St. Louis Man Fails to Burn Down Gas Station Over Cheetos, Scores Best Mugshot Ever

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Joshua Lee Crook is a man who likes Flamin' Hot Cheetos but who does not like paying for them. 

That's according to the St. Louis police, who allege that Crook, 33, attempted to burn down a gas station in south St. Louis when the store's manager thwarted his attempts to make off with a bag of the spicy snacks.

The incident happened around 5 p.m. on Sunday, when Crook entered a gas station in the 3100 block of South Grand Boulevard and attempted to nab the bag of chips, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The store's manager recognized Crook as, well, a crook, saying that the man had stolen from his store before. He told Crook to put the bag back if he did not intend to pay.

Crook did so, but returned a minute later for a second attempt. When the store's manager thwarted him a second time, Crook allegedly punched him in the face. Police allege he then grabbed a gas pump, threw it on the ground, and tossed a lit cigarette into the pool of gas that formed. The gasoline failed to ignite, because despite what movies have taught us, cigarettes and gasoline do not work that way.

The store suffered no damage. Crook was arrested on charges of first-degree attempted arson, trespassing, theft and third-degree assault. His bail is set at $20,000, cash only.

His mugshot, meanwhile, is spectacular. The gloved hands of someone from booking are visible, and appear to be literally holding Crook's head up for him. 

Police have not explained what is happening in the photo, but using context clues, it seems likely that burning down a gas station over a bag of Cheetos is not an idea Crook had while particularly sober.

Oddly enough, this is not the first time Cheetos have featured prominently in the St. Louis crime blotter. In 2012, a man was charged with murder after stabbing another guy in an argument over the tasty orange-hued snack.

Which, we suppose, leads us to the silver lining for Joshua Lee Crook. Hey, man, at least it's not a murder rap! Keep your head up.

Or, you know, at least try.


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