Props to Old Fashioned Burglars

Updated on January 21, 2018
kenneth avery profile image

I was born in the south. I live in the south and will die in the south. This is only a small part of the memories I share.

as Thieves go

I am having a tough time understanding what modern-day screen writers and producers are doing with an American icon: the burglar. Think about it. When was the last time that you sat down, relaxed, and flipped your remote to one of those Classic TV Channels and you watched a thief rob the threads off of a wealthy guy and all while the standard equipment, the Burglar's Ski Mask was missing. It was just the upgraded thief smiling to the camera as he eyed his booty.

Read the rest of this narrative and see if you do not agree that there is something definitely wrong about Today's Burglar.

Our hero, the Old Fashioned Burglar.
Our hero, the Old Fashioned Burglar. | Source

In Years Past

the line that separated Right and Wrong were easy to see and understand. In fact, there was no such a thing as (a) Gray Area, apt for discussion. The line literally glared look at me! You do NOT cross me. And for years and years, that dark line acted as our Moral Police--and we did our best, stayed true to America, and celebrated our holidays and things were hunky dory.

Then came Greed. Oh, that nasty and cold third cousin from someone's uncle on a certain sister's son. The "cousin" who everyone despised. He was nasty. Greedy as sin. No tears were shed when "we" as a people didn't feed him. It was Right for us to stay on our side and let Greed starve to death--and he pretty much came close to starving, make no mistake about that. But that was before our society went from the Obvious Right and Unclear Wrong--guidelines (sometimes) tough to understand.

Then came, upon Greed's first-cousin, Crime's heels, the Burglar. Not a Thief. Make sure you know the difference. A Thief will steal from you in broad-open daylight or the dead-of-night. Whereas the Burglar will climb through your second story home, pilfer through your Secret Stashes of things you do not want m to mention and this Burglar, without any sign of conscience, will take everything that you value. He will then, if he's smart, (and in these days, Burglars were not wise), he will Fence your valuables garnering himself a pocketful of cash--giving him freedom to get drunk, eat fattening foods and curse in the public.

In the Day of TV Westerns, we seen the Distinguishable signs of Right and Wrong when the color of a cowboy's hat was seen. Black signaled Wrong and White signaled Right. Easy to remember. Easy to know who is apt to steal or rob you while you and your wife and kids are enjoying a night out to eat and them watch a good move at the Bijou. No one in these days had to wear signs to tell us Who was Who. And many times, it was more than obvious when the cowboys had more Black Hats than the cowboys with White Hats. "These" times meant that the Scales of Justice had begun to tip toward a common, garden-variety Burglar to a Slick and Shrewd Thief.

Look for a moment at how Burglars and Thieves dressed. Any first-grader could know the difference. "Look, mommy! There's a man with a Black Hat! He's a bad man, mommy!" See what I mean. Don't tell me that in those days that first-graders were not on the ball.

Before the day of The Professional Burglar, there was a short span of time where our nation experienced a series of Common Thieves, and it was so bland, a cereal bowl of Uncle Ben's Converted Rice had more zest and vigor. Common Thieves were usually Juvenile Delinquents who were bored with life and just stole from people for kicks. (Did anyone ever say 'kicks' to you?)

These thieves did not wear attention-getting wardrobe. They mostly wore slacks, shirts, socks and shoes. And their hair, in the beginning, was combed. I want to also point out that these thieves and even the Professional Burglars were all male. I could not find one source where a Female was reported as being arrested for thievery. I cannot say about about the late Bonnie Parker of the legendary twosome, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.

When the Common Thief would work in daylight, he would hit retail businesses--lifting items easy enough to conceal and take from the outside of the store to his hide-out. Then the Court Systems of the USA started calling "this" type of stealing as Shoplifting. And to make this crime more complex and hard to police, the Court System deemed "this" thievery as Petty Crime, or far below that of being a Felony. This is why our country had such an early Crime Wave. It was because of Shoplifters who were disguising themselves as Common Thieves.

God bless those Vintage Burglars, because they too had their place in life. They were not sheepish about breaking into a house or business to "pick it clean," (an expression referring to a kettle of vultures eating every piece of meat on the bones of a dead carcass.) I'm so sorry to use such an analogy, but in the time of the Professional Burglar, the Crime Rate was still surging from those pesky Shoplifters who were really Common Thieves. Some, when arrested, would stand up and protest, "I am not a Common Thief!" before they were hauled to jail.

