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by Clifford A. Schaffer
This is a true story. The facts have not been embellished. In fact, I left a lot of stuff out.
The irony was not lost on Art that he had been to jail more than once for burglary, but hadn't yet really committed one. Therefore, he figured, if was going to keep going to jail for burglary, he might as well enjoy the benefits of burglary, and actually do some. As Art reasoned, the system owed him a couple of burglaries, at least.
He had never done any real burglary but, if he did, he was going to be smart about it. He wasn't going to just go busting into houses at random. That was far too risky and dangerous. He decided he would pull a well-planned job, with both low risk and a good payoff in the bargain.
He kept his ears open and eventually heard about a coin collector who had a big house down on the American River. According to the rumors, the guy had a safe, as well as money just laying around the house.
Art could watch the house by sitting across the river in the woods with a pair of binoculars. He patiently watched and waited and soon discovered a potential gold mine. The homeowner did, indeed, have a collection of coins that Art could see him examining. The intended victim also had a habit of taking his wife out for dinner every Friday night at a particular time. They had a big German Shepherd dog, but they always locked him up in a dog run beside the house when they went out to dinner. Art knew when the house would be empty, with enough time to pull the job.
Art had the getaway route down, too. He would come down the river in a small row boat, land just below the house, plunder the house and make his getaway downriver in the boat. Nobody on the street would even see him. The dog might make noise, but he wouldn't interfere, and Art would be done and gone by the time anyone came to check on the dog.
Art stole a boat upstream and hid it in the woods until he needed it. Then, on Friday evening, he waited across the woods until the victim and his wife drove off in their car. Then he ran upstream, got in the boat and floated down to a good landing spot near the house. He crawled up the river bank, checked again to make sure no one was home and then bounded across the back yard to the sliding glass door. The dog began to bark, but he was locked up, so Art wasn't worried. He quickly worked the door open and was soon in the house.
It was everything he had heard and more. There were literally buckets of silver dollars just sitting around. The coin collector was apparently in the middle of going through a new batch of silver dollars from the bank to see if there were any collectible coins. Art started to stuff his pockets with silver dollars but soon discovered a problem with that. Art didn't have much of a waist, and even with his belt cinched up, the weight of the coins made his pants fall down.
He emptied his pockets and was pulling his pants up when he heard a car pulling up outside. For some reason, the homeowner was coming home early. The dog was barking up a storm, so Art knew he better get out of there. He hastily grabbed two buckets of silver dollars -- probably fifty pounds each -- and stumbled toward the back door. He made it out the door and almost to the crest of the river bank before the homeowner released the dog.
The dog caught Art just at the top of the riverbank, grabbed the seat of Art's pants, and they both went rolling down the hill, spilling the silver dollars all over the bank. Art got up, grabbed one bucket and what was left in it, and made for the boat, with the dog still after him. He got into the boat and shoved off, only to discover that the dog had leaped into the boat after him. As the boat floated out into the current, Art turned around to deal with the dog and, as he did, the boat tipped over.
When Art came up for air, the boat was floating away downstream and the dog was paddling off towards home. The bucket full of silver dollars was at the bottom of the river. Art swam for the opposite shore and dragged himself out of the water. He could hear yelling behind him, so he took off through the woods at top speed. He was doing great until he ran into a low-hanging branch which knocked him cold.
He woke up the next morning with a torn shirt, one shoe, and a big hole where the seat of his pants had been. Checking his pockets, he found three silver dollars that he had managed to salvage.
The homeowner had seen enough of Art to give the police a general description, so they were waiting for Art by the time he got home. The three silver dollars were just enough to cinch the conviction. Art went to jail again.
The Marijuana That Wasn't His
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DRCNet Library | Schaffer Library | General and Entertainment
Schaffer Library of Drug Policy
Major Studies of Drug and Drug Policy
Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding - The Report of the US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse
Licit and Illicit Drugs
Short History of the Marijuana Laws
The Drug Hang-Up
Congressional Transcripts of the Hearings for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
Frequently Asked Questions About Drugs
Basic Facts About the Drug War
Charts and Graphs about Drugs
Information on Alcohol
Guide to Heroin - Frequently Asked Questions About Heroin
LSD, Mescaline, and Psychedelics
Drugs and Driving
Children and Drugs
Drug Abuse Treatment Resource List
American Society for Action on Pain
Let Us Pay Taxes
Marijuana Business News
Reefer Madness Collection
Medical Marijuana Throughout History
Drug Legalization Debate
Legal History of American Marijuana Prohibition
Marijuana, the First 12,000 Years
DEA Ruling on Medical Marijuana
Legal References on Drugs
GAO Documents on Drugs
Response to the Drug Enforcement Agency
|Drug Information Articles|
Taking a drug test:
How To Pass A Drug Test
Beat Drug Test
Pass Drug Test
Drug Screening Tests
Drug Addiction Treatment