Excuse me, but how do you steal a beach? Okay, Rory Carroll explains this for us, courtesy of The Guardian:
Thieves in Jamaica have embarrassed police and triggered a political row by stealing a beach – and making a clean getaway.
Hundreds of tonnes of white sand vanished from a planned resort on the island’s north coast in July but three months later there is no sign of suspects nor sand.
An estimated 500 truck-loads of sand were removed from the Coral Spring beach in Trelawny and were believed to have been sold to rival resorts, a hefty logistical feat which has stumped police.
“It’s a very complex investigation because it involves so many aspects,” Mark Shields, the deputy commissioner for crime at the Jamaica Constabulary Force, told the BBC.
“You’ve got the receivers of the stolen sand, or what we believe to be the sand. The trucks themselves, the organisers and, of course, there is some suspicion that some police were in collusion with the movers of the sand.”
And while Carroll notes that Jamaican police have received much criticism of late, especially for its investigation of cricket coach Bob Woolmer’s death, he also notes that last year thieves stole a Hungarian resort.
What? What the hell am I supposed to do with this?
On Monday, August 4, 2008 … while on routine patrol in a fully marked Fort Wayne police car … I was traveling northbound in the 4500 block of S. Hanna St. and observed what I believed was a naked man standing in front of a large picture window of a home, in plain view. I turned my squad car around and again observed the male white standing in front of a large picture window … in what appeared to be a well-lit living room with his genital region clearly visible to myself and others living or traveling on the road ….
…. I called for assistance from another on-duty unit and together … [we] approached the residence on foot. I could clearly see through the open front door, the male white … was lying on his sofa inserting an item, later identified as a claw hammer covered with a plastic bag, into his rectum while completely naked. We observed he had some type of lubricant on his genital area and buttocks which we learned was motor oil
In the small town of Gerald, Missouri, Bill Jakob seemed a godsend. With support from the local police department, the federal agent took on the local methamphetamine problem. Over nearly five months, the man colloquially referred to as “Sergeant Bill” led the charge, searching homes, seizing evidence, and arresting suspects in the town of less than twelve hundred, a place so wracked by the drug trade that its mayor calls the area “a meth capital of the United States”.
And then a reporter—always a pesky reporter—decided to look into the story, and what Linda Trest of The Gasconade County Republican discovered brought the whole operation to a scandalous collapse. As Monica Davey explains for the New York Times:
Sergeant Bill, it turned out, was no federal agent, but Bill A. Jakob, an unemployed former trucking company owner, a former security guard, a former wedding minister and a former small-town cop from 23 miles down the road.
The fantastic vigilante is now the target of a federal criminal investigation, and Gerald has lost three of its five police officers. The drug allegations themselves are in doubt. Seventeen plaintiffs have filed a civil rights lawsuit, and Mayor Otis Schulte is the target of of an impeachment petition.