And the Dumbest Criminal of the Week Goes to…


Let’s forget George Bush for a minute and enjoy a nice human interest story from Montana… about a guy who thought it was a good idea to rob a bar full of construction workers at happy hour… seriously. What do you think happened? Whatever you just thought this is even funnier!

From the March 3, 2007, Bozeman Daily Chronicle:

Suspects Charged With Casino Robbery, Theft
By TED SULLIVAN Chronicle Staff Writer

After a man armed with a shotgun robbed a Four Corners casino clerk of $336, bar patrons tackled him, wrapped his hands in duct tape and forced him to apologize.

Accused robber Jesse Lee Hopkins, 22, of Bozeman, and the alleged getaway driver Rachel Marie Caward, 29, of Gallatin Gateway, were held by bar patrons at Grand Slam Casino until sheriff’s deputies arrived and arrested them, according to court records.

The two are also accused of stealing the shotgun used in the attempted robbery from Yellowstone Gateway Sports and causing a rear-end collision earlier that night, according to court records.

Hopkins and Caward were scheduled to appear in Gallatin County Justice Court Friday morning, although they were “too high” and instead will make their initial appearances on Monday, Judge G.L. Smith said.

Hopkins has been charged with felony robbery and theft, a misdemeanor. Caward has been charged with felony robbery by accountability and theft, a misdemeanor.

On Thursday at about 5 p.m., Hopkins and Caward went into Yellowstone Gateway Sports and looked at several handguns, according to court records.

When the clerk walked away, Hopkins allegedly fled the store with a Benelli 12-gauge shotgun, worth $439. The clerk chased him, but Hopkins got away in a van driven by Caward.

A little more than an hour later, a man told deputies he was rear-ended at the Interstate 90 interchange in Belgrade by a van. The description of the van matched the one Hopkins and Caward were seen in.

Fifteen minutes later, the couple allegedly attempted to rob the casino.

Hopkins, carrying the shotgun, wearing a black ski mask and latex gloves, walked up to the clerk and said, “Give me all your money,” according to court records.

The clerk asked whether he was serious.

Hopkins then allegedly pumped the shotgun and pointed it at her face. The clerk gave him $336 from her apron.

But before Hopkins could get out of the casino, Tim Kleppen tackled him.

Other patrons helped carry Hopkins outside, where they wrapped his hands in duct tape and forced him to apologize to the clerk.

Meanwhile, Caward, who was waiting outside in the van, got out of the vehicle and began yelling at the patrons to leave Hopkins alone or she was going to sue them. She yelled at the bar patrons and called them names.

Deputies arrived soon after, arrested Hopkins and Caward and took them to jail.

If convicted, they face up to 40 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.


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