Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Crime of the Century (Footprints in the Snow Division)

   An Ohio man man has been charged with arson, burglary and other crimes after police apprehended him at the scene of a mobile home fire by following tracks in the snow from the home to his car, which had become stuck in the snow when he'd tried to flee. 
   In a Feb. 22 report in the Beaver County (Pennsylvania) Times, reporter Robert Poole writes that Robert Lee Armstrong, thirty-three, of 608 Oak Knoll Ave. Southeast, Warren, Ohio (small-area newspaper stories still give home addresses, in case you want to send Christmas cards or burn down the house of the person who torched your mobile home), had once rented the trailer, at 1035 State Line Road, in North Beaver Township, from Lloyd Bruce Clevenger, forty-eight, of Cameron, N.C. (Plainly, the charmingly named North Beaver Township is urbane enough to draw people from as far away as the Midwest and the South.)
   Armstrong told police he broke into the trailer to claim items he'd left behind when he moved, and found that some were missing. He said that Clevenger, as Poole of the B.C. Times so succinctly puts it, "had lied to him about the location of those items." 
   Distressed, Armstrong set fire to the curtains in the trailer's bedroom. 
   He then walked to his car, leaving footprints in the unplowed snow. Police found him there when they arrived. 
   Neither police nor the B.C. Times identify the "items" Armstrong was trying to claim. 

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