A recent zombie thread about horrible crimes made for uncomfortable reading and has spawned (as zombie are known to do) another version of itself. Some people in that htread mentioned particularly stupid criminals but held off, not wanting to derail the thread.
I am much more entertained by stupid criminals than horrible ones. Let forth with the tales of criminal stupidity.
I can’t provide a link since it’s just something I read many years ago. I recall a news story about some Mexican criminals who got into Satanism and black magic, and apparently actually believed in it because they were caught driving across the American border while under the impression they were invisible.
There was a famous incident in Bangkok years ago in which a large amount of money went missing from a bank. Just as an investigation was about to be launched, one of the tellers drove up in a hot-looking new sports car and wearing expensive gold jewelry, claiming he had just won the lottery. You can guess the rest.
Years ago someone broke into a pharmacy I worked at in my hometown through the roof after hours. He fell through the ceiling, breaking his leg, then located and ingested a copious amount of narcotic analgesics (no doubt one of the targets of his thievery, along with the Tuinals, Quaaludes and once-bottle of pharmaceutical grade cocaine—this was the ‘70’s after all) to dull the pain. He was found passed out and snoring the following morning and remained in that condition till woken by the police.
Then there were the guys who broke into a vet clinic near me & stole a lot of injectable drugs, including the euthanasia solution.
The cops put a big blurb in the papers the next day apealling to anybody connected with the crime to locate that particular bottle of stuff (I forget the name) & don’t try using or selling it. They even ran a picture of the bottle, complete with large skull & crossbones on the label.
Never heard of a rash of dead drug users/dealers after that. Maybe they actually read the label, or the newspaper.
Trying to dig up the cite/link from a few years back, but my all time favorite was the guy who was caught recorded on CCTV in the act of stealing… one of a pair of CCTV cameras monitoring a storefront at night. He drove up in a white Ford truck or van, parked it in view of the cameras, took out a ladder, worked on disconnecting one of the cameras with his face right up to the lens for a few good long minutes, then drives off with the theft fully recorded on the OTHER camera watching the storefront.
Well a call goes out for the theft and he gets wind of it (he may be stupid but he’s sort of paying attention), including mention of the fact that the remaining camera was able to get a good description of his getaway vehicle. He panics and ditches his truck, instead stealing another truck. But it occurs to him that he might get pulled over, so he steals a truck that looks exactly the same (another white Ford truck), and even switches the license plates so his registration docs would match.
There’s also story I read a few years ago of the would-be robber of a McDonald’s who was thwarted through everyday store policies. The robber shows up as the store is opening and demands the contents of the register. The cashier replies, “I can’t open this register without a purchase.”
“Hmm. OK, I’ll get an order of fries then.”
“I’m sorry, until 11am we only serve the Breakfast Menu.”
“Grrr, fine, I’ll have hash browns.”
“How many would you like?”
“Would you like coffee with that? – Sorry, I have to ask.”
“No, no coffee, dammit!!”
“Bip bip bip That’s $1.06 with tax.”
“All I have is a $20.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t make change for a $20 yet. Do you have any change? Otherwise I have to get the manager.”
A series that ran in the New York Times recently discussed a bank robber who believed he was invisible. (The series wasn’t about dumb criminals, but this particular case was covered in some detail in part 1 and part 5.) Or rather, that he was invisible to cameras. He’d been told that putting lemon juice on his face would render him invisible to cameras*, and even tested this himself before the robbery by taking a picture of himself. He didn’t show up in the picture, apparently because he had managed to point the camera at the ceiling instead of his face, and concluded that lemon juice was an effective invisibility potion. On the security camera footage he can be seen looking directly into the camera and smiling.
*A couple of other criminals were trying to get this guy to commit robbery for them, and made up the story about lemon juice so he’d think it was a fairly low-risk undertaking.
That reminds me of another one. A guy who was had been brought in by the cops for some reason (I don’t recall why but it can’t have been serious because he was left unattended) noticed an instant photo camera sitting on a cop’s desk. He decided to steal it - but not before making sure it worked by snapping a photo of his face and tossing it in the wastebasket.
I once heard my city’s former medical examiner speak about some of the cases she had dealt with. She was once at the scene of a rape/murder (which is always a horrible crime) where the victim had been assaulted and killed in her bed. The killer had used a condom while committing the rape…and then thrown said condom in the wastebasket next to the bed :smack:. I guess this guy thought that if he threw the evidence in the trash, it would somehow go away?