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May 19

(2008-217771) 1:13 a.m.: Warning: This is a pretty boring week in crime. So do what I did: Slam three shots of Jack Daniel’s and a fistful of Vicodin and let’s get on with it. And don’t bitch. I have to write the damn column; all you have to do is read it. Anyway.

Someone broke into a cancer center and rummaged through a desk, but we’re not sure if they took anything.

(2008-218100) 7:49 a.m.: Three cars in an apartment complex had their front passenger windows smashed and were ransacked. Our villain removed a “110-112 converter box,” whatever that is, from a Plymouth Neon. Officer Glisson leaves us with this: “It should be noted that the owner of the Nissan Altima had his Toyota Tundra truck parked one space north of his other vehicle in which the truck was stolen.” Um, huh?

(2008-218222) 9:37 a.m.: Someone broke into a house, stole two guns and shot at a cedar chest.

(2008-218248) 10:03 a.m.: Overnight, someone broke into an IHOP and stole some money.

A noteworthy observation from Officer DeFerrari: OPD had responded to a “false” alarm at this very IHOP less than nine hours earlier.

That’s good police work, boys.

(2008-218431) 12:56 p.m.: Stupid Criminals of the Week! Take it away, Officer Torres: “Victim heard a noise coming from the living room. She went to investigate and was surprised by a white Hispanic male suspect who pointed a small silver pistol at her. Suspect initially ran out of the house, then met with a partner. Both covered their faces with T-shirts and were returning to the residence, but left when they realized they were being watched by the victim.”

(2008-218734) 5:30 p.m.: Two teenage punks were caught breaking into a house on Branch Drive. They attempted to flee in a stolen car.

(2008-218765) 5:50 p.m.: Oh hey, here they are again. Same two troublemakers, this time charged with an armed robbery on Vista Linda Drive.

“This case is one of many in the area that evening,” Officer Varela informs.

May 20

(2008-219535) 7:48 a.m.: Attention editor: This column serves as my two weeks’ notice. See, I’m in the wrong line of work. Cutting a chain-link fence doesn’t seem all that hard. Neither does smashing a window or climbing a few stairs. I’m not exactly sure how to remove 850 feet of copper cabling, but it can’t be that hard. And the reward? Upward of $12,000 for one night’s work. Do you know how many columns I have to write for 12 grand? Like, a lot. Screw this job.

On the other hand, I’ve got this weird itch in my nethers, so maybe I need the insurance.

(2008-220587) 9:51 a.m.: If you’re like me – and there’s a psychiatrist with a second mortgage somewhere who hopes that you are – you want to keep track, down to the street level, of what crimes are occurring in your neighborhood. You know, because YOUR CHILDREN ARE IN DANGER! Well, have we got a website for you and your paranoia (because they are, in fact, after you): SpotCrime has a graphically cluttered overlay of all sorts of infractions – assaults, shootings, etc. – over a Google map of our fair city. View it from a distance to see where crime happens the most, or zoom into a neighborhood for specific incidents that have occurred over the last several months. It’s like one of those sites that tracks pedophiles, minus the creepster photos. It is, however, a mildly frightening way to kill time, and to procrastinate on writing a certain column that was due yesterday and now your boss is all over your ass about it.

The site isn’t perfect. It did not, for instance, pick up the above-referenced residential burglary on Hargill Drive. Some cops showed up and our 20-year-old suspect tried to take off in a Ford Expedition, and then he tried to run down an Orlando police officer. It didn’t work, and he was arrested.

Yeah, I know: That was a long setup, and the payoff wasn’t very funny. Sue me. It’s not my fault crime sucked this week. You want funny? Go get your pants caught on a chain-link fence while trying to sneak into an old folks’ home with a bottle of Cialis in your pocket. That would be funny.

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