Niagara Gazette — It's almost as reliable an indication that the holiday season is here as mall Santas and non-stop Christmas music on the radio.
And what, you're asking, is that indicator.
Why the theft of holiday decorations of course.
Driving around the Falls on Thanksgiving weekend, I was struck by how many folks had already gotten into the spirit of the season by lighting up or otherwise decking out their homes. In one, two-block stretch of Ferry Avenue alone, my 7-year-old son was oohing and aahing at all the colored lights and lawn decorations he saw.
So, it was no surprise when, by mid-week, I saw the first police report of a decoration larceny.
Some Grinch, or just one of the city's regular cast of lowlifes, decided to help himself to some Christmas cheer in the 1700 block of Willow Avenue between late Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon. The victim told cops the perpetrator of the crime actually entered her fenced-in backyard to commit his crime.
Once in the yard, the thief swiped an air-blown tree, an air-blown penguin, two reindeer and lots of lights.
Now we all know that someone knows who did this. They've probably been bragging about it.
So how about someone who knows something picking up the phone and dropping a dine to Falls police to give them a lead on where the decorations are. That would truly be showing some Christmas spirit!
Bad ideas, bad results
We all learn from experience.
But sometimes you wonder why, when someone makes a bad suggestion, someone else, usually a friend, goes right along with it. And then wonders why bad things happen.
Case in point, the exploits of a 22-year-old woman, relayed to Falls police earlier this week.
Our victim, looking for the chance to be victimized apparently, told police she and her friend and two other women were out in her car, when one of the women she was not acquainted with asked to run by a home in the 1700 block of 98th Street so she could...wait for it...buy some drugs.
The correct response at that point should have been, "Ah, I don't think so." But our victim, instead, drove to the 98th Street drug house.
Once there, it turned out that the would-be drug buyer was a little short on the cash needed to make her purchase. This led to six male suspects coming out of the drug house and surrounding the victim's Chevy Impala.
The men then proceeded to jump on and kick the victim's car, while also beating on it with a sign. This resulted in $1,500 damage to the car.
Word to the wise, when a passenger in your car suggests a quick trip to the drug house drive-thru, you might want to pass that up.
Judge in the know
Most folks, I think, know that Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III is also the brother of sports journalist and "Voice of the BIlls" John Murphy.
As the judge wrapped up his court session on Friday, he told a departing jury to, "Have a nice weekend and Go Bills!" Many in the courtroom laughed.
So then, the judge doubled down.
"I can guarantee a Bills' victory," he said.
Wonder where his honor is getting his inside info.