Hypothetically, if I were to commit an act of larceny, I might snatch a plasma-screen TV or an expensive kitchen appliance. A classy string of pearls, perhaps. I’d probably steer clear of, say, cherished Vietnam War memorabilia—but then, what do I know? I’m no master thief, and I have no way of understanding the unique demands of a life of crime. That’s why I’m so confused by the actions of one North Carolina burglar who allegedly stole a patriarch’s Purple Heart medal and traded it for a bottle of MTN DEW Code Red.
North Carolina news station WSOC reports that Erica Laws, the daughter of deceased Vietnam vet Daniel Wayne Laws, kept her father’s two Purple Hearts, along with several other medals, next to his ashes at the family home. Her father, who died in 2016, completed two tours of duty in the war and rose to the rank of staff sergeant. Unfortunately, one swindler snuck into the home and snatched the medals and the Purple Hearts. The thief also made off with a TV and a Kawasaki Bayou Four-Wheeler. (Now we’re talking!)
The burglar was caught on surveillance camera leaving the property; however, police didn’t get their first lead until he reportedly traded one of the Purple Heart medals for a MTN DEW Code Red. There’s no word on why or how the gentleman initiated the trade; however, I’d imagine it went something like this:
THIEF: Hello, my good man. Can I please have that MTN DEW Code Red? It looks delicious, and red is my favorite color.
RANDOM GUY: Of course, but I must ask you for something in return. What might you have on offer?
THIEF: Would this gleaming purple pendant be of interest to you?
RANDOM GUY: Sounds like a fair trade. It’s been a pleasure doing business with you. Goodbye!
The most recent recipient of the Purple Heart then alerted authorities after seeing the story about the missing Purple Heart on television. Now, local police are looking for the four-wheeler in hopes that it could lead them to the thief, as well as the rest of the stolen medals. This definitely seems like “world’s dumbest criminals” territory, but hey: when the DEW calls, you gotta answer.