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Crooks thwart own robbery attempt

May 02, 2001

Lolita Harper

SOUTH SAN FERNANDO DISTRICT -- Breaking the law is hardly a laughing

matter, but some criminals' plans are so poorly planned even police have

to crack a smile.

Two men were arrested Friday at Comp USA, 761 N. San Fernando Blvd.,

after allegedly trying to buy laptop computers -- one right after the

other -- from the same clerk and by using the same fraudulent credit card

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information, police said.

"They were obviously not rocket scientists," Burbank Police Sgt. John

Dilibert said.

Daniel Patterson, 62, and Thomas Hughley, 43, both of Los Angeles,

allegedly tried to buy $3,800 worth of computer equipment using stolen

credit card information and fake identification, Dilibert said.

Patterson succeeded in his purchase, Dilibert said. But when his

partner, Hughley, tried to complete his half of the alleged heist, the

clerk -- who had just seen the same name and credit card -- became

suspicious and called police and the credit card company to verify the

account number.

Growing increasingly nervous, Hughley ran out of the store before the

clerk could return from the phone, Dilibert said. But instead of running

away, both men milled around the outside of the store in an attempt to

look inconspicuous, Dilibert said.

Patterson and Hughley hung around long enough for police to arrive,

match the men to the clerk's description, arrest the men and return the

stolen property, Dilibert said.

Both men were being held in Burbank Jail. They were scheduled to be

arraigned Tuesday.

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