Crime rates as a nation aren’t particularly useful. For some places, crime is remarkably low, even when the national rate is sky high. At other times and in other places, it’s disgustingly high when the national average is low.
Averages, after all, are just that. They’re skewed upward by places with high crime and downward by places with lower rates.
But sometimes, a story really does tell you plenty.
It might be an isolated situation, but it still makes you think about something like criminal activity a bit differently than you might otherwise.
Like Colorado isn’t the kind of state I tend to think of as having high problems with criminality. Then I read this story and that sort of changed for me.
While three armed and masked people robbed a check cashing business in Commerce City, someone else stole their getaway vehicle, police said.
The Commerce City Police Department said the armed robbery took place just before 11 a.m. Saturday at the Hi Lo Check Cashing located in the 7200 block of Monaco Street.
Officers arrested two of the three suspects in the armed robbery, police said. The suspects are believed to be under 18, according to a spokesperson for the department.
At this time, the department has not released information about the person who stole the vehicle, which police said might have already been stolen.
So at least two juveniles and at least one other person pulled up a check cashing places with the intention of robbing it. Apparently, they left no one in the car as a wheel man, which meant someone else came up and stole the car.
Most likely, the vehicle was left running and unlocked because our master criminals here figured they’d be in a hurry when they left the check cashing place. Understandably.
Yet Ocean’s Negative Eleven here didn’t think about someone stealing their possibly already stolen car and didn’t make arrangements to make sure that wasn’t a concern.
Now, does this mean that crime there is particularly bad? In and of itself, it doesn’t. It could just be a coincidence that makes the kind of quirky news story that gets around.
However, Commerce City isn’t a particularly safe city to live in.
So in this case, the story is indicative of deeper problems in the city.
After all, if crime is rare, the chances of a criminal happening to go by as a group of criminals are in the process of robbing a place should be astronomical. This would be incredibly unlikely.
Yet it happened, and it happened in a city with a lot of problems. That makes the odds of something like this happening far more likely.
So no, a story like this isn’t automatically indicative of a problem in any given city, but it does mean that a problem is far more likely to exist in such a community where this sort of thing happens.
And we still don’t know what happened to the car thief or where the car came from originally, which means there may still be more weirdness to this story.