Over the past weeks, five groups of people have been threatened and sometimes robbed. Though nobody has been hurt, this is a sinister crime.
In all cases, the crime and the criminals appear to be the same. A group of three young men approach young people on their way home from Chaminade school, and threaten them, sometimes into giving up their phones and property. The first time, two young people were threatened, and the would-be muggers tried to steal the phones and jewelry of the teenage victims, who would not file police reports—perhaps because they were afraid of repurcussions. A week later, two more men were mugged, this time successfully, near the same place, just on the other side of Jane. They were, like the first group, accosted by three young men. That same day, another group of young men were threatened. It happened again last week. And this week.
Five times in all, young people on their way home from Chaminade school have been threatened by a group of three young men.
The school says, sensibly, that students should travel together, on main roads, without cell phones, and without wearing the bright yellow school colours. This reminds me of the behaviour of defensive herds under threat. Caribou do the same thing, and they leave the weak, the friendless, and the young to be picked off by the wolves.
And that tells us who the thugs are doing the muggings: predators.
My esteemed colleague, Roy, says that these are not muggings. I agree. Muggings are random. This is not random. Chaminade students seem to be singularly vulnerable and picked on by this small gang of thugs.This is not mugging; it is much more alarming.
I worry how this will end. I know how I would have dealt with a similar threat in high school, when I was unpopular, proud, myopic, and cocksure. Anyone mugging me would have been sorry they had—and I would have been sorry that I had made them so, though I can only see that now.
Your humble correspondent is usually strict about not reporting things outside of Weston; this time, we have made an exception, because it is important for local politics. Mike Sullivan has a private member’s bill before the House that would not stop this crime, but would make it less profitable by making stolen cell phones useless. It is an uncommonly sensible, inexpensive, and well-designed bill—just the kind that should get the support of all parties, and all residents.