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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
A convict broke out of jail in Washington D.C., then a few days later
his girlfriend to her trial for robbery. At lunch, he went out for a sandwich.
to see him, and thus had him paged. Police officers recognized his name and
him as he returned to the courthouse in a car he had stolen over the lunch hour.
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!
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.
A grocery store cashier in Indiana was robbed by man who made his getaway and
left his billfold on the counter.
A man in Arkansas held up the desk clerk in a motel after registering for a
Tracking him down was easy; police checked the name and address on the
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
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
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
for $40 and a photo of his car. Instead of payment, he sent the police
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.
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!
A pair of Michigan robbers entered a record shop nervously waving revolvers.
one shouted, "Nobody move!" When his partner moved, the startled first bandit
A robber held up a Li'l Cricket store in Spartanburg, S.C., and the clerk hit
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
What's wrong with that? It was a million-dollar bill!
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
had read the ad in the newspaper and wanted to buy the car. They arranged to
the thief was arrested.
According to the Reuters news service, a 17-year-old ran into a Ft. Worth,
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
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.
After breaking into the basement window of a bank, a would-be thief realized
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.
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!
After robbing a bank, Darryl Ellis of Gulfport, Mississippi was arrested for
urinating in public. Police found the holdup note when they searched him.
After robbing three banks in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a man took his clothes to
Chattanooga dry cleaners . . . with the holdup note still in his
Amy Brasher was arrested in San Antonio, Texas, after a mechanic found eighteen
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.
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!
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.
An Iraqi terrorist named Khay Rahnajet put insufficient postage on a letter
When it came back marked "Return to Sender," he opened it!
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.
At a customs desk in England, an official struck up a conversation with a
traveller on the subject of golf, since one of the German's carry-ons was a
bag. The official noticed a severe lack of knowledge of the sport on the part
the traveller, prompting a request for a demonstration of his golf swing.
watching him swing backward, the official searched the
bag . . .
and discovered a large store of illegal drugs.
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.
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?
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.
Bragging to police about how good his marijuana is can get a guy arrested for
possession. Yep, it really happened.
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.
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.
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.
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.
David Posman, 33, was arrested recently in Providence, R.I., after allegedly
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.
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.
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!
"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!
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!
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.
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. . . .
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.
"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
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!"
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!
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.
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.
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.
In Kentucky, two men tried to remove the front of an ATM using a chain hooked
their pickup's bumper. Instead of the machine, it was the bumper that gave.
men escaped, leaving the machine, the chain, the bumper . . . and
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."
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.
In Petersborough, Ontario, Gerald Dixon, 26, was sentenced to six years in
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.
In Summerton, North Carolina, a would-be robber in a car stopped an 80-year-old
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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
He radioed the dispatcher asking how to release the brake! Obviously, he
left the station.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!"
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.
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
out and give himself up.
Police in Wichita, Kansas, arrested a 22-year-old man at an airport hotel after
he tried to pass two $16 bills.
Portsmouth, RI Police charged Gregory Rosa, 25, with a string of vending
robberies in January. He fled from police inexplicably when they spotted
loitering around a vending machine and later tried to post his $400 bail in
R.C. Gaitlan, 21, walked up to two patrol officers who were showing their squad
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
license, they entered it into the computer, and moments later they arrested
because information on the screen showed Gaitlan was wanted for a two-year-old
armed robbery in St. Louis, Missouri.
Reuters News Service reported that a 17-year-old held up a Taco Bell in Ft.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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!)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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
The Times Of London reported the case of Roland Tough, a 22-year-old store
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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!
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."
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.
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!
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:
- America's Dumbest Criminals
- Wanted Dumb or Alive: 100 New Stories From The Files Of America's Dumbest Criminals
- The World's Dumbest Criminals