Saturday, April 08, 2006

When Is Theft Not A Crime?

I learned something important recently. Theft is not really theft if it is done by well-educated white boys.

NPR, the L.A. Times and others, I'm sure, all reported on the theft of a two-ton cannon from the campus of Cal Tech in Pasadena, California. Only they didn't refer to it as theft: It was a "prank."

The criminals pranksters from MIT stole hauled away the 130-year old historical artifact using forged cleverly misleading documents to fool security guards.

These future leaders of American industry, along with their snickering sycophants in the mainstream media, think they have pulled off a really cute stunt. In fact, all they have done is steal something that didn't belong to them. Perhaps they thought spending hundreds of dollars on a rental truck and forklift (or did they steal those too?) was a better way to spend money than donating it to charity. Spending days (or weeks?) in planning and executing the crime was time better spent than volunteering at a food bank?

These punks deserve to spend a little time in jail and a lot of money desperately trying to avoid it. If terrorists want to blow up a university campus, they now know it will be easy to drive a U-Haul filled with a fertilizer bomb to the center of campus using forged "work orders." Stealing my car for a "joy ride" is a crime -- even if you leave the car unscratched after you are through "borrowing" it.

A "prank" is painting a mustache on a passed-out-from-jello-shots frat boy. Stealing a valuable heirloom is theft.

It will be interesting to see what sort of punishment MIT's administration dishes out to these students.

NOTE: I know, I know. It's been done before. I don't care. Taking something that belongs to someone else without their permission is stealing. Next question.

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