True Crime Tuesday: Think Different Edition

Passport To Peril - Robert B. Parker - Pulp Cover - Car Chasing Woman

Variety is what keeps me coming back to the true crime well. At this point I know all too well the breadth and depth of criminal behaviour, but the unexpected twists keep it interesting.

For example: You’re familiar with the increasingly-hard-to-manage tactic of chaining an ATM to a truck and ripping it from the wall for the cash inside? Or the more old fashion “brick through the window and loot” technique?

As reports, some St. Louis thieves have their own approach:

St. Louis Metropolitan Police rushed to a National Rent-to-Own store in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis City after a smash-and-grab burglary early Friday morning.

So far SSDD, right? But:

Police said a witness called 911 after a gray or silver Dodge Ram pickup truck back[ed] into the rear of the store. That was at 4:11 a.m. Friday. Investigators said several flat-screen televisions were taken. The suspects may have left some of their loot behind. A flat-screen with “National Rent-to-Own” written on the back was lying near the scene on Sarah Avenue and McPherson Avenue.

To be clear, they did not bump into the store gently then somehow make off with the goods.

Rent to own damaged

So what evidence do we have to go on after this wall busting caper?

Police are looking for a gray or silver Dodge Ram pickup truck with heavy rear-end damage.

As I’m assuming the cops would first check for reports of missing vehicles, I’m going to suggest that the criminals start their next at-most-several-thousand-dollar crime spree by commandeering a vehicle, if only to save on repair costs.

Ten Detective Aces - Feburary 1943 - Pulp Cover - Taxi Car Fight

Fine – but what could possibly make a random act of violence anything new?

Well, here’s what the Phoenix News Times has to say:

The two started arguing, and Houston started to come down the stairs. The man who was walking with his dog retreated to his apartment, but Houston started shooting at the victim just as he reached his door, police say.

Now, this sounds like every “argument gets heated” shooting story you may have heard – but how did it begin?

A 41-year-old man was walking his dog at the apartment complex, near 32nd Street and Thomas Road, around 10 p.m. Tuesday when Houston vomited on the dog from a second-story balcony, police say.

From the second story balcony! Houston (who clearly had a problem) must have practiced his skills regularly. More so, at least, than his shooting:

As the victim was shot, he fell into his apartment, and Houston kept firing, striking two children — a 14-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.

The children were hospitalized, but their injuries aren’t life-threatening, and they have since been released.

The 41-year-old man underwent surgery and was in critical condition Wednesday. His condition has since been upgraded to stable.

Now, clearly this wouldn’t be nearly as funny if all three hadn’t survived, but imagine the “What I Did This Summer” essay that nine-year-old will write when he returns to school: “This guy vomited on my dog, then the real trouble started…”
The Hound of the Baskervilles -  Oldcastle Books Pulp Cover