Don’t go to bed with no price on your head

Published 1:30 pm Friday, August 29, 2008

Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time. That lyric from the ’70’s television drama “Baretta” has no doubt run through the minds of many Shelby County residents as the last several days have unfolded.

Murder, theft, accused criminals on the run, the headlines of this newspaper and website have painted an unfamiliar face of our community.

That face is nonetheless a reflection of today’s society and shows the length people will go to when their motivations are distorted.

Last Wednesday, five men were found in an Inverness apartment with their throats brutally slashed. Four men now sit in the Shelby County Jail because of their apparent role in what authorities are calling a murder for hire over drug money.

Alabaster Police recently arrested three teens that now face 107 charges in connection with a string of local car burglaries.

One of the teens, a 17-year-old Alabaster resident, was held at gunpoint by a quick-thinking homeowner until officers arrived.

According to the Helena Police Department, Theodore Ware, 42, of Bessemer first broke into a model home in the Old Cahaba subdivision of Helena at approximately 3 a.m. earlier this month; lights in a neighboring home caused Ware to leave before police arrived.

Later that same morning, Ware apparently returned to collect the household appliances he had intended to steal earlier. Ware was apprehended less than a mile away from the home.

Calera Police say two teenagers, 18-year-old Ladairius Trannon and a 17-year-old male were arrested at the scene of the crime after an all-night crime spree. A call from a neighbor alerted police to the crime in process and resulted in Trannon and his cohort sitting in lock-up.

Ronald L. Whitworth Jr., a former police officer who faces charges of raping a child in Shelby County, was recaptured last week after fleeing to Washington State while on bond.

No accused criminal ever finds life on the run a restful existence. Talented law enforcement agencies and watchful citizens working together can make a life of crime short-lived and always tragic.

Hearing these recent stories is no more enjoyable, I can assure you, than telling them.