A small number of people commit a disproportionate share of property crime. The lesson was learned once again here in Berkeley, where a homeless man has confessed to 100 burglaries, after being apprehended and questioned by Berkeley Police. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Andrew Larry Austin, 56, was arrested about 3:30 a.m. Jan. 11 after officers found him looking into a garbage can about two blocks away from Model Shoe Renew on Shattuck Avenue. The store's front glass door had been shattered, and —— according to police —— Austin had slivers of glass on his hat, jacket and gloves and stolen property and burglary tools in his possession.
After questioning Austin, police initially tied him to about 50 commercial burglaries in Berkeley. In subsequent interviews, Austin has admitted to committing at least 50 more burglaries, police said.
Strangely enough, The Chron appears to have taken down the photograph of Mr. Austin which originally appeared with the item. By such condescending gestures demonstrating a belief in the need to suppress the anti—black prejudice of its readers does the newspaper reveal its own prejudices.
Thomas Lifson 1 28 06