The once front-running Republican presidential candidate John McCain was arrested in Wapello, Iowa, after allegedly robbing a Circle K convenience store with an automatic weapon Tuesday night.
The Arizona senator was caught at approximately 10:30 p.m. by Wapello police responding to a robbery alarm pushed by Circle K shift manager Ron Holsworth.
"It was an old man with pantyhose on his head," said Holsworth, "and he kept pointing the pistol at me and yelling, 'I know how to use this!'"
The Wapello police arrested McCain after he lead them on an 18-minute chase in his campaign bus, The Straight-Talk Express.
"We wondered what he was doing with the bus at night," admitted a senior staffer under the condition of anonymity.
The Iowa State Police believe it may be connected to eight other convenience store robberies, all perpetrated by an old man with a campaign bus.
Senator McCain's woes began several weeks ago when his top advisors informed him that they were significantly short of their projected $100 million war chest, and only had $2 million cash-on-hand.
With more and more contributions being siphoned off by Rudolph Juliani, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson, McCain was forced to lay off thousands of campaign workers and even lost members of his senior staff.
Believing he was on the brink of being marginalized by the Republican Party's mainstream members and contributors for his support of President Bush and the War in Iraq, McCain got desperate.
He decided his only way to raise funds in time was to go on a robbery spree before until the Iowa primary.
But that wasn't all.
"Inside Senator McCain's campaign bus," said Wapello police sergeant Walt Hutchinson, "we found blueprints of Romney's and Thompson's headquarters, as well as Juliani's mansion and beach house."
While McCain lawyers are worried their client may be facing significant jail time, pollsters for the G.O.P. believe he still may have succeeded in getting ahead in the primary race.
Perhaps conservative pundit Chip Foxx put it best Wednesday morning:
"I think all of America, not just Republican voters, will respect the way John McCain took matters into his own hands."