Sunday, November 15, 2015

Log 95: Purse Snatcher (Season 3, Episode 3)

Special Announcement!!!

I have a lot to celebrate and I think one of you lucky guys or gals deserves a prize. 

What do I have to celebrate? Well, this blog has reached over 30,000 page views since I started it. Which in the world wide web may not be huge, but it makes me very happy. So, since I have hit over 30,000 page views and I am covering the third episode of the third season, I think I will give away a set of the Adam-12 Season 3 DVD's. The 2-disc set I am giving away also comes in a collectible tin.
Fancy, isn't it?
But, wait there's more!!! This isn't just any set of Season 3 DVD's that I bought at Ollie's Bargain Basement for $3.99. No, disc 1 of this 2 disc set is (drumroll, please)...

Now, just to prove that I didn't sign it myself, here's a terrible photo I took of Kent signing the DVD at the Hollywood Show in Los Angeles on October 31, 2015:
Don't ask me what that guy in the background is doing.
I am going to have a drawing to give this DVD set away to one of my lucky readers. If you want to be entered in the drawing, here's what you have to do:

-Fill out the "Contact Form" to the right with your name, e-mail, and a message that says "Please enter me in the drawing for the DVD's" (or something like that) and hit "send". One entry per e-mail address, please.

-Or e-mail me at with the same information. One entry per e-mail address, please.

-You can send me 100 e-mails from the same address if you want, but I will only enter each e-mail address into the drawing once.

-I will not accept entries through Facebook, the comments section of the blog, Tumblr, Instagram, carrier pigeon, fax, letter, text, or in person.

-All e-mails must be received by Friday, December 4, 2015. Any e-mails received after December 4, 2015 will not be entered in the drawing!

-The winner will be announced in my Sunday, December 6, 2015 blog post. 

Good luck!!!

OK, now that I have that out of the way, let's get to "Log 95: Purse Snatcher".

Episode 55

Officer Brinkman has a purse snatcher problem in his district. Since Reed and Malloy have cleaned up all of the crime in their own district, they lend him a hand.

A purse snatching has just occurred in 1-Adam-11's district. While Brinkman and his partner handle the investigation at the scene, Reed and Malloy will attempt to catch the three suspects who were last seen running through an alley. When 1-Adam-12 reaches the alley, Reed gets out to search for them on foot while Malloy drives around to the other end.

In the alleyway they find the purse, but they are too late to catch the suspects.
[I could go for some gum, maybe there's some in here.]
[If you find any Doublemint, toss a piece my way.]
After they've uncovered the evidence, Reed and Malloy meet up with Brinkman at the scene. 
Brinkman must be a common name in the LAPD, because this is not the Officer Brinkman we came to know and love during Season 1.
This is the Officer Brinkman I remember.
Malloy's been studying the pin maps at the station and noticed that Brinkman's district has a growing purse snatching problem, this is the fifth one in the last two weeks. In addition to the crimes, Brinkman has another problem. None of the suspects have been able to give a good description of the three or four juvenile suspects that have attacked them from behind. Malloy speculates if this could be the handiwork of a juvenile they busted for purse snatching two weeks.
Reed remembers the kid, a Benjie something. But, he doesn't think he'd be able to pull off today's caper, he'd be in Juvenile Hall.
Brinkman knows exactly who they are talking about, Benjie Tremain. He also fills them in on the fact the Benjie is not in the Hall and never has been. He's sure Benjie is their man, but doesn't think they'll be able to prove it. Malloy agrees with Brinkman, it will be difficult to catch Tremain. Nonetheless, he and Reed leave to find Benjie while Brinkman goes to the hospital with the latest victim.
Malloy doesn't think it will be easy to catch Tremain now that he is an experienced criminal.
Pete and Jim find Benjie and his buddies pitching nickels in the mean "Backlot" section of town. 

