We had a carjacking here in the Woods last weekend, just a couple blocks from my house. Armed carjacking, very scary — a woman leaves a business and goes to her car, parked on one of the busiest thoroughfares on the east side. Gets in, rolls down the windows to let the heat out, a guy dives through the passenger window and puts a gun to her head. Pushes her out the driver’s door, roars off.
Well, they caught him. This is the sequence: After the carjacking, he heads up to Roseville, and tries to rob a woman in a grocery parking lot. In the scuffle, he drops the keys to the jacked car. Steals a delivery truck, abandons that in a chase, heads into an apartment complex, where he hides in one of the units after breaking in. He changes his clothes, helping himself to some of the tenants’, and escapes on a bicycle.
So how did they catch him? He went back for his clothes. You can see how police grow cynical.
Guy was paroled last week. He’s looking at life now. Ob-la-di, ob-la-da.
Violent crime brings out the distancing in all of us. “Distancing” is what I call the phenomenon we all indulge in from time to time: Something bad happens to somebody else, and we try to figure out why that could never happen to us. I never go into that area after dark. I would have left when they said the hurricane was coming. I would never marry an alcoholic. And so on.
Auto theft in general is so widespread in Detroit that you hear a lot of anecdotal comments on how to avoid it. Don’t drive here, don’t buy Chrysler products before a particular model year, etc. Some people go limp — an acquaintance lives in a loft conversion in a sketchy neighborhood, and never, ever locks her car. It’s rifled from time to time, and someday someone might figure out how to get it started and drive it off, but she prefers that to replacing a window every three months.
And now I give you mine: Be just a little more troublesome and/or less attractive to thieves than the next guy. I’d never own one of those $3,000 road bikes, and don’t mind that my unglamorous hybrid bike is a little dirty. It looks dowdy in most bike racks, which is the way I like it. I also drive a stick shift. Someone might try to jack it, but I’m counting on the widespread lack of manual-transmission skills to deter all but the most determined thieves.
Alan thinks this is crazy, but I recently read on the Facebook page of a well-known crime novelist that she practices the same strategy. Hmpf.
If I’m ever shot to death in a carjacking, I’m sure the last words I’ll hear are, “Bitch, what is this shit?”
So, some bloggage for what looks to be a hot, steamy weekend:
Lance Mannion is on vacation, but of course, writers never go on vacation. Get a dune, you two!
The curse of Waterloo continues. Bret Michaels busted for pot in Deliverance, Indiana.
Got a note from Deb — not Deborah, Deb — last night. She lives in Milwaukee. Sue’s out that way, too. They got six inches of rain last night in about two hours, and she was sending the boys out to bail the window wells, which were full to the brim. Is this the most exciting thing to ever happen in Milwaukee? snarks Gawker. Oh, shut up.
Finally, Tucker Carlson keeps earning his reputation as a lying, double-crossing weasel, over and over again. Ezra Klein provides some backstory.
Time for the Friday get-down. Enjoy your weekend.