Dumb Things People DO

Crime Does Not Pay


Caveat Lector: A few of these may be the ubiquitous "urban legends," but most have come my way via legitimate news sources.
  1. A Charlotte, NC, man having purchased a case of very rare, very expensive cigars, insured them against fire, among other things. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of cigars and without having made even his first premium payment on the policy, the man filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the man stated the cigars were lost "in a series of small fires." The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. The man sued . . . and won. In delivering the ruling, the judge, agreeing that the claim was frivolous, stated nevertheless that the man held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure against fire, without defining what it considered to be "unacceptable fire," and was obligated to pay the claim. Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid the man $15,000 for the rare cigars he lost in "the fires." After the man cashed the check, however, the company had him arrested on 24 counts of arson. With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the man was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.
  2. A Circle-K convenience store was patronized by man requesting change for a twenty dollar bill. As soon as the register drawer was opened, the man pulled a gun and demanded it contents. He fled with all fifteen dollars of it, but left his original twenty lying on the counter.
  3. A cocaine buyer in South Carolina took his purchase to the local police station, claimed it was substandard, and demanded the arrest of his supplier.
  4. A convict broke out of jail in Washington D.C., then a few days later accompanied his girlfriend to her trial for robbery. At lunch, he went out for a sandwich. She needed to see him, and thus had him paged. Police officers recognized his name and arrested him as he returned to the courthouse in a car he had stolen over the lunch hour.
  5. A drug user on probation tried to fool the officer during a urine test with a homemade apparatus filled with a friend's urine. The sleight of hand didn't work, but the suspicious officer had the friend's urine tested along with that of the probationer. Yep, it tested positive too!
  6. A guy walked into a little corner store with a shotgun and demanded all the cash from the cash drawer. After the cashier put the cash in a bag, the robber saw a bottle of scotch that he wanted behind the counter on the shelf. He told the cashier to put it in the bag as well, but he refused and said "Because I don't believe you are over 21." The robber said he was, but the clerk still refused to give it to him because he didn't believe him. At this point the robber took his drivers license out of his wallet and gave it to the clerk. The clerk looked it over, and agreed that the man was in fact over 21 and he put the scotch in the bag. The robber then ran from the store with his loot. The cashier promptly called the police and gave the name and address of the robber that he got off the license. They arrested the robber two hours later.
  7. A grocery store cashier in Indiana was robbed by man who made his getaway and left his billfold on the counter.
  8. A man in Arkansas held up the desk clerk in a motel after registering for a room. Tracking him down was easy; police checked the name and address on the registration card.
  9. A man in Johannesburg, South Africa, shot his 49-year-old friend in the face, seriously wounding him, while the two practiced shooting beer cans off each other's head.
  10. A man walked into a Topeka, Kansas, Kwik Shop and asked for all the money in the cash drawer. Apparently the take was too small, so he tied up the store clerk and worked the counter himself for three hours, until police showed up and grabbed him.
  11. A motorist was unknowingly caught in an automated speed trap that measured his speed using radar and photographed his car. He later received in the mail a ticket for $40 and a photo of his car. Instead of payment, he sent the police department a photograph of $40. Several days later, he received a letter from the police that contained another picture . . .  of handcuffs. The motorist promptly sent the money for the fine.
  12. A new housing development in Virginia was visited by two men determined to steal a refrigerator. They caused considerable damage to the house while removing the refrigerator and were unable to leave the scene, because the added weight on their pickup caused it to get bogged down in the mud. They returned the refrigerator but were still unable to leave the scene, because they had locked the keys in the vehicle!
  13. A pair of Michigan robbers entered a record shop nervously waving revolvers. The first one shouted, "Nobody move!" When his partner moved, the startled first bandit shot him.
  14. A robber held up a Li'l Cricket store in Spartanburg, S.C., and the clerk hit the silent alarm. A deputy's car pulled up outside, unnoticed by the holdup man. The clerk asked permission to go out and tell the "customer" that the store was closed. The robber agreed, allowing the clerk to get to safety and the deputy to make the arrest.
