The headline is a joke -- this is not about daring or master criminals.
You know very well, of course, that crime can happen anywhere, to anybody. That's just how it is.
But it's particularly galling here in our neighborhood when the victim is a wee-tiny, soft-spoken middle aged woman with a thing for furry creatures like Nina Wolf, who had a pistol shoved in her face by a young punk this week.
Wolf operates Animal Nature on Forbes Avenue (part of the Alma Restaurant development) and an easier target you couldn't find. And maybe that's the point. We call them punks because they take the easiest route to money, preying on the easiest victims.
Animal Nature is a particularly delightful, innocent sort of place that sells unusual pet goodies, supports lots of public service activities, and has one of the snappiest websites in the city. See: www.animalnature.net. I snitched a couple of photos from the website to give you a taste.
If this suspect, this same man -- if I may use the word -- tried this stunt at, say, The Boomerang on Monongahela or The Pub In The Park on Blackhawk, they'd feed him his pistol -- where the sun doesn't shine.
The Animal Nature stick-up is not unlike another scary hold-up down the street along Trenton Avenue a couple of years ago when a gang of so-called men robbed an evening meeting of middle-aged women at the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association office.
Mind you, there's no cash register or merchandise at the non-profit Nine Mile -- unless you want to steal rain barrels. These tough guys robbed the board members of their personal effects like wallets, credit cards and phones.
Even the stupidest drug-craving loser knows you can't do much more than barter that stuff on the street for maybe a dime on the dollar. But you sure can wreck the life of the victims, who have to report and replace all those belongings that are rich with their personal and credit information.
Folks who live here have noticed that punk-driven crime tends to occur along the “seams” where Pittsburgh, Wilkinsburg, Edgewood and Swissvale touch one another. Is the police coverage adequate?
The police bosses point to shared dispatch centers and other cooperative initiatives and claim reponse times of under two minutes all throughout Regent Square. But reponse time matters only after something has gone wrong.
What about deterrence?
You’ll go a long, long time before you see a cop, any cop, patrolling Forbes and Braddock. You’ll go forever before you see one walking there.
So what’s the answer? Bouncers at the pet goods’ emporium? More cops? Fewer guns? Better people?
Don’t hold your breath.