Theft: Full Circle

VINCE

Why don’t kleptomaniacs like puns?

Because they’re always taking things, literally.

I mentioned once that in my younger years I made a living as a thief, stealing expensive mountain bikes from stores and taking the occasional piece of equipment from unlocked garages subsidized my drug habit for a while, and of course made me a felon at 18.

Who would have known, years later, I would make a much better and more honest living protecting the assets of Spencer Gifts. Spencer Gifts—purveyor of fine lava lamps, Halloween costumes, and gag gifts. Although I was only ever the assistant manager, I made over 100 citizen arrests of shoplifters over a one and a half year period. I even made the news for catching somebody trying to pass a fake $20 bill. This was all shortly after I moved from St. Paul to Rochester. About six months (I think) after I came back from Florida.

When a job opening became available for a regional loss prevention director, I applied, and that’s when they found out I was a felon and was “not fired” but I decided to go work for the ice cream factory instead.

Two years later, after another brief drug delivery stint, I was in Lanesboro working at a busy corner café where I was fired for stealing. I really didn’t feel bad about it then because I was a huge piece of shit and I felt as if they owed me more than they paid me. Or however I was able to justify it to myself, friends, and family. Probably a variety of excuses and explanations.

When sober, I haven’t stolen anything since I was a kid. But I’ve resorted to theft in some form under the influence of every drug I’ve ever done. And there’s another great reason for me to stop this train-wreck of a life. (Oh, I don’t mean suicide. I mean I want to quit drugs.)

[ANNE: After Vince went off the rails I cleaned out a storage locker where a landlord had moved all his stuff. I pride myself on not having a storage locker. If you ever want to do something really depressing, clean out someone else’s storage that’s been left abandoned. I came across a couple dozen lapel pins Vince had received from Spencer Gifts in recognition of his shoplifter-catching abilities. Some were gold-tone, some were silver, and one was platinum with a diamond chip. I don’t know what ever happened to them.]

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