  15. A security camera in a bank was stolen by a man who broke in after hours, sending perfect footage of him and his actions to the remote video recorder.
  16. A Texas robber was informed that he could avoid a prison sentence by paying $9,600 in damages. His subsequent stay in prison was on account of the check he forged to pay the debt!
  17. A winning lottery ticket in Missouri would have been worth $100,000, except that it was one of hundreds stolen by Chastity Cromer from the convenience store where she worked. She might have gotten away with it, except that she offered a $2,000 bribe to a coworker to keep her mouth shut--and then didn't pay up!
  18. A woman was arrested for trying to open a bank account. What's wrong with that? Her opening deposit was in cash. What's wrong with that? It was one single bill. What's wrong with that? It was a million-dollar bill!
  19. A woman was reporting her car as stolen, and mentioned that there was a car phone in it. The policeman taking the report called the phone and told the guy that answered that he had read the ad in the newspaper and wanted to buy the car. They arranged to meet, and the thief was arrested.
  20. According to the Reuters news service, a 17-year-old ran into a Ft. Worth, Texas, tanning salon, making the owner suspicious. He claimed that he was not being chased, but after assigning him a tanning bed, the owner called police. They had been pursuing a bank robbery suspect in the neighborhood. Yep, that was him!
  21. Accused of selling drugs, Howard Jones's attorney sought to lower his client's bail from $150,000, insisting that Jones would not think about fleeing. At that very instant, Jones sprinted out of the front door of the courtroom. He was caught fifty minutes later and his bail was raised to $500,000.
  22. After breaking into the basement window of a bank, a would-be thief realized that there was no access to the money from there. Unable to exit the window and bleeding severely from glass cuts received upon entering, he called 911.
  23. After leaving his gun at a holdup scene, a robber returned to retrieve it. Of course it would have been stupid to go back and be recognised. So he clever disguised himself as his twin brother!
  24. After robbing a bank, Darryl Ellis of Gulfport, Mississippi was arrested for urinating in public. Police found the holdup note when they searched him.
  25. After robbing three banks in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a man took his clothes to a Chattanooga dry cleaners . . . with the holdup note still in his shirt pocket.
  26. Amy Brasher was arrested in San Antonio, Texas, after a mechanic found eighteen packages of marijuana packed in the engine compartment of the car. The woman, who had taken her car in for an oil change, said that she did not realize he would have to lift the hood to get the job done.
  27. An absent-minded would-be robber started to hold up a drug store before remembering to pull the specially-prepared trash bag over his face to disguise himself. No, wait--it wasn't specially prepared; he forgot to cut the eyeholes!
  28. An Illinois man pretending to have a gun kidnapped a motorist and forced him to drive to two different automated teller machines. The kidnapper then proceeded to withdraw money from his own bank accounts.
  29. An Iraqi terrorist named Khay Rahnajet put insufficient postage on a letter bomb. When it came back marked "Return to Sender," he opened it!
  30. Arkansas was the home of a company named "Dewey, Cheatham and Howe." Well, as you can guess, it wasn't a real company, it was a ficitious name fronting a fraudulent plan set up by 54-year-old Patrick Michael Penker, who apparently saw one too many episodes of the Three Stooges. And apparently many people saw one too few episodes, because his scheme made a million dollars before bank officer John Reed of the American State Bank in Lubbock, Texas got suspicious. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal broke the story.
  31. At a customs desk in England, an official struck up a conversation with a German traveller on the subject of golf, since one of the German's carry-ons was a golf bag. The official noticed a severe lack of knowledge of the sport on the part of the traveller, prompting a request for a demonstration of his golf swing. After watching him swing backward, the official searched the bag . . . and discovered a large store of illegal drugs.
