Man Robs Shoe Store, Serves 15 Years, Robs It Again

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He who does not learn from history is doomed to repeatedly rob the same shoe store.

    —Carlos Santana

Or something like that.

Christopher Miller had 15 years in prison to think about his crime, but not only did that fail to rehabilitate him, the crime didn’t go any better the second time around. The New Jersey Star-Ledger reports (thanks, Elisa) that just one day after being released from prison for robbing a shoe store in the town of Toms River, Miller returned to the very same shoe store and robbed it again.

When he robbed it in 1999, he was armed with a box cutter and managed to get away (briefly) with an “undetermined amount of cash.” This time, he had no weapon at all, and managed to get away with just $389 and two cellphones. The employees let him take the cash drawer but refused to turn over their car keys, so Miller fled on foot. He got maybe a quarter-mile before police apprehended him, according to the report. He’s currently residing at the Ocean County jail, having enjoyed about 24 hours of freedom.

Authorities said they were trying to figure out what Miller’s connection is to the Toms River area, or at least what his current connection is, if any. Miller lived in Toms River at the time of a previous theft conviction in 1997 (I assume this wasn’t the same shoe store, or they’d probably have mentioned that), so maybe that’s all there is to it. But it’s not like the prison he just got out of was right across the street from the Stride Rite. The prison is in southern New Jersey about a two-hour drive from Toms River, and there are lots of places to rob along the way or in the neighborhood once you get there. Miller obviously made a deliberate decision to go back to the scene of the crime, but why he might have done that in order to knock over a shoe store is a complete mystery.

If he was after revenge, he didn’t get it.