The grasshoppers are already coming after the ants

A few days ago, I noted:

Another big problem is the unintended consequences of government policies to address the pandemic.  For example, many local and state governments are releasing lower-level inmates from prisons, to alleviate overcrowding and forestall the spread of COVID-19 in such close quarters.  That’s a legitimate health objective . . . but it disregards public safety issues.  Those inmates are going to have to start earning a living on the street again, just when almost all businesses have been shut down under quarantine.  What are they going to do?  You know as well as I what they’re going to do – they’re going to revert to a life of crime.  I expect a massive increase in petty crime, and perhaps more serious offenses as well, as the newly released try to get money any way they can.  Even worse, some jurisdictions – for example, St. Paul, Fort Worth, Philadelphia, San Francisco, etc. – are no longer giving priority to lower-level offenses.  They might as well issue licenses to criminals to commit them!  It’s no wonder panicking people are trying to get their hands on guns, by hook or by crook.  The odds are pretty good that some of them will need them, sooner rather than later.

Furthermore, I commented yesterday, in connection to the illegal drug trade:

It’s good to have independent confirmation that my law enforcement sources were telling it like it is.  I often hear things from them a week or more ahead of any mention in the news media, because cops and agents are much closer to events “at the bleeding edge” of crime than are journalists.  I’ll have to send beer money to my buddies as a “Thank you!” gesture for keeping me ahead of the game.

I’ve been chatting to those same law enforcement sources since posting that yesterday, thanking them for the good information they gave me on the drug situation.  They have interesting things to say about a growing crime wave in many major centers – one that’s going unreported by both the authorities and the mainstream news media.

To summarize it briefly, many of those who are accustomed to buying drugs with the proceeds of panhandling, begging and minor crime are finding their usual fields of endeavor have become barren.  With most people staying at home, there aren’t nearly as many drivers, pedestrians, shoppers, etc. to approach for money;  and many stores are also closed, making shoplifting of higher-value items almost impossible.  Supermarkets are overcrowded and under-stocked, and besides, stealing a jar of mayonnaise or a tin of peas isn’t exactly going to bring in a lot of money.  Therefore, many of the aforementioned drug buyers are turning to residential and property crimes to fund their habit.  They’re snatching anything left out in gardens;  ringing doorbells and aggressively begging for – or, rather, demanding – money;  stealing parcels that are delivered on doorsteps and left unattended;  and breaking into cars parked on the street, looking for valuables left inside them.  There are also reports of threats of violence to homeowners and others who try to stop them.

The gangs who have, until now, made a living from selling drugs in the “hood” are also hurting, because (as noted yesterday) there aren’t as many drugs available to sell.  They’re trying to compensate by increasing their prices – but, as noted above, many of their regular clients can’t afford even their regular prices any longer.  Other buyers are taking the quarantine seriously, and no longer venturing into the shadier parts of town to buy drugs.  Therefore, the gangs are also turning to other forms of crime to make up the shortfall in their income.  Many of those newly released from prison, most of whom have no other way to make a living, are said to be doing the same.

Finally, with the closure of schools, large numbers of urban youth are wandering the streets.  They don’t have a stable nuclear family to keep them at home, and the one parent they have (if they’re lucky) doesn’t have enough money to buy them what they want in the way of entertainment.  They also have no pocket-money or other discretionary income.  Result?  They’re looking for cash any way they can get it.  Shoplifting in some cities is becoming endemic, with “flash mobs” of kids looking for whatever they can score;  and even closed stores are being broken into.  As the Second City Cop blog comments about Chicago’s feral youth:

Those [stores] aren’t boarded up because they’ve been looted. Those are boarded up to protect the empty stores from crowds of otherwise unoccupied CPS students who are out of school for the next thirty days.

Groot’s CTA is giving them easy access to an empty Mag Mile….and that is going to further stretch already thin CPD resources, because the governor’s and mayor’s declaration to stay home is falling on deaf ears and empty skulls.

