TALES OF LAW & DISORDER
Bank Robber Celebrates on YouTube
HANNAH SABATA, Waco, Neb.
A video confession goes viral
I just stole a car and robbed a bank! Now I’m rich, I can pay off my college financial aid, and tomorrow I’m going for a shopping spree,” bragged 19-year-old Hannah Sabata in a seven-minute, self-made YouTube video that features music from Green Day and Sabata jangling car keys and fanning herself with a handful of cash. The clip had started to go viral just as Waco, Neb., sheriffs came to arrest Sabata, apparently still wearing the outfit seen in the bank’s surveillance pictures. They had been tipped off by her ex-husband, whom she had texted that she had a “pile of money” and asked if he wanted to get a tattoo with her. Sabata’s video, in which she dubs herself “Chick Bank Robber,” became key evidence in her trial, in which a judge in June 2013 sentenced her to 10 to 20 years. A seemingly contrite Sabata, who has a history of mental illness, told the judge, “I learned that robbing a bank takes you to jail … I was just manic … I’m sorry I scared the teller. I wish I could take it back.”
He Taunted Police on Facebook to ‘Catch Me If U Can’
ROLANDO LOZANO, Rosenberg, Texas
Police nabbed alleged thief in five minutes
After Damian Lozano, 20, and his brother Rolando, 25, allegedly burglarized 17 cars in November, police caught Damian but needed help tracking down Rolando. They turned to the community by posting his name and photo on the department’s Facebook page. What they didn’t expect was this comment, from Rolando himself: “im innocent, catch me if u can muthusuckas.” A few minutes later, with help from area residents who recognized him, police found Rolando hiding at a family member’s home, where he was arrested. “It’s not a good idea to taunt the police and the community on Facebook,” police Lt. Brian Baker says. “It made the victims much more interested in seeing him prosecuted.”
He Shared Pics of his Loot
DEPREE JOHNSON, Lake Worth, Fla.
Burglar busted after he posted selfies
Astring of burglaries last spring targeting 55-and-older residents of south Palm Beach County, Fla., had left investigators stumped. Then an alert deputy clicked on a photo-sharing page belonging to Johnson, 19, who had been previously convicted of a firearm felony. There he was, grinning and showing off guns. That was reason enough to search his home, where police on Dec. 5 turned up $250,000 in allegedly stolen jewelry (above), electronics and handguns. Accused of leading the break-ins with a band of thieves and charged with 142 criminal counts, he’s now posing for mug shots.
He Ate the Evidence
RONALD PERLEY, Manchester, N.H.
Swallowed 14-carat diamond ring in a heist
Last April, Ronald Perley allegedly swiped a $3,200 white-gold ring from Bellman’s Jewelers and ran for the door, only to find it locked. Trapped in the store with the cops on their way, Perley, 53, decided to swallow the ring and insisted he had taken nothing, say police. But an X-ray (mandated by a search warrant) told a different tale, and Perley was charged with theft. Police kept Perley guarded at the station until the ring reappeared after a detour through his digestive tract. “My staff says no one will want to buy that ring,” says store owner David Bellman. “But I think it’ll go for more because it’s got a history.”
He Left Behind More Than Fingerprints
JOSHUA GOVERMAN, Glendale, Ariz.
Careless criminal severs finger
After attempting to make off with a spool of copper wire, Joshua Goverman, 29, pointed the finger of guilt at himself – literally. While trying to steal the spool from an air-conditioning service truck on Oct. 7, the tip of Goverman’s left ring finger was severed by the wire, and he fled without it. A/C serviceman Bill Bratcher returned to find the spool missing from his truck and discovered the stray fingertip. “Investigators retrieved the finger, put a Popsicle stick into it and rolled a print,” says Sgt. Jay O’Neill of the Glendale Police Dept. “It was kind of humorous.” Goverman, who had meanwhile posted Facebook photos of his damaged hand, was arrested and pled guilty to a misdemeanor theft.
He Inked His Confession … on His Chest
ANTHONY GARCIA, Los Angeles
A brazen tattoo told a murderous tale
For nearly five years, the gangland murder of John Juarez, 23, went unsolved. That was until L.A. County sheriff’s homicide Sgt. Kevin Lloyd, thumbing through photos of gang members, froze upon Anthony Garcia’s tattoo. It depicted the Pico Rivera liquor store where Juarez was killed on Jan. 23, 2004, and a helicopter shooting at a Mr. Peanut. Lloyd put the pieces together: Garcia, then 18, went by the name “Chopper,” and his gang called Juarez’s crew “Peanuts.” At Garcia’s sentencing in 2011, Juarez’s girlfriend told him, “Without that stupid tattoo, you wouldn’t have been caught.” Garcia is now serving 65 years to life.