It is not unusual for people to approach VPD officers and ask for help, but asking for help to commit a crime is certainly less common.

Just after 2 a.m. on a recent shift, two plainclothes officers noticed a man they recognized as a chronic property crime offender looking into several vehicles. Later, as they stood on a corner, he walked up to them.

The man asked if the officers knew how to steal a car and if they would be willing to help him steal one, or if they had a “punch” tool he could borrow. He also asked if they had ever thought about robbing a jewelry store, as he had heard you get a lot of money, and he wanted some white diamonds.

The officers continued to watch the would-be thief as he headed on his way, unsuccessful in his attempt to enlist accomplices. He was arrested not long after for trying to break into five vehicles, and damaging one.

He has been charged with mischief and five counts of breaching his probation.