  32. Baltimore's newspaper, The Sun, reported that Edwin V. Gaynor applied to become a police officer and truthfully reported on the application form that he had committed a carjacking and two robberies. He even had an outstanding warrant.
  33. Barry Colbert was cited for driving while intoxicated and for driving with a suspended license. He actually got behind the wheel after a collision but before the police got to the car. The real driver was cited for driving without a license, driving without headlights and running a stop sign. The reason he didn't have a license: seven-year-olds aren't allowed to have them! Did I mention that Colbert was also cited for allowing his youngster to operate a motor vehicle?
  34. Belgian news agency Belga reported that a man suspected of robbing a jewelry store in Liege said he couldn't have done it because he was busy breaking into a school at that same time.
  35. Bragging to police about how good his marijuana is can get a guy arrested for possession. Yep, it really happened.
  36. Charged with drug-possession, Christopher Johns claimed that he had been searched without a warrant. The prosecutor said the officer did not need a warrant because a bulge in Johns' jacket could have been a gun. "Nonsense," said Christopher who happened to be wearing the same jacket that day. When he handed the judge the jacket, a bag of cocaine fell out. The judge required a five-minute recess so that he could gain his composure.
  37. Clever drug traffickers used a propane tanker truck entering El Paso from Mexico. They rigged it so propane gas would be released from all of its valves while the truck concealed 6,240 pounds of marijuana. They were clever, but not bright. They misspelled the name of the gas company on the side of the truck.
  38. Concertgoer Korey Henderson was wearing an orange jumpsuit. That tends to capture the attention. Especially of law enforcement. Especially when the words "Polk County Jail" are stenciled on the back. A speedy investigation revealed that the suit had been stolen when Henderson was released from that institution. Because his attendance at the concert violated the terms of his probation, he earned the right to continue wearing the jumpsuit . . . in Polk County Jail.
  39. Daly City, California was the site of an accident which introduced police to Alan Martin. They asked for his driver's license, which they noticed was invalid. As a result, he was not allowed to drive away even though his car was operational. He threw a temper tantrum and lay down in the road. To protect him, police put up a barricade, but it was crashed through by another criminal. Alan was run over, and Criminal #2 was charged with attempted murder.
  40. David Posman, 33, was arrested recently in Providence, R.I., after allegedly knocking out an armored car driver and stealing the closest four bags of money. It turned out they contained $800 in PENNIES, weighed 30 pounds each, and slowed him to a stagger during his getaway so that police officers easily jumped him from behind.
  41. Dennis Newton was on trial for the armed robbery of a convenience store in a district court when he fired his lawyer. Assistant district attorney Larry Jones said Newton, 47, was doing a fair job of defending himself until the store manager testified that Newton was the robber. Newton jumped up, accused the woman of lying and then said, "I should of blown your #@%* head off." The defendant paused, then quickly added, "if I'd been the one that was there." The jury took 20 minutes to convict Newton and recommend a 30-year sentence.
  42. Deputies responding to a 911 call discovered that Jeffrey Barber had not really shot himself as it appeared. He was playing a joke on his wife. The blood was fake, but the gun was not. It turns out he was a convicted felon and therefore unable to legally possess a gun, so the joke got him fifteen-to-life!
  43. "Dope" is a good word to use when referring to the drug dealer in Anchorage, for selling cocaine to an undercover policeman, because a year later he recognized the cop but sold him some crack anyway!
  44. Dropping one's pants is an activity for which there is a proper time and place. It is not a good idea to do it while being chased by police. Aaron Reynolds was tripped when his pants fell down around his ankles during a pursuit on foot. A similar thing happened to Carl Franklin, but his story is a little hotter, in that he had been running with a lit cigarette in his pocket. Crash and burn!
  45. Elijah The Prophet fired his lawyer, an agent of Satan, because he didn't like his (the lawyer's) approach to his (the prophet's) defense in a murder trial. Actually, Christopher Turgeon fired Royce Ferguson. Turgeon thinks he's Elijah. Ferguson thinks Turgeon is crazy. That was the defense. By the way, the result was a mistrial because of a hung jury.
