Dec. 12

(2008-536321) 7:20 a.m.: So this is the final Police Beat of 2008; this is also the issue that falls between Christmas and the New Year, which means no one is reading this column. What's a columnist to do? I could try some cheeky reminiscence on the year in crime, but I figure I'll save that bit of phoning-it-in for next week, so as not to interfere with my much-deserved vacation. I also considered making up outrageous crimes (Mayor Buddy Dyer caught pants-down in a middle-school cafeteria!) to see if anyone caught on.

You probably wouldn't. This week, this column is nothing more than an eggnog-glazed speed bump on the road to New Year's Eve listings, because everyone wants to get shitfaced on Jägermeister with the cool kids at Wall Street Plaza. Have fun with that, douchebags. For the six of you who've made it this far, thanks. Let's continue.

Last I checked, jumping jacks were the cardiovascular exercises your gym teacher made you do before herding you into the showers and staring at you discomfortingly. Apparently, they're also things you can steal from construction sites, along with generators.

You know, it just occurred to me that when I first started writing this column, pedophilia jokes seemed over the top.

(2008-536500) 10:04 a.m.: Someone broke into a church's soda machine.

(2008-536586) 11:10 a.m.: Good news! Burglary suspect arrested on South Lake Orange Parkway.

(2008-536655) 12:30 p.m.: You ever see that Family Guy where Peter notices, post-coitus, that Lois has a tramp stamp and asks where she got it, and she replies, "I don't know, Peter, meth is a hell of a drug"? Yeah, that was funny. Anyway, "After a foot pursuit and a deployment of two Tasers, the suspect was arrested for possession of cocaine and resisting without violence," Officer Krudo tells us.

(2008-536724) 1:22 p.m.: Somewhere on West Colonial Drive, there's a spelling-challenged retail store called Fashionz Shop — see, they replaced the "s" with a "z," which is terribly clever — from which several articles of clothing were removed.

(2008-536812) 2:25 p.m.: A bad guy broke into a house on East King Street and stole a digital camera.

(2008-537282) 8:48 p.m.: A woman with one of the strangest last names I've ever seen was walking down John Young Parkway when a man came up behind her, took $20 from her pocket and ran.

(2008-537540) 11:35 p.m.: Three teenagers in hoodies tried to steal a bike off a guy's back porch. He scared them off. A hoodie does not make you tough.

Dec. 13

(2008-538054) 9:20 a.m.: Someone broke into an apartment complex's maintenance shed and stole a paint sprayer.

(2008-538531) 5:10 p.m.: Three guys approached a man walking down Semoran Boulevard, beat him and took his cell phone.

(2008-538641) 6:26 p.m.: Another home invasion. I'm actually bored enough to watch a pug chase a laser pointer on YouTube.

(2008-538831) 8:49 p.m.: Have you and your lady come to that point in your relationship where she's all, "When are you going to buy me a ring?" and you're all, "Let's go to Vegas and get hitched by a fat man in an Elvis costume and play craps," and she doesn't give a shit that you don't have three grand to drop on some gaudy diamond that was probably brought to you by slave children in Sierra Leone because she wants to make her parents think you're not a schmuck?

News flash: You'll still be a schmuck. Her parents still won't like you. The only difference is, you'll be in the hole $3,000. And at this point, you'll think, "Why didn't I get her a cubic zirconium? She wouldn't know the goddamn difference anyway."

A certain man in a flashy pinstripe blazer seemed to have the right idea. He stopped by a jewelry store on Conroy Road and asked the salesperson if he could see a ring. The salesperson obliged. "Suspect snatched the ring then knocked the clerk down and fled from the store in an unknown direction," Officer Clarke says.

Let's just presume that he and his lady had a wonderful evening, and it didn't cost him a dime.

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