Best dumb criminal stories

Back when I was in high school, one of the people down the road (country road) was having a problem with having their mailbox smashed and/or the pole knocked down on a fairly regular basis. So they sank a nice shaft, filled it with 4’ of concrete and a nice, sold 6"x 6" post. No one messed with the thing for several months, until one fateful winter day after a snowstorm.

They came out to find the pole intact, the mailbox at the top destroyed, a busted down, busted up car about 50" into their front yard and a pair of fresh tracks leading straight across the snow covered field to a house about a mile away.

Gosh, no problems sorting out who attempted that one. :smiley:

<cop joke>
If you ask me, this is where the stupid started. <ba-dum tisssshhh>
</cop joke>

Oh, I’m guessing the stupid started some time before that. It was just blatantly obvious at the donut store.

The other year I helped chase down a mugger. He jumped a woman from behind in a huge Target parking lot (they have cameras), right across from the big BART (subway) parking lot, during rush hour, in broad daylight. So tons of witnesses.

Lady does not give up her purse easily, she’s hanging on for dear life so the guy has to wrestle her for a minute to make off with it. She’s screaming bloody murder, gets up and starts running after him. I try and block him, he dodges around me and across 6 lanes of traffic (luckily stopped or he would have been dead immediately). Myself and at least three other guys walking by all start chasing him. Someone on a bike joins in. I’m on my cell phone with the CHP, describing where we are, what he looks like, what he’s wearing, etc.

The guy ditches his jacket (I assume to avoid being identified) which just gives me a better look at him.

He drops the purse and takes off. I stop to gather the purse as the other pursuers keep after him. Victim and store security guard catch up to me just as 3-4 police cars go whizzing by.

We’re standing there and the store guard suggests that we look in the jacket for any clues to the thief’s identity. I’m on the phone with the CHP and tell them “Let me make this very easy for you, I can give you his name and address.”

Idiot left a letter from his PAROLE OFFICER in his jacket pocket. Cops caught him within minutes, victim and I identified him on the spot and he later plea bargained - he already had two strikes so facing 25-life for this crime, my lawyer friend said they probably threw every misdemeanor charge under the sun at him and he had to take it.

A friend of a friend got the idea to copy money, with his father’s color photocopier, and put the copies in the change machine at the local arcade. Surprisingly this worked and he managed to get hundreds of marks out of the machine in coins. The dumb part was when he started to hand out fake bills to his friends right outside the arcade. Someone called the police and he was caught with his hands full of fake bills and his pockets full of coins.

Same restaurant, another night.

White kid in a hoodie walks out on $9 tab. Server doesn’t say anything for about 10 minutes after he leaves. A half hour later, he comes strolling back across the front of the restaurant. Server points him out to me and I go out to confront him.

With me walking out the door 10’ away, idjot tries to rob a guy smoking a cigarette out front. He sees me and starts walking away. I didn’t immediately go after him because the intended victim distracts me with his hollering and carrying on, demanding my attention (Clue: shut up, I know, let me get this guy!). Punk just keeps walking. When I finally do go after him, he runs for it.

I call mall cop, who goes after him, along with a former military guy who works for my own company and .who has stopped by to visit the mall guy. They catch him in a drug store about two blocks away, pretending to shop and SHOPLIFTING while he does it.

They drag him back. He’s claiming that he’s never been near the mall, doesn’t know what they’re talking about, even after I come out and ID him. They had to point it out to him that “Hey dumbass, this guy just ID’d you as the guy who ran from him” before he broke down and admitted guilt. Idiot had enough money in his pocket to pay the tab. Because of this, and because the intended robbery victim had decided to leave the scene, and also because the manager didn’t want to waste his time in court pressing charges for less than $10, we made him pay the tab, trespassed him from the entire mall and let him go.

Even then, after all this, the guy kept alternating between “I didn’t do it” and “I’m sorry, I won’t do it again”. (Clue: Pick a story and stick to it.)

This also happened in the town where I was a Police Officer. The dummy wore his jacket, with his name, and his mom worked in the store.

Some coworkers talked about a woman who used to work in their office, who was fired for using a customer’s credit card number. How did they track down who did this? She used the info to pay her own utility bills. :smack:

I’ve heard versions that went that way, too. A friend of mine used to work at a donut shop in high school, and a guy once tried to rob the place in front of five police officers sitting there on break.

Hello, neighbor!

Actual LOL. Thanks.

Ok, I was reminded of another one I was told (unknown origin story to follow):

A guy decided to hold up a gun store with a cop car parked nearby. The cop was in the store, and Brainless apparently hadn’t thought that a gun store might keep actual loaded guns within reach. He was out drawn.

This one wins, so far. I mean, laser pointer burglars is very stupid, but the quoted one requires less cognitive power than a dried up cactus.

One of my favourites is the bank robber that got trapped inside the bank because he kept pushing the exit door that had a big label saying PULL.

Maybe a couple months after I started working in a department store, I got a call from HR asking if I could take shift on Saturday, to cover for a co-worker she named. I told her I had already traded that person for the shift. I found out what was going on several days later, when I heard the woman who was supposed to take my Friday had been arrested.

She used a stolen credit card in the store. You know, where she worked. And where people knew her name.

Dumb criminal stories are fantastic, because you can laugh heartily at another person’s stupidity and misfortune and not feel the slightest bit of guilt because they were both

a) doing something they shouldn’t do in the first place, and
b) brought down by their own stupidity

I actually think that some people become criminals purely out of stupidity. They are so stupid that, in effect, civilization doesn’t “take”. They really can’t understand why if they want someone, they can’t just take it, and those who stop them from doing so are “mean” and the rules are “stupid”.

(Ever notice how stupid people call a lot of things stupid?)

As for stories, let’s see if I can cudgel my brain for a few anecdotes to justify the diversion into pedantry. :slight_smile:

Well, there was the group of young rocket scientists who went out for a joy ride on garbage day one day and discovered the thrilling past=time of smashing their car through the garbage people had set out for the truck.

All went well until they reach one house who, like they always did, had piled their garbage bags around a prominent feature of the landscaping of their lawn.

Namely, an enormous decorative boulder.

BAM went the jalopy, ass over teakettle, landing on its roof and sliding down the street another half a block.

Miraculously, all the teen males escaped with only minor injuries and required only minor medical intervention and, presumably, fresh pants.

When I was a shift manager at a restaurant some years back, one night this guy sat out front drinking beer for a few hours. He came inside, looked me right in the eyes, grabbed the tip jar, said “Later!” and booked out the door.

The thing is, this guy was an ex-employee. So I dug out his old employee file before calling the police - gave 'em his full name, address, phone number, SSN…

Was sent to a call where a female was complaining that her brothers refused to honor their part of the deal. She let them have sex with her but they refused to pay her with the crack they owed her.

Shoplifter hides stolen knives in pants with [del]un[/del] expected consequences

I mean, quite aside from the difficulty inherent in trying to pass a $100 bill that has George Washington’s face on it? :dubious:

In other news a shoplifter at the local pyrotechnics store gets hoisted by the petards he tried to conceal within his clothes. Police officers are waiting, butterfly net in hand, for all the pieces of the suspect to finish raining down in the neighborhood.