We often discuss alleged crimes committed with bizarre or baffling elements. Even in that company, Eric Dion Warren is a standout. He obtained a loaner car from a BMW dealer, drove the car to a bank robbery, and then drove back to the dealer and tried to use the stolen bank money for the down payment on the car. He clearly took the slogan “Sheer Driving Pleasure” a tad too far.
Warren borrowed the car from a Wolfforth, Texas dealer in the summer of 2019 before allegedly he driving the vehicle over to the bank and handing over a fast-food bill with a note reading “This is a f—— robbery. Play with me and die. I want $10,000 in 50 and 100 dollar bills now you got 1 minute or I will kill you.” He then pulled what looked like a gun and repeated the demand.
He then return to the dealership, displayed the money and asked to buy the car with $3000 downpayment. That was just 15 minutes after the robbery but an employee had already received a call about the robbery. The dealership called police and Warren reportedly confessed. The $5,000 matched the serial numbers of the stolen cash and he was found with a pellet gun.
What is interesting is that “aggravated robbery” in Texas requires a “deadly weapon” but also allows a charge if the crime “places another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death”:
Sec. 29.03. AGGRAVATED ROBBERY. (a) A person commits an offense if he commits robbery as defined in Section 29.02, and he:
(1) causes serious bodily injury to another;
(2) uses or exhibits a deadly weapon; or
(3) causes bodily injury to another person or threatens or places another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death, if the other person is:
(A) 65 years of age or older; or
(B) a disabled person.
(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the first degree.
(c) In this section, “disabled person” means an individual with a mental, physical, or developmental disability who is substantially unable to protect himself from harm.
Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 357, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.
In this case, the police could allege that the flashing of the pellet gun satisfied the second element for the higher charge.
What is clear is that while he was driving “the ultimate driving machine,” Eric Dion Warren is not the ultimate driving criminal.