Happy New Year, everybody! If you’re like me, you don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, you enroll at Orangetheory Fitness and then “don’t have time” or “forget” or “aren’t feeling well enough” to go by January 17th. And I am sure glad I didn’t make any resolutions, as one of them would have been, “Write better articles.”

I would have broken that resolution with this piece, the very first one I am writing in 2020. Bear down – this is going to get embarrassing.

A man from Sioux Falls, South Dakota ended 2019 in a sad way. He allegedly robbed a casino. Now, we have all had those moments of random fantasy, perhaps while on the toilet or taking a long, warm shower, in which we think of how to commit a crime. Don’t pretend I’m the only one. Hell, there are thousands of screenwriters out there who put their sick thoughts down on paper and get us to buy tickets to see it played out on screen. What I’m saying is that just because none of us have robbed a casino doesn’t mean we can’t evaluate how the man went about it. So let’s do that.

The man, 70-year old Larry Lee Fletcher, allegedly walked into a Sioux Falls casino near Eighth Street and Franklin avenue around 8:00am on December 31st. Looking at the map, that unnamed casino is likely Deuces Casino at 800 East Eighth Street.

Fletcher then – get this – threw a cup of gasoline on the cashier and threatened to light her on fire if she didn’t hand over money. Ok, while I in no way condone doing anything like that, I will give the guy points for creativity. You normally hear about these things happening with a gun. A cup of gasoline, as awful as that is, is different.

We can chuckle a little bit about it because the cashier was unharmed. I would imagine it was pretty shocking and fairly scary in the moment, though. It’s stressful enough to get a few drops of gasoline on my hand at the local RaceTrac; I’ve never had an entire cup of it thrown on me, accompanied by the threat of conflagration.

So the guy got the money and fled. Authorities tracked him down at a hotel near Russell Street and Louise Avenue. I once again consulted Google Maps an determined that he was likely at a Motel 6 about four miles away from the casino.

And this is where Larry Lee Fletcher, who is clearly in bad place in life if he’s robbing a casino using a cup of gasoline at 8:00am on New Year’s Eve, went wrong. He didn’t ditch his clothes. Detectives identified him because he was wearing the same shoes and coat that he could be see wearing in surveillance video of the robbery.

Hell, if I were to commit a crime, I wouldn’t even wear the same size shoes as I normally wear in case I leave footprints. And you have to get rid of the clothes. I would guess, though, that Fletcher didn’t do much pre-planning. Again, he must be in a horrible situation in his life for it to come to this, so I wouldn’t be surprised if not much thought was put into the crime.

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