Vocabulary: Crime doesn’t pay!

Read the following text, paying extra attention to the words and phrases in bold. You are more likely to remember words if they are from the same lexical field and in context. You a listen to the text as well for convenience.


The number of crimes being committed seems to be on the rise. We can read about  pickpockets and shoplifters almost every day, but criminals are seldom satisfied with petty theft and robbery. They are becoming increasingly violent as well. Not so long ago there was a news item on TV about a man who had mugged a victim and then returned home to commit assault and battery on his own wife. Just last week I happened to be an eyewitness to a criminal offence myself. I saw an elderly man being held at knifepoint by a juvenile delinquent who seemed to be desperately in need of some cash. The same youngster then made an attempt at carjacking. A friend of mine told me that he had seen a hit-and-run the same day. The victim escaped with just a few cuts and bruises but the joyrider was not caught.  However, I feel that another friend of mine behaved very recklessly when he tried to play the vigilante by pursuing a yob who had vandalized a phone box one evening. Eventually my friend ended up being threatened at gunpoint himself! Luckily for him the culprit decided to flee the scene of the crime. But it is not only young and foolish teenagers who are caught breaking the law. Corporate crimes are committed by so-called white-collar criminals in ever-increasing numbers. Embezzlement and fraud are becoming more common and there are even cases of company owners who file for bankruptcy and then make off with the company funds. Not long ago a chief executive officer of a major insurance company thought he had got away with the perfect crime. He had masterminded a plan with his accomplices to take every cent from the company they worked for. They tried to frame one of their employees and say she was the guilty party. Luckily, justice was served and the whole gang got what they deserved as their crime was discovered and they were sentenced to prison. But the judicial system doesn’t treat all offenders equally and the CEO was only put on probation (rumour has it that the female judge was taken in by his charm and good looks) while the rest were soon released on parole. Shortly afterwards the greedy CEO struck again. He said that his wealthy wife, who happened to be thirty-two years older than him, had disappeared without a trace. However, when crime scene investigators eventually found her body, forensic evidence proved that the infamous CEO was involved in her murder. He protested his innocence, saying that he was only guilty of manslaughter and had acted in self-defence when his wife tried to attack him with a golf club. This time the judge, an eighty-year-old man, was impervious to the murderer’s charm and good looks, and he soon found himself behind bars on death row. Prison guards were amazed when he insisted on having a weight-watcher’s salad with extra-light dressing and a diet Coke as his last meal.