prior planning prevents piss poor performance

I saw this story last week about a guy in Portland, OR who tried to rob a gun store armed with a baseball bat and a knife. Needless to say, the robbery was cut short when the store’s manager – armed with a gun – interrupted him. The suspect was held at gunpoint until police arrived to arrest him.

Now this is a classic case of a guy who had the wrong tools for the job. But it’s also a case of failing to prepare. And you know what they – the ubiquitous “they” – say, “When you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Had this dude cased the store properly, he’d have known that the employees carried guns. In fact, I don’t recall ever being in a gun store where most, if not all, of the employees were armed.

Anyway, the whole failing to prepare/preparing to fail thing reminded me of a scene from the 1985 film Code of Silence. The film stars Chuck Norris and was directed by Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, Under Siege). The scene in question involves the attempted robbery of a bar frequented by cops. Look for the late, great Dennis Farina with a cast on his leg and a Chicago Cubs hat on his head.

the health food heist


Okay, pop quiz for all you criminal masterminds out there. You’re a fugitive with a felony warrant for your arrest in Oregon. You find yourself in a Walmart in Ada County, Idaho when you get the munchies. About $5 worth of junk food will satisfy your craving. You have $20 in your pocket and another $2000 in your car. What do you do?

That’s a tough question. But not if you’re Stephen Anthony Jacalone. If you were him, you’d know that the correct answer is to shoplift your snack. Which results in your promptly being caught. Then the police are called. They do a quick check for active warrants and , lo and behold, find you have a warrant in Oregon. Oops. Might as well waive extradition. No sense staying in Idaho, where you’re sure to be ridiculed every minute you’re there. The lengths people will go to to save a buck or two…

a short drive in a long car


Meet Tyler Bellick, of Schenectady. Tyler is not a limo driver, and he doesn’t play one on TV. But Tyler didn’t let that stand in his way last weekend.

It seems that during a night out in Saratoga Springs, NY, Tyler had a bit of a problem starting his own car. Apparently, the court-ordered interlock device installed on his own car got a notion that he’d had too much to drink, so it strongly hinted that he should find an alternate means of transportation. And that’s just what he did.

As luck would have it, someone had left a car sitting around with the keys still inside. So Tyler decided to take it for a spin. The car, by the way, was a limousine. And it was packed with ladies out on the town for a bachelorette party. Ladies who were not happy about the unscheduled departure. Or the drunk driver at the wheel.

Fortunately, the impromptu trip didn’t last long. Carla Rinaldi, a friend of the bachelorette, put an early end to Tyler’s joy ride. Springing into action like Lara Croft in Prada, Ms. Rinaldi jumped the divider, grabbed Tyler around the neck with one hand, and knocked the car out of gear with the other. When the car came to an abrupt halt, Tyler jumped out and hoofed it out of there. With a squad of pissed-off ladies in hot pursuit. He was quickly apprehended by security personnel at the Saratoga Casino (where the incident took place), who held him until police arrived.

Tyler Bellick was charged with felony driving while intoxicated, fourth-degree grand larceny, and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

don’t go there, mom!

A nineteen year old man in Pittsfield, MA has been sentenced to four months in jail for misdemeanor assault and battery. According to police, he “pushed his mother last December, grabbed her by the throat and knocked her to the ground, then disabled a phone she was trying to use to call for help.” Wow. And what, you ask, would cause a man to go all Friday Smackdown on the woman who gave birth to him? His mom, as it turns out, scolded him for eating a large plate of bacon that she was saving for breakfast. Apparently no one told this lady that bacon wasn’t just for breakfast anymore. And no one told sonny that you shouldn’t eat ALL the bacon. Just because you’re eating pig doesn’t mean you should be one.

an abnormal discharge

Meet Andrea Amanatides. If country jails awarded frequent flier miles, she’d be able to fly just about anywhere. But they don’t so her latest trip was to somewhere less than glamorous: the Albany County Jail. The trip was not without incident.

Inmate loses her stash on video

ALBANY — An inmate caused a bizarre scene at Albany County Correctional Facility Tuesday when a condom full of prescription drugs and heroin she was carrying inside her split open, spilling a cache of painkillers, anti-anxiety and sleeping pills onto the floor of a holding cell, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said.

