It can't get any worse than this. Two men, one from Texas and the other considered homeless. Two men on two separate days caught, red handed by police. The scoundrels bagged for the high crime of stealing. This is not any old theft. Both are charged with charging their cell phones by using an outdoor outlet outside the downtown New Bedford Post Office.

No argument here. Using someone else's electricity without permission rises to the presumption of a crime. Guess it's all in a days work working the downtown beat. Since police issued a summons, the always overflowing Third District Court is now involved. Should the perps show up to court, they'll need to plead their case to the clerk-magistrate. The police will need to state why these pitiful souls deserve a lesson. Twenty lashes with a wet noodle should suffice.

The court system is already over-burdened and there's the remote possibility these common criminals may show up to defend themselves. Imagine the court appointing public defenders. Remember, there are two separate cases. Maybe the ACLU wants in on this.

We have live bodies hanging all over the post office on a hot, summer day. I cypher 10-12. Lately, only 4 or 5. The word is out. Sit on the post office stoop and the cops will get you. Meanwhile, homes and property are burning and bullets allegedly are finding their way into bathroom walls.

For the past couple of days I've surveyed the front and sides of the downtown Post Office. Detective Brian's Beat finally found the source of the problem. There are at least two outdoor outlets, both located on the cement wall by the front steps. This issue is easily resolved, under the premise the postal service wants to save a few pennies. Lord knows they know how to blow money.

First crime stopping measure. Ready for this? Install signs proclaiming the post office electric outlets are off limits to all but postal personnel. Violators use them at their own peril. What a simple solution. The second crime stopping move. Dare I say lock the outlets? Others have. Make a key available to postal workers. Seems simple enough. As of this writing both outlets are open to the public, and there are no signs claiming no cell phone charging. I keep forgetting we're dealing with the postal service.

Editor’s Note:   Brian Thomas is the host of Brian’s Beat on 1420 WBSM New Bedford.  He can be heard weekdays from 10am-Noon and Saturdays from 6am-9am.  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.


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