February 14, 2011
“Give me the money or I’ll cut you,” the man with the machete says to the clerk. It’s 3 a.m. and we’re in a neighborhood convenience store.
There’s one customer in the store, but he’s hunched down low behind the potato chip rack. The mere sight of a machete makes this witness try to become invisible.
There’s only $15 in the cash drawer. The clerk bundles it up in a bank deposit bag and tosses it on the counter.
“Down on the floor and if you call the cops I’ll come back and cut your heart out,” growls the bandit, who then turns and runs from the store. Moments later the clerk calls 911 to report the robbery.
The clerk tells police the bandit is a white male about 25 years old, six feet tall, wearing a camouflage hunting vest and white New Balance shoes. He is, of course, armed with a machete.
The witness, hiding behind the potato chip rack, tells police the suspect got into a Checker-Yellow cab. A call to the cab company dispatcher reveals the cab took the suspect to the midtown area and that’s where the trail ends.
By now there’s a half dozen cops spread out over the main drag of the downtown business district. Even at three in the morning the area is well lit. The city leaves the Christmas lights in the trees all year long. It’s cheaper than taking the lights down and storing them.
Suddenly Officer Monroe calls out on his radio: “I think I’ve got our man.” When the other cops join Monroe, he shines his Mag-Lite up into a tree. “See that shoe?” says Monroe, “looks like a New Balance to me. I’ll bet our man is plugged into that shoe.”
It turns out Monroe is correct. The machete bandit is hiding out in the tree, high above the search party. What made Officer Monroe look up? Why, he heard the bandit’s cell phone ring.
Posted by Bob Ford at 2/14/2011