Billings police are searching for suspects in three armed robberies that took place yesterday.  Normally, we wouldn't expect those kinds of violent crimes in a town like ours.  Which led to an interesting debate at our office today.  What would you do if you were either a victim of, or witness to, a similar situation?

Some people said they would follow the robber's commands and hand over the money.  Other folks suggested that vigilante justice could help bring the suspects to justice.  I prefer to take a page from the book of Jeff Spicoli, the fictional character played by Sean Penn in the classic film "Fast Times at Ridgemont High".

When his schoolmate Brad Hamilton was held at gunpoint by an armed assailant, Spicoli acted fast and valiantly. He grabbed a pot of coffee and threw it in the face of the thief.  Then, when the robber fell to the ground in pain, Hamilton was able to grab his gun and hold him until the police arrived.  Spicoli was hailed as a hero and even received a cash reward for his part in apprehending the criminal.  Of course, he also invested that money wisely, hiring Van Halen to play his birthday party.

We could all learn a lesson from Jeff Spicoli.  Even in a life threatening situation, he did not panic.  Instead, he was resourceful and opportunistic.  Let's hope that whoever's behind the latest string of armed robberies encounters a modern day Spicoli soon.  And who knows, maybe Van Halen will come to Billings and play that guy's birthday party?