For some reason we receive a ton of small, community-based free newspapers.  Every morning there’s a pile of them at the foot of our driveway.  They’re all the same, subbing the words “Tribune” for “Tattler” or “Herald” for “Journal”.  Most of their content amounts to a collection of advertisements for small local businesses with the occasional human interest story thrown in for good measure.   But my favorite thing about all these little newspapers (and the reason I haven’t sought to stop their delivery) is the community ”Incident Log”; the log of various police reports filed in the area over the previous week.  These logs always make for fascinating reading.  Here are some favorites with my commentary in italics.

Retail theft and resisting arrest – 2:32 PM: Suspect was observed concealing ten packages of raw meat in his pants and leaving the store without paying.  The meat was valued at approximately $145.

Cue the ”Is that fresh grade A sirloin in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?” line. 

Loose cows – 11:57 AM: Three cows were found to be roaming loose through a local subdivision. An officer attempted to herd the cows for about 45 minutes before the owner arrived.  Upon the owner’s arrival, the cows ran through a fence, re-entering the pasture.

As far as I’m concerned, this officer got off easy.  Herding cows is a piece of cake compared to herding children.  Herding cows may seem similar to herding children since in both cases you’re stuck directing a group of unwieldy, destructive creatures who only reluctantly behave themselves when an authority figure arrives on scene.  But at least with cows you can legally use a cattle prod to urge them along.  Not so with kids – or at least that’s what the child protection authorities keep telling me.

Burglary – No Time: Unknown person(s) entered the residence by unknown means. Once inside, the person(s) set up housekeeping, remaining in the residence for at least three weeks.  The person(s) ate all of the food in the refrigerator and used the victim’s washing machine and dryer.

Attention visiting relatives: Note the fine line between welcome & unwelcome is a potential Burglary conviction. 

Indecent Exposure – 7:44 PM: A 54-year old male was charged with indecent exposure for walking naked with a glass of chardonnay while covered in Vaseline.  When questioned by police, the man stated that he was out for an evening walk and likes to do so in the nude.  When advised that public nudity was against the law, the man said that he came from Vermont where walking in the nude is legal.

Fine then, but I bet you they don’t allow you to walk naked in Vermont while covered in Vaseline do they, Mister Smarty-No-Pants??

Retail Theft – 10:17 AM: Suspect was observed entering the electronics department of the store and concealing a 15-inch LCD TV in the front of his pants before attempting to exit.

Eh…forget it.  The whole metaphor is so played out. 


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