A UPS delivery truck came up the lane to Cross Creek Ranch. He honked, probably intending to scare the dogs away from the truck so as not to hit them, at least he felt that way at that point in his day. His feelings changed.
I came outside and the driver got out of his truck to hand me a package. Foolishly, he neglected to close the door to his vehicle. It probably did not seem foolish to him, but I know better. I know better because I know the criminal mind with which we are dealing.
As he chatted with me about two Great Pyrenees who charged him when he delivered to another ranch yesterday, two Yellow Labrador Retrievers took a more subtle approach. Sadie and Beau went up the steps of the delivery truck and inspected the contents.
Beau picked out something he liked and departed from the truck with a small package in his mouth. It might have contained jewelry. Sadie was still shopping; however, she did not find anything before I invited her to leave the truck, which she obediently did.
Obedience is a concept that Beau has not grasped. He always thinks it is funny when he has something desired by others. He does not readily return what he has, by every legal definition , STOLEN. It is called in the Colorado statutes “Theft.” It might be “Grand Theft” depending on the value of the stolen property. Regardless of value, it was “a wrongful taking of property belonging to another.” Clearly, taking something from a UPS truck is a criminal act that could result in a sentence of years in the slammer.
As Beau’s reluctant attorney, I cut a deal with the driver.
As an aside, I will explain that most retrievers complete the retrieval process by obeying a command such as “Drop It” or “Release.” I did not have time to use words like that. It was time for action. I swiftly grabbed the culprit’s collar and then got the package from out of Beau’s mouth. (Notice that I do not say suspect or alleged thief — this criminal was caught red-handed, well, he doesn’t have hands, so let’s say “with the evidence in his possession”). We also have two eye witnesses, really three if you count his accomplice, Sadie, who claimed that she was not part of a conspiracy, that she was simply in the wrong place, i.e., the UPS truck, at the wrong time. I think she is at least guilty of criminal trespass since she is not an employee of UPS and I am pretty certain that only employees are allowed in UPS vehicles.
Anyway, the deal I cut with the driver/victim is that if he does not turn my dogs in, I won’t report his negligence of failing to secure his vehicle while delivering in a rough neighborhood. There are sliding doors on those vans for a good reason — security. He violated his vow to guard the contents of his truck. Other people’s property was his responsibility to protect and deliver. I am outraged that he did not shut the door. Outraged!
Now I have to explain to my wife why she can no longer use UPS. We are at the very top of their bad customer list. I wonder whether FedEx has us on their “do not deliver” list. Do you think the UPS guys talk to the FedEx guys?
Maybe a couple years in the slammer would do Beau some good.