being what it is, such a demand would be quixotic at best. Instead, I held my breath and stomped my feet and threatened to withhold these 750 weekly words until the corporate titans agreed to buy me a new MacBook. And they obliged! See, kids? Temper tantrums get results!

I was pretty proud of myself for a few days, too, I tell you what. And then I found out the company bought new Macs for all the editors.

Turns out it had less — nothing, actually — to do with my award-winning ways than with some software incompatibility gobbledygook on our old machines. But hey, this computer doesn't suck and it lets me get out of the office, away from the babbling interns (no offense, guys), so I can write this column on the couch, in my underwear, while surfing porn or watching whatever's on the tube in the middle of the day.

(Rhetorical question: Is there anything more inane than CNN's "Twitterboard"?)

While I go raid the fridge, those of you who own Lexuses should think about securing your garages. Luxury cars apparently make irresistible targets for the thieving set.

(2009-305577) 8:55 a.m.: "Unknown suspect(s) kicked in the door for the electrical room at `an apartment complex on Raper Dairy Road`. Nothing was missing."

(2009-305709) 10:48 a.m.: Someone broke into a house and stole an iPhone.

(2009-306013) 2:24 p.m.: Did any of you catch the right-wing fluffernutter who went on Glenn Beck's TV show last week and said, "The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States"? And Beck agreed with him!

Those two mouth-breathers belong in the same circle of hell as our next criminal, who stole two bicycles from "an employee and a client" of the Leukemia Society.

(2009-306162) 3:57 p.m.: A school resource officer busted a guy with more than 20 grams of pot within spitting distance of an elementary and middle school.

(2009-306291) 5:32 p.m.: A Delaney Avenue house was burglarized for the second time in a week, through the same entry point. The cops have no suspects.

(2009-306606) 9:03 p.m.: A homeless guy tried to steal an air conditioning wall unit from an Orlando Sentinel building. I'm relatively certain those guys have central air — unless such luxuries were dispatched by Sam Zell's cost-cutting chainsaw — so we'll assume this happened at one of the company's auxiliary buildings.

(2009-306670) 10:02 p.m.: An unknown suspect broke into a house and stole jewelry and prescription pills. Speaking of pills, that Sarah Palin sure has gone off the reservation, no?

(2009-306682) 10:09 p.m.: Suspects broke into an apartment and took unmentioned "numerous large items."

June 30

(2009-306886) 1:04 a.m.: This sounds like a detective's worst nightmare: "Unknown suspects pried open the rear door to the business `on South Tampa Avenue`. Suspects entered the business and ransacked the entire building. … Uncooperative witnesses stated they observed several different males running in and out of the business. Business owner advised she is unable to conduct a property inventory at this time."

Uncooperative witnesses and an owner who's not sure what was taken. Anyone care to bet when this one gets solved?

(2009-307326) 8:57 a.m.: Don't steal from mall kiosks.

(2009-307456) 10:41 a.m.: Don't steal propane and propane accessories, either. You'll make Hank Hill cry.

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