I'm not really sure how "pitching nickels" works, but Benjie must have just made a bad pitch because Pete asks him, "What's the matter, Benjie, you losing your touch?".

Benjie is unsurprisingly not happy to see his old friend Officer Malloy. He brags to the cop that busted him that he was released from the Hall after only two days. The teenager tries to establish himself as a tough customer to the officers. He scoffs at the idea of his Probation Officer rehabilitating him and brazenly orders his two friends around. 
"Benjie Tremain can take care of Benjie Tremaine."
Benjie must have been a popular name among juvenile delinquents of the late 1960's and early 1970's. Why else would young Mr. Tremain here be the second bad Benjie we meet in the Mark VII universe? Who can forget his colorful counterpart, Benjy Carver a.k.a. Blue Boy, from Dragnet 1967?
"I'm a tree..."
In an effort to get any sort of information out of Benjie or his lackeys, Reed and Malloy split up the three boys. Reed interviews the two friends, Paul and Artie, while Malloy gets the more interesting job of talking to Benjie.

Benjy claims that he and his friends have been pitching nickels all day. But, while talking to Malloy, he almost lets it slip that they were in the area of the purse snatching earlier.  Benjie then reveals that his mother has left and he and his father have an "understanding". His father leaves Benjie alone and Benjie leaves his old man alone. The boy is fine with this arrangement, he thinks family is overrated.
Malloy warns Benjie that someday he'll get in over his head and be in real trouble.
Meanwhile, Reed talks to Artie.
"Why aren't you in school today?"
"Well, you see, I have this sore throat."
Since all three teenagers have given them the same story about pitching nickels all day, Malloy and Reed have to let them go. Benjie leaves and his two buddies follow after him.
"Real leader, isn't he?", observes Reed.
"Yeah, only question is, 'what's he leading 'em to?'," asks Pete.
The next day Pete and Jim are called into Mac's office to get briefed on a special detail. Their watch commander lets them know that they will be part of a stakeout on Brinkman's purse snatch problem. Reed wants to know why they're working the stakeout if it's Brinkman's problem.
Malloy doesn't like the sound of this either.
Mac assures them that Brinkman will also be working the detail, in fact the stakeout is happening because of his "unusual" idea. Mac then shows them Brinkman's idea.
Brink"woman" here will be the bait for the purse snatchers.
"Aw, Brinkman, you're beautiful," exclaims Pete.
Just like it says at the end of the show, this incident is true. It seems LAPD officers really did dress in drag to catch purse thieves.
These are LAPD officers dressed as women to catch purse snatchers in 1960.
I'm hoping the drag is better in the Hollywood Division.
On their way out the of the office, the ever chivalrous Pete opens the door for the "lady".

During the stakeout Pete and Jim keep watch over Brinkman in a UC car while he waits for someone to come steal his purse. 
After two hours of killing time, Reed is bored and Brinkman still has his purse. But, when Malloy sees three familiar-looking teenaged boys walking towards their "pigeon" he knows they won't have to wait much longer.
Benjie and his crew stop and size up their victim. Their motive is about as subtle as Brinkman's makeup. 
After observing Brinkman from all angles, they (poorly) act like they are going home. But, as they walk past the disguised officer they bop him on his wig-covered head and wrestle the purse from his un-manicured hands.

Reed has been keeping Mac and his un-named partner abreast of the whole situation with the handie talkie. When they see what's going down they close in on the suspects with their undercover vehicles.
That's Pete and Jim in the Vista Cruiser. 
Of course Benjie runs and Jim takes off after him.
While Mac and his partner stop Paul.
Brinkwoman gets her man, Artie.

Jim chases Benjie into an alley and grabs the him as the youthful offender tries to climb over a fence. Pete arrives in the undercover station wagon to assist his partner.
He then forcefully snatches the purse out of Benjie's hands.
Pete opens the purse and retrieves a card from it. When he shows it to Benjie, the juvenile quickly understands that he has been set up.
Brinkman has exceptional penmanship.

