Chewbacca Is Collared By Police Force
Costumed man busted after making Wookiee error
DECEMBER 20--A former employee of a Florida vending machine company dressed up in a Chewbacca costume and stole money from a pair of kiosks he previously maintained, according to cops who arrested the "Star Wars" devotee for grand theft.
According to investigators, Darren Pickrem, 56, took a total of $623 from a pair of vending machines operated by Florida Fresh Vending. The heist occurred late last Sunday at an office in Largo and was captured by a security camera.
“The defendant,” a felony complaint states, “was observed on video entering the above location in a ‘Chewbacca’ costume.”
Pickrem was “terminated” by the vending company two months ago, cops report. And while he knew enough to wear a disguise, Pickrem inexplicably allowed cameras to get a shot of his face as he entered the building containing the vending machines.
A witness identified Pickrem “with 100 percent certainty” since “she saw him on a daily basis for two years of his employment,” according to the complaint.
Pickrem (seen at left) was booked into the county jail and later released on $2000 bond. His rap sheet includes prior arrests for disorderly conduct and indecent exposure (both cases ended with Pickrem entering no contest pleas).
Pickrem, a Canadian native, once played for a junior hockey team affiliated with the Montreal Canadiens. His daughter Sydney, a 19-year-old swimmer, was a member of the Canadian Olympic team and competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics. (1 page)