Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dumb Criminal Award to Cable One arsonist?

Hansel and Gretel left a trail of bread crumbs to find their way out of the forest. Greg, Bobby and Peter Brady left a trail of popcorn as an escape route from a Hawaiian archeologist bent on holding them captive.
     In Show Low, however, criminals simply leave deep footprints in the snow as a guide, not for their escape, but to make it easier for law enforcement to track them down.
     It may sound strange, and one can only assume it was not intentional, but that is exactly what happened when the Cable One technical operations center in Show Low was vandalized and set afire.
     Such actions compel us to question whether this was simply a dumb criminal trick or perhaps a dress rehearsal for an attempt at the ever-popular and much coveted Darwin Awards given posthumously to people who give their last full measure of devotion in convoluted but nonetheless successful attempts to remove their faulty genes from the pool.
     To be fair, perhaps whoever set the fire counted on the heat from the flames melting their telltale footprints, or maybe they simply thought police would think the prints were left by a Sasquatch and would look no further.
     Or maybe with the current economic crunch and the high price of heating fuel they had a dual purpose in setting the fire in hopes that the intense flames would heat their home and provide a venue to cook meals and roast marshmallows at no cost to themselves.
     The good news in all of this (albeit only for whomever is ultimately held responsible) is that since the ATF became involved there is the possibility that the perpetrator could face federal incarceration, which is tantamount to a paid vacation.
     Again to be completely fair, maybe that was the purpose, to secure free room and board along with cable television and Internet service at the expense of those of us who misguidedly obey the law while also looking towards longevity and health and burn firewood rather than polyvinyl chloride.
     While PVC does produce more heat than wood or heating fuel, The Independent would like to offer a little sage advice about the toxic effects of inhaling such poisonous fumes and soot. Just say no!
     But maybe that advice is premature and unwanted. It is just possible that the person responsible for the arson fire was actually thinking of the community as a whole and theorized that this might be the best way someone of limited mental faculties could aid the failing economy.
     Perhaps they felt their actions could provide a little job security for law enforcement during these trouble times by giving them something extra to investigate.
     The problem is that they left footprints, which only garnered Show Low Police and agents with ATF a finite number of hours expended on the investigation and subsequent arrest of a suspect who is at this moment in the Navajo County Jail.
     Nonetheless we would like to offer the responsible individual this one-time "Dumb Criminal Award" as acknowledgement not so much for their misguided behavior, but as a thank you for providing The Independent the fodder to write this editorial.
     As an apropos addendum and all joking aside, it is never a good idea to break the law.
     Setting fire to a structure sometimes ends with a loss of life, either the occupants or the brave firefighters who battle the flames, and in the end potential criminals need to be aware that ultimately the long arm of the law will find them, so the key phrase in this editorial is to just say no!

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