Before she was to begin a six-month sentence for a probation violation, Andrea Amanatides, 38, filled a condom with 256 prescription pills — 90 pills of Lyrica, 37 Adderall pills, 50 Valiums, 43 Trazadones, 10 Ambiens, 26 Oxycontins — and four bags of heroin and put the condom in her vagina, Apple said.

As Amanatides waited in her holding cell, one of the pills fell out, Apple said. Amanatides then tried to “adjust herself,” Apple said, but the 255 other pills and heroin simultaneously fell to the floor.

The entire sequence was captured on video, Apple said.

Amanatides, of 245 Manning Blvd., was charged with five misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and felony promotion of prison contraband. She was arraigned in Colonie Town Court and sent back to county jail.

Four bags of heroin and 256 pills hidden inside her? That woman must have a really large… drug habit. Here’s a link to the video for your viewing pleasure.

I really wish the jail video had sound. I’d love to hear what she was saying. Her body language just screams, “These pills were already on the floor when I got here.” Fortunately, the staff at the jail wasn’t fooled by this clever ruse.

learning from the dumbassery of others

Today’s lesson is about theft. First off, you shouldn’t steal. That’s all you really need to know. But if you insist on stealing, it would be stupid to steal from the police. If you do steal from the police, it would be really stupid to take a picture of yourself, or have a friend take one of you, while you’re stealing. If you’ve managed to ignore all these common-sense rules, you might want to know that it would be really, really stupid to post said picture on Facebook. But that’s just what 20 year old Michael Baker did. It was, he claimed, all a big joke. The punchline, as it turns out, was his arrest. Now that’s funny.

the scoops are on their way!

A guy in Orange County, FL was arrested and charged with attempted murder after trying to evict his tenants… with a forklift.

APOPKA, Fla. – Deputies say a man tried to kill the occupants of a trailer by repeatedly driving a front-end loading forklift into it.

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, John Miller intentionally drove the forklift into the mobile home he owns on West Ponkan Road, knowing people were inside.

The incident took place around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The tenant told Local 6 that Miller was trying to evict her, and when she refused to leave, he got behind the wheel of the forklift and rammed into the home.

According to the Sheriff’s Office report, the woman pleaded with Miller to stop and told him someone else was inside, but he still proceeded to ram into the home a second time.


I think the lesson here is to avoid renting a trailer from a guy whose favorite movie is Soylent Green.

this day in crime history: october 1, 1910

On this date in 1910, a bomb was detonated in an alley next to the Los Angeles Times building in Los Angeles, CA.  The bomb, which was planted by labor union activists who were angry at the paper’s anti-union editorial policies, was set to go off when the building was empty.  A faulty timer resulted in an early detonation.  A faulty placement of the device–right over a gas line–resulted in a fire that ultimately destroyed the entire building, and the building next door.  In all, 21 people were killed.

The police investigation of the bombing quickly hit a dead, leading city officials to hire private investigator William J. Burns to track down the guilty parties.  Burns, who was already investigating other bombings believed to be union-related, incorporated the case into his ongoing investigation.  Based on information from spies that Burns had planted in the unions, as well as eyewitness testimony, Burns identified the guilty parties as brothers J.B. and J.J. McNamara, and Ortie McManigal, who were all labor union officials.  In April 1911, McManigal and J.B. McNamara were arrested in a hotel in Detroit.  They were found in possession of suitcases that contained blasting caps, dynamite, and alarm clocks.  After a grueling (and probably unconstitutional) interrogation, Burns got McManigal to agree to turn state’s evidence.  A warrant was obtained for the arrest of J.J. McNamara.  He was arrested several days later at an executive board meeting of the Iron Workers Union.

National labor leaders condemned the arrests as a frame job.  The union tried to hire famed defense attorney Clarence Darrow to defend the men.  Darrow initially declined due to his failing health, but was eventually convinced to take the case by labor organizer Samuel Gompers.

Darrow quickly realized that the police had a fair amount of evidence against the McNamaras, including the testimony of McManigal, who was not being charged in the case.  He eventually convinced the brothers to plead guilty in order to avoid death sentences.  J.B. McNamara was sentenced to life in prison.  J.J. McNamara got 15 years.  J.B. died in prison in March 1941.  Upon his release, J.J. went back to work for the Iron Workers Union as an organizer.  He died in Butte, MT, two months after his brother’s death.

Further reading:

Bombing of the Los Angeles Times

USC Library – The Bombing of the Los Angeles Times

Wikipedia – Los Angeles Times bombing

Wikipedia – William J. Burns