Least Successful Attempted Crime Spree

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I think for something to qualify as a “crime spree” at least one of the crimes in the alleged spree has to have been successful. Otherwise, you would just have a series of attempted crimes, and I seriously doubt that a string of failed attempts would give anyone a light-hearted “spree” feeling that a successful caper might well generate. That’s my theory, anyway.

Under that definition, this was not a crime spree.

Joe Lucero started off at 5:45 a.m. Sunday, August 7, in Salt Lake City, when he tried to rob two women at knife point in the parking lot of a convenience store (Plan A). But they got away (the NYT report did not say how). Unsatisfied, Lucero then tried to break into a nearby apartment building (Plan B), but could not get in.

Crossing the street, and still wielding his knife, Lucero forced two people out of a Jeep and drove off in it (Plan C). You might call that a partial success, but since he very quickly lost control of the vehicle and rolled it, I would call it a failure.

Lucero then tried a variant of Plan B by trying to break into several apartments (Plan D, although arguably only Plan B-1). He failed repeatedly, and during these attempts he left bloody and potentially identifiable handprints all over the place, the blood resulting from minor injuries suffered during the failure of Plan C.

Lucero was able to kick in the door of one apartment (Plan E), where, according to the occupant, Melva Hernandez, Lucero then paced up and down screaming, “Police! I have a gun!” Which, of course, he did not. For some reason, Lucero broke the woman’s coffee table and began pulling the sheets off her bed (Plan F, maybe). Hernandez said she offered him money, but he asked for her 18-month-old baby instead (Plan G). He didn’t get it.

Hearing police cars approaching, Lucero then completed his spree attempt by leaping out a window (Plan H), where he was immediately arrested. At the hospital where he was taken to be treated for his Plan D injuries, Lucero “became agitated” (Plan I), but that only got him sedated. So, I suppose we could quibble about the fleeting “successes” of Lucero Plans C and E, but I would say the man was 0-9 in a very short space of time. The Times may call that a “crime spree,” but I don’t.

New York Times