This past week, three people were sentenced to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of an armed robbery and aggravated assault that occurred last July in Sandy Springs. This was a good example of bad planning that left the crime destined to fail.
Whether you’re planning a vacation, a home project or an armed robbery, the key is to plan.
These guys didn’t.
The robbery was conceived the night before it took place. The victim was at a club and met a woman. He thought he would impress her by showing off the jewelry and chains that he wore. She took notice and thought all that bling would look better on her so she made arrangements to meet the guy the next day.
He was thinking one thing while she was thinking robbery.
She got together with some friends and they planned out the robbery. They would go to the victim’s apartment, where the woman would set the guy up. They would pull guns, rob him and then make good the escape. Awesome! Can’t miss!
The following afternoon, she met the victim at the apartment complex parking lot. As planned, the three guys show up in their car and climb out where they commence the robbery. They got the drop on him and got the goods.
This is where the plan starting coming apart.
The victim wasn’t so cooperative. After they got the drop on him, they took his stuff. What they didn’t take was his car keys. As they left, he got into his car and followed them out of the complex and on to Northridge Road, and then onto GA 400, where they headed south with the victim behind them.
Plan A wasn’t doing too well so they decide to try and shake the victim. They exit onto the Marta exit ramp.
If you know anything about the Marta exit ramp off of GA 400, you know that when you exit, it puts you right back on GA 400 going north, meaning the chase is now looping around and headed back where it started.
They fired a few rounds at the victim hoping to scare him off. He started shooting back. Plan B is now out the window.
For some reason, the driver decides to exit onto Northridge Road where police are now rolling up in the area after getting the robbery call. (You don’t want to re-enter the crime-scene area too soon after the crime.) Plan C, which was having a car to escape in, is now also out the window as the driver loses control and wrecks at the intersection of Northridge and the GA 400 north entrance ramp.
ABANDON SHIP!!! ABANDON SHIP!!!
The guys, who now had to be questioning their career choices, bailed out and ran into the wooded area that runs alongside GA 400 northbound. That area is fenced along the highway and bordered by a lake alongside the apartments where the robbery occurred in the first place. The escape route was limited to a narrow stretch of woods, with few options to change directions to throw off the cops.
The bad guys were running amok in the woods with no clue where to go because they’re not from around here. To make things worse, it was about 95 degrees with the same amount of humidity hanging in the air.
The time lapse from the robbery to when the bad guys return and crashed was only a couple of minutes. But it was enough time to allow the police K-9’s to get on-scene. Even worse for the crooks, the location was alongside the borders of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Roswell, all of which quickly sent cars to the scene. That meant there was a wide perimeter set up in a short amount of time.
The K-9’s are Belgian Malinois, very athletic dogs, who do much better in the humidity than the three bad guys, one of whom was well over the weight limit for an afternoon of fleeing from a botched robbery, short chase, sporadic gunfire and a loop the loop on the Marta ramp.
The scene was becoming a circus as traffic backed up at the site of the wreck, which is now a crime scene. Media trucks arrived after hearing on the scanners that we’re chasing bad guys in the woods well before the 4 p.m. newscast.
Media truck guys have a job to do, as do the camera folks. The job of the truck driver is to get that truck as close to the action as possible — meaning that unless you catch them in time, they’ll park in the middle of the crime scene, causing the sergeant on scene to scream at no one in particular about how the crime scene is falling apart.
Meanwhile, the three stooges are still lost in that narrow space between the GA 400 fence and the small lake. To make their day even worse, they can hear the K-9’s, who are very interested in finding them to determine who gets the first bite.
Eventually, and in time for the evening news, the three were arrested in the woods where they were trying to be invisible.
It was the end of a bad plan.
Stupid is as stupid does
A year later they’re shipping out for 15 years to do time over a bunch of jewelry and what I’m sure they thought was a well-thought-out plan.
The moral of the story is this: If you’re contemplating a crime, ask yourself, “What about the X-factor?”
What is the X-factor? The X-factor is everything will go wrong. It’s the cousin of Murphy’s Law.
Those guys were running around in the woods long enough they had to be individually reviewing everything that had gone wrong:
• Who knew the victim had a gun and could shoot and drive at the same time?
• Why doesn’t that stupid Marta ramp just go back north?
• Why the heck did we exit back on Northridge?
• And why did the TV trucks park in our crime scene?
There are probably a lot of folks that would commit a crime if they were sure they could get away with it. Even the best plans can go bad in a moment. You can bet something will go south.
Planning is everything. Fortunately for us, most crooks don’t plan in accordance with the X-factor.
Fear the X-factor!