10 Craziest Phoenix Crimes of the Month: November
No matter how many police reports we read through on a monthly basis, the criminal creativity, stupidity, and craziness never ceases to amaze us.
Just when you think you've seen it all, there's always something worse. From a crime spree sparked by a fear of Alice Cooper's restaurant, to a new pot-smuggling record, to a triple murder, an attempted copycat of that triple murder, and more, we bring you the 10 craziest Phoenix-area crimes of the month:
A Phoenix man smashed more than $10,000 worth of windows after apparently getting scared of Alice Cooper's restaurant, Alice Cooperstown.
According to court documents obtained by New Times, 22-year-old Joseph Urango got spooked after looking in the windows of Alice Cooperstown, at First Street and Jackson, believing he saw "murderers" inside.
We'll move a bit away from Phoenix for this one, as the Pinal County Sheriff's Office detectives found various explosive devices -- some of them homemade -- in the house of a domestic-violence suspect.
According to a PCSO spokesman, detectives tried to question 51-year-old Wesley Boles about the explosives (and his alleged meth pipe) inside the San Tan Valley home, but he started convulsing and was hospitalized.
An employee of the Tilted Kilt restaurant in Downtown Phoenix was killed at work.
Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump tells New Times the killing is apparently the result of a fight between two members of the kitchen staff.
A toilet full of marijuana.
Pinal County Sheriff's Office
As police knocked on his door with a search warrant, 20-year-old Christopher Cruz made a last-ditch attempt to get rid of a stash of weed at his Casa Grande home, according to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.
PCSO says Cruz tried to flush his pot -- four pounds of it.
A Goodyear man admitted to murdering his grandmother by bashing her head with a shovel and cutting her throat, police say.
Jason Howell, 40, said he killed his 78-year-old grandmother, Helen Jean Lee, because she imposed curfew rules on him, charged him too much for rent, and broke the garage door at their home, according to court documents obtained by New Times.
This one's far from Phoenix, but there's a new all-time record for the largest unsuccessful pot-smuggling attempt in Arizona.
The previous record was set in January, when a Mexican man attempted to drive 14,121 pounds of pot -- with an estimated value of $7.1 million -- through the port of entry in Nogales.
President Obama and Caleb Laieski.
This one isn't crazy for what police allege Laieski did, but rather the circumstances surrounding the case.
Laieski, 18, has been nationally recognized for his advocacy, after overcoming anti-gay bullying that led him to drop out of high school. He was prominently featured in an anti-bullying documentary, earned a gig acting as a youth and diversity advocate for Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton's office, and even met with President Obama and Vice President Biden to talk about LGBT youth issues.
Recently, however, Laieski was indicted by a grand jury on the sex-crime charges, in a case in which Laieski's alleged to also be a victim.
A Mesa man has been arrested in an alleged plot to kill his family, as a "copycat" of the man who murdered three family members in Phoenix before shooting himself on Tuesday.
Mesa Police Detective Steve Berry says a roommate reported 34-year-old Carlos Hillan's intentions to police, and officers arrested him Wednesday after he jumped over the back wall at his wife's house with a gas can and lighter in hand.
A Phoenix man shot and killed three people, including his estranged wife and teenage daughter, before killing himself, police say.
Michael Sanders, 53, shot them at the family's home near 51st Street and Thunderbird Road, according to Phoenix police.
The most recent post on Devin Almejo's Facebook account.
A Mesa man who thought he hired a hitman to kill his grandfather made Facebook posts taking credit for the murder -- which never happened, police say.
In fact, according to Mesa police, 20-year-old Devin Almejo unknowingly hired an undercover police officer to kill his grandfather, in exchange for a year's worth of free haircuts.
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