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Billy’s Pizza Caper
How Not to Conduct an Armed Robbery
© 2018 James LaFond
Late on a summer afternoon Billy came into the Pizzeria Vee worked at, with a blue bandana over his face and his blue eyes beaming crazily over it, as he pointed a double-barrel shotgun at the girls behind the counter. There was less than 20 dollars in the register and Vee stepped aside to lock the back door incase more robbers were set to come in that way, as Jill handed over the money.
The delivery man then came through the door counting his money and Billy pounced, demanding the cash. Vee was terrified that the driver—a military veteran who talked a lot of trash—was going to try something heroic. Instead the driver threw the bills in Billy’s face as he backed away. Billy snapped up the cash and darted out the door and down the stairs, dropping a knife and a soda pop in his scramble to get back on his bicycle, which he peddled home, three blocks away and left in the front yard.
While the police were on the scene asking questions, Jill got a phone call from her boyfriend, who happened to be the neighborhood crack dealer. He informed her that Billy had just called him up and wanted to buy six rocks, because he had just robbed the pizzeria [not realizing that his drug dealer was dating the chick he had pointed his gun at.]
Billy didn’t even get his crack before the cops were kneeling on the small of his back next to his bike in the front yard of his Mom’s house.
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JJ Przybylski     Jan 20, 2018

I taught Special Education in Detroit and this story tugs at my heart. It reminds me of a story that I read in the Detroit paper, about a robbery in the neighborhood where I taught. I think I knew the unnamed "suspect".

The story, retold in my own words, goes like this: A pathetically dumb 14 year old is told by a 17 year old criminal mastermind to ride his bike to the bank and hand the teller a note. The note said, "Give me all your money". Or maybe it said, "gib me all yer $$$" in illiterate gangster scrawl.

The kid was probably arrested in the bank lobby. All I could think about, while reading the news story, is a darkly-handsome kid I'd had in class. A cocky SW Detroit latino/irish mongrel with an IQ of 75 who thought he was destined for the Gangster Hall of Fame. He was 5'6". An evil naif.

Growing up with a strict Catholic education in the blue-collar suburbs of Detroit, I used to think that lawbreakers had cold-blooded courage. But after living and working in Detroit, I real-ized that 99% of them were simply dumb. Impulsive. Maybe even half-feral.
James     Jan 20, 2018

Great anecdote. Thank you.
Shep     Jan 21, 2018

Back in those fabulous '60's, the Detroit Pistons had a 7-foot-tall center named Reggie Harding. Reggie was a regular customer at a neighborhood liquor store. One day, suffering from a financial liquidity problem (this was well before the days of million-dollar contracts) Reggie decided to balance his books by robbing the liquor store. Wearing a ski mask, he held the staff at gunpoint and absconded with a handful of dead presidents. The 7-foot stickup artist was surprised to be rapidly apprehended. "How'd ya know it was me?" the 7-foot felon asked the arresting officers.

Did I mention that he was 7 feet tall?
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