Dusk, June 29th. Two workers are the only people left at Dunkin Donuts, chucking stale crullers in the garbage and dumping what’s left of the burnt coffee out. They’re talking about how the new guy called off yet again and when they can reasonably fire him. They’re talking about the guy with corn kernels for teeth and how his breath smelled like liquefied squirrel. Or maybe they hate each other and are not talking at all because one of them is a manager who barks orders just to flex managerial power or one of them smokes cigarettes for the sole purpose of getting multiple breaks.
On this Monday, Main Street in Plymouth, Pennsylvania is quiet. Its residents either lock their doors when the sun sets or de-soberize at one of the many bars that line the main drag. A twenty-something sporting an Under Armour hoodie throws a bandana across his face, and checks his hip to make sure he didn’t leave his handgun at his parents’ house.
I have never robbed a store, but I think I understand crime enough to lay down a list of don’ts. Don’t numero uno:
Don’t Rob From Your Hometown
Francis Eyerman, the Under Armoured mastermind, walks into Dunkin Donuts. The weather has been cooler than it should be, so a hoodie and long pants in mid-summer was likely the only stroke of genius in this plan. Frank reveals his weapon, points the gun at the cashier’s face, and probably says something like “Open the register and give me all the fucking money.” He is probably shouting because the bandana muffles his commands. The cashier with a gun in her face close enough that she wouldn’t hear the bang, laughs. Is she laughing because her mind cannot process the thought of creeping death? Is she laughing at the karmic injustice of life? Another minimum wage worker gunned down over chump change. Dunkin Donuts is insured and will get their money back. Life goes on. C’est La Vie. The short answer is no, and that brings me to my second Don’t when committing a robbery.
Don’t Rob A Place Where The People Know You
Don’t Rob A Place You Frequent
The counter-woman recognizes the demanding voice. To her, it is so comical that she probably expects a camera crew to pop out. But when Frank becomes more demanding, she realizes that this is the real thing. He pops the register and lets Frank go to town on it. Another worker hears the commotion and comes out from the back. He is prompted to, in not so many words, “empty the fucking safe.” The safe is fucking emptied and Frank steals off into the night. Mission Accomplished, if this was a list of How To Rob A Place.
Two weeks later, local authorities have picked up the accomplices to the robbery. Three men (all kids I went to high school with, but that is irrelevant) are charged with criminal conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
Don’t Take More Than You Need
This Dunkin Donuts robbery apparently required many roles in order to succeed. While Frank was busy doing the grunt work of actually robbing the place, a man named Matt Palchanis was assigned to lookout in the back of the store. While this happened, two men, Jonathan Burdulis and Mark Jones, were parked a few streets down keeping the getaway car hot so the other two could dive in and drive off into the backwoods of neighboring Larksville. Why? What would the lookout(Palchanis) have done if someone came strolling up in the mood for an Iced Latte and a Spiced Chocolate Dulce De Leche? Would he have popped his head in and said “hey Frank, someone is coming.?” Would he have told the guy going to the store to leave? Why did the getaway car need a passenger? In all, they came away with $1,095. I imagine the accomplises got 200 bucks at most. Their bails are set at $100,000.
What Have I Learned?
If you’re going to rob a store, you’re better off doing it alone. You should not rob a place that you frequent or a place where people know you, so you should take a day and go out of town. You also shouldn’t use a handgun because it will add unnecessary years to your inevitable conviction. You should also weigh the risk and rewards. Is jail time worth $1,000? Probably not so you should set your goals high and go after a bank or hack a website for credit card numbers. Always set your goals high. Good luck!