Hard Underbelly  

The official news spot for Hard Underbelly.


Mood: Amused
Music: Bury Me With It; by Modest Mouse

Okay, you know those stories about criminals being really dumb that Leno loves so much? I got a little of that tonight.

I was working in the photo lab, as always, when I looked up to see a guy trying to remove on of the portable cd players that we keep under a lock bar. I'm used to people not knowing that that's a theft prevention device, so I went over and unlocked it for him, explaining that the bar is a theft prevention device. He then asked me where the batteries were, and I pointed them out. He grabbed the cd player and the batteries. At this point we're standing at the photo register. He looked me in the eyes and said, "I'm stealing this."

At first I thought he was kidding, but then he started kinda raving a little, and I realized he was serious. Now, Walgreens is very clear that if we're being robbed, don't fight with the person, let them go, they don't want us to get hurt. However, at this point, I decided that this guy clearly didn't know what he was doing. The way shoplifting works is, you grab the item, and then you run. Since this guy had stopped to talk to me, told me that he was going to steal the discman, I felt he clearly didn't get it, so, against Walkgreens corporate policy, which is there for the safety of employees such as myself, I snagged the discman back out of his hand with lightning quick speed. At this point the guy started yelling at me. I was talking very fast, and was kinda hard to understand, but what I did catch was some stuff like "I'm not fucking kidding here, I'm serious" and "Call the manager". So I did. My manager came over, and quickly appraised the situation. He was yelling, and at this point said that his girlfriend was in the Ivar's parking lot (there is an abandoned Ivar's parking lot behind us, and I can see it out the photo windows), but it was dark, and I did not see anybody in the lot. The important thing is that he said his girlfriend had a pistol. I was mighty confused at this point, since I figured an important part of any armed robbery was bringing the gun in with you. I mean, you don't get people walking into a bank and saying, "I have a gun at home, give me all the money in the safe."

He also claimed to have a friend in the store, and he occasionally called out "Patches! Where are you?" I think I heard someone respond, but no one ever saw this mythical other friend. At this point, what with the threat of a gun somewhere nearby, no one argued when he took back the cd player. The weird thing is, he hung around after that. He wanted us to page his friend for him. He wanted to "know what it would take" for him to leave. I think he didn't understand that, as the robber, leaving was really his responsibility, and something he could do at anytime. He also urged us to call the police.

My manager had me call the police, and so, in full view of the guy robbing us, I called the police. He did not seem bothered by this.

"I'll leave my bag, or my wallet." He threw his wallet on the counter at this point. My manager and I were, to say the least, confused by this. As I started talking to 911, the robber took his drivers license out of his wallet and gave it to my manager, and then left. He did a u-turn once out the door, and came back in, asking us to page his friend for him. We declined, and my manager was inspired when she said, "If you're robbing us, I really need you to leave." 'Cause really, if he doesn't leave, he's just loitering and threatening us, y' know? So he left.

I spoke with the police for a while, giving them all of the information off of the guy's driver's license. And this really was his license. It was not a fake. His picture, his name (Christopher Isaac Stevens of Des Moines WA, brown hair, brown eyes, 5' 8", 150 pounds), all of it. The police came in as I was finishing up wioth the dispatcher on the phone. They couldn't believe it. They looked at the totally valid license listing the guys birthdate (April 16, 1976) and home address. It was bizarre. I related the story to them, and learned from them that he'd apparently been stopped by police earlier in the day for wandering around Seattle while high, which I did not find hard to believe. The weird thing is, about 20 minutes after the police left, I looked out the window, and saw him walking past, now heading east on 50th. I called the police and updated them, and that's the last I heard of it.

I've been trying to rationalize this in my head. The only reason I was at all frightened was that he left his license with us. This implied that he felt he would be able to come and pick it up at a later date. Since a gun had been mentioned, I thought, "maybe he's going to come and take it by force". The thing is, most of what he said was lost in the sheer speed with which he said it. I know he said something about his girlfriend, the abandoned parking lot, and a gun. The only way I can rationalize his action is that perhaps someone was holding a gun to his girlfriend, and had told him to rob the Walgreens. Of course, if that were the case, I'm sure they would have told him to get cash instead of a $40 cd player and a pack of AA's, which pretty much rules this out as a possibility. Of course, if he was robbing the store, why didn't he bring in the gun and get cash like a sane criminal?

Anyway, it's really only a matter of time before the police catch this criminal mastermind, but that's my story.

Ending Music: Wet Blanket; by Metric

-----------------Over, Out--------------------

  posted by Tristan @ 1:06 AM

Saturday, January 08, 2005  


Mood: Saddened
Music: Marching Band; by Sufjan Stevens

I just heard that Will Eisner died Monday due to complications from surgery. This makes me very sad. I've been a big fan of his work, the Spirit in particular, since I was just a little kid. That's all.

FYI, I'm planning to spend a good part of Wednesday tweaking both Hard Underbelly and The Wrong Band's website's a bit.

-----------------Over, Out--------------------

  posted by Tristan @ 1:24 AM

Wednesday, January 05, 2005  

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