Do you ever wonder, “What were these people thinking?” We do.
It’s not unusual for our daily Police Log to report on an arrest made by an officer who stopped a car on Interstate 68 or some other highway for going considerably faster than the speed limit, then discovered the car was laden with narcotics.
We recently reported about a man who faces charges because he allegedly stole a lawn tractor from a store, then sold it at a scrap yard to someone who promptly called police.
This sort of thing isn’t new. Some years ago, a man was convicted of stealing a quantity of copper wire from a scrap yard. The next day, he tried to sell it back to the same scrap yard with the scrap yard’s wrapper still around it.
Two other men recently were charged with felony theft and drug offenses for allegedly stealing a car in Harrisburg, Pa., and driving it to Cumberland. Police trailed them here using the car’s OnStar satellite program.
Some years ago, we reported about a man who robbed a store unmasked, with a pistol that was broken. He and the clerk were acquainted, and he asked her not to tell anyone he had been there. It didn’t quite work out that way.
Another man called a pizza shop and ordered a sandwich delivered to what proved to be a vacant address. When the delivery man showed up, he robbed him and was still there, eating the sandwich, when the police arrived.
Stories about dumb crooks abound, like that of a man who tried to rob a gun store in Portland, Ore., while armed only with a baseball bat.
Occasionally, there are reports of people who actually try to burglarize homes by climbing down chimneys; unlike Santa, they get stuck partway down.
Now and then, someone hands a bank clerk a robbery note written on a business card or some other piece of paper that has his name on it.
One of our favorite stories also was a favorite of the late attorney Lee Barnett, who liked to tell about a man who robbed a bank in the pre-mall days on Baltimore Street.
He walked outside, hailed a cab and rode home in it. The driver radioed the dispatcher about his fare, and the police were waiting for them when they got to their destination.
A day or so later, the robber was lying on his bunk in the county jail when a guard reminded him it was chow time and asked him if he was hungry.
“No,” the robber said, “I’m plannin’ my next job.”
Police have a variety of investigative tools, scientific and otherwise, to use in catching crooks. They also get plenty of help from the public and, it often seems, from the crooks themselves.
They often make it easy for police to catch them
Do you ever wonder, “What were these people thinking?” We do.
Peanuts and Cracker Jack beat any foam finger
Times have changed, and for the better, as this week marks the third year in a row NFL training camps have opened and have not taken center stage in the cities of Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Washington. That, of course, is due to the play of the three baseball teams that inhabit said cities, the Orioles, the Pirates and the Nationals — two of whom hold first place in their respective divisions, with the other one entering play on Wednesday just 2 1/2 games out of first.
How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.
Don’t do it
Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.
He means well, and this time they spared his life
Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.
It’s hotter here than in D.C. or Baltimore
At this time of the year, the weather is a frequent subject of conversation, particularly the temperatures. We are now in the “Dog Days,” usually the hottest days of the year. The term comes from our sun appearing to be near the “Dog Star” (Sirius) and the “Little Dog Star” (Procyon). In reality, the sun is now about 94.5 million miles away while Sirius is 8.6 light years away with Procyon at 11 light years distance. Sunlight takes only 507 seconds to reach us, while the two dog stars’ light takes about a decade to travel to our eyes. So our sun is in the same direction (but not distance) as these two bright winter evening stars.
Sale of quart-sized Mason jars lagging, merchants claim
The opening day of Maryland’s squirrel hunting season is Sept. 6 and I am guessing you will be able to drive a lot of miles on the Green Ridge State Forest and see very few vehicles belonging to hunters of the bushytail. It wasn’t always that way. In the early 1960s, when I was a high school student in Cumberland, there was no Interstate 68. What existed was U.S. Route 40 and in the last couple of hours before daylight on the opening day of squirrel season there was an almost unbroken line of tail lights and brake lights between Cumberland and Polish Mountain.
Columnist, son are range finders, but where are .22 shells?
We feel pretty lucky on this side of the Potomac to have a nice shooting range to utilize for free and within decent driving distance.
Opposition and inclusion understood
Those of you who have been here before know how I feel about the late great Len Bias, who I will remember foremost as Leonard Bias, the polite, spindly Bambi-eyed kid from Hyattsville’s Northwestern High School, who could throw a dunk through the floor, yet had the most beautiful jump shot I have ever seen.
Kicking the can down the road was one of the things American kids did to pass the time in the old days, particularly if they lived in rural areas where there was little traffic to contend with.
Further proof you should never bet on baseball
Had you known in March that ...
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