  46. 56-year-old Leighton Deming and 42-year-old Thomas Marciano tried to sell a headdress, which they claimed had been worn by Geronimo, over the internet. Their ad included the wording "only serious candidates must respond because it is illegal to sell eagle feathers in the United States." Apparently the FBI was a serious candidate. . . .
  47. Guards in Canadian prisons come around during the night to ensure that all inmates are where they belong. A sixty-five-year-old convicted murderer said that disturbed his sleep. Not only that, he claimed it constituted inhumane treatment. In fact, he sued the Canadian government for $3,100,000.
  48. "Guns For Hire," an Arizona company that helps moviemakers with the staging of gunfights, received a call from a 47-year-old woman who wanted her husband rubbed out.
  49. Having been accused of capital murder and fearing he would be convicted and sent to death row, a man resorted to bribing one of the jurors. During the voir dire proceedings, one of the panel members came off as especially naive and gullible, so it was he that the defendant approached. He offered him a large amount of money to insist on a manslaughter conviction. Sure enough, the man was convicted of manslaughter rather than murder. During the secret payoff meeting, he asked the crooked juror if it was difficult convincing the others to vote for the manslaughter conviction. The answer was, "Yep! At first everyone else was voting for acquittal!"
  50. Having watched too many movies, and thinking that police would need three minutes to trace a call, fugitive Michael LaRock placed a quick call from Georgia to police back home in New York to rub it in. He was soon apprehended, thanks to Caller ID!
  51. Heather Quigley showed up at the Livingston County jail in Michigan with a document ordering the release of her husband. He did get released (when the time was right), but Heather is now being held. It seems she didn't do a very professional job of forging the release document and so was charged with attempting to effect an escape.
  52. Holiday Inn in Anchorage, Alaska, was hosting a law enforcement training conference. That fact was boldly stated on the marquee outside and the large banners inside. That didn't keep Floyd Brown from deciding to hold up the desk clerk. Thirty officers were assisted in apprehending the robber.
  53. In El Paso, The Times reported the arrest of 47-year-old Dale Smith, who became violent in a bar, even brandishing a pistol. The hand holding the gun was attached to his, well, prosthetic arm. It--the arm--fell off.
  54. In Kentucky, two men tried to remove the front of an ATM using a chain hooked to their pickup's bumper. Instead of the machine, it was the bumper that gave. The men escaped, leaving the machine, the chain, the bumper . . . and their license plate!
  55. In Medford, Oregon, a 27-year-old jobless man blamed his college degree for his murder of three people. "There are too many business grads out there," he said. "If I had chosen another field, then this may not have happened."
  56. In Modesto, California, Steven Richard King was arrested for trying to hold up a Bank of America branch without a weapon. King used a thumb and a finger to simulate a gun, but he failed to keep his hand in his pocket.
  57. In Petersborough, Ontario, Gerald Dixon, 26, was sentenced to six years in prison for robbing a Bank of Montreal branch. He was arrested a few hours after the robbery as he attempted to deposit his loot into his account at the same bank, according to the 02/09/1996 edition of the Toronto Star.
  58. In Summerton, North Carolina, a would-be robber in a car stopped an 80-year-old pedestrian, threatened him with a knife, and asked for money. The victim said his money was at home, so the perpetrator drove him to his house and waited outside, impatiently honking his horn, while the victim called the police.
  59. In Vienna, Austria, a man exposed himself to a woman and her child. Then, fearing arrest, he zipped up his fly . . . too fast! Police found him doubled over in pain.
