‘Replica’ — Armed Robbing In Drag

July 1, 2023

Oddest set of criminal acts in the last little while.

(Image from the Merced Police Department, and found here.)

In scrolling my afternoon news routine, I by accident spied a crime story from my local newspaper. Apparently, the photo above is of a man attempting to pass as a woman in the course of an armed robbery near my location. He bungled both the impersonation and also a string of three armed robberies last week.
Story from the Merced Sun-Star, first published late last night, updated this morning — somehow parts seem to be missing from the narrative:

The first report came Monday with the report of an armed robbery at a check cashing business in the 1200 block of Olive Avenue. Surveillance video and witness statements identified the suspect as a white male wearing a wig and women’s clothing, according to police.

The suspect had a black handgun and took $1,000 from the business.

The second armed robbery report came Thursday at 12:20 p.m. at a check cashing business located in the 500 block of West 18th Street. The suspect was again described as a man dressing in women’s closing, similar to the first incident. The suspect wasn’t able to obtain any money in this robbery attempt.

The third armed robbery report came Friday at 11:45 a.m. at a check cashing location in the 1900 block of E. Yosemite Parkway. Again, the suspect was described as a white male dressed in women’s clothing, holding a black handgun. The suspect was again unable to obtain any money during this armed robbery attempt.

Investigators were able to identify the vehicle the suspect got into through surveillance video and that vehicle was located shortly after near 18th Street and K Street.

The investigation identified the suspects as Barbara Bryant, 63, and James Hogan, 33, both of Merced.

Investigators had information that Hogan was hiding in an apartment on West 18th Street.

A search warrant was served at this home and officers located Hogan along with the women’s clothing and the wig he was wearing during these robberies. The black handgun was found and was identified as being a replica.

Hogan was arrested and transported to the Merced County Jail for multiple armed robberies and conspiracy to commit a crime. His bond was set at $100,000, according to jail records.

Bryant was also arrested and transported to the Merced County Jail for robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime. Her bond was set at $100,000, according to jail records.

What was the old lady’s job in the caper? (Maybe the driver of the getaway car?) And why women’s clothes? There’s got to be way-more to the story. Sad to be both of these people, but the incident was nearly ‘normal‘ in such an ‘abnormal‘ era.
And the full shot in drag:

(Pix MPD via Merced Sun-Star.)

Showing off, or not, here we are once again…

(Illustration out front: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Seated Pierrot,’ found here.)

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