Jan. 8

(2009-11646) 1:04 p.m.: There's a special place in hell for people who scam naive elderly folks out of their savings. Like the couple who approached a 79-year-old Hispanic woman in a grocery store and told her they had a winning million-dollar lottery ticket that they couldn't claim because they didn't have proper documentation, then proceeded to manipulate the old woman's generosity to screw her out of $10,000. Bastards.

Here's how the con went down: The couple asked the elderly woman to be a witness at City Hall when they tried to collect the money and told her that they would reward her for doing so. (She declined any reward; nice woman.) "They also explained that they needed to show they had wealth or money to collect the earnings," Officer Cunnard reports. They told her that if they went to their house and grabbed $21,000 in cash and the woman produced $10,000 in cash, that would be enough for the couple to demonstrate that they had the funds to warrant the lottery winnings.

No, it doesn't make sense, but it worked. They drove her to what she supposed was their apartment; the man went in and returned with a bag he said contained $21,000 in cash. Then they drove her to two separate Washington Mutual banks, and the old woman took out $5,000 at each.

"The female suspect told `victim` she needed to go to the Walgreens to pick up a feminine product before they went to City Hall," the report states. The suspect asked the woman to go into the store with her, and the old lady obliged. Then, when she got out of their van, the couple ditched her, taking her $10,000 with them.

A special place in hell, I tell you.

(2009-12222) 7:30 p.m.: Deep thought: Why do we continue to name roads after Confederate generals, and why do they always fall in minority-heavy neighborhoods?

Anyway, a 13-year-old boy was walking along Stonewall Jackson Road when a car pulled up and two men got out. One had a handgun, the other a rifle.

Nonetheless, "the suspects were not able to obtain anything from the victim and left in a black vehicle."

Jan. 9

(2009, no incident number) 12:27 a.m.: A 19-year-old is busted with the dope. Also, a gun.

(2009-12779) 2:17 a.m.: Check out this loser: "An unidentified suspect entered the Cumberland Farms on North Bumby Avenue and attempted to rob the store while using his hand as a fake handgun under his shirt. The clerk refused to give him money and the suspect fled empty-handed." You don't say.

Jan. 12

(2009-18020) 7:26 a.m.: I get stealing the television and the Playstation 3. I don't get stealing the cable box.

(2009-18078) 8:05 a.m.: The other day I was browsing the distractingly amusing and kinda depressing in an I-wasted-two-minutes-of-my-life-reading-that? way "Ticked Off!" column in the Sentinel — for the uninitiated, it's a bit like the print edition of the Jerry Springer Show, only with less fighting over prostitutes and more complaining about fat women and bathroom habits — and came upon this little nugget of funny: "I'd like to thank my neighbors for sitting on their back porch and fighting with each other. I'm really getting to know you."

Anyway, a woman was out in her backyard this morning when someone entered an open door and stole jewelry and cash.

(2009-18749) 5:01 p.m.: I ask only because I don't know: What's the difference between a strong-arm robbery and a regular one? (Wikipedia didn't have an answer.)

If a strong-arm robbery is one committed by a special kind of dickhead, then this one qualifies. An 18-year-old and her 3-year-old child — note to teenagers: no swimming without the wet suit — were at a bus stop on West Colonial Drive when a man in a hoodie and "low-hanging carpenter-type pants" robbed them. OK, fine, these things happen.

But then, as the woman and child walked away, "the suspect followed the victim on foot and with a closed fist punched the victim behind her neck," Officer Swaby reports. A Good Samaritan drove the victim and her child away, then the cops came.

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