Saturday, December 03, 2005

Doug Grow discovers crime in Minneapolis

Reliably liberal and populist Red Star columnist Doug Grow reports today on a quality of life issue for the residents and visitors to Minneapolis, "Justice can be swift and, in this case, very brief".

Mr. Grow generally likes to side with the criminal as the victim of oppression, racism, and discrimination. He surprises us in today's column by seemingly giving the nod to the victims. Credit where credit is due.

Doug Sams, by the way, should receive an award. He is the type of citizen the city needs - someone who cares enough to get involved. Someone who cares about the degraded quality of life fostered by the ever-growing Minneapolis criminal element. If only the elected "leaders" of the city had such fortitude.

A man entered Sams' deli in the skyway level of the Radisson Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. He seated himself, his back to the woman's back. "I'm aware of the method," Sams explained. "The perpetrator will sit back, throw his overcoat over both chair backs, pretend he's reading the paper, then work his hand through his coat to the purse, pull out the billfold and leave. The victim won't know it happened, until she looks for her billfold later."
The criminal got away after the first incident, but was spotted later. Mr. Sams and a security guard took action after the dirtbag stole a second wallet:

"I came running back to the security guard and said, 'He's got her billfold,' " Sams explained.

The man started pushing the guard to get away. Sams, 46, leaped onto the snatcher's back. Down they all went, the man fumbling the billfold of his most recent victim as they fell.

Over the next few minutes, other security guards arrived. The man was cuffed. Police arrived, took statements and hauled the suspect off to jail.
Happy ending? Not really:

So are Minneapolis streets just a little safer today?

John Roper, 35, the guy Sams helped wrestle to justice, is back on the streets. After being ticketed for misdemeanor theft, he made a first appearance in court on Thursday, pleaded his innocence and demanded a jury trial. He was released from jail and told to appear in court at the end of the month.

As it happens, he has been arrested 37 times -- just in Minneapolis -- involving everything from drugs to child abuse to theft, and has had at least 63 other contacts with Minneapolis police in the past 10 years.

But much to the frustration of cops, he always quickly returns to the streets.

"Maybe this explains why so many women don't feel safe in downtown Minneapolis," Sams said.
This is a common theme in this broken city of Minneapolis. Thank you , mayor Ryback.