Regrettably, the inimitable Paul Harvey is no longer with us, for this is a story he certainly would have enjoyed.
In March, the Lebanon Daily Record brought the tale of Steven Krueger, a man who allegedly fled from the police on a Friday night near the Lebanon Walmart. The officer was attempting to pull him over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Krueger allegedly escaped, but police reported spotting him again the following Sunday, in the same area, driving the same car, which a friend claimed Krueger had taken without permission.
Krueger again allegedly attempted to elude the police. He pulled the car up to the front door of Walmart and jumped out, according to a report. He raced through the store with police in hot pursuit, yet was caught while going out the back door of the store, the report said.
Police tasered him repeatedly and wrestled him to the ground. He was taken into custody and subsequently charged with tampering with a motor vehicle, resisting arrest and assault on a law enforcement officer.
And now — as the good Mr. Harvey would have said — the rest of the story.
What the LDR, the police, the judge in his case and his unfortunate bail bondsman did not know at the time was that they were dealing with something of a celebrity.
Steven Jay Krueger, now 49, had made a name for himself in his hometown of Los Angeles, Calif., during the 1990s. Actually, it was the L.A. Times which gave him his name: the “Mission Impossible Burglar.”
Krueger’s skills drew whistling appreciation — as well as consternation — from the law enforcement community, according to an episode of the television show, “Masterminds,” which told his story in 2006.
He specialized in stealing high-end, high-tech electronics by using tactics that would be scarcely believable if performed by Tom Cruise on the big screen.
He would case the joint by day, even going so far as to spray luminescent chalk in an area he deemed safe from security cameras. At night he would return, dressed all in black, with his grappling hooks, rope ladders and assorted other tools.
He would cut his way through the roof, blow smoke to find the laser sensors that would trigger the alarm system, and lower himself into the safe place he had outlined with the chalk. Then he would grab the goods and exit the same way he came in.
For the complete article, see today's print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.