All this is said by my contacts to be fueling a significant rise in crime against families and their homes;  but they warn that you won’t read about it in the press, because the police aren’t keeping official track of what they consider to be minor offenses.  (See the links provided in the first quoted paragraph above for details.). Besides, it would be politically incorrect for their politician bosses to have to report that.  Second City Cop notes that the grasshoppers are raiding the ants, in this case attacking shipments of goods arriving at stores (they’re referring, of course, to Aesop’s famous fable, and also to its modern reshaping).  Little, if anything, is apparently being done to apprehend those responsible.  (That job is made more difficult, of course, by the number of police personnel also affected by coronavirus infection and/or quarantines.)

An ancient conundrum is to ask, “If a tree falls in the forest, and there is nobody around to hear it, does it make any sound?”  Well, if crimes are committed, and nobody records or reports them, is any crime actually committed?  You and I know darn well it is – but it’s not politically correct to say that in these “enlightened” times.

I strongly suggest that we should all look to our homes and our neighborhoods, and be prepared for any low-life “grasshoppers” that come around looking for easy loot.  Thanks to all the criminals being released from prison over concern for the spread of coronavirus, there are a lot more of them out there than usual.  The authorities that are releasing them don’t want to talk about that, of course.  It’s a very inconvenient truth.


EDITED TO ADD:  Cincinnati, Ohio, has just joined the long list of cities and jurisdictions whose police forces are no longer responding to a laundry list of what they consider to be minor crimes.  Sucks to live there if you’re the victim of those crimes!  Click here for more information.


  1. Now is a good time to look at a map and measure how close your are to a "diverse" neighborhood and whether you should maybe be a little further out. I don't think the China virus pushes us over the edge but it certainly nudges us close enough to the bring that the next crisis will.

  2. To all those who say "But they were running away" or "It's just your car" or "It's just stuff" when questioned why someone will finally be triggered by some lowlife sneak thief or house burglar or worse (because emboldened thieves and burglars always escalate, ALWAYS ESCALATE) and plugs some of the scum. And everybody loses their collective poops over said scum-plugging…


    What one rich socialist (what a mess of wrongness that is) millionaire can afford to lose, be it having one of his/her/its dwellings burgled or robbed, car burgled or stolen, store in his/her/its chain vandalized, the small man can't absorb the loss.

    Look at yourselves. Someone steals one tire, or all the tires. Can you afford to replace them? Steal a battery? Thrash the interior? Steal your car? Can you absorb the hit, from loss of the vehicle to the repair shop, which is now closed for the duration? Will the insurance company issue you enough money to repair or replace your car? And can you replace your car, with car lots closed for the duration?

    Without that car, which many people in America have only one functioning one, how can you and yours get supplies, or to the doctor or hospital?

    And then, so in the land of limited resources, someone notes you aren't going out every day to scrounge a couple cans of beans, or rice, or potatoes, and, in fact, you are still taking your garbage out but not bringing anything in, no deliveries, no Amazon. And then makes the correct conclusion that you have stuff. And breaks into your house. And steals your stuff. The stuff that is the hedge between having to go out and not having to go out, the stuff that YOU spent money on, and horded, and stashed during better times. The stuff that will tide you over until you can get another paycheck because you've been furloughed for the duration or outright fired.

    And steals your meds. Or the meds of someone in your family that really needs them. That, now that the supply chain is disrupted, you can't reliably get anymore (one of my wife's meds is 'backordered..'

    But it's just stuff…

  3. No. No it isn't. On a normal day, it is often the stuff that allows you to make it to the next payperiod, or past the next job hunt, or past the hurricane or tornado or snowstorm or, well, plague scare.

    But it's just stuff, not worth killing for, amiright?

    Sure. Stuff. Stuff that is as important as clean water, critical meds, food, transportation, your GUNS.

    And once emboldened by just burgling, how soon till they graduate to full up armed home invasion? Of your 80yoa disabled neighbor? Because you didn't defend… your stuff

    Screw it. The 'LAW Enforcement' people are abrogating their responsibility to enforce said law. Who else can enforce the LAW? Well, guess what? It's YOU.

