“It was wrong on a number of levels,” Bellini added. “It was certainly wrong in its irresponsibility. And it was illegal. It was like a person breaking into your basement or your car at night and sleeping there … [We] certainly feel violated.”
Mall security and the police say that the artists got into the storage room by manipulating the latch on the locking mechanism on the door. But Townsend insists that nobody broke in.
“I’m no lock-picker,” he said. The artists got into the storage room because the door was left unlocked and often even ajar, he said.
Police Maj. Stephen Campbell acknowledged that he and other police detectives were so intrigued by word of the apartment that they went over to see it for themselves.
“I was surprised at what he was able to accomplish,” the major said of Townsend. “But what he did was clearly criminal. That mall is private property.”
Well, no. It was illegal, not criminal. That's a distinction all of us should be ready to make, because we may need to make it on our own behalf.
Keep in mind, Townsend and his merry band didn't break in to mug senior citizens or rape albinos. They were building the adult equivalent of a kid's tree fort. So fine them, ban them, whatever. But if you've seen violation, you know this isn't it.
Man, I've probably walked past this place on the way from Hoyt's Cinema. How cool is that?