Aggravated Stupidity

Kauai’s home-grown version of the incompetent crimial story has been unfolding in the Garden Island newspaper over the past week, with the newspaper itself playing an important role in the story.

Last week, the Garden Island reported the story of a minor drug bust, as they tend to do on slow news days. Two people were arrested on charges of dealing ice (crystal meth) at a hotel, after a tip-off from the public. The police seized $10,000 worth of the drug, barely enough to warrant a front page article with mug shots of both suspects, I thought. See link above for their photos.

The next day’s newspaper reported on the theft of the previous day’s newpaper from vending machines, along with various other attempts to limit circulation. It seems that one or more people tried to purchase all the papers from the early morning paper carriers, who obviously refused. So they bought all the newspapers on sale at the stores, and apparently emptied the vending machines. It was speculated that the suspects were unhappy with their photos being so widely distributed, immediately making them suspects in the newspaper thefts.

The headline of today’s paper is “Arrest made in purloined papers case”, wherein we learn that a policeman spotted the suspect and a stack of the stolen newspapers, in plain view in car he pulled over for a routine traffic stop. Not only was the suspect arrested again, but his friend’s car that he was riding in with the stolen papers was seized and impounded. Maybe he was so proud of having his photo in the newspaper that he had to keep them. I guess we the public can be thankful that the newspapers weren’t dumped somewhere by the side of the road.

It also turns out the second suspect in the drug bust called the newspaper asking them not to print the original story of the bust. I imagine that’s why it got printed in the first place, editors love to publish things they know will irritate some people.

PS: Kudos to the Garden Island for the use of the word “purloined” in a headline.

Update: I’ve just summitted this to Chuck Shepherd’s News of the Weird syndicated column.

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