It wasn't a good month for two of Virginia's 'smartest' criminals.

Police in different areas of the state were able to capture two criminals after the geniuses led officers right to them. One stole a pickup truck and left a three-mile trail of beer cans in his wake. The other robbed an apartment and called 911 when he broke his leg trying to escape. Travis Scott Pratt, 39, was in Norton Police custody when he escaped just outside of the Wise County jail. After making his escape, Pratt stole a pickup truck and sent local and county officers on a high speed chase across Southwestern Virginia. Wise County Deputy Josh Edmiston was en route to join the chase when he saw the stolen blue Dodge truck driving erratically. Deputy Edmiston turned his vehicle into the truck’s path to stop it, however, Pratt was able to avoid the maneuver and get away. While swerving to avoid the Deputy’s vehicle, the hitch to Pratt’s stolen pickup flew open and empty beer cans started to fall out of the truck’s bed, littering the road. Deputy Edmiston may have lost sight of the pickup, but Pratt left a trail of beer cans across town for police to follow. Not exactly your typical Hansel and Gretel story… Edmiston was able to follow the trail of beer cans for three miles – from Christmas Lane to Pole Ridge Road – all the way to the driveway that Pratt was hiding in. When he was discovered, the fugitive put the truck back in gear and drove through multiple neighbors’ yards to try to get back to the highway. Eventually, Pratt ditched the truck and fled officers on foot. It didn't take long before he was quickly re-captured and back in police custody. A neighbor was able to stop the still-moving truck before it caused any additional damage to area properties. For privacy reasons, the Wise County Sheriffs Office did not release the name of the stolen truck’s owner. Perhaps they thought he would be embarrassed for the world to know that police were able to use his trail of beer cans to track a fugitive for three miles. We here at Our Community Now commend this beeroisseur for his dedication to heavy drinking and using the bed of his pickup truck as a recycling bin. He is truly the hero we need. So the next time you’re out on the town, raise a glass to this mystery man in Wise County whose dedication to alcohol helped police track an escaped fugitive for three miles.
Another case of criminal brilliance comes to us from the northeastern part of the state. Leoul Yosef, 21, broke into and robbed an Alexandria apartment one evening. While he was rummaging through the apartment, the owner unexpectedly returned home. Suddenly startled, Yosef jumped from the apartment’s second story window to escape capture. For most people, jumping off an upstairs balcony would be dangerous. But not for Yosef. Luckily for this thief, his leg broke his fall. Shortly thereafter, a local police dispatcher received a 911 call from an anonymous man in the area of the robbery claiming that he had a broken leg and needed help. Police were able to follow the trail in the snow from the apartment all the way to where Yosef was lying. Despite his insistence that he was not the thief officers were looking for, the police were able to link Leoul Yosef to the robbery. Apparently, when an eyewitness reports that a burglar jumped off their second story balcony to escape, the police’s prime suspect is the man who called 911 for his broken leg, just yards away from the scene. It amazing how the police were able to put two and two together. Stunning investigative work. We here at Our Community Now aren’t in the business of telling criminals how to get away from the police. We support the men and women in blue, so the dumber these criminals are, the better. But you would think that it’s common sense to not lead police directly to you when you're trying to escape. Just a thought…

Looking to throw a few back? Read this comprehensive guide to drinking out in Alexandria!