Friday, November 21, 2008

Bumming a Beach


I just read where someone stole a beach on Jamaica’s north coast this summer. For journalists, the big mystery evolves around where it went. I have a more elemental question: How did someone take it in the first place?

I’m not a whiz at crime – the only thing I’ve ever deduced that could land me in jail is how to steal a purse from a stall in a women’s restroom. And I promise I won’t try it because the getaway plan relies on running quickly and then looking innocent when you blend back into the crowd carrying two purses: yours and the one you snatched.

So perhaps I’m slow here, but how do you drive 500 truckloads – or even one truck 500 times – to a spot and fill it up with sand without someone noticing?

The reports say this was a construction site for an upcoming resort. So, maybe the first few trucks look like they belong. But at some point, a foreman or just your average guy hammering away at a frame is going to say, “hmmm, this beach is looking rather skinny.” Or someone will look up at say, “Why is that truck back here when we aren’t scheduled to dig sand today?”

Perhaps it was transported under the cover of night, you suggest. Well, I know in my neighborhood, if someone were to steal, say, concrete out of the mall parking lot across the street, some busybody would know about it. She certainly has a running report on what my dog is doing in the backyard at all hours. Uh, that is, surely someone would be unable to sleep and notice illegal activity going on nearby.

A few of the news reports suggest the developers and police were in collusion to pull this off, although no one knows where the sand is now or why someone would take it. Which, of course, would make this even stupider. Why would someone capable of building a crime syndicate of these proportions use it to steal sand?

Maybe they can’t run fast enough to steal a purse from a public restroom either.

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