We have another “Be a Better Criminal” tip: If you are going to rob a store, do not use your debit card during the holdup.

I know, it seems common sense to most folk, but 33-year-old Shawn Thomas Lester from West Virginia gets credit for this useful bit of information, much at his own expense.

Apparently, the scholarly Lester walked into a convenience store, grabbed a Mountain Dew and wandered up to the register. Once there, he told the cashier he had a gun and he demanded all of the money.

Before the cashier could comply, another customer walked in, flustering the would-be robber. The quick thinking cashier then asked Lester if he was going to pay for the soda.

Since Lester had no cash on him, seemingly why he was trying to rob the store in the first place, he whips out his bank debit card to pay the $1.47 for the soft drink. Knowing that this might be a bad idea, Lester used some West Virginian logic and signed the receipt “John Doe”.

Ah ha, that will make his identity less obvious. So now Lester, I mean… So now, John Doe leaves the store with a drink, but no cash. At least he wasn’t thirsty any more.

Now one could argue that Lester himself was also the victim of a crime. $1.47 for a freaking soda?? Give me a break, that’s highway robbery!

Much to the surprise of Mr. Doe, even West Virginian police were able to quickly trace the true owner of the debit card. John Doe my arse.

When the police arrived in Charleston to pick up Lester at his residence, Lester told the police he was just kidding around about the gun and holding up the store. I’m sure the arresting officer at least laughed to himself as he arrested the funny guy.

All kidding aside, he was charged with armed robbery, but luckily not stealing the soda. Grand theft beverage holds a pretty steep penalty.

So if you are taking notes, our “Be a Better Criminal” Tips now include: pull up your pants so you don’t trip or get a wedgie, don’t leave your getaway van running with the keys inside, eat the whole doughnut, leave the cell phone at home, and now don’t use your debit card at the scene of the crime.

I know I could come up with more tips, but I’ll just wait for other would-be criminals to bring them to our attention. It’s funnier that way.

Be Safe, Be Prepared, Do the Dew.

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