Saturday, July 01, 2006

We Don't Get the Smart Ones

A heartwarming story of stupidity and justice (from the SJ Mercury News):

Man arrested after he returns to eatery for items

A San Jose man might have gotten away with not paying at a Denny's restaurant in Campbell, except for the items he left on the table.

Steven Michael Thomas, 19, of San Jose allegedly left the Bascom Avenue eatery without paying a $26 bill. But he was cited for suspicion of defrauding an innkeeper when he apparently returned to retrieve his keys and a traffic ticket with his name on it.

``We don't get the smart ones,'' Campbell police Capt. Russ Patterson said.

Thomas, Patterson said, had eaten at the all-night diner with a group of friends and walked out without paying.

The group returned to drop Thomas off in a back parking lot, probably, Patterson said, so Thomas could retrieve his things.


There are several questions I want to ask:

1. $26? Why would anyone risk a pretty serious misdemeanor charge for $26? You ought at least to get your money's worth. Go someplace nicer than Denny's, if you aren't going to pay.
2. A traffic ticket with his name on it? That probably means a car. Keys...ditto. But apparently he wasn't the driver in this criminal gang of Denny's check stiffers. What did he do, clean out his pockets? Were his jeans so tight he couldn't carry a traffic ticket in his pocket?
3. Why is Thomas the fall guy? After all, the group is responsible, presumably. At least, they are all equally responsible. Did Thomas tell the others he was going to pay, and then just walk out giggling? If so, I can understand how this might have worked:
Thomas, in car, after leaving: "Dadgum it! I forgot my keys, and that traffic ticket I had to take out of my pants because they are too tight."
Other person in car: "We'll just go back and get it. We are white people, and the staff at Denny's is friendly and helpful to white people."
Thomas, thinking quickly: "....um...okay." And then he walks into the Denny's, because he didn't want to admit to his friends that his tight pants had prevented him from bringing his wallet, which was why he didn't pay the bill he promised them he would pay.

Now, this last is JUST a reconstruction. So, we can't be sure. I'm just sayin'.