Blue Basket Bandit Stole Makeup to Fuel Drug Habit, Court Docs Show
People do a lot of crazy shit to get their hands on drugs, but the "Blue Basket Bandit" may be one of the only junkies to steal eyeliner to fuel his habit.
According to court documents obtained by New Times, Anthony Hamilton copped to being the infamous bandit after his arrest yesterday and says he was stealing the makeup to fuel his drug habit.
Hamilton, according to the court docs, confessed to police that he was responsible for at least 20 thefts at various Walgreens pharmacies in the Chandler area over a three-year period.
Hamilton, who is unemployed and has been living with friends for the last six months, would steal the makeup and sell it to a fencing operation that would resell the items to consumers.
Hamilton, the court docs say, has a long history of shoplifting since he moved to the Valley in 2000, basically relying on it as his primary source of income.
For nearly three years, Hamilton would go to several Chandler-area Walgreens drug stores and steal makeup using a blue basket to gather his score -- hence the lame moniker.
The then-unknown bandit would walk into the stores, head right for the cosmetics section, walk around for a while, pick out a blush, and put it in the basket.
He would then put the items in Walgreen's bags he had stashed in his pockets and simply walk out of the store.
The bandit went dormant for about six months after the fuzz turned up the heat back in August, but the lipstick-looter struck again in December.
Ramer says the dollar amount of the makeup Hamilton stole is unclear -- Walgreens management claims it was about $25,000 worth, but the detective working the case estimates the amount to be more in the ball park of $5,000.
Hamilton was arrested at a home in the 1000 East Block of Durango Street in Phoenix.
He was booked into a Maricopa County jail on counts of organized retail theft, a class four felony, and shoplifting.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.