The tale of the "S Bandit": A crime spree of alphabetical proportions

This sordid story is brought to you by the letter "S." Today, the Denver District Attorney's office charged Ernie Lee Calbert with nine counts of aggravated robbery and one count of second-degree kidnapping. Authorities believe Calbert to be the so-called "'S' Bandit," so named because most of the seven Denver-area operations he's accused of robbing between July and September start with the letter "S."

That list includes a Safeway grocery store, a Sinclair gas station (twice) and a Sally Beauty Supply store. On August 12 the robber decided to branch out, allegedly hitting a Dollar Store. But then, two days later, he's believed to have gone back to his favorite letter by sticking up a Subway restaurant. Dr. Seuss would've been proud.

The crook should have stuck with what worked. His next alleged heist, at a Cold Stone Creamery on September 2, would apparently be his last. After combing the crime scene, cops tracked down Calbert and arrested him for the robberies. What was the giveaway? The bandit had dropped his probation appointment card when he made his getaway.

Looks like "S" also stands for "stupid."

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner