Robbery of Retired Sheriff Goes Very Wrong
P O R T S T. L U C I E, Fla. — Travis Suomi picked the wrong 78-year-old to mess with, police say. Suomi knocked on the door of former Port St. Lucie Sheriff C.L. Norvell early last Wednesday morning, at around 1:30 a.m. He said his car had broken down and asked to use the phone. Norvell, who left law enforcement 18 years ago, gave him his cordless phone to use, but refused to let him in the house.
Suomi used the phone and returned it, and then asked again to come inside, this time to use the bathroom. When Norvell refused to let him in, the man said he was robbing the sheriff and tried to throw a coat over his head, police said.
But he quickly found he was in over his head.
"The sheriff pulled a .38 out of his bath robe and said, 'It's best you get out of here,'" said Det. Tom Hickox. "The guy took off running of course."
After the man ran off, Norvell called 911 — a system he had helped establish in the county years ago — and waited for police to arrive.
Suomi's troubles didn't end there, Hickox says.
The 18-year-old had in fact used Norvell's phone, which happened to have Caller ID.
"The guy was stupid enough to call his own house," said Hickox. "He talked to his mother, whom he lives with."
Suomi was arrested later that night, and charged with home invasion, a first-degree felony.
As for Norvell, Hickox says that 18 years off the force apparently hadn't slowed him down.
"He was very calm through the whole incident," Hickox said. "He knows somebody shouldn't come to your door at one o'clock in the morning."
Suspect Breaks Gun, Gets Asthma, Locks Keys in Getaway Car M E S A, Ariz. — Even Michael Anthone Jacobs admits he's no master thief. "I'm not cut out to be a criminal," Jacobs said to reporters last week after his arrest on robbery charges. "For everybody that knows me, I'm just a nice, cool guy."
Jacobs allegedly managed to grab some cash in the first of three robbery tries, but police say it all went downhill from there.
In one heist attempt earlier this month, Jacobs dropped and broke his fake gun at a Walgreens' drugstore, said Det. Tim Gaffney.
"He stopped, picked up the pieces, and ran out," said Gaffney.
The next day, Jacobs and an accomplice walked into an Albertson's supermarket, and went up to the register with three candy bars, Gaffney said. Jacobs handed the cashier a $20 bill to pay for the snacks, and when she opened the register, he allegedly sprayed her with pepper spray.
But the woman slammed slammed the register shut before he could reach in and grab any money, Gaffney said. And things only got worse for the hapless robber.
"Unfortunately he is asthmatic, and had an asthma attack," Gaffney said. As Jacobs stopped to use his inhaler, his accomplice ran off. Jacobs then ran to his rented getaway car, only to find he had locked the keys inside, Gaffney added.
He broke the window with a rock, and drove off, but his problems still weren't over.
"He forgot to turn on his lights," said Gaffney.
He drove past a police cruiser, got pulled over and arrested.
The 18-year-old was booked for one count of armed robbery and two counts of aggravated robbery.
He told police he'd committed the crimes because he had lost his job and had a child to support.
"Confusion, anger and hunger just collided with me and made me go on this spree," he told the Arizona Republic.
Cops: Man Busted Stealing Bail Money
L O C K H A V E N, Pa. — Donald Guthrie wanted to stay out of jail, police say, so he robbed a bank. Guthrie was charged with robbing a coin-operated laundry, and police say he apparently held up the M&T bank outside Harrisburg, Pa., to pay his bail bondsman.
A friend of Guthrie's told police that he had written a post-dated check to the bondsman, and robbed the bank to cover it.
Guthrie allegedly entered the bank with a gun on Thursday morning and took roughly $9,000 in cash.
He apparently crashed his car while fleeing the scene, however, and was later identified by a driver who stopped to help him. According to the Associated Press, police also heard from a roommate of Guthrie's, who reported seeing him burn a ski mask, jacket, shirt and shoes.
Police say they found the stolen money in Guthrie's home, and charged him with felony armed robbery, among other crimes.
He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Crime Blotter, a weekly feature of ABCNEWS.com, is compiled by Oliver Libaw.
ABC affiliate KMGH in Denver contributed to this report.