"You stink!"
"When will you learn Benjie?"
Later that night at the station while Benjie is locked away, hopefully learning something, Malloy and his father have some words. Mr. Tremain wants his son turned over to him immediately. If the police take his son to Juvenile Hall, he'll have to pick him up tonight. Which he can't do since he has an important, late-night business appointment. If he can take Benjie home now, Mr. Tremain promises to have him in to see the detectives in the morning, "just like always".
"Just like always, huh, Mr. Tremain. Well, I wouldn't release Benjie to you even if I could. Now, your boy is in deep trouble. Can you understand that?"
Unfortunately, Mr. Tremain can't understand how much trouble his son is in. He thinks that Benjie's scrapes with the law are just "kid's stuff" that his son will eventually outgrow. Mr. Tremain speaks from experience, he himself had gotten into a few "jams" when he was a kid.
You can see the eruption building inside Malloy as Tremain speaks.
Malloy gets visibly frustrated with Benjie's father as he listens to him make light of his son's problems. When Tremain finally stops talking, Pete lets loose on the man.
"Look purse snatching is not 'kid's stuff'. Think about it. What comes next? Benjie's sixteen years old and he's already got a package as thick as a telephone book. Now he needs help, Mr. Tremain, and he needs it badly."
Despite Pete's assertion, Mr. Tremain still doesn't get it. His son still has his "marbles" so he can't possibly need any help. He thinks Pete is just imagining the severity of his son's problems.
"Well, Officer Malloy, that's a typical cop's mentality, always seeing something that isn't there. I think it must be some kind of sickness you guys have."
(Oh, hey, look it's the dad from "Log 143: Cave".)
"No, sir, we call it experience."
We next see Pete and Jim after they have had two days off of work. We know this because Jim asks Pete about his time off, Pete replies that he had a date with a stewardess.
Jim thinks, "typical Pete" after he hears about his partner's weekend.
Before we get to hear any of the details about Pete's date they are called to an "auto versus ped" accident in the 300 block of Cameron Street.

On Cameron Street a pedestrian has just been struck by a car driven by a middle-aged man named Brian Michaels. Reed talks to Michaels while Pete checks out the injured man.
Reed listens as Michaels tells him that the pedestrian ran out from between two parked cars.
Pete finds an intriguing piece of paper on the stricken man.
When the Accident Investigation officer arrives Pete lets him know that the ped is in no shape to talk and based on the skid marks it seems like he is at fault. Jim backs up Pete's theory with the information he got from the driver. Pete then hands the paper he found to the AI officer.
It's ticket for jaywalking that was issued to the pedestrian a half an hour ago.
Reed gets the final word in this scene.
"Ticket sure didn't have the educational value it was supposed to."
No, but this PSA about jaywalking in the middle of my Adam-12 episode sure, did!

Pete and Jim return to patrol and soon receive a hot shot call from the male link operator, there's a 211 in progress at the liquor store at 1620 Northgate Avenue.

When 1-Adam-12 arrives at the scene a young man runs out of the store with an employee chasing after him.
It's Benjie and he's got a gun!
(Is he wearing a windbreaker? Has he graduated from the School of Hard Knocks and is now able to wear the official Mark VII bad guy uniform?)
Benjie yells at the liquor store clerk to stay away from him. When he doesn't, Benjie shoots the man and he falls to the sidewalk. Benjie takes off running with Reed, carrying the shotgun, pursuing him on foot.
Pete stops to check the liquor store clerk for a pulse as backup arrives.
Before taking off after his partner Pete tells backup to put out a broadcast identifying the suspect as Benjie Tremain. He adds that they can call an ambulance, but he doesn't think it will do much good.

