LAKE ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Two Warrenton men are facing robbery charges in a crime where so many things went wrong, it almost seems funny. The bungling, alleged thieves were trying to shoplift a pair of swimming pools from a Lake St. Louis Walmart store. That’s right, swimming pools, and that’s just the beginning.
Police say Brandon Boschert, 19, was the lead man. He wore a neon vest in an effort to look like a Walmart employee. He even brought in and put away a loose shopping cart, apparently trying to blend in.
A few minutes later, video shows Boschert pulling a cart with the pools through the store, then outside. But the ruse didn’t work. A Walmart security worker is seen behind him, and police say there was a confrontation.
“(Boschert), in an effort to get away, displayed a knife, threatened him, then the rest ensued,” Lake St. Louis Assistant Police Chief Chris Digiuseppi said.
“The rest” begins with Boschert getting into a pickup truck, which takes off. Police eventually catch up.
“One of our police officers had located the suspect vehicle, come up behind it, and witnessed through the back window, what appeared to be the passenger holding a gun to the head of the driver,” Digiuseppi said.
That sounds horrible until you find out the whole thing was made up. The driver of the truck, according to police, was Zachary Hill. They say he was working with Boschert. Security video shows him inside the Walmart at the same time Boschert was there. He eventually rolled over on his friend, who also confessed.
Police say their plan was to steal the pools, and use the kidnapping ploy if they were about to be caught. Boshert would jump from the truck and run while Hill would play the role of victim. But officers quickly determined they were a pair.
“We’ve come across some interesting things in law enforcement,” Digiuseppi told us. “That was probably the first staged kidnapping of my career, but I don’t know.”
Asked if the pair qualifies among the often joked about “dumb criminals” out there, he said, “. I don’t know if I’m qualified to certify that, but it is an interesting case to say the least.”
And that may not be the end of this. Police tell us departments in three other communities believe these two may have tried essentially the same thing in their jurisdictions. Wentzville, O’Fallon, and Troy are the cities.