The Criminal Code

It appears to me that crime is on the rise. Maybe I’m just overly vigilant, but lately it seems the evening news is overloaded with crime stories. To top it off, I was recently a victim of a heinous act of a not-so-considerate criminal.

It happened a couple of weeks ago. As I left for work on a seemingly normal Wednesday morning, I noticed that one of my car windows had been shattered. At first I was shocked, but I quickly managed to elevate this to anger, even though I didn’t know whom to be angry with.

All I know is that whomever the perpetrator(s), they are very inconsiderate. First of all, the method used to break into my car was clearly not the work of a thoughtful or efficient thief. Rather than simply smashing in the window with a blunt object and being done with it, the culprit took the time to attempt to pry the window open. Ultimately the window shattered, but in the process the frame was also destroyed.

This was careless enough, but then I discovered what was stolen — my briefcase. It’s a nice briefcase and I am (correction: was) very fond of it. So I can understand someone wanting it for his own. It is made of supple leather and has lots of compartments for holding things — things that are only important to me! What the hell is this thief going to do with my favorite reading glasses, or my appointment book? Not to mention my work schedule and passport. To date the thief has not kept any of my appointments or completed any of my assignments even though he has the schedule. And the most inconsiderate act was taking my passport. Have you stood in line at a government agency lately?

The criminals these days are just too self-centered. What happened to honor among thieves? Somewhere along the way the bad guys lost their moral compass. I remember back in the day when outlaws took pride in their work. When I was in high school someone broke into my car and stole my stereo. The thief had the common decency to break the smallest, and least expensive, window. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that. And, after he carefully removed the stereo he cleaned up after himself. The glass was swept up and the unsightly loose wires neatly tucked away. This was the work of a proud professional who was obviously guided by a strong code of ethics.

Those were the days.


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