The Professional Burglar held true to those hilarious cartoons which too, depicted a true signal between Right and Wrong, for these guys all wore black, not just for being Bad, but to give the burglar a sense of camouflage while stealing things from inside an empty house or business. The police in "these" days were growing wiser by the way that they could nab the early Pioneer Burglars due to them wearing flashy clothing--a Hawaiian shirt, green slacks and red sneakers, a walking billboard would be a better description.

And this is in no way to align Early Professional Burglars with the early Long Shore Men of San Diego to Portland, Oregon. The Early Professional Burglars wore the drab sweat-shirt, with a cab driver's cap, slacks all of a black color and a mask (like that of the Lone Ranger) to cover his eyes, also of black color, the mask, not the man's eyes.

Before the police and detectives begun studying the patterns of Common Thieves and Burglars, these authorities sharpened-up and if a big company or retail business was robbed (or burgled) for more than five times in a week's time, the police set up a Stake-Out and without explaining this wise mode of Police Work, we can safely say that the Day of The Professional Burglar and Common Thief was coming to an end.

But with The Professional Burglar and Common Thief fading away, Crime would not go down for the count. These determined guys (and females by "this" time), gave way to White Collar Criminal. What was used to be as Petty Crime, stealing paper clips, pens, pencils and a few candy bars from the break room, the ante went higher when the White Collar Criminal begun to put that expensive college education to work for them and it wasn't for the good of the country, but for the White Collar Criminals.

With Knowledge and super-complex Computer Programs, any college grad with the right program could "hack" into most company computer systems giving them ways to siphon off money from its coffers into False Accounts made in False Names given by the White Collar Criminal. And the thieving grew to be wide-spread when White Collar Criminals went from stealing a few thousand bucks, to millions as they learned how to use Insider Trading between Investment Banks and Private investors which is completely Illegal, but they somehow scored several million dollars and today, that number is growing larger.

But also, that same type of Computer Literacy is being utilized by The F.B.I., C.I.A., I.R. S., Federal Authorities and local authorities who are given regular workshops to keep the White Collar Criminals on the ropes and not steal us blind.

All of this from a guy wearing a drab wardrobe.

The Old Fashioned Burglar kept life interesting for us in America.
The Old Fashioned Burglar kept life interesting for us in America. | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Kenneth Avery


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      • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

        Kenneth Avery 

        11 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

        Hi, Kari -- my Dear Friend, you nailed it with your comment. In My Younger Days, there was a clear right and wrong and we know where it was, but as life and society grew up or out, that line is mostly blurred to where, like you say, what used to be bad is good and visa versa.

        I think it is when Deception found out that mankind could use it for their own gain, the trouble began.

        Keep writing, Kari.

        Write me anytime.

      • k@ri profile image

        Kari Poulsen 

        12 months ago from Ohio

        Oh, the simpler days when thieves were thieves and knew how to dress. Or, the simpler days when thieves were the bad guys and not the heroes like in today's films. :)

      • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

        Kenneth Avery 

        12 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

        Hi, Liz -- Yes, your remarks do go right along with the two hat colors and like your question, what if your hat is white, well, I also heard that in today's society, even the worst of people can wear a white hat to deceive the REALLY nice people.

        Now it's coffee time.

        Keep in touch with me.

      • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

        Kenneth Avery 

        12 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

        Hi, Poppy -- Absolutely. Thanks for your comment that I really enjoyed reading. Keep in touch with me and write me anytime.

      • DzyMsLizzy profile image

        Liz Elias 

        12 months ago from Oakley, CA

        LOL! Funny stuff! Puts me in mind of the old saying, " black as the inside of your hat!". Of course, I'm sure this originated with those days; back when you'd be able to tell the intentions and agenda the people by their hat color!

        I always wondered,"but what if you have a WHITE hat???

      • poppyr profile image


        12 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Most burglars operate by hacking your computer or phone now rather than breaking into your house. I always thought the black and white striped robbers were similar to French mimes, haha.


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