Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The art of stealing art

So they have just arrested a bunch of art thieves here in the Land of Hol. They recovered some works by the Dutch masters. I'm glad they found them, but there is something really intriguing about art thieves.

You can always tell the caliber of robbers by what they steal, and the kind of preparation involved. Like when thieves hit a jewelry store and bypass all kinds of valuables so they can steal a few specific, priceless diamonds, or something. Or when art thieves orchestrate a whole Thomas Crown Affair to rip off a few canvases. The Italian Job. Ocean's 11, 12, 13. They spend tons of time and money planning.

There there are cheap and shoddy smash and grabs, where unorganized crooks reach into display windows and take whatever they can carry. We get those about once a week at the Dam Square jewelry stores.

Then there's not just stupid, but Amsterdam stupid. Junkies who break into cars to steal the loose change in the ashtray, or steal front wheels from bicycles.

Albert Heijn on Van Limburg Stirum Straat was hit this week. (I chuckle with delight at their misfortune.) The thieves took cash in small bills and...wait for it...cigarettes.

"Whatcha got back there? 20 measly bucks? Well, then, uh...gimme some cigarettes. Yeah, cigarettes. Filtered AND unfiltered. Mama didn't raise no fool."

I scoff at your "judge a man by the caliber of his enemies" and raise you one "judge your neighborhood by the caliber of its stolen goods."

Pathetic, sad, dumb, depressing, Amsterdam, cigarettes...

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