Operation: Oh, you better run, motherfucker (OOYBRM)! Lessons Learned:
- Do not write up after-action report while still high on adrenaline. You may accidentally come out looking anti-Semitic.
- Do not wear jeans (esp. without a belt) on operations such as OOYBRM. (In this instance, my jeans were falling around my thighs as I chased a guy in a jogging outfit.)
- As should go without saying, the element of surprise is key.
- Securing both the office and newspapers, and chasing the thief are difficult tasks for one person to handle alone.
- For a fully successful capture operation (which, in afterthought, OOYBRM was not intended to be — I really just wanted to give him a heart attack), two individuals should be assigned to the operation. One may serve as an interceptor and captor. The other will secure the office premises and newspapers after frightening the thief.
- Fortunately, the underside of the disabled-entry porch has now been compromised as a hiding place by OOYBRM. For any future high-intensity (involving the minimum of violence to subdue the thief) operation, personnel must be stationed nearer to the newspaper-bait.
- Personnel assigned to operations such as OOYBRM should be aware that they must at all times maintain the highest level of personnel security (PERSEC), operational security (OPSEC) and situational awareness (SA). This is key in avoiding inadvertent injuries such as those sustained by myself. (My girlfriend noticed a deep scar from a nail and a bad rugburn spot from the wood my back grazed as I exited the porch in pursuit of the thief. My bad ankles — they’re both bad — ached until I took an anti-inflammatory,and I sustained a small injury on my left ring finger from climbing over the limestone rocks blocking my exit from underneath the porch.) Safety first! Don’t be stupid, like me.
- Running shoes should be provided for personnel on assignments such as OOYBRM.
- There should be no discrimination in personnel assigned to operations such as OOYBRM. (We’ve already had inquiries from two or more females about taking part in future operations.)
- Prior to departing on operations such as OOYBRM, all personnel should perform athletic stretching as if they were about to perform calisthenics or a two-mile run.
- All personnel participating in OOYBRM-like operations should be fully inoculated, including against tetanus.
It is too soon to say yet whether or not the thief will come back. The general feeling among the staff at the office was that a good scare like that will mostly keep him away from our weekly papers, at least. He may assume no one would watch for the Sunday paper. It is doubtful that he will return, though. He now knows the he’s been fingered, and that our office is not as soft a target as he might have imagined — at least not with me on the staff. Just call me ‘The Enforcer.’
It is likely that he will find another target. Should our papers begin a daily disappearance again, I must recommend two operations (in order of my preference):
- Observe-and-Document Operations: Using various trustworthy video-recording and image-capturing devices, operation personnel may be able to obtain a clear picture of the person. Such a picture could be blown up, placed on a poster and posted in the frontyard, facing Sixth Street. It could include his picture and text such as, “MISSING YOUR NEWSPAPERS? LOOK FOR THIS MAN. HE LIKES TO STEAL.” Or something more witty.
- High-intensity Operation: A minimum use of force would be utilized to incapacitate (that is, get him on the ground in a safe position where he will not attack the operation’s personnel nor will the personnel be provoked to attack the thief). Legal questions (especially concerning office liability if operation personnel are organization-affiliated) surround this operation.
I will add more lessons learned as those that I’ve forgot return to me.