Vicki Wentz: Rule 1: Bring the wine; Rule 2: Bring the Band-Aids
Latest in Stupid Criminal News: A man was sentenced last week after a one-night crime spree last November. It seems the man had planned just a tad too much fun for one day, when he was found asleep in the third – yes, third – apartment he’d broken into ... in the same night ... in the same apartment complex.
After reading this riveting story, I tried to contact the man, but was unsuccessful. Despite this, I was able to piece together a rough draft of his activities that night, and felt it might prove a useful tool for aspiring burglars – you know, the “Dos and Don’ts of Burgling,” or maybe “Burglary for Dummies.”
First, you get a bottle – or two ... or three – of wine, and you drink that up. Then, you marinate until around 1 a.m., when you kiss your wife good-bye, promise her vast riches, and head off to do some burgling, making sure not to drive due to the fact that you might get arrested for drinking and driving, which is extremely solid thinking.
So, because your mobility is somewhat impaired, you totter to an apartment complex that’s not exceedingly far away and get down to business. Initially you select an apartment that is dark (hiccup); you rarely want to break into lit-up apartments due to the probability that someone is using that light to, like, study or have a party or something.
Since it’s around 2 a.m. now, you normally have a plethora of dark apartments from which to choose, so you could spend some time comparing the accessibility of one over the other, any open windows or good stuff outside to climb on, etc. Or you could forget all that extra caution and just belly up to a kitchen window and break it.
The problem with this approach, however, is that when you break a window you cause two things to happen: noise and possible injury. This is glass. Care must be taken. (It was not, thus the burglar’s hand was evidently cut, and the noise aroused the sleeping apartment dweller, who turned on a light, frightening our injured intruder away. And, finding his kitchen window broken, with blood on it, the apartment dweller called the police, as people are prone to do in such cases.)
Next, you must find another dark apartment where the window is either open or at least unlocked. (This should technically be in a different apartment complex, possibly even on a different night, but hey, you’re tired, and as we said, there are a plethora of dark apartments right here, so what the hell.)
So, you climb in, and even though you then notice that there is a sleeping person in that room, you tiptoe over to the television – which is a gift for the wifey, please, you’re not some creep who goes around hurting people (hiccup) – but not being in peak physical condition at this moment, you stumble and make a teensy racket, awakening the daughter of the man who lives there.
You try to stay focused, though, and heft that TV up, heading for the door as the daughter screeches and the father comes bounding to her rescue. Unfortunately, being hampered both by alcohol and a television set, you are limited in your ability to fend off the dad, who yanks back his TV and pushes you out of his apartment. Damn. Time for a rest, and perhaps a tad more wine, which you may have brought along with you for just such an eventuality.
You spend a couple of hours hiding, planning, maybe drinking, maybe snoozing in the bushes around the complex before you make your final – undoubtedly triumphant – assault on the complex. You will attempt to break, enter, and actually get your hands on something you can take home to the little woman. Accordingly, even though you’ve been “planning” so long the sun is beginning to lighten the sky, you find a third dark apartment.
This time, you get inside – again, somewhat noisily, damn wine – and are choosing your potential booty when the man who lives there awakens and confronts you. In order to avoid a physical encounter like last time, you simply apologize sincerely (hiccup) for breaking in, and tell him that, naturally, you had no idea anyone was home. This should suffice, you think, from one gentleman to another.
You then realize that you are overcome with weariness. This has been a hell of a night. A nap might be in order. So, you bid your host farewell, walk into his living room, lie down on his couch and go to sleep. Nice for the police. You can always face your honey later.
The intruder’s attorney subsequently told the judge that no one, including the intruder, knew why he did what he did. Huh. Anyone talk to the missus?
Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker. Readers may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website, www.vickiwentz.com.