On Saturday, New Year’s Eve, I went to Schnucks to do the shopping for the holiday. The crush of other shoppers filled the parking lot, the aisles and the checkout lines. On the way into the store I saw a young police officer, or possibly a cadet. His slight build and lack of any outer wear made it clear that he was not wearing a vest. I thought that was rather odd. We passed each other and I thought of mentioning that fact to him, but his purposeful demeanor dissuaded me.
I went about my shopping and on the way out of the store the same young officer was speaking with four other policemen. In their company was a tall, thin, elderly man. He looked disheveled. He also looked distraught. It being none of my business, I continued on my way. Maybe he was just confused, or lost?
A minute after I got home, Joanie called. Anne took the call and was asked, “Did you hear the sirens?” We hadn’t. Joan went on to relate that she had seen a police women running down her street, with her weapon drawn. She lives around the block from us. Further, one of her neighbors has a police scanner and heard that a man was just arrested on the block on the other side of us, from her. We went about our New Years festivities and it wasn’t until the next morning that I read the following on the Post-Dispatch’s website:
Clayton Police Chief Thomas Byrne said a man in his 80s was doing lawn work outside of his home when two people – one adult and one juvenile male – approached him and asked for money. The two then took the man inside his home, where his wife was also located. One person held the wife, while the other took the elderly man to the Schnucks on Clayton Road to cash a check. The crime was stopped in progress by an off-duty police officer at Schnucks, Byrne said.
The article goes on to explain that two suspects are being held. No mention is made of any injury to the couple. The article goes on to speculate about a similar event that also occurred on Arundel Place. Robbery was attempted against restaurateur, Vince Bommarito earlier last year. He was able to fight off his assailants.
I often chide Anne about her love for what I deem as paranoid cop shows, like the “Law & Order” or “CSI” franchises. Their heightened melodrama and absurd investigative procedures (IMHO) seem out-of-place in the real world. Then along comes something like Saturday’s event. Striking so close to home, it seems no less melodramatic and in pieced together retrospect no less absurd than standard TV fare.
They say that violent crime has declined, but they also say that Mogadishu is safer than Saint Louis. I don’t think that “they” know what they are talking about. I use to read the Police Briefs column in the paper. Maybe it wasn’t my reading it, but my telling Anne about what I read that annoyed her the most. She thought that it made me sound paranoid, but what if someone is really out to get you?