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If you're the thief, Shame on you!

This story is for the thieves who robbed a home in the 600 hundred block of Mulberry Street in Teague on Saturday evening, October 6. I hope you read every word and I hope you realize just how much damage you have done.

When you struck that home, you took more than property. You did more than cause damage. You took a major portion of the homeowner?s livelihood. You stole, essentially, bread from the owner?s plate and left behind worry about how to pay ordinary bills.

Shame on you! SHAME ON YOU!

Yes, you took the television, a jewelry box, and of all things, a BB gun. You broke out a window, damaged an air conditioner, and ransacked drawers and cabinets. But, what you did that really hurt was steal the 17-inch Gateway laptop computer that the homeowner used to earn a significant part of the household income. The computer contained the programs, records, and work so necessary for the homeowner.

Was the computer really worth that much to you? So much that you don?t care about hurting someone as badly as you did? If you thought that one little computer wouldn?t matter that much to anybody, you were dead wrong. And, what will it bring you? A few bucks, maybe, if you hock it; or maybe a little fun if you manage to get beyond the password protection without destroying the computer and if you buy (or steal) your own games to play on it.

What a big, macho, clever person you are, thief! You might have made a few dollars by simply stealing from a hardworking person who is struggling, legally, to survive in this shaky economy. That sound?s good, doesn?t it: they work like the dickens and you simply steal.

Frankly, I don?t know how you can live with yourself, knowing that you have hurt someone that much.

Well, I tell you what, thief, the police were called and investigated. The community is being asked to report any suspicious activities observed in the 600 block of Mulberry between 8:15 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. (while the owner was working, not out stealing like you.) Residents are being warned, by this very story to you, that they need to be alert, lock their houses, and watch out for each other. Maybe you won?t be successful at the next house you try to burglarize. Maybe you will get caught. Maybe you will go to prison.

Meanwhile, I am offering you something. If you bring that computer, undamaged, to me, I will take it with no questions asked. And, I will pay you a reward of $100 cash. Now, I know it?s not that much money but I doubt if you could get more for hocking or selling a computer you can?t get into because of passwords. Best of all, you won?t go to prison for claiming a reward.

Just put the computer into a paper bag, bring it (or have a friend bring it) to the Teague Chronicle office at 319 Main Street in Teague and ask for Pat or Steve. As soon as the computer is verified as the right one and undamaged, you will get the money. The police will not be called. And I have a terrible memory for faces so I won?t be able to describe you to anyone. It would just be a little guilt-free money for you. Besides, doing something that is the right thing to do might make you feel really good about yourself for a change.

If you aren?t too afraid, that is. And, if you are too afraid, maybe someone else will bring me information that will lead to your arrest. They will get the money instead of you and you will go to jail.

So now what, thief? You want the money, no strings attached? You want to feel proud for doing something good? You want to prove you are a standup person? You want to truly help a Teague resident in need? Maybe take a different path with your life?

Or do you want to continue to be a worm, borrowing around in the dark hurting people in ways you might not even imagine?

It?s up to you, buddy. Do the right thing.

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