I suppose that's one way to stop voter fraud:
Stop a vote from ever happening!
The incident took place May 30 as organizers were collecting signatures to petition for the recall of the San Francisco school board. As the San Francisco Chronicle belatedly reported it:
Police said that about 11:20 a.m. on May 30, officers responded to a reported theft at Third Avenue and Clement Street and spoke to a campaign volunteer who said a man approached him during the signature drive, took the petition paperwork and then walked away.
What happened next was captured on a smart phone:
During the early part of the encounter with the enraged organizers, the master thief appeared to shove something into the small of his back. It was clearly a pro move and one I might have missed had I not had my eyes open.
The man cleverly denies that what people had just plainly seen in fact happened and starts walking away.
Totally slick. And he would have gotten away with it, too, were it not for those meddling adults!
He was filmed the entire time while a woman repeatedly asks for someone to call 911. At the same time an enraged man follows him, accusing him of stealing the petitions and yelling, "You stole that!" and repeatedly asking him "Why did you do that?"
Naturally, the man was well equipped with the tools of his trade, a mask (of course!), a sweatshirt tied around his waist (even master thieves can get chilly) and the latest in high-tech criminal ware, the kind of thing that could have come from James Bond's Q himself: the personal wire mesh shopping cart.
It's hard to tell with the untrained eye, but let me assure you, that's not some Walmart knock off. No sir, that baby probably came from Target.
The woman, clearly not understanding the jeopardy she was in, got into a tussle with him over it. It was at that point he uttered the kind of words that would make anyone's blood run cold.
"Stop touching me."
Okay, so maybe not cold, but definitely room temperature.
A clipboard with some of the petitions attached is presented by someone else, possibly a bystander, and apparently found under a car. The thief, still trying to make a quick escape under the cover of broad daylight, uses this as an opportunity to suggest it's all over, he even included an apology.
"There you go, you got it back, I'm sorry bro."
"You caught me."
Just a misunderstanding, you see, a little innocent fun is all, gotta run, pilates starts at noon...
The enraged man was having none of it, continuing to badger him and demanding,
"Where is the other ones?!"
The thief eventually relented and produced yet more petitions, these being the ones he had earlier concealed in his back, and handed them over with a slightly less apologetic,
The man was still not done with him, believing either he had more, or that he should be arrested on the spot. The thief's retort?
"I gave you back your s---."
I wasn't keeping precise count, but I'm pretty sure that's the second time he's suggested that.
The man stayed on him, his anger growing.
A person who appeared to be a bystander tried to deescalate the situation asking that if he just leaves, is it okay. The man simply said, "No," and continued to demand someone call 911.
The bystander persisted, "If he empties his pockets can he leave?" The man wasn't interested in that deal either, but I think the woman thought better of it given the increasingly agitated state her colleague was in, and agreed. So the dude untied his sweatshirt and emptied his pockets!
I have to believe that this is going to set back his dreams of becoming an international man of intrigue and voter suppression a bit.
I encourage you to watch the whole video as it includes some additional delights including the obligatory threats to sue.
But first, let's play a little game the mainstream media seems to enjoy.
First, the perp, about as white boy as a white boy could be:
And then we have our victim of voter suppression, a man of Asian origin, a "person of color," to be sure:
Had this been about a Democratic initiative and the thief a conservative operative, the CNN trucks would still be at that corner reporting nightly updates and delving deep into the identity of the man, his associates, the fact that he is white and male and possibly straight (that would be a real bonus!) and demanding that any Republican who had the misfortune to come within 20 feet of a microphone denounce the man and apologize for everyone on behalf of his party.
But no, the media was silent on it for over a week and a half and it took the Intertubes to reportedly identify the man as Jason Kruta, a progressive Democratic operative who "likes to get his hands dirty." (Not sure if that's before or after a middle-aged man demands he empties his pockets.)
Let's take a closer look:
Now let's take a look at our alleged perp:
Despite taking extra care to wear a mask, it looks like our suspect made the oldest mistake in the book:
Wearing really distinctive easily identifiable bright red designer glasses.
I'm pretty sure that's how they brought El Chapo down.
Looks like he gets around in progressive circles:
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Mysteriously, despite all his connections, no one feels compelled to talk about him.
As of this writing, there are only a handful of stories in the local news about this, with this headline being typical:
Video shows tense moments after man steals, then returns signatures for SF school board recall.
The story is about a "tense moment"? And the man is characterized as having "returned" the ballots?
Right, and the Nazis "returned" Paris to the allies.
What are the potential consequences for this man's acts? We're estimating he could get somewhere between three and five years...
As an MSNBC contributing editor.