    We have just turned into the 'Wild West.' (Where, curiously, most people had guns and weren't afraid to use said guns to protect their stuff, and what law enforcement was available supported people who were protecting their stuff. Because living on the edge? Just stuff turns into Life or Death.

    Want that insipid move "The Purge" to become reality?

    This, this is how you get it. Let low level criminals, who are often the fingers of a larger, deadlier criminal organization, out of jail or prison, and stop picking them up when they do commit crime? Yeah, lawlessness ensues.

    Just look at the 'sanctuary cities and states' who don't prosecute or hold or detain or jail illegal aliens who commit crimes. Suddenly, there is an increase in major crimes committed by said illegal aliens who should have been in prison or jail or back in their own country, up to and including murder.

    Now, extrapolate the 'illegal alien committing crimes and being allowed to get away with it' to 'the huge population of thugs and jerks who have never had any laws enforced upon them (look at the Juvenile Justice System. There is no justice in the JJS,) and, yeah, bang on my door and demand something, touch my car, threaten me and mine and mine stuffs, and, well, "Volley Fire, Fire!"

    If I catch anybody's scrufulous arse messing around with me and mine, or the few neighbors I like and do things for, the least said scrufulous arse will see is boomstick pointing at them. Escalation will increase as needed, and there's no longer any steps between Level 1 and Level 10.

    Because, though it is just stuff, it is my stuff. I don't have the finances to replace or repair. I don't have the finances to restock. So, well, it is what keeps me and mine away from the edge of doom.

  4. I wonder if the people in Chicago and other places where they are releasing the prisoners, street drugs are scarce (and expensive), school is out and the police have stopped dealing with petty crimes.. are they up to vigilantism?

  5. On a bright note, in Michigan, State Senator Jeff Iriwin is promoting legislation to automaticly erase misdemeanor sentences from the records. Career criminals? Not anymore, thanks memory hole. And not to worry, he assures me and other constituents that there are zero prosecutors over prosecuting to get a plea deal and certainly none that cut a plea deal on a felony to ensure a conviction.
    "Coddling the Criminal" is what I told him to name it.

  6. Rob,

    I find it interesting that the people who live in areas most supportive of Complete Gun Elimination and the Elimination of Self-Defense (because, deep down, that is what all gun control is, just gradually, in steps, control leading to elimination,) were the ones most likely to be lining up hundreds deep at local gun stores.

    What's that phrase… "I hope you get what you want." It's not a good wish, it's a curse. Right up there with living in interesting times.

    Want socialism? Well, street socialism is coming to you in the form of forcible redistribution through non-governmental organizations (well, isn't that what a gang is?) and a whole host of individual redistributors.

    Want elimination of self defense? Well, yeah, sucks to be YOU!

    There's that really bad not-joke: How do you make a liberal woman a conservative? Rape her. (Rape-rape, as Whoopie Goldberg says, not Roman Polanski-rape…)

    It's not funny. But, overall, it's sadly true. Especially when all the now-raped woman's friends try to tell the now-understanding-the-concept-of-self-defense rape-victim that she should have just laid back and enjoyed it or evacuated her bladder or talked to the rapist.

    So.. Suddenly, those who were for removal of self-defense are feeling raped by their governments (local, regional, state, federal, world-wide) and aren't listening to their friends and are now experiencing conservative values.

    It will be very interesting to see how this affects the political picture over the next few years. Whether the raped-by-government people remember, or if they return to being useful idiots.

  7. Hey Peter;

    Bean pretty much stole my thunder and added a lot to it. I will just make the observation…You notice the same people that are releasing criminals back into society are the same that want to disarm you so to force you to surrender more of your rights for the possibility of protection from the same criminals. It is a win,win for the statist, they get rid of the criminal and get more power..

  8. Years ago I read a story by the Great SF writer, Jack Vance. His character described the
    stages of theft that would require his escalating response. To paraphrase (read this a lloonnngg time ago) he said: I earn (what it was) money per hour. "If someone steals an
    hour of that value from me I would be annoyed. If they stole a years worth of hours they
    have then stolen a year of my life I can never replace. To stop that I will become
    quite violent."

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