An alleged armed robber was forced to buy a cheeseburger so he could rob a McDonald's, as the cash registers wouldn't open without a purchase being made, Yahoo News U.K. reports.
Many businesses these days use cash registers that won't open unless a transaction is completed — at least not without a manager using a special key or code. The system has its uses, not the least of which is preventing theft, such as employees skimming a couple bucks off the top, or in extreme cases, as a deterrent to armed robbery.
However, Daniel Parra-Braun, 37, wasn't going to be stymied by that problem in his purported attempt to rob a McDonald's in Coventry, England.
Authorities say that on June 16, Parra-Braun entered the building and said, "I am armed. Give till cash now."
However, employees told him that the till (cash register) couldn't be opened without a purchase being made. So Parra-Braun ordered a £0.99 ($1.21) cheeseburger, which the cashier dutifully rang up. Then, apparently not understanding how armed robbery works, produced a £5 ($6.10) bill to pay for the burger. Of course, while the till was open, he also grabbed £136 ($166.065) and then ran off.
It was one of four armed robberies Parra-Braun allegedly committed in Coventry in a 12-hour period that day.
This week, he was sentenced to five years for two charges of robbery and two attempted robberies.
Warwick Crown Court Judge Peter Cooke noted that, though Parra-Braun didn't actually produce a weapon or claim to have one, "the people on the other end of the threats were not to know that."
Further, Cooke pointed out that Parra-Braun was having psychiatric issues at the time.
"Your behaviour has that peculiar flavour to it and was not just about obtaining money," he said.
Similarly, Parra-Bruan's lawyer, Ian Windridge, called his client's behavior that day a "cry for help."
"He has mental health conditions, but they did not contribute to the offending, nor did they require hospital treatment. He wasn't in need of money. It was a cry for help, but not a substantial one," Windridge said.
This is not the first time that a criminal has failed to think things through when it comes to armed robbery. One of the more extreme cases, reported by Houston's KTRK-TV, involves a thief who stole a victim's iPad and other devices. The alleged thief took the device home and bragged about his crimes, recording video and taking selfies. Unbeknown to the crook, the photos and video were uploaded to the victim's iCloud, and the victim shared them with police.