Today's story is about the time I ingeniously distracted the police, helped a man steal about 6000 dollars worth of gym equipment, and make a clean getaway. COMPLETELY UNINTENTIONALLY. I don't think I ever told this full story to the people I was with at the time, because I was pretty ashamed, but since I'll never have to look at their faces again, I might as well spill it and have a laugh.
I was homeless in California. I was sleeping on a backstreet pretty regularly, between a gym and some kind of municipal building. This was in Santa Monica, it was a half hour walk from the boardwalk at most. Well, I was getting ready to go to sleep, was coming back from around the back of the building where I was forced to pee, since homeless people are not allowed to use public restrooms. Well, while I was heading back to my sleeping bag, and my passed out friends, I noticed a cop walking down the street with a flashlight in hand. I immediately got upset, since cops are never good news for weird looking people like me in America, whether you've done something wrong or not.
Sleeping next to my sleeping bag was an old irish guy named Robe and his dog, Maddie. Robe had cancer, and had been experiencing a lot of pain, and I didn't want the guy to disturb him. He was walking over to investigate, so I intercepted and let the cop question me. He had received a call about 'suspicious activity behind the gym.' Being poor in America is considered suspicious activity, and especially in California, if you don't pay 160 bucks for your jeans or drive a Mercedes, you deserve to be thrown in jail. So, naturally, he assumed I was the reason for the phone call and I was a drug addicted prostitute (those are the only kinds of people who EVER wind up homeless, right?) and asked to search me. I had a right to refuse that doesn't really exist, and since I neither wanted a beating nor had anything to hide, I consented. He liked my drawings. Then, he ran my ID from his vehicle to see if he could scrimp up anything he could possibly arrest me for to obtain a pat on the head for protecting California from horrible people such as Desky. My record was squeaky clean, so he thankfully fucked off.
While this was going on, the whole time, there had been someone in the outdoor area of the gym, who was quietly peeking through the fence before the cop left. I was, at the time, really reefed out and sleepy on top of it. I had just ate a big piece of bread, had assumed the guy was being nosy and I just wanted to get in my sleeping bag. But then I noticed the guy had begun struggling desperately to get a very large metal object over the fence.
This is where my desire to not be a complete asshole kicked in, and I came to the fence and offered the guy a hand with his equipment. He instructed me, and I methodically lifted the heavy equipment over the fence and stacked it neatly in the back of his truck for him, except for the biggest pieces which I could no longer lift off the ground. I gave him a hand getting over the fence, and lit a cigarette while he put the junk away. I offered him one, but he refused snappishly and he seemed reallllyyy suspicious suddenly. ''What do you want?'' He kept saying. ''Do you want some money? What?'' Like he was upset at me for helping him. I just shook my head and said it was no problem, and to 'pay it forward,' feeling a twinge of insult and a little sad at the state of society, where helping a bro lift heavy objects was suspicious instead of nice.
I finished my butt after the guy left and didn't realize what I had done until the following day. Tricked the cops and everything, I could have just ducked around a corner and the guy would have been caught. Or, I could have not helped him get shit over the fence, and he would have been caught. I was like 'Fuck.' But, there was nothing I could do but put it behind me and laugh, but I felt pretty bad about helping the guy steal a whole bunch of equipment. It was like, an entire weight lifting machine, and every large weight they had. Like, my arms were sore. But, at the same time, this guy must have been really desperate for money if he did this. IDK if he had a drug problem or what, but he obviously wasn't exactly experienced in the whole robbery business, since his choice of targets was neither typical nor particularly profitable unless he already knew someone willing to pay for unassembled gym equipment.
And that's the story of how I accidentally helped a guy rob the place.