Meanwhile, Benjie has run into a dark alleyway surrounded by high fences. Reed remains on the other side of the fence and orders the troubled young man to throw the gun out.
The officer's forceful command doesn't convince the teenager to give up his weapon. Instead, he fires two shots that hit the fence near Reed's head.
Malloy arrives and Reed gives him the rundown of the situation, Benjie is armed, volatile, and "holed up tight" on the other side of the fence. He asks if his more experienced partner has any ideas. 
Malloy thinks talking may be the best way to start. Reed tells his partner to give it his best, but doubts Benjie will listen.

Malloy tries to convince Benjie to give up by pointing out that he has nowhere to go in the dead-end alley. Benjie finds deeper meaning in the cop's words.
"You said it, 'nowhere', I was going nowhere when I got here!"
Pete, sensing they may need a different kind of backup for this matter, tells Jim to get Benjie's father down there. After Jim leaves, Benjie asks if he killed the liquor store clerk. He  justifies his actions by explaining that the man made him do it. He didn't want to shoot him, but he wouldn't stay away from him.

Through Mark VII magic, Mr. Tremain is quickly delivered to the scene. He's shocked and confused by the nightmarish turn of events. He asks Pete for help in finding the right words to say to his son. 
"I don't know, you're his father."
Pete and Jim move aside and let Mr. Tremain get closer to the entrance of the alley.
[You stand here, sir. Us guys with the guns will be way over here.]
Mr. Tremain tries, but Benjie doesn't budge. He calls his father out for paying more attention to his girlfriends than his own son. Benjie tells his father to come in and get him, he promises that he "will" put down the gun. 
Malloy tries to stop him from going into the alley, but Mr. Tremain runs in anyway.
He stops when he sees that his son is still holding the gun. Benjie clarifies for his father, "I said, 'I will put it down'". First, he has to do something. 
Pete and Jim cover Mr. Tremain while he confronts Benjie.
[You can't see us, we're behind a tree.]
Mr. Tremain does not want to find out what that "something" is, he lunges at his son in order to get the gun. Their struggle, which takes place behind a fence, ends when the gun goes off. After the shot is heard, Mr. Tremain emerges with the weapon in his hand. Benjie does not come out from behind that fence.
Pete takes the gun from a shaken Mr. Tremain.
A distraught Mr. Tremain tells Pete that he tried to take the gun away from Benjie, but he wouldn't let go. After a quick check behind the fence, Reed runs off to call an ambulance.
"Why, God, why?" laments Mr. Tremaine.
"It's a little late to ask God, mister. Maybe you better ask yourself."

 The End

Oh, where to begin? Let's start with what I liked. I liked the ending scene of this one. This part of the story is dramatic and well-played. Gary Morgan as Benjie is a bit over the top here, but he is playing a hysterical teenager. McCord's panting, nervous Reed; Milner's calm and collected Malloy; and Myron Healy's bewildered senior Tremain are all adeptly portrayed in this tense scene. The fenced-in, dead-end alley as a metaphor for Benjie's life is a nice touch, too.

Other than that, I wasn't too enthralled with "Log 95: Purse Snatcher". Just like "Log 35: Easy, Bare Rider", this episode also contained a scene that just seemed out of whack with the rest of the story. The auto versus ped call really stood out as a public service announcement inserted into the episode. At least last week's scene about the reserve officer somewhat related to the story. 

While this is a show about cops and criminals, it doesn't seem that the writers ever met any juvenile delinquents. Maybe I'm being too harsh, but I think that experienced purse snatchers like Benjie and his crew would carry out their crimes in a more clandestine manner. They're practically shouting, "Hey, we're going to steal her purse!" when they are on that sidewalk. Also, did bad kids spend time pitching nickels in the street in 1970? This just seems like an incredibly archaic past time for modern day delinquents.

