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Thieves Make Off with $300K Using Diversion Tactic on Truck Driver – Would You Fall for This Trick?

“I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers,” Blanche Dubois breathes in the 1951 classic film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ play “A Streetcar Named Desire.” It’s a sign of the times when criminals openly rely on that same brand of kindness. Thieves stole a bag from an armored truck in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Jan. 6, according to the New York Daily News. One man grabbed a sack of cash while two others distracted a Brink’s guard. The Brink’s driver was making a money drop at Chase Bank in the Sunset Park neighborhood around 1 p.m. when two men walked up and asked him for directions. “While the employee was distracted, another unknown individual quickly removed a bag that was left unattended on the bumper of the armored Brink’s truck and fled the scene on foot,” the New York Police Department told Fox News. The bag held $300,000, according to the report. Would you fall for such a ploy? Think about it. You’re downtown. You place something valuable on the bumper of your car — say, a purse or an envelope full of cash — so you can load the trunk with some boxes. A couple of guys walk up. One of them, who seems nice, politely says, “Hi there. We’re not from around here. Could you help us out by giving us some directions?” Relieved that they aren’t asking for money, your guard drops. You’re happy to oblige. It’s your good deed for the day — the Christian thing to do. So you step away from the car to point toward the stranger’s stated destination. It will only take a few seconds. “Thank you,” one of the men says, “and God bless.” The two strangers blend into the crowd. Pleased that you’ve helped out the strangers, you turn back to finish loading the trunk of your car.  The purse — or the envelope full of money — is gone. One witness of the Brink’s robbery said the man who grabbed the cash “calmly took the bag and walked across the street,” the Daily News reported. “Not even running, just walking casually.” “It didn’t create a movie scene,” the witness said. “A lot of people didn’t even realize it. Even the armored car driver didn’t try to stop the person.” “They just distracted him while talking to him,” a police spokesman told the New York Post. There was no sign it was an inside job. “It was a crime of opportunity,” the spokesman said. “Someone saw an opportunity.” The man who stole the bag from the bumper was described by police as a “male with a light complexion and a slim build, last seen wearing a black winter hat, a black hooded jacket, gray pants and black sneakers,” Fox News reported. The two men who took advantage of the Brink driver’s kindness were described as males with “medium complexion.” One of these suspects was wearing all black, including a black face mask. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477. Before you condemn the Brink’s driver for being kind to a man dressed in black and wearing a mask, remember where the incident took place. Just last month, the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued a health advisory recommending that residents wear masks at all times when they are in indoor public spaces regardless of their vaccination status. The advisory also suggested that those who test positive for COVID-19 should wear a mask at all times when out in public. Masks are common in the city, and criminals are taking advantage of it. Once upon a time, masked men were generally depicted in films and stories as outlaws — bank robbers, cattle rustlers and the like. Why else would someone wear a mask in public if not to hide his face from would-be witnesses? It only makes good sense, right? COVID-19 changed all that, especially in liberal strongholds where government officials are still trying to cling to the unprecedented power over the public afforded by the pandemic. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the criminal from the government official these days. This puts the average God-fearing citizen in a precarious position. Charity — one of the three great virtues — is being weaponized by criminals. This is nothing new. It’s just more out in the open these days. It’s a common occurrence. Cynical marketers and politicians seek to exploit the good nature of good men and good women for their own gain. Does this make them criminals too? Whatever the case, there’s another virtue that’s not talked about as much: prudence. It’s the quality of being cautious. In theological terms, prudence is the perfection of reason or the natural capacity of the soul to see reality as it is. Is it still necessary to be kind to strangers in such a time as ours? Or shall we huddle in fear and trembling before all the wickedness in the world? That’s what the dark forces would like. The public square emptied by fear — fear of disease,  fear of crime, fear as a way of life. Don’t do it. Live in the light. Continue to be charitable where warranted. Just be prudent about it. It’s called situational awareness. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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