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  • How 3 Denver Criminals Earned Their Bizarre Nicknames

    If the silly monikers crackling across police radios are any indication, Coloradans have a particularly good sense of humor. Take a break from the anxiety-inducing news cycle and enjoy the stories behind three amusing nicknames (and our artful interpretations of the crimes).


    The Glitter Bomber

    February 2012, University of Colorado Denver

    Peter Lucas Smith (illustrated above), a University of Colorado Denver student and Colorado Senate intern, threw a glitter bomb at then presidential candidate Mitt Romney after the 2012 Colorado caucuses. Smith missed his target, instead blanketing a floor at the CU Denver campus with blue sparkles. Still, he was fired from his internship and later pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace. These days, he’s recovering from his failed 2018 Colorado state Senate campaign to represent District 32. The independent earned 4.7 percent of the vote.

    The Mad Pooper

    September 2017, Colorado Springs

    Illustration by Curt Merlo

    This sneaker-clad criminal first struck in a suburban family’s yard, where horrified children caught the runner in the act. Then she hit the same neighborhood again. And again. Despite several witnesses, the catchy nickname popularized by Colorado Springs residents, and a 2017 tweet from Charmin offering a reward (“If the #MadPooper turns herself in, we’ll give her a year’s supply of TP to help with her ‘runs’ ”), the offender continued her illegal dumps for weeks and, to this day, has escaped apprehension.

    The Pom Pom Bandit

    February 2019, Arvada and Lakewood

    Illustration by Curt Merlo

    We were hoping Brandon Wayne York’s nickname meant he committed his crimes in a cheerleading uniform. Alas, it references his headwear: The FBI bestowed the epithet on York after the thief donned a winter beanie during three bank heists, one in Arvada and two more in Lakewood, during which he passed a note demanding money and ran away on foot. York, along with his alleged accomplice, Richard Perdue, was finally caught in late February right after robbing another Lakewood bank.

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