Also, this is the third tale in five weeks that involves a troubled teenager and their clueless, self-absorbed parent. I know that when these shows first aired there was an entire week between each episode, but I think even 1970 audiences would have noticed this pattern. I do think Mr. Tremain is the worst of these parents, he seems particularly unwilling to help his son. At least Mr. Erickson was willing to bribe the police for his son and M'Liss's parents were willing to write checks to fix her problems. Mr. Tremain doesn't even attempt a misguided tactic to save his son. Hopefully its a long time before we see this type of story again.

Since I didn't find much to like in the sad tale of young Mr. Tremain, I give "Log 95: Purse Snatcher" a rating of:

Do you agree? Let me know in the comments! Don't forget to send your e-mail to be entered in the drawing! KMA-367


  1. I always did love it when Pete breaks up seeing Brinkman in drag!

    1. He's just precious when he does that. I wonder if maybe they hadn't seen that getup until that scene. Martins reaction was just perfection.

    2. Brinkman in drag is good. Wells in drag would have been perfect. I do love Milner's reaction and the way his voice changes when he says, "Brinkman, you're beautiful."

  2. I love that part too. And then when he's all being polite and opens the door for him. Lol
    The way Mark VII spelled that kids name makes me grind my teeth. It should be spelled like the dog. Lol.

    1. You're so right about that! Spell it like the dog or not at all!

  3. Pitching nickels??? I'm not even sure what that past-time is, but I thought it was something from the 30's or 40's eras. Also, was the date with the stewardess the one they saved from a hostage situation at LAX in a previous episode? See, I do watch them on COZI TV.

    1. Hey, Mom! Since I am covering S3 E3 here and that LAX episode with Francine York as the stewardess being held hostage by Frank Sinatra, Jr. happens in S4, that's actually a future episode. But, I also thought of that episode when Pete mentioned his date with a stewardess. Pete seems to like women in uniforms: Sally the nurse, a stewardess, that girl from the airline counter. I wonder what Judy in season 7 does for a living?

    2. I thought she was a teacher?

  4. Being born in 1965, I do remember the older boys pitching pennies when I was in grade school. It was always something they shouldn't have been doing, and would hide when the principal or a teacher would have come around. You're supposed to be the closest to the wall, or something like that. I remember my dad telling me they did that when he was a boy. He was born in 1919, so it was long ago. And I'm with Quinn. That spelling gives me a headache.

    1. You have no idea how much of a headache that spelling of Benjie is, Blogger keeps wanting to autocorrect it to "Bennie"!

  5. "The mean "Backlot" section of town. "
    You are so funny!

    The kid's acting is big, but I think he is very good. The scenes he is in are very dramatic and he is a pretty angry kid, so i think it fits.

    Am I the only one around here who has ever seen a Gangster movie?? Pitching pennies/nickles is always in gangster movies. It also happens another time in Adam-12. lol

    Even though the Tremaine kid, directs his anger mostly at Malloy, there are several moments between the kid and Reed that I like. After the stakeout, when Reed catches him, they look at each other like there is some kind competition going on. Reed bested him, putting him in his place after Ben-ben thinks he will be able to outrun Reed and benj is very unhappy about it. That's how it looks to me anyway. it it subtle, but very cool.

    They do reuse names a lot. I like that though. In an episode, yet to be reviewed on this blog, the name, "Brinkman," comes up in a context,
    other than being one of the cops.

    I was totally going to ask you what the guy in the background was doing?

    1. My favorite interaction between Benjie and the "boys" is when Pete forcefully snatches Brinkman's purse out his hands. Milner is very convincingly angry in that scene. I wonder how many times he did something like that at home with his kids.
      I remember that guy in the background, he was at Kent's table at the very end of the night. He was a probation officer. He looks like he is smelling his hand.

  6. OMG and congrats on the 30,000 page views!

    1. Thanks! Hopefully most of them are from real people and not spam-bots!

  7. I always think of the part where the officers tell Benjie's friends they can go, and one of them says 'Wait up, Benjie' in this kind of little girl tone. If Benjie is so tough, why was he hanging out with these guys?