by Joyce Tremel
If I asked what season had the most crime, most people would respond, "Summer." That's when it's hot out, tempers are up along with the temperatures, houses are left open and easy to break into.
Well, you'd be wrong.
The Christmas season has it beat. This time of year, while we get fewer calls, almost all of them are crime related. (The busybodies must be out buying gifts, because they don't have time to keep us informed on every "suspicious person" wandering around their neighborhood.)
This is the time of year when retail thefts are abundant. When I was over at Ross Park Mall last week, I saw a Ross Township police officer strolling around. He wasn't doing his shopping either. I had no idea who he was, but I stopped to say hello. He told me that the mall hires off-duty officers to patrol in addition to their so-called security guards. Has anyone seen these security guards? They wear strange looking state trooper like hats and some patrol on Segways (wearing helmets, of course). Very amusing. Anyway, the Ross cop said it's a nice gig for the holidays. Extra money, most people in the holiday spirit and most important of all, there's law enforcement on site.
It made sense to me, especially having someone on site. McKnight Road is truly McKnightmare Road this time of year. Even with lights and sirens, a police car would have nowhere to go.
We haven't had too many retail thefts in Shaler this year, but many of the stores handle the thefts themselves. The loss prevention departments usually file the charges at the magistrate's office. Last year, however, I remember two women tried to leave K-Mart with an entire shopping cart full of items. Don't you wonder what they were thinking? They just pushed the cart right out the door. When they totaled the items for the police report, it was over $700. Not too bright if you ask me.
The crime we have the most of right now is thefts from vehicles. People, LOCK YOUR CARS! I don't care if they're in your driveway or not. Lock the damn things. All the little junkies pick a neighborhood every night and go through cars.
The junkies also hit the grocery stores. They steal steaks. If they get away with it, they take the steaks to restaurants (mostly in Lawrenceville and the East End) and sell them to the restaurant. So think twice before you order that steak at the Pleasure Bar.