A beer delivery truck idles in a convenience store parking lot, a couple of cases stacked on the pavement while the driver momentarily disappears inside. The cool, refrigerated air wafting from the open beckons you closer. A fleeting voice tugging at the edge of your mind whispers about how easy it'd be to sneak off with some free beer. Not the whole truck, of course, just a case.
Then you snap out of it, accepting the fact that you're no longer that teenager who went on beer runs in neighbors' open garages, and you keep walking.
That voice in your head was right about one thing, though. Stealing beer from delivery trucks is easy as far as larceny goes. Take a recent sampling of police reports filed by Andrews Distribution, Dallas' dominant beer distributor. In August, their delivery drivers reported five thefts ranging from a couple of 12-packs of Miller Lite to three full cases of an unidentified beer.
None of the suspects was caught. None of them possessed much flair, either, opting for the basic spur-of-the-moment, grab-and-go technique. In each case, the Andrews driver never caught a glimpse of the thieves, or else only spotted them as they were making their getaway.
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The incident this morning outside a convenience store across from Samuell Grand Park was different. The delivery man saw the thief approach, saw him pick up a case of Corona, then watched him run away down Dolphin Road. The driver was reluctant to confront the man because he was wearing an orange pumpkin mask, and it's good policy never to tangle with anyone who wears a pumpkin mask at 6 o'clock on a September morning.
Police arrived a few minutes later and performed a cursory search of the area, but they could find no trace of the him or his loot.
Mind you, none of this is to suggest that anyone should go steal cases of beer. It's illegal, for one, and social mores should be enough to stifle the innate human impulse to grab beer. We're just saying that everything's more entertaining with a pumpkin mask.