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Spokane

Porterhouse pilfering gets in my grill

Sun., June 28, 2009

Spokane’s version of the mob is a Meatloaf Mafia?

Yes, our cops claim they have nabbed a crime lord who was running a meat-theft ring.

Chicago had Al Capone.

Spokane has Chris T-Bone.

I haven’t been so mortified since the Jim West tube steak scandal.

According to news accounts, Christopher M. Webber (not to be confused with the beloved barbecue grill) has been booked into Spokane County Jail on organized crime charges of leading an operation of porterhouse pilferers.

“Up with your hands – this is a steak-up!”

Investigators claim Webber was the Don Mignon to five minions who were swiping meat every day from area grocery stores.

After loading up a cart, the hoods would loosen their trousers and sequester the purloined sirloins near their, um, tenderloins.

For the sake of public health, let’s hope the meat was still wrapped at the time.

The thieves would then make their getaway. Or waddle-away depending on the haul.

“Excuse me, sir. Is that a standing rib roast? Or are you just excited to shop at Albertsons?”

Webber, according to reports, would then peddle the meat for half the retail price at pubs and other eateries throughout the area.

Amazingly enough, this scam has been going on for three years.

The cops probably would have caught these meat marauders sooner, but they have been awful busy tenderizing civilians.

Look. I couldn’t be more carnivore. In my younger days, I scarfed down the entire giant “Rancher” steak platter at North Idaho’s Wolf Lodge Inn.

Not once, but five separate times.

But as much as I love meat, I could never see myself falling for some shady dude saying, “Hey, buddy, wanna buy a cut-rate cutlet?”

But that’s really beside the point. What I’d really like to do today is to take a moment and speak directly to the area’s thieving dirtbags.

You felons are making Spokane look bad.

I’m not expecting you all to turn into archvillains like Lex Luthor, say, or the upper management at Avista.

Few fiends ever achieve such infamy.

But I am getting tired of opening the paper every day and reading that another drug store has been hit by some twitching OxyContin addict.

Or worse. On Thursday, a woman pleaded guilty for her role in stealing up to $80,000 from a Meals on Wheels program.

Really. Cheri Anne Mataya-Muncton and a co-worker had been investigated for using Meals money for things like lunches, shopping sprees at Victoria’s Secret and a Florida vacation.

Stealing from Meals on Wheels? How low can you go?

And now we have this ring of roast rustlers.

Sorry to disagree with our local law. But this is not worthy of being called organized crime.

This is just plain ol’ choplifting.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at dougc@spokesman.com.


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