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December 7, 2005


Saggy pants lead to alleged robber's arrest



It wasn't a smoking gun that led police to believe they had their man following an armed robbery at the Pahrump Stop convenience store and gas station at Highway 160 and Mesquite Avenue - it was the distinctive Hawaiian-print underwear the suspect wore in the commission of the crime.

According to Deputy Mark Cannon, deputies responded to the store at around 9:45 p.m. Monday after the clerk called in the armed robbery. The employee told police she recognized the alleged robber, 22-year-old Max Harmon Ivy, saying he had been in the store roughly 40 minutes earlier when he bought a pack of generic cigarettes.

Ivy, said police, returned at 9:43 p.m. wearing different clothes, but the same underwear. According to police, Ivy likes to wear his pants below his waist. "The clerk stated Mr. Ivy had walked in with the hood of his sweatshirt over his head and the neck of a darker sweatshirt up on his face as a disguise and demanded all of the $20 bills in the cash register," wrote Cannon in his report. "When the clerk asked if he was serious, Mr. Ivy brandished a silver-colored semi-automatic pistol from the pouch-pocket of the sweatshirt and stated (emphatically), "I'm serious."

The clerk advised police she personally knew the suspect, adding that on both of his visits to the store on Monday he wore his pants down low, sagging, and was wearing white underwear with blue "Hawaiian-style" flowers.

Ivy was located at his home on Luella Court, several miles southwest of the Pahrump Stop, and admitted to being in the store earlier Monday evening but denied any involvement in the armed robbery.

But deputies observed the man's underwear visible above his sagging pants and placed him under arrest. A stainless steel Ruger .45 semi-automatic pistol was allegedly recovered at the residence as well as the two sweatshirts police say were used in the crime. Ivy's underwear was also taken into evidence after he was booked into the Pahrump Detention Center on a charge of armed robbery without injury. He is being held on a $25,000 bail and could face a decade in prison if convicted of the crime.

Deputies Tom O'Donnell, Joe Casey, Lonnie Daniel, Eric Murphy, Harry Williams, James Chandler and Detective Lance Lehigh assisted Cannon in Ivy's arrest.

According to store personnel, the armed robbery netted $95.62. Said one deputy: "Max Harmon Ivy has earned a place of dishonor in the America's Dumbest Criminal Hall of Shame."

In other crime news:

• Three people were arrested on a variety of charges at around 5 p.m. Friday after members of the Nye County Sheriff's Street Crimes Unit and SCORPION Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 3861 South Homestead Road.

Sheila Lynn Cruse, 32, Michael Goodwin, 20 and 34-year-old Earnest Scott Howard were at the address. According to police, Goodwin and Howard consented to searches of their persons. Goodwin was allegedly in possession of 21 pills of diazepam, a schedule IV narcotic similar to Valium.

Goodwin also reportedly confessed to stealing and selling three framed pictures. He was charged with possession of the narcotic, possession of stolen items and transfer of stolen items. Howard was allegedly in possession of diazepam pills and was charged with that crime.

Cruse is in much more serious trouble. According to a report filed by Deputy J. H. Chandler, the search of her Homestead Road home allegedly yielded multiple drugs and drug paraphernalia, including methamphetamine, prescription drugs that were not prescribed to anyone in the home, a meth pipe, a bong, a Zig Zag marijuana cigarette roller, a meth pipe and a three-ring binder of checks that also did not belong to anyone in the home.

SCORPION detectives believed there was probable cause to arrest Cruse. She has been charged with two counts of meth sales, three counts possession of meth, two counts of conspiracy, possession of a schedule IV narcotic, drug paraphernalia and possession of the stolen checks. Cruse is being held on a $67,132 bail; bail for Goodwin was set at $15,000 and $5,000 was Howard's bail.

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