New York Man Allegedly Robs Restaurant While Wearing Ankle Monitor

1515450587132Adam Hettig, 32, may not have thought out his latest crime with very far.  Hettig is accused of robbing a Subway in North Chili, New York while wearing his ankle monitor from the parole office.


The parolee is accused for brutally holding a knife to the throat of a female clerk to rob the restaurant according to The Democrat and Chronicle.  It did not take long to find Hettig from the data collected from his ankle monitor.

What struck me in this story was not the utter lack of foresight but how, if proven, it shows the limit of deterrence theory in criminology.  Such theories rely on a rational actor who contemplates the risks and punishments of a given act.  Deterrence is often found in the relationship between the rate of detection and the severity of punishment. As detection falls, increases penalties can theoretically achieve the same deterrence.  When detection rises, penalties can be lower.  In either case, the chances of detection were virtually 100% but Hettig still carried out the crime.  So much for theory.

23 thoughts on “New York Man Allegedly Robs Restaurant While Wearing Ankle Monitor”

  1. Deterrents only work on the rational. This man sounds like a menace to society who clearly should not be given parole again. I am sorry his victim was so traumatized, and hope she wasn’t hurt.

    Darren makes a good point that we are all essentially wearing ankle bracelets if our smart phones collect location data continuously.

    Most probably will not agree with me, but I actually oppose parole. It seems like a caricature of justice when judges sentence someone to consecutive life terms just to ensure he will do time, which is my understanding of the system. I would prefer that the sentence be just. Serving it is just. Good behavior, such as not murdering anyone in prison or getting into fights, should earn rewards such as access to activities, but have never understood why it would reduce a supposedly just sentence. So what if a rapist doesn’t rape any nonexistent women in prison. Why should that reduce a sentence which was supposed to be justice for the victim and a deterrent? It seems more like a solution to overcrowded prisons than it does justice.

    I wish we had a general cultural value in being law abiding. We are such a mishmash, which does have its benefits. But its downside is that we do not have the national adherence to punctuality and following the rules of Germany, nor the hardworking ethic, personal responsibility, and law abiding nature of Norway. I suppose that is the downside of this wondrous variety. Along with our heterogeneity of traditions and cultures, we also get this strange subculture admiring criminal life, glorified in music and movies. It is a disservice. Putting yourself in a cage is sad. It makes the rest of your life so much harder, and you cannot get back that wasted time. You cannot find as good a mate as you would if you were law abiding. Cannot offer your future children as much as if you were employable as a law abiding citizen. Cannot make advances in your life in a tiny cage.

  2. Here’s the thing – he’s out with an ankle monitor, yet is apparently a dangerous criminal. Guys like him do things like that over and over and effectively get a slap on the wrist; i.e. little deterrent. So it is not so irrational after all.

  3. I once taught a high school class that had 3 students wearing ankle bracelets.

    1. That is so sad. I wonder if they turned their lives around or kept hurting their future.

  4. it shows the limit of deterrence theory in criminology. Such theories rely on a rational actor who contemplates the risks and punishments of a given act. Deterrence is often found in the relationship between the rate of detection and the severity of punishment.

    We have some rational actors within the political class that have apparently done the calculations and determined their crimes are worth the risk. Even if detected the severity of punishment is nearly non-existent.

    1. Hillary Clinton, for example?

      She even finally released the evidence that proved her perjury in TravelGate…after the statute of limitations. And the people obediently forgot about it.

      1. While she certainly is one noteworthy example, I said political class for a reason. This abuse of power is across the political spectrum.

        1. True. Recently, it seems like Democrats have been the most well connected to buffer against consequences, presently, but it is indeed a bipartisan problem…along with backdoor deals and selling political favors.

          Power corrupts, absolutely.

          1. Karen,
            I read an interesting article today that purportedly sources the root cause of the decline of western civilization. It’s a bit off topic, but in the larger picture, maybe not. Let me know what you think.

            It was William of Occam who propounded the fateful doctrine of nominalism, which denies that universals have a real existence. His triumph tended to leave universal terms mere names serving our convenience. The issue ultimately involved is whether there is a source of truth higher than, and independent of, man; and the answer to the question is decisive for one’s view of the nature and destiny of humankind. The practical result of nominalist philosophy is to banish the reality which is perceived by the intellect and to posit as reality that which is perceived by the senses.

  5. Went in dumb. (prison) Come out dumb too.
    Hustlin round Atlanta in his alligator shoes. (no crocks)
    He’s redneck. redneck. He don’t know his arse from a hole in the ground.


  6. This man is a fool, but that aside are we as foolish to so willingly use devices that phone home to a cell phone provider’s databases transcribing every location we visit whilst carrying that smart phone? Or even more foolishly why do we allow a third party to hover such information in exchange for a free game app that performs the same action in greater detail and with more information?

    While finding this man’s location was easy since the database was readily accessible from the contractor that services the probation department’s clients, it is only one search warrant or legislative decision away from obtaining that information and using it against whoever the government disapproves of.

    1. And what’s even worse, the free game app usually doesn’t work unless you are online. I downloaded some on my various Kindles, just so that when the power went off, I would have something to sit there in the dark and do, besides play guitar and listen to music.

      Imagine my chagrin, when I tried to play Spider Solitaire the other morning with the Kindle in airplane mode, and it wouldn’t work.

      But, I suspect the day is coming when it will not be profitable to track people, because I think advertisers are realizing how much they are getting screwed.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. Squeeks, Sample a visual on YouTube of Gabriella Quevedo playing ‘Here Comes the Sun’ or ‘Hos Dig Ar Jag Underbar’. You will give up games and will not get enough of playing guitar in the dark and listening to guitar music.

        1. Thanks, I will! Acoustic Magazine has her in it from time to time. As far as playing guitar, I am in love with my new Casino, which even sounds good unplugged! I highly recommend it to you if you play guitar.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

  7. One would think that the alarm would have gone off faster. However, a guy has got to do what he is going to do.

  8. There is stupid, then there is really stupid. The possible third option that I can think of is that he had become institutionalized and was wanting to make sure that he got to go back on the inside of a prison where he felt the most ‘at home’. If this is not a case of the third option then I think that maybe the ‘really stupid’ option comes into play here. I am going to reblog this article for you Sir.

    1. Or he is an addict, so desperately in need of some quick cash to get a “fix” that he didn’t care what the consequences were.

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Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks
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