Citizen Prime Robbed! And the rest of the story!

I seldom talk about my private life.  There is so much going on in the world that its hard to find time to write, period.  Over the last month, I’ve been getting ready for the launch of The League of Citizen Heroes, being a guest at the Phoenix Comicon, preparing to patrol during Superbowl weekend, organize the programs housed under the League, etc, so on and so forth.  During the last month, I’ve kept the following secret under my hat.  None the less, I feel this is important so I’m going to “spill the beans.”
On January 4th, my house … was robbed.
Yep.  Citizen Prime’s lair was ransacked!  It was random, street crime.  The burglars  had no idea who I was.  I was just another cased joint.  And it is the last one they’ll be robbing for a long time.  Allow me to explain.
See, we were not home for the holidays.  We were visiting family and friends (including The Black Monday Society) during the end of December and beginning of January.  A wonderful elderly woman watches our house when we are away.  On Friday, January, 4th, we received a phone call.
“Hello, Jim.  I hope you’re sitting down.  I’ve got some bad news,” said the concerned voice of our house sitter on the other end of the phone,  “Over the last few days, someone broke in and took quite a few of your things.” She continued listing the items she thought were stolen.
If you’ve ever received news that your house has been robbed, it’s a surreal experience.  The irony of Citizen Prime being robbed did not escape me either.  Counting myself lucky for having my armor, laptop and cell phones with me, I listened while our house sitter recounted all the things she thought they took.  It ended up being about $15,000 dollars worth of stuff including the desktop computer where all the Citizen Prime info and projects are listed.  Among the “stuff” (and it is just stuff, mostly), what was most disheartening was the loss of photos (a 1000 honeymoon photos among them), Prime projects, and the like.  Theft is an emotional violation, don’t let anyone tell you differently.
While reeling from the news she was delivering on my cell, I was conducting a business call on a land line, pacing furiously, and trying to keep myself in check.  When I hung up both phones. I packed up wife, child and our remaining stuff and raced back to Arizona to survey the damage.
Now, I tell you all this to make the following point.
Crime does not pay.
Without going into details, last week, the thieves were caught!  Working with the local detectives, we are putting a case together to lock these low lifes away for a long time.  And what I feel for the criminals can be boiled down to one word:
Seeing the single wide trailer they live in and the old beat up car they use to rob people, how do these geniuses think that crime pays?  Now, its not a crime to be poor, nor is money the symbol of clean living.  That being so, if you could see their living room, bedroom, kitchen, everywhere and all the junk that they live amongst in their quest to hit the big score, you’d agree – these guys did not get rich while they were on their crime spree.  I say “spree” as the authorities estimate they have robbed about 20 houses in the last couple of years.  So what did there life of crime get them?  Not any richer – we saw that.  Instead, it got them years behind bars.  Years away from their kids.  Its just plain stupid.
Looking through the list of evidence and photos from the search warrant, it saddens me even more to see the “stuff”  these petty thugs tried to take away from others.  We saw an irreplaceable World War II photo stolen because the crooks liked the box it was in.  Jewelry, like my wife’s, is often passed down from mother to daughter to granddaughter.  And these guys chop up heirlooms and sell it for the metal.  Theft takes memories and emotions along with the “stuff.”
In this case, all these things, or as much as is able, will go back to the families, while these two short sighted, greedy thieves (and hopefully their accomplices, if the investigation pans out) go away for a long time.  Time they will not get back.  Time that will put their lives that much farther behind the eight ball.  Time that will further ruin their eroded lives.  Its sad.
Crime does not pay.
So to all you budding criminal geniuses out there.  You never know when you will rob the wrong house or the wrong guy.  And when you do, rest assured, the next house you’ll see will be the Big House, or in Arizona, Sheriff Joe’s “Tent City”.  A place you do not want to end up.  You can and will get caught.  The police are sharper than you think, they have allies – seen and unseen – in the community, and there sole desire is to put criminals like these in prison.
And what do I want?  As a victim of random crime, I want my pictures, projects and irreplaceable stuff back.  In large part, I’m going to get that, while these poor souls do hard time.
As Citizen Prime, I want it never to come to this.  I want everyone to fly right! Look. The math is simple.  Don’t do the crime and you won’t do the time.  Its not worth it.  Instead, join me in living a full life in the free world.  Have the guts, strength and the courage to forge your own life – not steal it from others.
Crime does not pay.