Inside the criminal mind … not much

I do believe that old saying “Crime doesn’t pay” is only a partial statement. I’ve been clicking around the WWWW tonight, the World Wide Web of Wrongdoing, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the adage, and nothing but the adage, really is:

“Crime doesn pay well, otherwise it would be able to hire a much better caliber of criminal.”

I can understand chopping it off, though. Definitely more catchy. Fits better on a billboard. What I can’t understand is why the criminal element doesn’t better vet its applicants. Considering how badly so many of the hires turn out, you’d think they’d be a little more aggressive in their interviewing, maybe conduct background checks.

Or IQ tests.

Did I say that? Let me re-phrase …

Consider the case of the young man on the left here, Houaka Yang. The Wisconsin 20-year-old is a suspect in the theft of a camcorder from a car.

But it would seem that while the word “suspect” is the legal word used here, it’s very loosely used. Not because the cops found Yang a few days after the theft with the camera in his possession, mind you. That alone would seem to make this an open-and-shut case. But that wasn’t enough for the young man, apparently. Accidently – maybe – he made sure of it.

When the camera was returned to its owner, he found a few extra video segments on it. Including one starring and narrated by, guess who.

“This is my house, yes, and a stolen camera that I stole. But it’s OK, the cops won’t figure it out,” the suspect says during the video. He follows that gem with another lowlight.

“Oh yeah, to introduce you, my name is Houaka Yang. So yeah, how do you do.” And then he aims the camera at himself for the full cameo effect. “And this is me. Hi.”

Well, hi there yourself, Houaka. And how do you do, indeed. Get back to me on that when you get out, in a couple of years.

Zebra, what zebra … oh THAT zebra.

Oh, but Yang’s not alone in not yet exactly perfecting the perfect crime.

Take Jerald Reiter of Cascade, Iowa, over here on the right. Reiter was backing out of the Dog House Lounge in Debuque after staying a little too long and allegedly drinking a little too much. That was his first mistake.

His second was not having his passenger do the driving.

But his THIRD mistake just may have been the clincher: the zebra in his back seat and the macaw parrot on his shoulder. Onlooking and always-observant cops tend to notice odd, out-of-place things and you know how they can be so damn curious. Unfortunately, while unique pets certainly are conversation pieces, they can’t reduce blood-alcohol levels. Not a good nightcap for this pet owner, whose girlfriend told a reporter they’re pretty used to people’s surprise over their exotic pets.

“It’s not every day you see somebody that’s got a zebra or a parrot in the house, and who knows tomorrow what might be in our house,” she said.

Maybe so. But you can be pretty sure – bet the bail money on it – it ain’t going to be Jerald.

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