What not to do when someone steals from you

I have known Toriano Porter for a number of years. If his name sounds familiar, he works now at the editorial board for The Kansas City Star.

Cody Thorn

Cody Thorn

I met him years ago when he worked for The Examiner in Independence and we quickly formed a bond through a mutual friend.

We had a discussion through Twitter on a story The Star ran.

Here is the background on what we talked about: DeAndre Simms, 24, of Kansas City, is facing second-degree murder and armed criminal action charges.

What did this man do to get these charges that could mean he ends up with jail time? He shot a man that was trying to steal his car.

Missouri’s ‘stand your ground’ statute does not allow people to use force to protect property unless they reasonably believe their life is threatened.

Keith A. Michael, 34, was killed as he was trying to steal Simm’s car. Michael, according to the Star story, had spent time in prison for drug charges and tampering with a motor vehicle — so he wasn’t a rookie at stealing a car.

Simms shot into the car as Michael attempted to enter it and killed him. The car was left running while Simms went inside a gas station — mistake No. 1 — on Blue Ridge Boulevard in southern Kansas City.

He believed he was protecting what was his. The law doesn’t agree.

Simms called 911 to report the shooting and waited for cops to arrive. Not a move of a ‘murderer’ exactly based on tons of court reports I have read over the years.

When I initially read the story, I couldn’t see why he was charged with murder until talking more with Toriano, who thought he should have been. So, basically the way the law is set up, if you see someone steal or attempt to steal your car you are better off doing nothing and rolling the dice.

In the meantime, there will likely be A) A pursuit, a car crash and your car is totaled. Or B), it is recovered in Independence or Leavenworth stripped down to nothing or C) found abandoned wherever it ran out of gas.

Then, you have to hope your insurance will give you anywhere close to what the car is worth. The car above that was almost stolen was a 2018 Volkswagen. Honestly, if I was in his shoes with a brand new car, not sure I wouldn’t have done the same thing without knowledge of this law.

Crazy how doing what he thought was right will likely land him in prison.

Craziness in KC

If you are an avid Chiefs fan like myself, this has been a really odd week when it came to changes.

Dee Ford. Gone.

Justin Houston. Gone.

Eric Berry. Gone.

Some of those, I mentioned, a few weeks ago the writing was on the wall. I didn’t see them keeping Houston since his production has went down and he was making more than $20 million. I thought they would keep Ford, based on how he has gotten better.

With Berry, I hoped they would keep him, but given he has played only a handful of games it would be hard to justify keeping him.

All three are gone, two were cut and Ford was shipped to San Francisco.

It is sad, on a fan level, to lose all three. There are already new players moving into the spots vacated by those moves, but surely the Chiefs are done trying to shore up a defense that needed some work.

On a personal level it is weird knowing training camp won’t feature those guys. My first year as the sports editor in St. Joseph was the season that Berry learned he had cancer.

I had taken vacation and was out of town for a few days when one of my part-timers then, Adam Burns, called me to ask me if I heard the news. He was at camp the day that the news broke and was able to cover it. I always liked talking to Berry. He was a good guy and he battled a lot, from numerous injuries to overcoming cancer. Being at Arrowhead when he played his first game, hearing the crowd roar when he made a tackle was great. During the postseason when they announced the starters and his name was the last one mentioned — well after the other in the secondary — it was special to see the elation and love the crowd showed him.

He was one of the best secondary players the Chiefs have ever had and to know he won’t suit up again is sad to me and quite a few people based on what I saw on social media.

With Houston, there is one thing he did that always stood out to me before and after he got his monster contract.

After each practice the players would sign autographs. Houston would go sign a few and then he would walk back to an area near the media tent. Outside of that was a foam dummy that was used in drills. Houston would hit the extended arms in various ways. The hand drills often got loud with the constant thuds, which were often picked up in the background of interviews. But he did it every single day. He did it before he got paid. He did it after. He wanted to be the best when it came to working his way through the blocking arms of an offensive lineman.


As I mentioned in my last column, I occasionally see things on social media that I want to take note of. Not necessarily that I agree or disagree with just things that made me think critically. Or sometimes just things I like.

  • Bridging the Gap Recycling opened a temporary Northland location on March 16 at Pleasant Valley Park in Kansas City. It will replace the Metro North Community Recycling Center that closed late last year.

  • The metro area lost a key facility in Kansas City when Two Rivers Behavioral Systems in southeast KC closed last month. The mental health facility had 105 beds for patients and 129 employees were laid off. The Kansas City Star reported that the location has $28 million in revenue, but had a net loss of $3.4 million.

  • The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame’s latest class included former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Carlos Carson, former Royals and Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan, Blue Springs football coach Kelly Donohoe and Joplin’s Alan Crockell, who was a hitting coach for the Yankees.

  • Former Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham will spend the next 90 days in jail for a marijuana charge in Springfield. For those that don’t recall, he was No. 1-ranked receiver in nation as a senior out of Hillcrest High School in Springfield and went to Missouri. He was OK, but had troubles with off the field stuff. He went to the NFL for a while but never could get it together.

  • Nick Sandman, the Covington Catholic (KY) High School student at the center of the viral video a few months ago from Washington D.C. is suing the Washington Post for $250 million in damages. I’m sure it will be years before there is any resolution, but I’d venture to guess he won’t get close to that.

  • Seems like each week there is another ‘box’ business going away. After Payless ShoeSource last month, Family Dollar and Victoria Secret both announced they will be downsizing as well. There, however, is hope for Sears to keep the door open. A federal bankruptcy court judge approved Sears chairman Edward Lampert’s plan to buy the retailer. His purchase will keep 425 Sears and Kmart stores open — too late here in Platte County though — and preserve about 45,000 jobs. There are a total of 687 Sears and/or Kmart stores left ­— 1,000 less than in January 2016. A few months ago, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge signed off on a request to pay out $25.3 million in bonuses to top executives.

  • I saw this comment the other day from a friend on Facebook in reference to a story about a bullying through social media story. She said, “Society is so absorbed in themselves we are losing the traits of empathy and compassion. We are immersed in a culture of disrespect.”