Men Use Permanent Marker to Create Burglary Disguise
One of the biggest keys to orchestrating a proper burglary would seem to be having a good disguise. For example, a burglar may wear a Bill Clinton mask while breaking into a house in order to pin the crime on the former president rather than themselves. Almost anything can be used to hide a face during a criminal activity, and almost anything has, including ski masks, underwear, paper bags, and cardboard boxes. The most important characteristics of a good disguise are twofold. First, it is important that the disguise makes it so that people cannot recognize you (hence the “disguise” element). Second, it must be easy to dispose of after the commission of the crime to avoid leaving a trail of evidence. Two clever criminals from Iowa recently neglected these two important factors in coming up with their disguise, facilitating their arrest for burglary.
The expression, “It’s written all over your face,” is often used to describe someone who looks guilty or whose face gives away the truth in some fashion. This phrase has taken on new meaning after the two burglars mentioned above decided to disguise themselves during a burglary attempt by coloring their faces with permanent markers. Shockingly, this disguise proved ineffective. Not only did the permanent marker fail to hide their facial features, but the burglars were more than likely the only two people riding around town with permanent marker all over their faces. Such a disguise clearly fails both of the important disguise-choosing criteria discussed above and was woefully ineffective at helping the criminals evade authorities. Police pulled over a car matching the description given by the victims some time after the burglary, saw the two men sitting inside with marker all over their faces, and arrested them. They were charged with burglary.
Burglary occurs under Tennessee law any time a person, without the consent of the property owner:
- “Enters a building other than a habitation (or any portion thereof) not open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft or assault;
- Remains concealed, with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault, in a building;
- Enters a building and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft or assault; or
- Enters any freight or passenger car, automobile, truck, trailer, boat, airplane or other motor vehicle with intent to commit a felony, theft or assault or commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft or assault.”
Burglary under sections (1) through (3) is a Class D Felony, while burglary under (4) is a Class E felony. A Class D felony is punishable by up to twelve years in prison and a $5,000 fine. A Class E felony is punishable by one to six years and a $3,000 fine.
The most important lesson to learn from this situation is not to commit burglary. The second would be that it is probably not best to disguise yourself by putting permanent decorations on your face that clearly identify you as the guilty party. It will be hard to deny guilt for such an offense if the truth is literally written all over your face.