Friday, March 31, 2017

Criminalin' is Hard

HUNTINGTON BANK ROBBERY PLANS:

1. Don't wear a disguise and look directly into security camera.
2. Hand threatening misspelled note to teller
3. Get cash
4. Leave paper plate, with handwritten directions on it, behind
5. Flee on foot
6. Run 370 feet away (two doors down); enter building and leave behind threatening misspelled note that was given to the teller (which is written on a deposit slip belonging to that bank) at Craig's mailbox for him to find.
7. Leave building and flee some more
8. Run six times the amount as before (.35 miles or 1848 feet)
9. Realize you are out of shape after traveling almost an entire half-mile (.43 miles or 2270.4 feet to be exact)
10. Knock on friend's door and chill out with the wad of cash while waiting for the cops to visit and give you the great news that you look the same in person as you do on camera.
11. Wonder where you went wrong

Green dot at the top: crime scene
The "B" dot: note found (my place)
Dot on the left: suspect's hidden in plain sight lair
Yes, my friends, this happened.

Woman arrested in Huntington bank robbery

The above plan may be confusing, but don't fret - I am here to fill in the gaps. Ahem...here goes...

This past Wednesday, March 29th, I come home for lunch. Since it is a day I work till 8pm, my lunch time is approximately 4pm and with some traffic it takes about 5 minutes to get there. I live about a half-mile from my library work place, so heading home for an hour is a treat. Once there, I go in the side door near the parking lot and head to the front of my building. My apartment is on the front end and I always take a quick detour to check my mailbox which is just beyond my apartment door in the building's front vestibule.

Now, I have neighbors who don't know any better and leave their junk mail in the wall basket near the mail slots that is typically used for larger packages or parcels, instead of throwing it away. They also, sometimes, simply tear or wad it up and leave it on the floor or toss it out the door onto the sidewalk or yard. This annoys me to no end and I throw it away for them.

On this particular day, I open the inside vestibule door and find I have one piece of mail and relieved to know that it is not a bill of some kind. Though, much to my chagrin, I do pick up - yet - another wadded up piece of paper from the floor. "Jackasses", I think to myself as I shake my head in disgust, close the door and head to my apartment.

Whiskey and Jameson
Greeted by Whiskey and Jameson (my feline roommates) as I stroll into building unit #1, careful to avoid stepping on them as they dart in and out of my path to the kitchen, I drop my mail and wad of paper on my the table in order retrieve treats for my orange and gray friends. When I notice they are satisfied with their human slave's daily duties, I am free to go examine the discarded piece of paper I brought in.

To my surprise, it is not a piece of junk mail. It is a Huntington Bank Deposit slip and it isn't blank. It doesn't have any amount or account information written on it, rather it has a note - like a weird message in a bottle-type thing left for me to find. And that somewhat legible message reads something like, "Hand over all the money in your drawer and don't act sucpicous."

I laugh and roll my eyes thinking about 25 or 30 years ago, I would have taken a deposit slip and written some similar on it (though...with correct punctuation and spelling) and left it somewhere for someone to find just to mess with them. The same, I assumed, as whomever left it here. I then eat lunch and head back to work, passing the Huntington Bank Branch that is within a rock's throw from my building.

At 7pm, I take my 15 minute break and head to my desk. To pass the time, I hop onto my computer and browse the web to see what news, events and general what not is taking place in the world. I make my way to the brain rot that is Facebook and see a Marion Star article has been shared by a few of my fellow time wasters. The article is title, "Huntington Bank robbed in Marion".

The phrase You have got to be f-ing kidding me not only crossed my mind, but was said audibly as I stared at the screen wide-eyed and in general disbelief. Once my fifteen minutes are up, I head back downstairs to work and detail to my coworkers my fun story - they had the same reaction I did.

In unison, "What are you going to do?"

"I'm gonna have to call the police non-emergency line when I get home," came out of my mouth with a mix of frustration and wonderment of how stupid life's events can be.

My building, "The Frontenac"
Back at "The Frontenac", (that's the name on the front door of my building - though I think it's from years ago when the building was used for something other than an apartment building) I hang out for few moments, then break down and call Marion City's finest. I calmly and casually explain to the female dispatcher what the crime fairy left for me, telling her I was alerted to the bank robbery after the fact. She restated some of things I said for clarification and asked if I still had the note. When I relayed that I still had it in my possession, that's when it hit her....

The horror in her voice could not be mistaken, "Wait...you picked it up...??!!"

"Well, yes, I didn't know what it was...I thought it was trash," I said apologetically but with the full disdain of - How the hell else do you think I was able know what it was!? Apparently, my x-ray vision doesn't work well on an empty stomach (Superman knows my pain).

She takes notes and tells me they will send people over in a few minutes. A little freaked out now, I use a sheet of paper and a piece of junk mail to clasp the bank note between them and set it aside. Not wanting to touch it further, I casually wondered if I should put it in a ziplock bag for preservation.

About a half-hour later, a cruiser arrives and I meet them at The Frontenac vestibule crime scene. I tell the officer and detective the quick story of how I came in possession of the evidence, then lead them inside to show them the great penmanship I discovered. And straight out of any TV series or movie, the two pull out rubber gloves, slide them on and examine the scribbles - then slide it into a paper bag.

The one officer laughs and turns away, I'm thinking he doesn't believe my story.

But he looks back at me, "We asked the teller if there was anything on the note that was significant, like the spelling, that could help but she couldn't remember anything of that nature." He is poking fun at the unique spelling of "suspicious" on the deposit slip. You don't see it written as 'sucpicous' everyday. Obviously, the mastermind was trying to throw everybody off with her own phonetic spelling of the word.

They have me repeat my story and ask if anyone new had moved into the building recently (and they have), then show me still frames of their person of interest. I didn't recognize her face, but her general make up was familiar. I show them where the building's storage units are located and they take my contact information, thank me for my time and head for other parts of the complex.

Before I knew it, I see a pair of cruisers and a police SUV in our parking lot to along with several more officers. I hear them knocking on doors and milling about the building and the lot outside for some time before moving on. And just like that, all is quite again.

I eat dinner and eventually head to bed thinking 'how do I get involved in the weirdest situations on such a frequent basis?'

Don't believe me? You should read some previous posts, they would be beyond the running diaries and stories I made up because I think I'm funny (I've realized I'm not, so...thanks). As result, you may need to scroll back a little ways - but its worth it.

Anyway, if you have clicked and read the first link above, the culprit was captured the following day (Thursday, March 30th) without incident. I don't know the level of involvement, or any at all, of those in my building but everyone seems to still be here. And it makes for a great story, which is why I'm telling you.

Summer vacation?
We joked at work on Thursday that my reputation around Marion would get back to the police and they may put a stop to, or hold up, the passport I applied for last month thinking I was somehow involved and attempting flee the country. Or if my discovery led to the suspect's arrest, what kind of reward I would be offered - I suggested if they offered to buy my plane ticket to Costa Rica (I'm hoping to go this summer), I'd call us square and it would save me from a huge dent on my credit card.

Yeah, I'm thinking I need to start saving some cash...and where is my passport?

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