More on Baltimore’s cashless coffee shop.
James, I’m curious. You previously opined that if more retail shops in Harm City go cashless this will cause the dindus to engage in kidnapping for ransom. How do you envision these kidnappings being carried out? Who will be the most likely targets? What will be the ransom? How do you think city government / law enforcement will react?
Kidnaping for ransom is a major threat in Latin America. It was heretofore a common crime and major problem in the USA, more than eighty years or so ago (read the “Ransom of Red Chief” by O’ Henry, 1910, for a humorous view of the crime). Two notorious kidnappings in the Prohibition era were the Lindbergh baby kidnapping in 1932 and the kidnapping of William Hamm, the Hamm’s Brewery heir, in 1933 for 100K ransom by the Barker-Karpis gang. The public outrage over these crimes caused the government to institute measures that largely eradicated kidnapping in the later 1930’s. The harsh penalties of the federal Lindbergh law (life imprisonment or death, if the hostage died) plus the fact that the newly reorganized and empowered FBI would relentlessly pursue kidnappers across state lines made the crime a less lucrative proposition. Kidnapping is making a comeback in the American southwest where Mexican drug gangs are kidnapping family members of rival gangsters and holding them for ransom. So far only people who are “players” in the illegal drug trade are in danger. However, I believe this is likely to change. In general the dindu and Latino gangs are much less afraid of law enforcement than they once were, even the Feds. So I can see kidnapping returning with a vengeance. 'Cause, as you alluded to James, that’s where the money will be.
Jeremy, we had, some years back, our own version of the Lindbergh, when the son of a high profile drug dealer who lived around the corner from this coffee shop was kidnapped. My prediction does not hold for just Baltimore. Cashless folks tend to have fatter bank accounts and when they turn up with no cash the Dindu drives them or walks them to the nearest ATM and has them make a withdraw. This has happened twice in my neighborhood over the past few years. That's not much, but I see it as the beginning of a trend and expect it to be tied in with carjackings in which the perps are already facing abduction charges. This saves the shop owner but not his well heeled clientele. Once we are all cashless and use our fingerprints to withdraw money, we will be walking debit cards for thugs to cash in wherever they like.