First things first: I have pilfered many an item in my life. From stop signs to wet floor signs and just about anything in between. You name it and I've stolen it. In college our apartment was a veritable museum of real estate signs, huge magnets from the sides of the cars on display in the mall and signs from the super market like sausage, .69 cents or "you must be 21 to buy non-alcoholic beverages." But I'm not an idiot, and I never tried to steal anything of any real value. The same can not be said of a few boys from Essex who tried to steal the man of steel last night.
Video cameras captured 4 local teens literally ripping Cal Ripken's #8 monument from its base in front of Oriole Park last night. Apparently, that is as far as these guys thought through their crime, because rather than hightailing it on home to admire their prize, they decided to just drive around with it. In the back of their pickup truck. For the whole world to see. Genius.
I understand a crime of opportunity, or at the very least, a crime of limited forethought. Walking home from the library (I was there to use the internet, not to study, lest my reputation get sullied) I came across a stop sign that had been hit by a car. All it took was two twists of the mangled poll and it was mine for the taking. Sure, I could have walked around campus with it under my arm for an hour but I didn't. I made haste in getting back to my apartment where we cut the sign free of it's post with a hack saw that I purchased at Wal Mart. That's what you do, you steal and conceal. You don't go on a victory lap.
I know that some people will ask what these guys thought they were going to do with the most famous 4 foot tall #8 in the world when they got it home, but that's not the point. I'm sure there would have been a protracted custody battle that would ultimately lead to one of them ratting out the other, but they never got the chance to live through that. No, instead they got pulled over on East Lombard St less than 3 miles from the ball park. That's just sloppy work, and for their lack of execution I think they should be sentenced to live the rest of their lives in Essex.
This is what the master criminals left behind of the monument: