View Full Version : From the Dumb Criminals files - Travel Edition

10-23-2008, 03:43 PM
http://www.skagwaynews.com/101008SNstories.html, scroll down to the 3rd story.

The crime took place on June 30, 2008.

The same day, Skagway’s Alaska Shirt Company called the police department to report the alleged theft of $78,000 from its safe. Upon investigation, the police had themselves a suspect. Unfortunately, before evidence against the supposed perpetrator could be collected and within days of the crime, the man fled Skagway. No one thought the suspect would be heard from again, but his strange saga says more about the criminal mind than any psychiatrist could ever explain.

Some might say he was a thief. Some might say he was a common criminal. All would agree he was criminally stupid.

Michael Hammond was a manager at the Alaska Shirt Company. A warrant is now out for his arrest.

Skagway Police Chief Ray Leggett describes the alleged thief as “sharp as a bowling ball.”

Hammond would live up to that moniker when he unexpectedly made a return trip to Skagway in early September aboard the Norwegian Star. A red flag went up at the local United States Customs and Border Protection office when Hammond’s name was on the ship manifest. Border officer Boyd Worley immediately called the local police department about the discovery.

“They can reach out in a manner we cannot,” said Leggett of the customs office. However, because the call came in after Hammond’s ship had left port, Skagway police were not able to apprehend the suspect in town. “We would have been on him,” said Leggett.

Upon docking in Seattle, every passenger on the Star was required to go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection, because all passengers who touch soil in Canada need to be cleared for reentry into the U.S. Hammond himself was cleared after nothing out of the ordinary was found on his person or in his baggage. But he made the mistake of trying to return to the ship.

Hammond explained to Norwegian Star personnel he had left a ring meant for his fiance and a watch in between the cushions of his bed for safe-keeping. He asked if he could retrieve the items.

According to the story told to Leggett, the ship officials laughed and said, “No,” that they would retrieve the items.

Upon examination of the room, a ring and watch were nowhere to be found, but inside the room’s safe was a bundle of cash totaling $55,000.
Hammond was detained by border officials for failing to declare the money. Leggett said the Skagway Police Department did what they could to have Hammond arrested, but “the District Attorney was not in a place to issue a warrant.”

After being interviewed, Hammond was released. The money was not.
Skagway police persevered, and eventually a warrant was issued for Hammond’s arrest late last month.

During the short interim, Hammond flew from Houston to Belize in Central America, and hasn’t been heard from since. Leggett said local police presume Hammond returned to Skagway in early September to retrieve his money.

“I knew he would, too,” said Leggett.

Leggett said the department is currently trying to get the seized cash returned to the Alaska Shirt Company. As for the future of the man affectionately referred to as “the dummy” by Leggett, only time will tell if he will make yet another appearance in Skagway, or even the United States.

10-23-2008, 04:21 PM
Actually, it doesn't sound as if the various branches of the law were all that swift, either. The U.S. Customs office called the Skagway police after the ship had left port? So why wasn't there someone there to detain him when he cleared customs back in Seattle? Nobody even bothered with him until he tried to return to the ship and retrieve his money.

The dude didn't get his money, but he was released and made it out of the country again, to Belize???

Something is goofy about this story. Considering his ability to dodge various opportunities for the authorities to nab him, I'd say he isn't doing all that bad in the cops vs. robbers game. :rolleyes: