Saturday, August 25, 2012

Weird Crime: Everyone needs a little help sometimes; even robbers

(photo @

Oxford, England

On March 2, 2012, 28-year-old James Allan decided to rob Martin's, a local newsagent (the English equivalent of an American newsstand). Besides the fact that stealing is wrong, there were a couple of serious issues with James' decision that probably should have been addressed during the planning stages of the crime:

1. James was a regular customer at the store.
2. He had attempted to rob it just 10 days prior.

Still, James was undeterred. He marched into Martin's wearing a balaclava (ski mask), pointed a toy gun at the cashier, and took £134.98 (approximately $213.81) from the till. He then attempted to exit the shop, but was thwarted by the fact that he could not push the door open...

...when it was supposed to be pulled.

James then whipped off his mask (in full view of the surveillance cameras) in frustration and kicked the door, which shattered the glass and sent him careening backwards while a display case of drink bottles fell on top of him.

Embedded below is a video from the store's security cameras. You can tell that the shop manager, Angela Croke, had clearly gone from feeling fear to pity as she actually helps the bumbling crook leave the store.

James was found three hours later by the police. After being put into the squad car, he began crying (probably out of a mixture of guilt and shame) and asked if everyone at the store he had just robbed was alright.

It was later revealed that James had developed a severe drug addiction and had resorted to crime in order to pay off debts to his dealers. He has begun serving a three year prison sentence by getting clean and taking steps to get his life back together.

Let's hope when James gets out that he isn't 
immediately presented with a revolving door

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