So after some errands downtown, I sit down at a Blenz café with a mocha (side note to self: Don't get mochas at Blenz) and some papers I must read. It's not very busy, but the small tables are taken, so I sit at a table for four; my back is to the window, and I'm in the right-hand chair. Left of my table is a couch (back to me) facing another couch across a table. On these couches are three kids in their late teens.
In walk four police officers (whom I had previously noticed walking up and down the street, doing generally unintimidating things like chatting amongst themselves and saying "Hey, how's it going?" to the more-or-less-resident homeless people on the street corners) and go up to these kids, and with an attitude. I try to focus on my paper, but it's hard. I'm curious by nature, and it was a situation like none I've ever witnessed. I overhear things like "Weren't you arrested just last week? Across the bridge?" and "Sure you don't have ID". One of the kids gets handcuffed and taken outside (temporarily) for further questioning.
At some point in the middle of this, another man walks in. I have never in my life seen a more villainous-looking individual. Not dirty in the sense that homeless people are often dirty (which may be an innocent lack of access to laundry facilities or whatnot), but a vague air of dinginess. He has an angry red scar along his jaw, which with a total lack of expertise and experience I would nevertheless hazard to guess was caused by a knife. He walks in (without ordering anything), comes straight over to me, indicates the chair on my left (which, if you've been reading this with spatial awareness mode activated, was right next to the near couch), and asks if it's taken. I tell him, with unthinking honesty, that it is not. He proceeds to sit down, ostentatiously reading. Given that his "reading" consists of a single sheet (at a glance, it seems to be a list of emergency services in Vancouver), I don't believe this is his true business. This may be influenced by the fact that he mainly seems preoccupied with watching the cops go through the kids' pockets and backpacks out of the corner of his eye.
Whether he is their dealer or their fence, I don't know.
I don't know how the whole thing ended. However, I feel very strongly that the cops were probably well justified in acting suspicious of these apparent delinquents. After a series of "You say you just found this bag, suuure"-like comments, the bag in question was emptied, and items like a few pairs of pliers and a pair of bolt cutters ended up on the floor.
At this point, being rather uncomfortable with my company and having finished my coffee, I departed and took my reading elsewhere. But it was an interesting coffee break.