The Criminal Mind

One day, a number of years ago, yours truly was walking down a side street to get from one main thoroughfare to another in an area of Cincinnati with a poor reputation.  It was just a short block (the kind with two buildings back to back), in broad daylight with an empty lot on one corner and a supermarket (national chain) just up the street. Suddenly a man dashed past and ran down the main street there.  Strangely, he paused for a few seconds in the empty lot area long enough to yank off his colorful (maybe white) top and ran down the street in a black T-shirt that was underneath.  This was some time in mid-day. 

Where the man came from was unknown, possibly the alley between the blocks or possibly the street in back.  The only thing really seen was the swift change of clothing and that he appeared to be a relatively muscular short man standing maybe 5’5” (kid size, but with adult muscles).  The walking instinctively stopped dead, of course, as the man dashed past and only continued after assessment of what was happening. Had he turned around, it’s not certain what might have happened.  Rightly or wrongly, the assumption became that he stole something up the street and ran down the alley to escape. 

The point here is, whatever he did (it may have been something like assault as well as some kind of theft), he was prepared for it with a change of clothes. The police usually want a description of the suspect, clothes, car, etc.  Yet, obviously a career criminal takes such things into consideration. The information may be of some help, but catching someone isn’t as easy as spotting someone’s duds.  A criminal mind includes prior intent and planning. While there isn’t any attempt to fully assess such things here, it’s to be noted that there’s more to it than some kind of superficial activity.  Successful criminal are good psychologists. 

A few dollars can mean a lot.