  60. It seems a man, wanting to rob a downtown Bank of America, walked into the branch and wrote "This iz a stikkup. Put all your muny in this bag," on a deposit slip. While standing in line, waiting to give his note to the teller, he began to worry that someone had seen him write the note and might call the police before he reached the teller window. So he left the Bank of America and crossed the street to Wells Fargo Bank. After waiting a few minutes in line, he handed his note to the Wells Fargo teller. She read it, and surmising from his spelling errors that he was not the brightest light in the harbor, told him that she could not accept his stickup note because it was written on a Bank of America deposit slip and that he would either have to fill out a Wells Fargo deposit slip or go back to Bank of America. Looking somewhat defeated, the man said, "OK," and left the Wells Fargo Bank. The Wells Fargo teller then called the police, who arrested the man a few minutes later. He was waiting in line back at the Bank of America!
  61. Jose Santiago of Gurnee, Illinos, wanted to impersonate a police officer, so he bought a Crown Vic and installed lights, but he failed to include important details like a uniform and a badge. Perhaps his biggest mistake, however, was in his choice for his first "collar." He stopped and harrassed Jeremy Gaughan, an off-duty policeman!
  62. Karen Lee Joachimmi, 20, was arrested in Lake City, Florida for robbery of a Howard Johnson's motel. She was armed with only an electric chain saw, which was not plugged in.
  63. Kristopher Huie was arrested in Johnson County, Texas on felony theft charges. The object of the theft? A fully loaded freight train! The method of detection? He radioed the dispatcher asking how to release the brake! Obviously, he hadn't yet left the station.
  64. Linda Harris, the director of a program to reduce drunk driving in New Mexico, came to the group's picnic drunk. And yes, she drove herself there. Police were able to raise awareness at that event by administering the appropriate tests and making the arrest in front of the attendees.
  65. Making sure all the details are factual is a good idea, but it got Steven Hebron caught. He dropped his billfold while robbing a convenience store and stepped back in just as the clerk was giving the police the particulars over the phone. The clerk described him as "about five feet ten" and "about 38 years old." Hebron set the record straight: he's 6'2" and 34 years old. The delay caused by this attention to detail gave police enough time to get there and make the arrest.
  66. Manchester Evening News told of a man entering a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland wearing a heavy coat and hat. This drew immediate suspicion since it was hot weather. After holding up the bank, he made his getaway . . . on a bicycle! When the red dye packet in the money exploded, it startled him so much he dropped his loot. He stopped to pick it up, but then crashed into a curb and lost it again. A security camera recorded the entire fiasco, including him losing his hat and showing his face.
  67. Mark Fisher's girlfriend didn't buy the kind of vehicle he wanted her to, so he set fire to her new car while it was parked in a multilevel parking garage. He made his getaway by leaping over a wall . . . falling two stories . . . and landing in the hospital.
  68. Nenana Ice Classic is a big annual event in Alaska. A clock is attached to a stand which is set up on the frozen Tanana River in the town on Nenana. Then people bet on the exact minute the ice will melt enough to dislodge the stand, break the line, and stop the clock. Okay, it's legal, so these people aren't necessarily criminals, but the get-something-for-nothing mentality (or whatever) led 96 people in 1999 to bet that the breakup would take place on April 31st. (Check a calendar if you don't know why that's a dumb thing to do.) In 2000, there were 144 people who chose that day.
  69. New Jersey Trooper Glenn Lubertazzi stopped a car for speeding and began asking the three passengers routine questions. When of the them got a cigarette from the glove compartment, the officer noticed that the pack contained a marijuana joint. A search of the car turned up $32,000 of drug money and several pounds of marijuana.
  70. Paul Harvey told about a "farmer" in Whittier, California, who was so proud of his "crop" that he had his picture taken with it. The photo developer sent a copy to the police, who proceeded with a very large marijuana bust.
  71. Police Chief Bruce Tognetti of Colma, California, commented that "It's almost like watching The Three Stooges. But instead, there's just two of them." He was referring to John Mack and Charles Mitchell trying to break into their own car in which they had locked the keys when they made their rounds robbing nearby stores. The San Mateo County Times reported that the police were alerted by mall security.
