For years, our nation’s law enforcement agencies have made great technological strides in their efforts to hunt down criminals. Thanks to popular shows like CSI Miami, CSI New York, CSI Las Vegas, and the lesser known CSI Akron, CSI Schenectady and CSI Terre Haute, Indiana, police in our nation’s most crime-ridden cities (have you been to Terre Haute lately? Lock your doors!) are now able to use sophisticated tools to solve perplexing crimes and track down the bad guys.
But soon our nation’s police may turn to a decidedly low tech solution to help them catch a thief, that is, if they take my expert crime-prevention counsel. I give you Exhibit A: baggy pants – preferably worn about mid-thigh – by fashion-conscious urban gang members.
I recently discovered that in the past nine months no less than three robberies have been foiled as the would-be robber tripped over his low-riding baggy pants while attempting to make his getaway. Imagine if all robbers wore baggy pants how much safer a nation we would be?
Some people may find the low-hanging “pants on the ground” fashion of many urban teenagers to be an offensive, brazen display of immodesty and / or slovenliness. Still others take a more benign perspective, preferring to think of the wearers simply as youthful, narcissistic, fashion-impaired idiots. I, on the other hand, applaud this new fashion trend for the critical role it is playing in helping ensnare youthful urban, slovenly, narcissistic, fashion-impaired idiots intent on committing a crime.
The following three stories are all true (scout’s honor): In New York City last year, a man who killed four family members while attempting to burglarize an apartment, attempted to flee the crime scene by racing down the building’s fire escape. This story has a happy ending, as in the end, his low-slung pants fell to his ankles, tripping him up and sending him over the fire escape railing, falling three stories to his death.
In Columbus, Ohio, an armed bank robber racing out of the bank with a bag of money (right), tried to run out the front door, but his progress was impeded by his sagging pants. He fell, setting off the dye pack inside the money bag, which exploded into a cloud of red smoke. The robber then dropped the bag and tried to flee but was caught because his baggy pants slowed him down too much.
In El Jebel, Colorado, a man broke into a sports bar and attempted to get away with a large sum of cash. He would have made off with the money if not for one small problem: his baggy pants were “clear down around his knees”, reported the owner of the sports bar, “so he couldn’t run real well” and he was quickly tackled by other non-baggy-pants-wearing patrons.
Some states, like Florida, have actually passed “droopy drawers” laws to ban students at school from wearing their pants too low, such that it exposes their underwear or butt cracks. But if you ask me, these states are missing the bigger picture. The fact is that many of the baggy-pants-wearing urban youth engaged in bank robberies and petty theft are committing these crimes to get money for drugs, like crack. That’s why have launched my own crime-fighting awareness campaign which I call Butt Cracks Against Crack.
My solution is simple, and it will work – no butts about it: The FBI should provide local law enforcement agencies in our nation’s worst crime-ridden cities (say Terre Haute, to name one harrowing example) with massive quantities of baggy pants to donate for free to at risk urban youth – with clear instructions “to be worn at least 8 inches below the top of your butt crack during the commission of a felony.” The baggy pants could come in all sorts of tasteful graffiti-spray-painted colors. I suggest increasing their appeal by imprinting them with popular street gang cultural expressions like “Yo, pimp this, ya Motherf**kah” and “Don’t diss on my Gangsta Cred” and “I cut you up bad if you touch my b*tch” and “World’s Best Dad.”
I am convinced that if we can just get more of our disadvantaged urban youth wearing these baggy pants around their ankles, we will be able to capture even more criminals before they can break into my suburban planned community home and steal my new flat panel high def 56-inch Samsung TV complete with the Bose home theatre system.
While this public safety campaign is only in its early stages, initial tests appear promising. In a laboratory study involving a group of three-year olds, the test subjects were induced by surrogate authority figures with clip boards to “go ahead and take the cookie. Mommy will never know.” In the control group, all nine toddlers took the cookie and got away scot-free. But in the test sample of toddlers equipped with low-riding kids’ dungarees, seven of the nine stumbled and fell down within eight feet of the cookie jar. One toddler had to be taken to the hospital for stitches. That’s one young lad who will think twice before stealing another cookie – or perhaps someday hotwiring my 2007 Hyundai Sonata.
In a related story, Facebook, working closely with the FBI, will soon introduce a new set of status options, to help law enforcement catch these young criminals. In addition to its current list of well known status options – single, married, divorced, ‘in a relationship’, ‘it’s complicated’, and ‘still a dork’. – they’re planning to add several new status options, including ‘in the middle of a drug deal’, ‘robbing a 7-Eleven’, ‘making a crack buy’, ‘working in my meth lab’, and ‘fencing hot electronics’, just to name a few. Hopefully, this may help authorities round up countless numbers of shady characters with IQ’s below 85.
Finally, if you’re reading this article and you happen to be a young urban criminal with bad fashion sense and you were contemplating robbing a liquor store or perhaps breaking into my home while I was at a Mariners game this coming Sunday to steal my priceless PEZ dispenser collection, forget about everything I wrote above. I was just kidding. You know how much of a kidder I can be.
For the rest of you reading this, if you come across a young, dimwitted criminal type, say, in the park or perhaps at a nearby cubicle in your office, don’t ignore them. Offer them a pair of baggy pants and encourage them to make a bold fashion statement by wearing them as low as possible. Perhaps drop a subtle hint about how security sure seems lax at [insert name of your favorite local bank branch] ever since they laid off all the guards and de-activated the bank’s security system.
It’s just a matter of days before the bad dude will be safely behind bars – unless you happen to live in Terre Haute, in which case, it could be just a matter of minutes. Trust me, that city is a Hellhole.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2011