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Cops and Robbers

I have never been terribly fond of Seattle proper. From traffic jams to panhandlers, it has never evoked a positive image from me. Indeed I live here merely as a convenience while I finish school and I fully intend to live quite happily in the glorious suburbs thereafter. The latest installment in Ryan’s ongoing drama of life reaffirms this desire.

Last night, someone decided it would be a good idea to rummage through my car and take anything that looked valuable. There wasn’t much in there, but there was certainly more than I would have liked. Among the lost items were my radar detector (they took the detector but apparently thought it would be a good idea to detach and leave the cord that powers it), and a box full of miscellaneous electronics including a soldering iron, very crappy night vision monocular, Prometheus Jr (a mini-sumo robot that won 2nd place at Robothon 2004), a bunch of miscellaneous electronic parts (resistors, capacitors, LEDs, distance sensors), and I’m sure a few other things that I didn’t remember. Annoying me much more than the goods lost, though, is the fact that there are still these people that view taking this stuff as ok, and that the Seattle Police don’t give a damn. Sure, they take the report, but they don’t take fingerprints, they don’t ask around for witnesses, they don’t do anything else. And they wonder why Seattle — and every other major city — has a crime problem? With this kind of enforcement, it might as well be legal to commit minor robberies.

My view — perhaps tainted again by these most recent events — is that people that knowingly commit crime that hurts others do not belong in the society at large. Indeed, such people should be removed from society until they are no longer going to commit such crimes. A slap on the wrist doesn’t stop a thief — but cutting off said wrists can help. Since we’re not so much in the dismemberment business in this society, it seems to me that the logical choice is to simply deny criminals the right to walk freely, forever or until cured. People like me dealing with this kind of crap on a semi regular basis is just not right.

2 Responses to “Cops and Robbers”

  1. Bernie Zimmermann Says:

    Sorry to hear about the break-in. That really sucks. We had our stereo stolen when we lived just down the block from where you are. We’ve actually had our car stolen or broken into several times while living in “Seattle proper,” and so we’ve had to deal with the police just as you did. However, through that experience we learned that the police officers treat those types of crimes nonchalantly because of the fact that even if they catch the guy (or girl) who did it, the courts rarely, if ever, convict or do much of anything else about it. Regardless of flaws in the judicial system, the police force, or whatever, I am always reminded of John Travolta’s line in Pulp Fiction: “You just don’t mess with another man’s car.”

  2. Ryan Says:

    Thats a good point about the legal system, Bernie. Police, as I probably have said before, get an unfair share of the blame for a broken legal system, because they are the only part of that system that most of us normally interact with.

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