I don’t know if it was the sound of so many people in the alley or the revving of the truck that caused me to peer out the window on Thanksgiving morning at 4:15 a.m. In the alley behind J-Bees clothing store was a swarm of criminals. What were so many of them doing out at that time? Well, those creative thugs, lowlifes and POSes were copying the latest vogue of smashing a vehicle into a business so, like flies to manure, they could swarm in and steal a bunch of overpriced, Made in China garments and shoes that cost less than $20 to manufacture overseas but cost more to buy here than the majority of them take home in a month (if they work at all!).

 Their first attempt at ramming the stolen truck into the building had been thwarted because of a yellow pole cemented into the ground. So they drove the pickup truck further north in the alley and then put the pedal to the metal and drove backwards into the building. The second attempt made the bricks unstable but didn’t bust a complete hole in the wall. So a third attempt was made and the pickup truck created a 6 x 8-foot hole in the wall.

The 10 thugs who had been milling about immediately moved in and began looting the store. The rest came from off North Avenue on Latrobe and through the alley as they ran to the store. Most of them had on dark knit skullcaps and pulled scarves around their faces. But several of them stood out even if their faces didn’t. Two had on bright blue jackets, almost the color of the recycling bins. Another had on the whitest knit hat and scarf with a grey plaid something around the chest area.

One of the criminals, Denzel C. Henigan, 20, of the 1500 block of North Latrobe was caught. He has been charged with two counts of burglary. My question to the State’s Attorney is why he wasn’t charged with attempted murder. You see, when that pickup truck plowed into the store, it broke the gas line and also sent the electrical line into the store. It is by God’s grace that a spark didn’t set off the gas and create an explosion that would have leveled the building and who knows how many other houses (including mine) as well as all the buildings in the vicinity, just so Denzel C. Henigan and his friends could have new, overpriced clothes and shoes.

There was a time when black families didn’t permit their children to bring anything into the house that the parents didn’t purchase or the young people couldn’t produce a receipt for. Based on the news reports I’ve seen, Denzel is going to give up just about everyone who was out there on Thanksgiving morning with him. The store did have a functioning security camera, so many of them have been as they say, “Caught on tape.” I also hope the police look into cellphone and text message activity at that time in the area.

The cost to the store owners will be in the thousands. If young black thugs are willing to drive a car into a store, what is stopping them from doing the same to a house just to get a flat screen or X-Box?

It ain’t funny, folks.

CONTACT: westside2day@yahoo.com | www.arlenejones.blogspot.com