How Thieves Get Trained

, , , , , , | Legal | December 9, 2018

(I work as a driver for a mid-sized haulage company. Our depot backs onto some train tracks, and as a result, we have a higher than average number of people breaking onto the site trying to steal cargo off the back of trailers parked in the yard. This is in spite of better fences, more cameras, changing and even hiring a full-time night guard with a pair of German shepherds to keep an eye on things. We still have people breaking in two to three times a week. I return to the yard about two am, to find four of the mechanics gathered around a refrigerated trailer.)

Me: “What’s going on?”

Mechanic #1: “We’re training.”

Me: “Training to stand near a trailer in the dark?”

Mechanic #2: “No, we’re training tonight’s wannabe thieves. [Night Guard] and the dogs rounded a pair of them up earlier.”

(At this point I become aware of muffled shouting and banging coming from the trailer.)

Me: “So, you caught them and threw them in there?”

Mechanic #3: “Yeah, [Mechanic #1] was getting tired of repairing cuts in the fences every other night, so we’re seeing if we can train them to not come back, instead.”

Me: “How cold is it in there?”

Mechanic #1: “-30 C, cold as it can go.”

Me: “You have entertained the possibility they might freeze to death, haven’t you?”

Mechanic #1: “Still banging, aren’t they? [Night Guard] called the police about ten minutes ago; they’re sending someone to pick them up. We did tell them not to rush, though.”

(At this point, the police did, in fact, show up and retrieve the fairly frosty pair of thieves, whilst also cautioning the mechanics to not take the law into their own hands again. Since they hadn’t actually stolen anything, the thieves could only be charged with trespassing, so the actual police punishment was very minor. The mechanics’ unusual method did seem to work, because following this incident and a couple of further ones involving people being tossed into room-temperature trailers for several hours, our break-ins almost completely stopped.)

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