A saying ascribed to Woody Allen goes a bit like this: 80 percent of success is just showing up.
Not in this case, it seems.
News comes this week via CNN that in Belgium, a group of robbers — make that would-be robbers — were arrested after being asked by the store’s owner to come back later.
CNN, reporting on findings of its affiliate RTL, said that as many as six armed individuals had come to rob an e-cigarette store on Saturday. The owner of that shop, identified by the affiliate as Didier, said the robbers had come to his shop in the middle of the afternoon looking for money. And, as Didier said he told the group, there wasn’t as much to score as there might be … if only the bad apples would return to the shop. Later.
“I told them clearly that 3 p.m. is not the best time to hold up a store,” Didier told RTL of his shop, located in the Belgian city of Charleroi. “You’ll take 1,000 bucks, but if you come back tonight you might be able to take more.”
An obliging group, the robbers left. Didier phoned the police, and no one seemed to expect the robbers would return. But it seems one should never underestimate greed. They did come back — at 5:30 pm.
Didier stood his ground, telling the group that 5:30 pm was still not closing time.
“I berated them saying ‘you have to buy a watch.’ I said, ‘it’s 5:30 not 6:30,’ and they left,” he said.
They came back again — this time to be arrested by plain-clothes cops. Five people were arrested, one got away.
As an older adage goes, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again — but it it’s robbery, perhaps not.