Annals of Crime - GTA

March 10, 2007

Posted by Jay Livingston

I know from my own days in the crim biz that people with criminal records have trouble getting jobs, a difficulty which only contributes to the cycle of problems. (Blogger and U. of Minnesota sociology chair Chris Uggen is very good on the problems faced by convicts.) I’m not talking about criminals like Scooter Libby or Jack Abramoff—they’ll do very well, pardon or no — but street criminals. Case in point:

My friend David G tells me this story. David G is in the retail food business, and as he was sorting the chèvre and mozzarella this morning, our conversation turned to the topic of the disorganization and craziness he sometimes encounters in the business.

“We just had a guy who came to a job interview in a stolen car.”

“How’d you know it was a stolen,” I ask.

“Well, the guy comes in, fills out the forms, has the interview, and leaves. And right there on the first page, it says, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” and he puts down that yes, he was convicted of possession of stolen property. So I figure, OK, maybe here’s a guy trying to get his life back together.

“Then one of the workers comes in and says, ‘You know that guy that was just here— he left his car out in the parking lot.’ So I have the application with the address and phone number. So we call him. ‘Hey, you left your car here.’ He says, ‘No, it wasn’t me, I didn’t drive.’

“So we go back and run the surveillance tape, and sure enough, it shows him driving up in that car. We get the license number, call the police and run the plates, and it turns out the car is stolen.

“We have the tape of him driving up in the car, and we have his name and address.”

“Not exactly CSI,” I say, “but look at it this way: the guy is trying to get an honest job, your place probably isn’t that easy to get to, maybe he was running late, so instead of taking the bus, he took a car. It just wasn’t his. That’s pretty enterprising.”

“Enterprising,” says David G, “but not very smart.”

I guess the guy’s not going to get the job.

1 comment:

Brad Wright said...

What a funny story! How would crim theory explain that?