  72. Police detectives in L.A. had each suspect in a lineup repeat the words, "Give me all your money or I'll shoot!" When they came to the actual perpetrator, he objected, "That's not what I said!"
  73. Police in Amherst, Idaho interrogated a suspect by placing a metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to a photocopy machine. The message "He's lying" was placed in the copier, and a detective pressed the copy button each time they thought the suspect wasn't telling the truth. Believing the "lie detector" was working, the suspect confessed.
  74. Police in Oakland, California spent two hours attempting to subdue a gunman who had barricaded himself inside his home. After firing ten tear gas canisters, officers discovered that the man was standing beside them, shouting pleas to come out and give himself up.
  75. Police in Wichita, Kansas, arrested a 22-year-old man at an airport hotel after he tried to pass two $16 bills.
  76. Portsmouth, RI Police charged Gregory Rosa, 25, with a string of vending machine robberies in January. He fled from police inexplicably when they spotted him loitering around a vending machine and later tried to post his $400 bail in coins.
  77. R.C. Gaitlan, 21, walked up to two patrol officers who were showing their squad car computer equipment to children in a Detroit neighborhood. When he asked how the system worked, the officer asked him for identification. Gaitlan gave them his drivers license, they entered it into the computer, and moments later they arrested Gaitlan because information on the screen showed Gaitlan was wanted for a two-year-old armed robbery in St. Louis, Missouri.
  78. Reuters News Service reported that a 17-year-old held up a Taco Bell in Ft. Worth and then ordered a chalupa. The police were there before his order was, and waving a toy gun at the officers bought him a shot in the arm and in the leg.
  79. Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald told of a sixty-year-old man, Emmit Scott, who called the sheriff to report that a man assaulted him while trying to steal his marujuana plants. Mr. Scott didn't realize it was illegal to grow pot in one's garden, so he was surprised that he was also arrested.
  80. Ronald Raymond stole a car and then ran out of gas while being chased by police. Before getting out of the car and surrending, he was heard to say, "Hold on a minute. Let me finish my beer."
  81. San Francisco police arrested career criminal Scot Beane, who had a bad habit of robbing banks while on drugs. It seems he dropped a Western Union receipt at the scene of one robbery and a copy of his resume at the next.
  82. Security cameras took pictures of William Earl Dykes in a convenience store stealing some of the necessities of life, such as booze and cigarettes. He claimed that the pictures were of his evil twin. He was convicted of watching too many movies. (Just kidding!)
  83. Someone badly in need of cash wanted to know where to buy some cocaine so he could resell it at a profit. Apparently he had received good advice in the past: When you need help, ask a policeman. So he did. And the policeman did his job, which did not include giving the would-be pusher the requested information.
  84. Stupid Criminal Awards may be awaiting Michael Anthone Jacobs who, in the course of committing several robberies in Mesa, Arizona, dropped and broke his gun, stopped to use his inhaler, locked his keys in the car, and drove at night without headlights. That last problem was the break the police needed.
  85. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 7:50 a.m., flashed a gun and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away.
  86. The Daily Camera gave an account of an amateur counterfeiter, Douglas Ryan Oeters. He attempted to pay the Boulder, Colorado Humane Society a pet adoption fee using $20 bills. Humane Society employee Briana Rooney said, "We were like, 'yeah, right'," because the phony bills were photocopies on yellow paper. Oeters was stalled while the police were notified, and he claimed that the bills had come from his bank. His billfold contained two genuine $20 bills and 42 photocopies of them.
  87. The Nashville Tennessean reported an incident in which two armed robbers held up a pizza deliveryman. When one of the holdup men hit the deliveryman on the head with his gun, the deliveryman was not injured; however, the gun went off, killing the other holdup man.
