Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Another Stupid Crook

It's fair to say that, in a world where there seems to be no shortage of scumbags who will rip anyone off for any reason, that the worst kind is the sort who would make a mockery of human suffering for his/her/its personal enrichment. From this morning's Trib:

When Kurt Paul Miller told co-workers that his son had been killed in Iraq, they opened their pocketbooks.

When Miller's bosses showed up at his Butler home with a fruit basket, they figured they'd been had.

Police on Monday charged Miller, 50, with stealing more than $2,000 in donations from co-workers and extra pay from Wal-Mart in Butler Township after telling managers that his soldier son died in a Hummer explosion near Mosul. It was all a lie, Butler Township police say.

That Miller is evil goes without saying. The fact that he is an idiot should also be pretty obvious. I have never really bothered to study the criminal mind; such interests are generally limited to criminologists and amateur detectives. But it is plain to see that one thought unites evil and stupidity in the criminal mind: The belief that they can get away with whatever they have concocted. Obviously Miller saw his scheme as a quick way to pick up a few thousand dollars, and possibly more had his employer not decided to visit him at home. You might say that the fruit basket cracked the case. In fact, it made the case where there was none before.

So what was Miller planning to do with the money if he had gotten away with it?
Miller told police he'd fabricated the story so he could buy a plane ticket to visit his children in Rhode Island and pay $312 in rent for a new apartment. He also used the money to buy a carton of cigarettes and cups of coffee, according to police documents.
Cigarettes are a sure sign of the criminal element, and coffee indicates an obsessive personality. Why would anyone trust this man?

Miller, who moved from Florida to Butler a year ago, has no sons in the military, police said.

Neither Miller, who is free and awaiting arraignment on three counts of theft by deception, nor his son, Brandon Lee Miller, could be reached for comment.

For all anyone knows, this guy might move around the country, scout out new locations, make a modest profit, and move on. Whatever the case, he certainly stayed around too long this time.

Store manager Patrick Pettinato became suspicious when Miller said his son Brandon Lee Miller had served in the Army's 101st Airborne Division and requested a transfer to Newport, R.I., police said. The 101st is based in Fort Campbell, Ky. The Navy operates a massive base in Newport on the north shore of Rhode Island Sound.

When the stork's loss prevention officer began investigating, military officials said no one named Brandon Lee Miller had been killed in Iraq.

Kudos to the Wal-Mart store manager and loss prevention officer. If a co-worker of mine had lost someone in Iraq, I would expect that information on the deceased would be readily available on the internet. Miller was very sloppy with his false story. More evidence of his criminal stupidity, this is. This is when the attempted fruit basket delivery took place:
Then Pettinato and another manager paid a visit to Miller's home April 28. The woman who answered the door "acted surprised about the death of Kurt Miller's son," according to police documents.
The story provides no clue as to who the woman was, nor does it give any details about what she may have told the store manager or the police. Perhaps something like, "Mr. Miller kept the whole house up at night with all of his singing. 'I'm In the Money', you know, happy songs about getting rich". At this point, one can only speculate.

Miller will likely deal only with the civil authorities, which is a shame, because this kind of stunt ought to require some sort of military justice.

No comments: