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Doug  Wyllie

Doug Wyllie

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).
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Tricks and Treats

Some bad guys have some really innovative and inventive disguises, but not these guys.

October 31, 2007  |  by - Also by this author

All Hallow's Eve. The time of year when kids get to dress up as their favorite monsters, superheroes, pirates, and princesses before going out to indulge in such seasonably sanctioned mischief as trick or treating.

But trick or treating isn't limited to kiddies these days, and here are some of the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to those who’ve adopted a variety of makeshift costumes with which to camouflage themselves, if not their motives.

Tree Man
One bad apple decided to go out on a limb and duct tape tree branches about his face and body before robbing a bank. Sounds like he'd been hitting the green leafy substance as much as it'd been hitting him.

Duct Tape Guy
Dispensing with the fig leaves, this robber stuck with duct tape—enveloping himself with it before pulling off a robbery. Unfortunately, he was so wrapped up in the stuff that he neglected to refrain from leaving incriminating fingerprints on discarded pieces of the tape. (Worse still, he was up against someone who had his own duct tape—wrapped around a wooden club that sent the robber hauling ass.)

Mop Guy
Yeah, he simply threw a mop over his head while pulling a stick up. (Maybe he commandeered the mop after cleaning up after tree man.)

The Clown
When it comes to clowning around, the guy who dressed up like Bozo before robbing a Portland bank. This makes him a real bozo.

Variable Man
This serial bank robber displayed some ingenuity and versatility in robbing several Honolulu banks. His various masquerades included the "flamboyant and unusual" (a bleach blond wig, purple ski gloves, an orange fleece coat, dark sunglasses and a bandana covering his face), the macho (construction worker), and—in a tribute to the classical question of “Who Watches the Watchmen?”—security guard. Had he been smart, he might've worn gloves so as to prevent leaving unique print identifiers that revealed him to be Michael Rosario Sr., 40.

Milk Crate Man
Yep. That's what had Pelham (Ga.) authorities chuckling when they reviewed surveillance video of a convenience store robbery wherein the suspect's headwear was a Dairy Queen carrier. Cops were going to "box" him in, but he beat them to it.

Trash Bag Guy
In November, a jury in Columbia (Mo.) convicted Elmer Tatum, 35, of robbery, based in part on the disguise he used. A witness said the robber wore a large black garbage bag over his face and torso with a unique identifier: It had only one hole cut out for his right arm. Turns out Tatum's left arm had been amputated years before. Prescient choice in using the trash bag, though. Garbage in, garbage out...

Bandage Boy
After committing upwards of forty robberies in the Tampa Bay area, the two perps were caught and convicted due in part to the bandage disguise one of them wore to conceal a distinctive mole, thereby calling attention to it.

Drag Queen
This faux femme went a little heavy on the makeup, which came back to bite him when he ran face first into a glass door during a robbery, thereby ensuring his subsequent identification via lip-print.

Herr Burlap
Forgetting to cut open eye slits in his mask led this German robber to bump into bank customers on his way to the teller, whereupon he pulled out a plastic knife and a toy pistol. Frustrated with this robbery by Braille, the man finally stripped the burlap from his face, thereby affording security cameras an unobstructed view of his sweaty face as he demanded money. Now he has even more to sweat. Herr Burlap is doing a four year hitch—in prison.

Whipped Cream Man
Louisiana. Home to the King Fish, the crawfish, and a few brain-dead guppies. Among the latter is one incongruously named Louis Albright. An old school idea man, Mister Not-So-Bright first came up with the idea of robbing a local bank. On a roll, Louis then decided to marinate himself with whipped cream, covering his entire head in the stuff. Well, as they say, when you're hot, you're hot. And our idea man was burning up—physically, too—so that by the time he made his robbery debut at the teller's window and made his fiduciary demands, his creamy disguise was melting and running down his face and torso. There was a trade-off of sorts: While the cream no longer obscured his visage, it did compromise Louis's ability to keep track of the teller as she pushed the silent alarm. Louis looked a lot like the Incredible Melting Man when police arrived.

So, there you have the Cream of the Crop. Keep these winners in mind as you make your way around this Halloween, and remember to and keep an eye out for ghouls, goblins, and third-strike offenders—Oh, my!

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