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The Duct Tape Bandit

Planning the perfect robbery would seem like a time-consuming process. A would-be robber has so much to do, from observing the comings and goings at the targeted establishment, planning the robbery itself, and mapping out the perfect getaway route. There is also the matter of choosing the perfect disguise. But what does a robber who is pressed for time or is not exactly a criminal mastermind do?

If he’s like Kentuckian Kasey Kazee, he heads to the hardware store for some duct tape. On August 10, 2007, Kazee took a roll of the silver tape that can fix just about anything and wrapped it around his head, mummy-style. Taking a cue from the old MTV show, “Beavis and Butthead,” he also raised the collar of his shirt over the top of his head, like Beavis’s alter ego “Cornholio.” Kazee then proceeded to Shamrock Liquors in Ashland, Kentucky with robbery in mind.

Bill Steele, the manager of Shamrock Liquors, had other plans and chased Kazee out of the store with a wooden club. He and Shamrock employee Craig Miller wrestled Kazee to the ground in the parking lot and held him until police arrived.

After police handled the sticky situation of unmasking the “Duct Tape Bandit,” Kazee proclaimed his innocence. Saying he had no memory of the robbery attempt or even entering the liquor store at all, Kazee asked a local news station, “Do I look like the Duct Tape Bandit to you?”

Despite Kazee’s denials, security camera footage from Shamrock Liquors and pictures of Kazee both before and after the duct tape was removed by police made a conviction for first-degree robbery and being a persistent felon an almost certainty. Faced with this fact, Kazee pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery in exchange for a 10-year prison sentence and the possibility of parole in two years.

Kazee received his first parole hearing on August 25, 2009. The parole board voted to keep him incarcerated, deferring his next hearing until 2012. As of January 2011, Kazee is incarcerated at the Kentucky State Penitentiary, where “Bandit, Duct T” is among his listed aliases.

What if Kazee had gotten away with his robbery attempt? Surely, he would have gotten an amount of money sufficient to make up for the pain of removing duct tape from his hair and face, right? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Before Steele chased Kazee out the door, the Duct Tape Bandit only managed to grab a couple of rolls of change, which burst open in the parking lot scuffle. Police found most of the coins later.

The ridiculousness of the disguise, the extremely small amount of money taken, and Kazee’s denial in the face of concrete evidence can only lead one to ask…”What was he THINKING?”

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