Tag: theft

True Crime Tuesday: The Pettiest of Theft

Scratch a Thief
Today, for True Crime Tuesday, we present a trio of inappropriate appropriations.

Before we begin, however: I’d just like to say that spending quality time with your children is important, but, still, look into daycare if you’ve chosen a life of crime.

From SFWeekly.com:

Marcy Keelin went to the Safeway store with her 10-year-old daughter about 5 p.m. on Wednesday. The two loaded up on food that they had no plans on paying for.

Keelin reportedly told her daughter to wait inside the store, near the exit doors, while she got their car. The girl’s job was to push the cart out of the store as soon as she saw her mom pulling up.

Obviously, there was no backup plan. Store officials busted the girl as she walked out the store with the groceries in tow. Mom saw this unfold, and so she did what any terrible mother would do — she drove away, leaving the kid to clean up her mess.

This may count as poor parenting, , and rather stupid, but it still has that whiff of sweaty desperation – especially evident when food is the item being stolen – that brings some sympathy for the perpetrator.

There is no such saving grace for William Keltner.

How bad was Keltner’s plan? So bad it apparently required a discussion couched in South Park-ese.

From HoustonPress.com:

According to KTXS, Keltner’s alleged plan was as follows.

1. Take a TV worth $228 and put it in a cart.
2. Take off the TV’s real barcode and replace it with one valued at $1.17 and take it through a self-checkout line.
3. ????
4. Profit!

Now, the first two items had their comedy, but I think this last article is an idea that has legs.

From Newser.com:

For reasons unknown, a cleaning lady in Sweden allegedly stole a train around 3am morning and promptly crashed it into a home in an upscale Stockholm suburb. The twentysomething woman managed to board and start the unoccupied train at a station, and a rep for the company that operates the line says an investigation is under way into how, exactly, such a thing could happen. After reaching the last stop on the line, the train went off the tracks and into a kitchen.

Though it caused extensive damage to the home, no one inside was injured. But The Local reports that a woman, presumably the driver, was trapped in the wreckage for two hours. The driver is now in the hospital with serious injuries; she’s also facing charges of public devastation. As of this afternoon, the train was still inside the house as emergency crews determined the safest way to remove it.

Imagine, if you will, a revival of I Love Lucy by way of Breaking Bad.

Instead of a housewife falling into random misadventures, it’s a modern-day working gal falling into an occasional meth-based stupor. Ricky’s character could be changed into the overworked social worker who is constantly trying to keep her out of trouble. This, the pilot episode, would clearly end with her being ordered to clean the house she’d demolished – and right after quitting her horrible maid job!

Oh, Lucy.

Still, would today’s audiences believe she could steal a train and accidentally run it into someone’s house? Probably not.
The Avenger, Nov. 1939

True Crime Tuesday: Puppy Love Edition

Weird Tales, September 1942
Given the news currently dominating the media, I thought it would be a nice change of pace for today’s TCT to take a less-violent stance.

First up we have Michael Williams, a man who will never be considered a criminal mastermind, but who at least maintains a certain sort of persistence.

(The following quotes are all from CityPages.com.)

According to Otter Tail County Court records, Michael Wayne Williams, 20, broke into a trailer home, allegedly with the help of two others, and stole a 32-inch Vizio TV, video games and an economy size pack of Hot Pockets May 28.

The stolen items were left in a storage unit overnight before Williams and one other person drove to Pawn America in Fargo and sold the TV for $125.

How was this hungry Moriarty caught?

Police cracked the case after Williams failed to dispose of incriminating snack-food wrappers.

Yet, his life of crime was not behind him. What could possibly bring him back into the game? Love.

Puppy love.

A man called Fergus Falls police around 2:45 p.m., reporting that he observed Michael Wayne Williams break into his home […] Williams allegedly kicked in a door and took a puppy from the residence.

Williams was located by police at a relative’s home. The puppy was recovered[.]

Unfortunately, Michael isn’t the only dog fancier in the news these days, as proven by this article from SeattleWeekly.com

By the sound of it, Douglas Spink, a man who once made a fortune selling fitness catalogues to gyms, didn’t think he’d have to worry about animal cruelty charges in Whatcom County.

This, despite the fact law enforcement there had collected piles of evidence to suggest he operated a bizarre bestiality farm out of Sumas, Wash, and has already convicted and deported one man because of it.

As Caleb Hutton of the Bellingham Herald detailed, “four stallions, seven large-breed male dogs and a cage full of 13 mice, each coated in a lubricant” were seized from Spink’s home[.]


The charges seek to ban Spink from owning animals for life.

Ranch Romances, 1936

Treasure Hunters


This isn’t the newest version of this gold buyer’s commercial, but it’s all I could find on youtube.

What I wanted to discuss was item #3 on their list, “private, confidential meetings,” as it’s actually the final selling point in the newest iteration of their pitch.

While they attempt to class it up a bit by having a woman in a suit play the customer, it seems to me that if you’re going to a gold buyer for a “private, confidential meeting”, it’s likely less a case of “I don’t want to be seen selling over the counter with the rest of the riffraff”, and more a case of: “I’ve stolen this from my ailing grandmother, and want to know if you’ll buy it without my having to risk a call to the police”. Gold