Dollar Tree heist offers cautionary tale about neglecting basic robbery standards

The $1,700 take wasn't retire-to-a-Caribbean-island kind of money. But it will buy you a lavish weekend in Green Bay.

The $1,700 take wasn't retire-to-a-Caribbean-island kind of money. But it will buy you a lavish weekend in Green Bay. Jeepers Media

For kids aspiring to someday enter the semi-lucrative field of armed robbery, Quincy Gerrard Petty’s alleged takedown of a Roseville Dollar Tree provides insight into how not to conduct your craft.

The scene was Christmas Eve morning, as the fine people of Roseville were about to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus, and/or load their credit cards with unmanageable debt. But according to police, Petty, age 39, had a more productive idea. He would turn the day into a profit center.

Alas, his plan would go quickly off the rails.

Let’s take a moment to analyze his caper in hopes of honing our professional development, shall we, children?

Don’t forget to wear your mask

According to employees, Petty entered the store wearing what police describe as a “Bob Marley hat.” It was a fashionable selection, adding a certain elan to his robbery. Yet he also committed the faux pas of style over substance, forgetting to pull his mask over his face.

Masks are kind of important, especially when robbing the store where your girlfriend works

In this case, the forgotten mask proved crucial since A) Quincy’s girlfriend works at the Larpenteur Avenue store and B) they’d seen him before. When one employee recognized him, Quincy finally pulled the mask over his face. But experts note that the delayed use of a disguise tends to defeat its essential purpose: avoiding identification.

Make sure your monologue is fresh and original

Though the police report makes no mention of audience reaction, we’re guessing the Dollar Tree crowd wasn’t especially moved by the inventiveness of Quincy’s alleged threats. He largely stuck to the reboiled phrases they could have witnessed at any robbery, according to the police report, announcing that he wasn’t “playing,” and that “If you put your hands down, ya’ll done.”

Though police say he did reach under his sweatshirt to intimate he had a gun, the performance seemed stilted and a bit cliché.

Dollar Tree stores are surprisingly good places to rob

To most robbers, a caper involving any place with “dollar” in its name might signal a low-potential score. Yet give Quincy credit for identifying an under-valued market.

Police say he forced managers to open the safe, presenting a take of $1,700. No, it’s not retire-to-a-Caribbean-island kind of money. But it will buy you a lavish weekend in Green Bay.

You’re gonna have to do something about that red SUV

Police say Quincy was accompanied by an unidentified henchman, who apparently did little to distinguish himself as a compelling character. They fled in a red SUV, a loud color not recommended in getaway vehicles, where more subdued tones are advised.

As a result, the coppers quickly found an SUV matching witness descriptions parked near Quincy’s girlfriend’s house. He was arrested at her home.

Be fully committed to getting rid of the evidence

When Quincy was nabbed, police say he was wearing different clothes. Yet it seems clear he didn’t give 110 percent to the evidence disposal aspect of the operation.

According to Johnny Law, he was still wearing his Bob Marley hat. He also happened to have a crumpled envelope in his pocket with the word “robbery” written on it. That’s where the cops also found $600 in cash, mostly in $1 bills – the kind, incidentally, that come from taking down a dollar store.

That's not how you work your opening defense

Police apparently found Quincy’s alibi lacking as well. His girlfriend claimed he’d been with her all morning, and that Dollar Tree was merely seeking revenge over a complaint she’d filed at the store.

But since Quincy had been identified by employees – and arrested while holding a suspected robbery note – the excuse pointed to an absence of game-planning that riddled the heist from the outset.

Still, the fact that he has no previous record in Minnesota suggests that this was a first-time effort, and that he's bound to improve.

He was charged with simple robbery and second-degree aggravated robbery.