Schmuck of the Week

Daniel Cooper, shmuck, seems pleased to have been busted for up to 100 burglaries

Not many mug shots show the arrestee looking absolutely thrilled to step before a booking-photog's camera. But in his close-up, Daniel Stewart Cooper, our latest Shmuck of the Week, seems pleased as punch to have been taken into custody -- although he was apparently less jazzed when he was rounded up by cops after his latest victims saw him strolling away with some of their stuff.

On September 5, according to the Boulder Police Department, two guys saw Cooper with a backpack and laptop swiped from their residence. Dylan John, one of the victims, told CBS4 that Cooper took some food, too.

Cooper allegedly yammered that he'd found the stuff on the street. But rather than taking him at his word, one victim tried holding onto him while another one ran to a nearby police station. By the time cops emerged, Cooper had split, but he didn't get far. Officers say they found him hiding under some bushes on University -- and when they invited him to leave his safe spot, he didn't go quietly. He's accused of fighting with the law before the law won, earning himself charges of obstructing a police officer, resisting a police officer and second-degree assault on a police officer.

Not that these were the only allegations against him. The BPD thinks Cooper committed between fifty and 100 burglaries in an area that borders Broadway to 9th Street, and Euclid north to Grandview on University Hill -- an area larded with frat houses that he's suspected of hitting with regularity, CBS4 reports. Police think Cooper was mainly interested in finding drugs, but if electronics or other gadgets were available, his attitude seems to have been, "What the hell."

Cooper evidently didn't knock himself out breaking into places. The police say he exclusively targeted places that were unlocked, and tended to make himself at home, grabbing booze, clothes and what are described as "various personal toiletries." He may have taken the occasional shower, too, although probably not when the residents were home, which they sometimes were. When he encountered people, cops believe he'd pretend to know someone there -- a gambit that usually allowed him to walk away, albeit without any brewskis or cologne.

Here are the accusations to date, not counting the obstruction charges noted above: 23 counts of second-degree burglary, one count of unlawful possession of a weapon by a previous offender, and one count of unlawful sexual conduct supposedly committed against an adult woman.

Could there be more? The cops float the prospect of an additional 34 burglaries that weren't reported to police, plus several vehicle thefts.

No wonder Cooper remains in custody. Wonder if he's still smiling....

Here's a larger look at Cooper's mug shot:

More from our Schmuck of the Week archive: "Adams County's shmucky treatment of deaf suspect Timothy Siaki settled for $100K."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts