When we watch crime shows on TV, often criminals are made out to be clever and cunning, hatching the most ingenious plans to carry out their capers. However, in reality, there are very few criminals who are actually like this, and most of them stand no chance of escaping the law, partly because they’re… well… not the brightest crayons in the pack. Read on to find out about 10 of the stupidest criminals who didn’t make their great escape.
And finally, a suspect who was being interrogated by police became a victim to their cunning trap. They placed a metal colander on his head, and used wires to attach it to a photocopier. They placed a sheet with the words “He’s lying” printed on it inside the photocopier, and each time they thought he was lying, they pressed the copy button. The suspect believed that the “lie detector” was real, and eventually confessed to his crime.
This one is actually pretty clever from the defendant’s side, but the situation itself is wonderfully stupid. When a man was accused of burglary, his lawyer tried to defend him in court by stating that he merely put his arm through a window and removed a few items, and you cannot punish an entire person for the work of one of their limbs. To this the judge said, “Using your logic, I sentence the defendant’s arm to one year’s imprisonment.” He also made the mistake of saying the defendant could choose whether or not to accompany his arm in prison, not realising that he happened to be the owner of an artificial arm. The defendant and his lawyer removed the arm, placed it on the bench, and left.
A robber was waiting in line at a downtown Bank of America after having written a particularly badly spelled note to give the teller, informing them of his intentions. However, after a few minutes, he began to fear that somebody had seen him write the note and called the police, so instead he made his way to Wells Fargo across the street. He waited in line there, and gave his note to the teller, who read it and judged from the spelling that he must not have been too bright. She said that since the note had been written on a deposit slip for Bank of America, he’d have to go back there or fill out a slip for Wells Fargo instead. The robber returned to the Bank of America whilst she called the police, who arrested him a few minutes later whilst he was still in line.
A man on trial for drugs possession claimed that he had been searched without warrant. When told that the officer had not needed a warrant to search him because there was a chance the bulge in his pocket could have been a gun, he brushed it off as nonsense and gave the judge his jacket to examine. The judge found a packet of cocaine in the man’s pocket and required a five minute recess because he found it so funny.
In Maryland, a couple of burglars tried to cut into a safe. However, they hadn’t done an awful lot of research into the tools they should use, because they were using a laser tag gun. The robbery was, as you probably guessed, unsuccessful.
A man entered a corner store with a shotgun and demanded all the money from the cash register. He then noticed a bottle of scotch and told the cashier to give him that, too. The cashier refused, saying he did not believe the man was over 21. After unsuccessfully trying to convince the cashier, the man took out his driver’s licence and showed it to him. The cashier agreed and gave him the scotch, then after the man had left, called the police and gave them the name and address from the man’s driver’s license. The robber was arrested within two hours.
Two suspects were sitting at the defendant’s table in a courtroom, whilst a witness gave her evidence. She told the judge she had had her purse stolen in the street. When the judge asked her, “the two men who robbed you, are they here in the courtroom today?” both of the defendants raised their hands before she even had a chance to answer. Of course, this was followed by laughter from the entire jury and the judge.
A woman called the police to report a stolen car, and told them that there was a car phone inside it. The police took the number and called it, and the thief picked up. The officer on the phone said that he had seen an advert for the car in a local newspaper and wondered if they could meet up. The thief, thinking he was about to make big bucks, agreed, and was subsequently arrested.
A man purchased a case of rare and expensive cigars, and had them insured against fire. Stupidity or pure genius? Well, genius apparently, as the case went to court and the judge ruled that since the insurance company had agreed in the first place to insure them against fire, they could not choose what was deemed as “acceptable fire”. The man received $15,000 from the company. However, his plan backfired, as the insurance company then used his own insurance claim against him, having him arrested for 24 counts of arson. He was sentenced to 24 months in prison and had to pay a $24,000 fine.
In August 2007, 53-year-old Juanita Marie Jones called the police to demand the arrest of somebody who had sold her a false product. What was the product, you ask? Crack cocaine. After smoking one third, she found that it had not affected her, and she called the police to tell them she’d been ripped off, only to be arrested herself for drugs possession when police officers arrived at her house and she showed them her faulty purchase.
Crime is something that worries many people, but hopefully you’ll be able to rest a little easier knowing that there are plenty of criminals out there who could have made this list, and who would have a hard enough time trying to get past burglar alarms, let alone the police. Make sure you’ve got all your safety and security gadgets sorted, such as CCTV cameras and burglar alarms, and relax knowing that many of the people with evil intentions are lacking the intelligence to successfully carry them out.
Bio: James Knowledge has a big interest in things that went wrong. He’s been collecting information across all sorts of events and everyday situations, in this case – crimes that went very wrong. The next idea he’s focusing on is top 10 weddings that went wrong.