Almost every morning our local-ish news shows a surveillance video of some person that is wanted by the police.
The recordings are usually from convenience store cameras and feature jumpy footage of a person holding the clerk up at gun point or, like today, stuffing a Hurricane Sandy donation bucket under their coat and running out the door.
Sometimes the person is wanted for a more serious crime and the video is from a bank robbery or an ATM mugging.
For some reason I’m always disappointed that I don’t recognize the criminal.
It’s not that I expect the people I hang out with to rob banks. And I don’t really want to be friends with convenience store thieves.
But I wouldn’t mind being acquaintances with a few because it would be kind of thrilling to see someone you know in those out of focus videos.
I can imagine spilling my coffee in excitement, exclaiming, “I know him! That’s Bill!”
Wondering if it’s really Bill, rewinding the DVR, getting up close to the TV. “Yes, that’s definitely Bill.”
Deciding if I should call the police or not. Should I get involved? What if I’m wrong? Do I really want to turn Bill in? He always seemed like a nice guy.
Being an upstanding citizen and calling the police. “Hello, I just saw on the news that you’re looking for information about a guy who stole a twelve pack of Milwaukee’s Best from Cumberland Farms. I recognized him. It’s Bill!”
Maybe there would even be a reward. Or a medal.
Ok, that’s unlikely since he only stole some beer, but it would still add a little excitement to my day.
And Bill’s too, probably.