A while back, we detailed the sad story of a holdup person in Thermal, Calif., who robbed 11 people in a grocery store at gunpoint and made off with $6.
There is an even sadder story to relate.
In yet another sign of how tough the economy was during the recession, in October of 2009 bank representatives entered the home of a Pittsburgh mortgagee while she was away, cut off the utilities, padlocked the door and confiscated her pet parrot.
Boy, they're starting to play rough when they repossess your bird.
On top of all that, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal, the mortgagee wasn't in default. Oops, said the bank. They thought the house had been vacated, but the owner was just away for a few days.
But that oops was a long time coming. A suit the mortgagee has filed claims the contractor the bank hired stopped utility services, cut waterlines and electrical wires, damaged flooring and finishings and poured antifreeze into the sinks and toilets.
Oh, and yeah, "stole" poor old Luke the parrot.
When the mortgagee first contacted the bank after the break-in, vandalism, abduction, etc., they weren't very helpful. According to the Journal, bank representatives said they were "tired" of hearing from her, hung up on her and told her to get help from the police.
Luke and the mortgagee were finally reunited. The mortgagee retained a lawyer and is seeking damages in excess of $50,000. The bank says it is "reviewing the allegations . . . and considering any hardship that resulted." That is legalese for "we're getting ready to settle this baby."
The moral of this story is apparently that you'll get more money armed with a bird in Pittsburgh than with a gun in Thermal.
(Note: A version of this editorial appeared previously in The Maui News.)
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.