A man who wanted a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos but was in no mood to pay for them decided it was a good idea to try to burn down a St. Louis, Mo. gas station after the gas station clerk cold-busted him for the theft, police say.
The man is 33-year-old Joshua Lee Crook, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Crook’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad attempt to steal the bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos — and commit arson — occurred at around 5 p.m. on Sunday at a gas station on South Grand Boulevard.
Inside the gas station — which is likely this BP — Crook tried to steal the bag of spicy, cheese-flavored munchies he coveted. However, the clerk recognized Crook as a crook who, the clerk believed, had pilfered items on previous occasions. The clerk told Crook to pay for the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos bag or kindly return the bag to the shelf.
Crook put the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos back on the shelf and briefly left the gas station. Roughly a minute later, police say, he returned for a second attempt at stealing the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. This time, he walked brazenly toward the door with the snack — punching the clerk square in the face on the way for good measure.
Next, according to a police report, Crook removed a gasoline nozzle from a gas pump and tossed it on the ground, creating a pool of gasoline. Then, he slung a lit cigarette into the accumulated pool of gasoline.
In spite of the received wisdom of decades of movies, Crook’s lit cigarette created no fiery explosion of any kind when it met the gasoline.
On Monday, Crook was charged with first-degree attempted arson, theft, third-degree assault and trespassing. The arson charge is a felony.
Bail has been set at $20,000.
The mugshot of Crook which police released appears to show Crook refusing to hold his head steady. There’s a pair of hands in blue latex gloves attempting — badly — to hold Crook’s head still.
Police have not explained the details behind the curious mugshot, the Post-Dispatch notes.
The Riverfront Times, a St. Louis weekly, helpfully recalls that the Sunday incident is not the city’s first crime in which Cheetos figured prominently.
In 2012, 49-year-old David L. Scott was charged with second-degree murder after, police say, he stabbed a man to death over a bag of Cheetos.
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