Sunday, August 19, 2012
Metro columnist Dan Casey: Crooks cough up cutout copped from Roanoke 7-Eleven
- Precinct problems need to be fixed
- Commerce Park news is greeted with yawn, sigh
- Journalist recovering remarkably from crash
Read Dan's blog
Thursday's column recounted the mysterious cardboard cutout-napping of "The Most Interesting Man in the World" from the 7-Eleven on Crystal Spring Avenue in South Roanoke.
Today, I'm happy to report that the life-size cutout is safely in the hands of the Roanoke Police Department, and headed for an auction that will help raise money for a good cause.
The embarrassed thief returned it Friday morning and promised a future letter of apology and a donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
The theft happened Aug. 10 about 9:30 p.m. and it was truly stupid. The thief and his female accomplice pulled it off via a seemingly slick diversion of the store's clerk, who turned her back to help the accomplice find limes to go with the thief's four-pack of Pabst in cans.
Limes with canned Pabst — who mixes those? But that was merely the first indication that this dastardly duo was about three jacks short of a full house, if you catch my drift.
The other thing they didn't count on was an elaborate store security system that captured them and their moves and their faces in full, eight-video-camera glory.
The owners of the franchise, Rob and Susan Lipes, were raffling off the cardboard cutout as a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
During July and August, they'd sold about $300 worth of $1 tickets to customers who wanted the thing, go figure.
They were despairing after it disappeared. Because they no longer had a prize to offer, they worried that they'd have to call each raffle ticket buyer and offer them their money back.
Valley Distributing solved that problem by coming up with a replacement cutout and delivering it to the store Wednesday. And then Friday morning, Susan Lipes talked with the Roanoke police detective assigned to the case. (I could not reach him for comment Friday afternoon.)
The thief had returned the cutout to the cops, the detective informed her.
One way the case could proceed, the detective told her, is the Lipeses could press charges, in which case the cutout would be held as evidence, and the case would make its way through the courts. There was a chance that in a couple of months or so the prosecution would happen, but maybe the charges would get dropped.
This was not a major crime, after all, that merited bringing the full weight of justice system's wheels to bear.
The Lipeses chose a second option: allow the thief to return the cutout to the cops, along with a $25 check to the Lipeses (that's the cutout's value). The guy also promised to make the future donation to MDA and write the letter of apology.
And then there would be no charges and everybody would forget about the whole thing — except the thief would be banned in the future from the Crystal Spring and Grandin Road stores the Lipeses own. City police would bring the original cutout back Monday morning.
The Lipeses chose the latter.
That way, they can raffle off one of the cutouts for Friday's drawing and donate the second to the MDA silent auction Saturday in Jackson Park.
Who knows, "The Most Interesting Man in the World" could raise double the money for the charity that way.
Andrea Murray, the 7-Eleven clerk whose attention was diverted when the thief stole the cutout, had called the thief a loudmouth and a braggart because he'd said to some kids in the store that night, "Isn't my girlfriend the best-looking girl you've ever seen?"
Now the girlfriend can run around town, bragging, "Isn't my boyfriend the most embarrassed-looking jerk you've ever seen?"
She's no prize, either, though.
Limes with canned Pabst? Pshaw.