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Born To Prosecute



When I was a boy of seven, I and my friend Walter Johnson engineered a heist of Matchbox cars from the Old Greenwich Caldor. We fled the premises undetected, jogged back to Halsey Drive and parked the loot unobtrusively on a shelf in the Dumas garage, among the doorknobs and picture-frame hooks. But our life of crime was upended before we could savor our transgression. My older brother, David, and a boy down the block named Ricky Whelan discovered our stash and turned us in to Walter's father, who promptly drove us back to Caldor for a tense sit-down with the store manager. Were there mumbled apologies? I don't recall. I do remember the unsmiling manager suggesting that we stop next at Greenwich Police headquarters. There, a police officer led us down a shadowy corridor (in my memory he limps and carries a torch) to a holding cell, where he demonstrated the hopeless solidity of the black iron bars. Overkill, I thought, but I guess it worked. I curtailed my adventures in shoplifting thereafter.

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