Last summer I was listening to podcast about Russian spies, and on one very special episode there was an anonymous guest who had worked for the CIA since the end of the Cold War. Along with the tips he shared on how to remain visually anonymous (dress plainly and don’t be too physically attractive) and conversationally anonymous (all spies say they’re in IT, because no one ever wants to ask follow-up questions), he also provided an insightful tip on how to get away with a robbery: wear a startling accessory, like a gaudy pair of eyeglasses or a gold tooth, because when someone has a gun in their face, the only thing they’ll be able to remember when questioned by police is that garish—and disposable—detail. It was a factoid I thought was utterly ingenious, and tucked into my mental back pocket in case one day I wanted to rob a liquor store or steal the Declaration of Independence. But now, I’m beginning to doubt that strategy, or at least considering not using it anywhere in the proximity of Louisa, Virginia, as its local police department was able to apprehend a man less than two weeks after he allegedly stuck his head into a watermelon in order to rob a convenience store.
According to CNN, the suspect and an accomplice drove to a Sheetz on May 5 in a stolen pickup truck, where they held up the cashier while wearing hollowed-out watermelons with holes cut out for their eyes. On Friday, May 15, the 20-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with wearing a mask in public while committing larceny, petit larceny of alcohol, and underage drinking. The second suspect is still at large, so if you’re out and about, keep your eyes, shall we say, peeled.
“This is definitely not something you see very often in Louisa,” the police chief told CNN. “We’re a really nice, quiet town, with a lot of hardworking people and something like this is pretty unusual.”