  88. The Tallahassee Democrat told the story of 20-year-old Alonzo Lamar McMillian, who parked in a handicapped space. Officer Greg Tucker noticed it only because the car stereo was being played too loud. McMillian refused to move, claiming he would "only be there a minute." Officer Tucker ran a license check, discovering that the vehicle had been stolen. In addition to the charges of parking in a handicapped space and grand theft auto, McMillian earned himself charges of drug possession and battery on a law enforcement officer. Tucker characterized McMilliam with the statement that "he's not exactly a criminal mastermind."
  89. The television news one night told the story of a would-be holdup man who tried to disguise himself with a bag over his head. A clear plastic bag!
  90. The Times Of London reported the case of Roland Tough, a 22-year-old store robber who dropped off film for developing at a Tesco supermarket--the same Tesco he helped rob two weeks earlier. Store employees recognised the men in one of the photos, police met him when he came to pick up his prints, and the magistrate gave him six years.
  91. There was $200 in the cash register of an adult bookstore in Anchorage, Alaska, but the robber decided to run off carrying the entire register. He left a trail of register tape for the police to follow to his home.
  92. Three men in Spotsylvania County, Virginia set out to rob a restaurant. While one went inside to do the dirty work, the others waited outside--in a parking space reserved for the handicapped. When they were rude to the employee who asked them to move it, she reported it to the police, who arrested all three.
  93. Union City Messenger told about Shannon Paige Morphis, who was already in trouble for writing bad checks. Her solution was to rob a bank to get the money to pay her debt. The leftover money was used to catch up on the payments for her trailer, which is where the investigators caught up with her.
  94. University of Manitoba assitant professor Rod Yellon tried to teach the Canadian justice system a thing or two. Having run a stop sign, he insisted that the word "stop" is vague and that the signs lack "standards and frequencies of calibration, performance and testing." He missed his court appearance when his mind got sucked into a black hole. Really! Just ask him!
  95. Wanting a sure way to make himself stop drinking, a man in Stockhom, Sweden offered to serve a friend's jail sentence for driving while intoxicated. He borrowed the friend's ID and showed up to be incarcerated. A couple of weeks later the false identity was discovered, and the result was both men serving time: the original convict for the original crime and the would-be substitute for perjury and impersonation.
  96. What do you do when your getaway driver panics and leaves you behind? Bank robber Eric Davis thought he would just carjack the next available vehicle. Unfortunately (for him, fortunately for the good guys), that next vehicle was an unmarked police car populated by two plainclothesmen. This added two counts of kidnapping to the charges against him!
  97. When Paul Benier went in to rob a bank in Swansea, Massachusetts, he left a very important piece of equipment locked up in his car: the car key!
  98. When 22-year-old Norman Hardy pleaded innocent to selling drugs, he filled out a form requesting a public defender. In the blank requesting "occupation," Norman wrote "selling drugs."
  99. When two service station attendants in Ionia, Michigan, refused to hand over the cash to an intoxicated robber, the man threatened to call the police. They still refused, so the robber called the police and was arrested.
  100. York County jail in Pennsylvania was holding Robert Haley for robbery, when he received a visit from a friend, David Ruppert. It turns out the police were looking for David, since he was Robert's accomplice in the robbery!
Maybe we are as stupid as the criminals sometimes. Let me illustrate: David Hill already had ten DUI convictions, and yet was released four years early from prison. Less than a week later, he drove drunk. To the liquor store. He isn't getting the message. And apparently, neither is the justice system in Montana.

Finally, a story of someone counting on a dumb criminal: Having discovered a marijuana patch while investigating a fire in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, one of the officers left his business card at the site, saying, "I'm hoping they will call me."


For more of the same,
check out the Dumb Criminal Acts web site
and Court TV's Stupid Crimes & Misdemeanors.

Also, go to your bookstore and get one of the books by Alan Ray and Daniel R. Butler:

  1. America's Dumbest Criminals
  2. Wanted Dumb or Alive: 100 New Stories From The Files Of America's Dumbest Criminals
  3. The World's Dumbest Criminals

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