The Criminal Element

“If you are a registered sex offender and are out of compliance with state law, do not throw a cardboard box of books at a San Francisco Police Department Patrol Car as you will be arrested.” – Bayview Police Precinct Crime Bulletin Tip, May 2012

San Francisco, I think we have hit a new low, you and I. That is some terrible, boring criminaling right there. Really low-grade effort. Right up there with grabbing stuff out of unlocked garages. God. It’s so – what’s the word?

Oh, right: lame.

It’s no surprise to me that Law & Order never franchised you.

I don’t mean to be critical or hurt your feelings, criminals by the bay, but let’s face it: this low-effort garbage just isn’t good enough. The shta-tong can’t help you build up some real drama when all that follows is a police car driving by really slowly a couple hours too late and, maybe – if it’s a super fast-track week and the perp is really, really high – the victim going to pick up a box of the thrilling stuff that was in her trunk (I’m talking about you, red plastic emergency gas can) from a not-at-all-sinister basement evidence locker, like, a month later. That’s just not good TV.

Here’s my point: we’ve hit bottom with this book-throwing thing. San Francisco criminals, it’s time you kicked it up a notch in the originality and innovation departments.

I’m not talking to the violent criminals (of which there are far too many to feel safe anywhere in this city and shame on you and, SF why can’t you get it together to be more like New York in this department?) I’m talking to the idiots who throw boxes of books at cop cars. The ones who break into cars to steal a bag of Doritos or drive half a block after jamming a screwdriver in the ignition. I mean, really. If you’re going to go to the trouble of committing a crime, you should at least make it worth everyone’s while.

Why not reupholster the back seat of your new ride in a snappy, bright fabric from Marimekko? That would get my attention when they pick you up AND showcase some seriously Etsy-ready skills. What about stealing my car and then reconstructing it in my living room while I’m out? That’s a classic. I would be so impressed with you, I wouldn’t even be mad.

And for you iPhone snatchers, let’s all be honest with one another: holding up a terrified nanny – with a baby, no less – isn’t really a notch in anyone’s belt. Add a little class to your act. Why not Italian-Job it up and swing by a crowded bust stop  in the Financial District in a set of souped up Minis and scoop up, like, twelve at at shot? The visual impact alone would be sure to draw applause. What about a Thriller flash mob in the Mission instead of just walking away with my wallet? It’s a double win: you could pickpocket admiring onlookers while prepping for a well-coordinated life in prison.

Call me romantic, but what happened to cat burglars and getaway drivers with hearts of gold? Where are the solid, well-planned, character-driven crimes these days? If you’re going to go into the felony life, for crying out loud have a some fun with it. Spend a little less time focusing on the making money part of it and a little more time really enjoying it, you know? Life is a journey, not a destination, if you see what I mean.

And, for God’s sake, let’s all show a little self-respect and cut out this box-throwing nonsense.

Categories: Made Me Laugh, San Francisco (here)


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