This April an anonymous Washington D.C. man has gone viral for a most unusual crime. On March 18, between the hours of 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., the suspect stealthily followed a delivery man inside a Five Guys fast food restaurant. The man waited for the delivery man to leave, then proceeded to rummage around the restaurant and treat himself to a free meal.
Eventually, the man decided to fire up the grill and cook himself a midnight snack, all the while talking to someone on his cell phone. Finally, he stole some bottled water and made his escape.
Footage of the nighttime prowler was captured on the restaurant’s surveillance cameras, and the Metropolitan Police Department released the footage on April 10 via YouTube.
According to a statement that accompanied the video, “The Metropolitan Police Department seeks the public’s assistance in identifying a person of interest in reference to a Burglary II incident which occurred in the 1400 block of Irving Street, NW, on Friday, March 18, 2016… DC Crime Solvers currently offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for a serious crime committed in the District of Columbia.”
Presumably, the Case of the Five Guys Crook qualifies as a “serious crime.”
Often, the mere presence of CCTV video surveillance is enough to prevent burglaries. Police believe that up to 67% of such crimes could be prevented by video cameras, and most crimes are impulsive crimes of opportunity. The Five Guys incident seems like the perfect example of a crime of opportunity perpetrated by an impulsive burglar, but the brazen nature of the crime suggests he either did not notice or did not care about the video system.
The incident went viral four days after police released the video, with many media outlets dubbing the unidentified man, The Hamburglar, after the popular McDonald’s character of the same name. So far, he remains on the lam.
On YouTube, commenter chronicsinnerZ summed up the prevailing online opinion of the crime quite aptly, writing, “Crime of the century! What a waste of time to go after someone who is hungry! Geez. Don’t the Police have better things to do? If they’re so concerned then this business needs to ‘beef up’ their security.”