Robber Uses Cash for Dental Work (There’s a Better Way)
Getting a root canal isn’t at the top of the wish list for most armed robbers. What would you do if you received a windfall of ill-gotten cash? For this particular 19-year-old armed robber based in Honolulu, one of the first things Marcus Kalani Watson did was to take care of his teeth. His robberies focused on recycling centers and three local Oahu banks. In total, he raked in $41,000 reports the FBI—but what’s most concerning is his first purchase.
An anonymous informant who passed a lie detector test told federal agents that the first thing Watson did was pay $2,810 cash for a root canal. He also bought a rumbling old Lexus for $2,000, so clearly this isn’t a robber committed to living the high life. The Honolulu dental office where the root canal was performed has confirmed that Watson was indeed a patient and that he paid in cold, hard cash for the endodontic procedure.
Prison Has Great Healthcare
Watson’s string of robberies began at the Reynolds Recycling center, where he pointed a gun and threatened to shoot a worker unless he was given cash. He then posted a selfie on Facebook holding up fistfuls of bills. He’s also been charged with holding up tellers, and isn’t shy about speaking up about the experience. When asked about the first robbery, Watson says the employee “was the one acting tough. He almost got shot right in the chest…I cocked the gun. I aimed it right at him.”
Arrested on August 26 at the Honolulu International Airport after returning to the island from California, Watson is awaiting trial while just being granted a public defender. No official plea has been entered yet, though it seems from Watson’s admission that it will be a guilty or no contest plea. However, what many media outlets and commentators are noting is Watson’s apparent priorities. Excepting the selfie, which may be a symptom of the teen’s generational tendencies, he seemed to have pretty straightforward priorities for spending the cash.
The Importance of Dental Care
It’s likely that Watson knew he needed a root canal or some type of dental surgery before the robbery. Root canals are required when dental pulp is so infected that it needs to be cleaned out by an endodontist. Even patients with “good” dental insurance can pay a premium co-pay. If Watson had done a little more research, he may have found a dentist that offered a reasonable payment plan—and maybe a used Lexus dealer would’ve been up for making a deal, too.