Story of the Month: The Remorseful Robber | WBEZ
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Eight Forty-Eight

Story of the Month: The Remorseful Robber

Each month, we like to pick out a little news tidbit that may not have shown up on your radar. It can be quirky or funny, inspirational or intriguing. This month, we take you out to suburban Hinsdale. Detective Charles Leuver of the Hinsdale Police Department takes us through the story.

Video of Robbery:

LEUVER: We were notified of an armed robbery that took place at the Dunkin' Donuts at York and Ogden avenue in Hinsdale. This occurred on the 7th. And we were able to obtain video of that armed robbery.

Detective Leuver spent the day interviewing the clerk who was on duty at the time, and looking over the store's security video for any clues and a better idea of what the suspect looked like. It seemed like this was just an average investigation. But then things got a little strange.

LEUVER: The following day, the 8th, when I came into work I was told by my peers that I needed to go back to the Dunkin' Donuts. And I said why, and they said the guy returned. And I said, no, you're kidding me. I thought they were trying to pull a fast one on me. So eventually they persuaded me to go back up there and I met with the manager who related that the guy came back, and returned the money!

Wait, back up, what was that?!

LEUVER:The guy came back and returned the money

It seems that seventeen-year-old Alex Holmes had a change of heart. Twenty-four hours after robbing the place with what turns out to be a BB gun, he returned, and placed all of the money he had taken-including some loose change-back on the counter. He even tried to apologize to the clerk and give her a hug. Unfortunately, that part didn't go so well.

LEUVER: You could tell that she was visibly upset from the video, of him returning, she didn't know what to think of it. She was a trooper though it all. She actually came back to work after the night this happened. And when she saw him, you can see on the video that she's visibly upset, crying, and wiping your eyes, and a picture says a thousands words.

The police were called again, and Mr. Holmes was picked up while riding his bike a few blocks from the shop. So now the question becomes…if the thief was remorseful and returned the money does this need to go any further?

LEUVER: A lot of people are asking if we felt bad about arresting him. But they're forgetting about the victim, and that's the clerk there. She's devastated by this, having a gun pointed at her, what she believes to be a gun, and having them come back-that's very detrimental to somebody

So, how do the police handle something like this? There's no doubt a crime has been committed. But at the same time, you've got a 17-year-old who appears to realize that he did wrong and wanted to make amends.

LEUVER: We take that into consideration when we go through a charging. There's many cases in my experience that could have gone felony, but we looked at the situation and we evaluate that and we do have an option of keeping it at a misdemeanor level. However, when a situation like this comes up where you have a firearm being involved in a crime, our hands are kinda tied.

Finally, we asked Detective Leuver, how often does something like this happen?

LEUVER: I've been doing it for 14 years, and I've never seen anything like this. This was a first. Just when you thought you've seen it all, something new pops up.

Charles Leuver is a detective with the Hinsdale police department. He talked to us about the case of the remorseful robber, who is waiting for his day in court.

Music Button: Medeski Martin & Wood, "Dollar Pants", from the CD RadiolariansII, (Indirecto records)

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