Monday, 1 October 2018

How to Steal a Million Dollars

      A while ago three men were arrested after a year-long crime spree bringing in $80,000. Sounds a lot, doesn't it? In point of fact, a third of $80,000 is chicken feed for a year's work, and hardly worth risking going to jail. They would have been better off getting an honest job.
     Crime is a mug's game: a high risk, low yield enterprise. If you decide on a life of crime, you are declaring war on society, which means you will be outnumbered and outgunned. No matter how clever or lucky you are, in the end you'll get caught. And apart from the sheer inconvenience of going to jail, once you get out, you can't logically go back to crime, because the police know your name, your fingerprints, your DNA, and your methods. At the same time, anything you steal will have to be "fenced" at a fraction of its nominal value. Even the few who do make it pay - the drug lords, the Mr. Bigs, the godfathers - probably have the enterprising skill to make the same amount of money in business without having to watch over one shoulder for the law, and over the other for their fellow crims.
      A few years ago I wrote an essay about how murder is a lot harder than the books and movies make out. So now I shall explain what needs to be done if you want to steal something and keep out of jail. You shouldn't do it, because (a) it's a bad thing to do, and (b) the danger is still very high. Nevertheless, these are the steps you need to take if you want to have at least some chance of getting away with it.