Pet Peeves: Working Holiday

2 col pet peeves Mark Crantz
By: Mark D. Crantz

Laguna Beach is a great place to vacation. Three to 4 million visitors come annually to get a reprieve from their every day lives and work. But there are always one or two visitors who bring their work with them. We just had one such visitor.  His occupation was bank robbery. You could tell he was on vacation.  He slept in and didn’t get around to the robbery until noon.

It happened at the U.S. Bank office on Ocean Avenue. The branch office appears popular with vacationing bank robbers. U.S. Bank was also hit in 2010 and 2011.  Unfortunately for this most recent robber, he was unaware that many trees have been cut down on Ocean Avenue and consequently with no cover, residents were able to give police a pinpoint description of his escape route. By the time he could find a tree street on Jasmine our fine men and women in blue apprehended the suspect at a bus bench.

The capture raises the question on why he didn’t have a wheelman? All bank robbers have a getaway driver. A confidential source at city hall believes that bank robbers are attracted to Laguna Beach because of the free trolley and bus services.  This rare public transportation feature enables robbers to eliminate splitting the take.  Robbers know first hand that there is no honor among thieves. Plus, Laguna’s transportation phone application let’s the vacationing robber to time his hold up with trolley pickup times to guarantee a quick getaway. At the time of his arrest, police verify that the mobile application was downloaded on the suspect’s phone.  A low battery charge foiled his trolley escape and required the suspect to make his getaway in a pair of unforgiving crocs of #### footwear.

While this bank robbery ended well, it doesn’t hold a withdrawal slip to a robbery told to me years ago by one of my large bank clients. I wasn’t in the banking security business per se, but rather, I advised large employers how not to get stuck up by health insurance companies waving in your face large premium increases. Today, Obama has now taken up the policing efforts and I wish him luck with the moneychangers who will be difficult to catch holding a smoking number two underwriting pencil at any bus bench anywhere.  Whoa, I got carried away.  Let’s get back to the most unusual bank robbery told to me of all times.

This inner city bank branch gets held up on a horrible snowy day that only Midwest residents can understand.  Weather stinks.  The robber enters the bank and goes up to a woman bank teller and advises her that this is a stick up.  “Give me all the money.”  Forgetting her best customer service voice, the bank teller tells the robber that it is her time of the month and she doesn’t feel well and is not in the mood to get robbed.  “Get lost.  Find another bank.”  She does come back to her senses and adds,  “Have a nice day.”  The bank robber is so flummoxed he answers, “Fine.  I’ll take my business elsewhere.”

So allow me a word to the wise. An honest day of work is much safer than a dishonest day of work and has no place at home or on vacation. But if you still have to rob banks, then know that Laguna Beach is not in the mood.  Find another city to rob.  Then afterwards, bring the loot back to our merchants for your free spending ways.


Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago.  He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.”  His recently deceased Border Collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.


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