I always imagined that stealing from an ATM would involve some sort of complicated computer hack that would result in the money machine spitting thousands of $20s at me. It turns out I was thinking too small.
Earlier this summer, Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts noted that car thefts were up 4 percent in the city, even as other crimes seem to be on the decline. But Batts was quick to note that half of all cars stolen in the city were left running with their keys in the ignition–which is basically an invitation to having your car stolen.
Remember that Netflix DVD that never arrived, or that check that never showed up in your mailbox? It may well have been in the possession of Jeffrey Shipley, a Baltimore postal worker who’s been accused of stealing more than 20,000 pieces of mail over the past 20 years.
Remember when a deaf pit bull puppy was stolen during a Timonium home invasion, and Baltimore residents raised such a ruckus that the family eventually got Thor back? (Thanks to some solid sleuthing by police, we should add.) Well, a similar puppy-napping has taken place in northeast Baltimore. Once again, property was stolen… along with an adorable young dog. And his owners are turning to to the public to help get him back.
Some thieves steal money, or credit cards, or cars. But the classy thief steals cognac.
Or at least that’s what I like to imagine happened in Dundalk last weekend, when an enterprising burglar used a stolen truck to filch 2,142 cases (!) of cognac. (Cue “Pass the Courvoisier.”) Assuming each case included 12 bottles and each bottle contained 750 ml, that amounts to 19,278,000 ml, or more than 5,000 gallons, of the fancy liquor.
The sculpture sat behind the bar at Peter’s Inn, Baltimore’s unassuming, award-winning Fells Point restaurant. (No surprise that it’s John Waters’s pick for “the best restaurant in all of Baltimore.”)
The bronze sculpture was dramatic looking, to say the least — a pair of twin human babies suckling a giant, stylized wolf. Those twins were, presumably, Romulus and Remus, the two legendary founders of Rome; in 1918, the sculpture was presented to Samuel L. Fuller, the head of the Rome Red Cross during World War II. Fuller happens to be Peter’s Inn owner Karin Tiffany’s great grandfather, so the sculpture wasn’t just a badass piece of art; it was also a beloved family heirloom. And last week, right before Thanksgiving, someone stole it.
“I’m a city girl,” Tiffany says. “I’ve been burglarized when I was sleeping, I’ve been mugged on 25th Street. But this belongs to my family, and it feels personal. I think I’d rather get mugged again [than lose this statue].”
I remember when I thought the story of the flea market Renoir (previously covered here, here, and here) was like something out of a romantic comedy: a lady out browsing flea markets on a Sunday morning buys a box of junk for $7, only to discover that the small painting she purchased is actually by an Impressionist master. But now that more details about the woman and her story are coming out, it’s sounding as though the film version would be less like a romantic comedy, and more like a film noir. Nothing, it appears, is as it seems.
If you were in Canton yesterday around 4:30 p.m., you might have witnessed a police chase. Officers pursued a stolen vehicle for half an hour mostly through the streets of Canton, with assistance from a helicopter. And that’s really where they get you, and why eluding police in a car usually only if you’re driving the Batmobile — the helicopter. Once the helicopter is out, it’s over — it becomes an inevitable, slow-speed chase.
My house got broken into the other day. We lost a laptop, desktop, a couple of Mac chargers and an amp. That was Saturday. Monday, we got broken into again, and they took another laptop, a bike, more chargers, our TV, a bunch of guitars — basically everything of value. One of my housemates said he felt like a Who after the Grinch came, but minus the Christmas cheer. And, you know, if it happened twice. Anyway, getting broken into is no fun, and it happens a lot in Baltimore, so I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learned about how to not get all your stuff jacked.
Fences are good, walls are not.
The first time whoever it was broke in, they came through an open door. That was a stupid mistake on our part, but afterwards we kept everything locked up. The second time, we got our dining-room window busted open. The thieves felt safe enough to do this, the security people explained, because we’ve got an eight-foot brick wall around our back yard. Eight feet is as high as city regulation will allow, but still low enough that anyone over 5’8″ can pretty easily climb over. And once they’re over a wall, they’re hidden from view. So make sure your robbers-to-be don’t have any good spots to hide.
Window bars are awesome.
If your windows and doors are barred, you’ve probably deterred 95 percent of people wanting to steal your things. We didn’t do this until after the second time we were broken into, but we haven’t had any trouble since then. (Though I’m not sure if it’s the window bars or just that we don’t have anything left to steal.)