NOV. 1, 10:51 P.M.: Remember our cigarette-swiping suspect a couple weeks ago? And how about that Heineken-heisting fool? Well, both criminals hit a hapless store in the 800 block of Formosa Avenue, gaining entry by pounding holes in the cinder-block wall. The holes were repaired, but we're sad to report that a fresh hole was recently introduced into the wall of this troubled store. This one, however, didn't go all the way into the store. A hammer was employed, but it just wasn't up to the task, and entry was denied. In your face, scum!

NOV. 1, 4 P.M.: While a mother and her two kids, 3 and 15, played indoors at home in the 5500 block of Curry Ford Road, one naughty ne'er-do-well assumed a more fiendish duty: bicycle boosting.

The skillful suspect started by slicing open the victims' porch screen, then slipped inside the stoop to extract the loot – in this case, a Magnavox 14-inch flat-screen TV with a matching VCR/DVD combo. An itsy-bitsy jade bicycle, belonging to a 12-year-old child, was also heisted, and along with it went the innocence of yet another child who must now live with the cold reality of crime in our city.

A couple hours later, dad pulled into the driveway and noted some fishy behavior going on in his backyard. Foraging in the shed was an approximately 18-year-old snoop sporting a spiffy white coat. (Note to burglars: Look up the word "inconspicuous" in a dictionary when you get a chance, OK?)

"What are you doing!" dad hollered at the nattily attired thief. Instead of answering, the startled sneak dropped a gas can – evidence that burglars, too, are strapped for gas in these times – and hopped over a fence, but not before heisting a $100 weed whacker.

NOV. 1, 2:35 P.M.: Strolling the 950 block of Fern Avenue, one solitary suspect came across what could very well be the Kmart blue-light special of burglaries: an unlocked, fully opened garage door. As if the opened door wasn't enough incentive, there was a lovely, cream-colored 2001 Lexus parked inside it whispering "money" parked inside. And if one leaves a garage door open, even by accident, what is one opening oneself up to? Crime, people, crime.

To make things even easier for our ethically challenged forager, the cream-colored Lexus was unlocked. After peeking around the garage, our burglar – this one dressed in a black coat – extracted a juicy $2,050 IBM laptop stored in a briefcase from the back seat.

But this story has a happy ending because the owner of the cream-colored Lexus peeped inside her garage just in time, spooking the suspect away. Perhaps the nearly purloined laptop on the garage floor will serve as a wake-up call: Lock your doors, folks.

OCT. 31, 5:17 P.M.: It was Halloween night and O-Town was crawling with miniature Zorros and Napoleon Dynamites on the hunt for candy. Instead of participating in the tradition, however, two buddies drove to the 5200 block of John Young Parkway to score a pizza instead. This was a mistake.

One of the two ran inside the store to pick up the pie while the other waited in the parked car. But mayhem ensued, suddenly, when three men cruised by, hopped out of their vehicle and approached our pizza-craving pal.

"Let me get that," two of the men told the man in the car, pointing to his necklace, police reports state. One of the trio then yanked a $1,700 gold chain, featuring a giant Jesus charm at the end, off the victim's neck. As Alanis Morissette would croon, "Isn't that ironic?"

But theft of a religious pendant wasn't enough for these three; they had to add a very real threat of violence to their list of transgressions by drawing a pistol and shooting toward the victim. They missed him, but struck a nearby shop window. They left in haste, clobbering a stop sign with their car before vanishing. These three are going to have something to talk about at their next confession, that's for sure.

OCT. 29, 3 P.M.: On this All Hallows Eve, a suspect or suspects had no intention of waiting another day before offering their neighbors the option of a trick, or a treat. In fact, they had no intention of offering the option at all. It was going to be a trick, and that was that.

Their target was a car dealership in the 4100 block of West Colonial Drive. However, the nogoodniks ignored the Chrysler PT Cruisers and Sebrings that were plentiful on the lot and concentrated their tomfoolery on an Orange County Sheriff's department car. They (and we assume it was a "they" based on the amount of work involved) succeeded in swiping all four tires – rims, hubcaps, lug nuts valve stems and all – from the patrol car, parts that totaled $1,311.

Then they scooted. Be on the lookout for a car sporting a very official-looking set of wheels.

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