October 24, 2008 7:00 am
In case you didn’t already know, we live in Tampa (Florida for you out of country folks). Our area is booming and anything we could ever want to eat or shop for is located within a two mile radius. This has its advantages, like not having to drive an hour to the nearest Target when mine is less than a mile away. It also has its disadvantages, like not being able to get to the mile-away Target in under fifteen minutes because EVERYBODY AND THEIR FRIGGIN GRANDMA ARE DRIVING TEN MILES UNDER THE SPEED LIMIT AND THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS ONLY LET TWO CARS THROUGH. Sorry for yelling, I’ll calm down now, I promise.
Our area also has an overabundance of banks. I don’t know if this is the case everywhere but there is literally a bank in every single shopping plaza and in some plazas, there are more than one. I often wonder how these banks all play nice together and stay in business with the economy in the shitter like it is. Which leads me to the next topic. With the economy in the shitter, we’ve had a rash of bank robberies in the area. Not just in Tampa but in surrounding cities as well. It seems like every week another bank is being hit up by some dumbass with a ski mask and a water gun in their pocket.
A couple of weeks ago, I was home alone with Elliot. Graham was at school and I was getting ready to go pick him up. The phone rang and the caller ID said it was from an unidentified number. I usually don’t answer those calls since it’s usually some telemarketer calling to piss me off. I decided to answer this time and got a reverse 911 recording when I did. The caller (thanks Hillsborough County Sheriff dude) informed me that the bank LESS THAN A MILE AWAY had been robbed and the suspect was on the loose. It gave a physical description of him and said to consider the man armed and dangerous. While I was listening to the recording, my dog Chloe started growling and barking at an unknown assailant. That’s when I did this:
I figured it had to be the bank robber trying to get into the house. I bravely (for Elliot’s sake) ran and closed the garage door and then tiptoed down the hallway to see what Chloe was barking at. A fucking squirrel. There was a squirrel in the driveway snacking on some acorns and Chloe was freaking out over it. That damn dog has an uncanny ability to freak me out (like the time Jamie was out of town and she started growling at the wall for no reason, convincing me there was a ghost in the house). I regained my composure and Elliot and I went to pick up Graham from school.
The rest of the day, I was on edge. There were cop cars in the area and even a ghetto bird (police helicopter) flying overhead. Later that night I learned that the robber had fled on foot, ran into a nearby chiropractor’s office and demanded a patient’s car keys. The doctor confronted him and the robber stabbed the doctor in the neck and back (he was ok). Then he left in the patient’s car and the police helicopter was able to follow him to his house TWO BLOCKS AWAY and arrest him. This crazy nutjob bank robber dude lives two blocks away from me. In a nice neighborhood on a lakefront street. Earlier this week when Graham and I went on our power walk, I walked down this street. I was trying to guess which house was the robber’s and what his family life was like. Was he a regular guy that had such bad financial woes that he finally snapped? Was he the wayward son of a nice upstanding family who was out for a good time? It shook me up to know that I live so close to someone who could commit a violent act like that. I guess you really can’t trust your neighbors.
The full story from that day is here.