If you've ever heard stories about criminals or robbers that did stupid things, you were probably left shaking your head. Maybe they didn't think their plan out in advance. Maybe they were certain they had a "fool" proof plan. Or, just maybe they weren't suited for a life of crime, after all. Here are some of the best "What were they thinking" criminal and robber stories.
Brace yourselves... We're going in.
This One's On Us...
In one famous police sting out of Derbyshire, the police posted a "Free Beer" prize hoping to nab a few wanted criminals. To entice them to take the bait, the police stated on the notices that to collect the crates of beer, they would just have to reach out to the company offering the promotion. About 19 criminals showed up to find no beer. Maybe they should have called the cops to complain? Too late. The police were there to arrest them. Let's drink to that!
Two bumbling bandits in the UK were robbing a casino but were quickly nabbed by cops. What gave their location away? They were posting photos of the robbery online.
Lesson: Not every slot machine has a good payout.
No "Clowning" Around
One confused criminal in Pittsburgh has an odd concept of the "disguise" needed to rob a bank. So, he dressed up as a clown. He put on a fake wig with blonde hair and put on fake breasts under his clothing. He didn't shave his beard or his goatee or cover his face (maybe he lost the big red nose?). But, to really make sure he wouldn't be recognized and was in full costume, he also put on brightly-coloured clown pants. But, it was no laughing matter when cops showed up. The man, after robbing the bank, tried to steal a car. How did cops find him? The dye pack exploded in his face and he was covered in the bright red paint. Now that's a disguise!
Just a thought, but maybe should have used one of those little bikes that clowns ride around on to get away. He might have gotten further. Honk, honk!
I Found Me...
A confused criminal turned himself in by mistake. When he saw his name on a wanted poster with a reward posted he thought he could get the money. So, he walked into a police precinct, held up the picture and said, "That's me. Where's my finder's fee?" Authorities told reporters, "Clearly this man is an imbecile."
Can You Hear Me Now...
One brazen robber in Germany walked into a bank brandishing a gun. Not only did he not realize that the teller set off the alarm but he didn't know that it wasn't a "silent" alarm. How did this brave teller know? When the robber pulled his gun, the teller asked, "Do you want the money in the bag?" But, the robber didn't hear him as he boldly stated, "You're darn right I have a real gun!" The teller realized the robber couldn't hear him, so he set off an alarm. Sure enough, everyone in the bank heard the loud ringing except for the robber. He just stood there oblivious to the high-pitched ringing in the background. It must have been when he was tapped on the shoulder by police that he realized he wasn't the only one with a gun. The police arrested the shocked bandit.
Quite a Pickle
A criminal not so confident in his robbery skills was quickly caught by police. But, what gave it away? Maybe it was the large cucumber he covered with a sock. He brandished it to a teller and demanded money. She said, "No," and called the cops. When they went to arrest him, he asked, "Am I getting the jail now?" Indeed, sir, you are and we're serving salad for lunch.
Cops Were Not "Amused" at This Park
Two daring Australian criminals broke into a Sea World. Apparently, they were on holiday. They stole a penguin as a souvenir and rode with the dolphins. Back at home with their new penguin pet "Dirk", these bird-brained thieves recovering from their hangovers couldn't care for the penguin so they released him into the wild. The news had mentioned that Dirk was missing and as soon as neighbours saw the perps releasing the penguin they quickly called cops.
Batman and Robbin'
One confused criminal and his juvenile sidekick in Connecticut thought they had the perfect plan. Call ahead to the bank and let them know we're going to rob them. How polite. Then send the juvenile accomplice to pick up the money. Since it would be ready to go and already in a brown paper bag, right? But, the bank alerted authorities who were waiting on the robber and both men were charged with robbery.
Call Me Some Time...
In Chicago, a bold bandit tried to hold up a car muffler shop but most of the money was locked in the safe. The employee told the eighteen-year-old robber he couldn't open the safe and his manager wasn't in. The burglar came up with a solution. He wrote down his cell phone number and gave it to the employee - - so they could call him when the manager was in and the safe was open. Not a well-thought-out plan, but at least he was open to communicating and he knew a few conflict resolution techniques. But, the employees and police had a plan of their own.
The police staged a set-up and called the robber telling him it was okay to come and get his money. When the unsuspecting perp showed up, the cops were there to arrest him.
"Mule" Be Sorry...
To pull off a successful heist, you need a good plan and a fast getaway vehicle. But, that's not what a group of thieves thought of in Columbia. The perps robbed a store and took money, rum and food. And, their getaway vehicle? A donkey. Maybe the three criminals thought they would ride off into the sunset but their laden down mule named "Xavi" couldn't handle the pressure or in this case, the weight (the weak ones always crack first). He started squealing like a pig and gave away their location to cops who were nearby. The cops caught up with the robbers who tried to escape on foot.
Crossed up Bandit, Dang It...
An unfortunate "bandit" in London tried to rob a bank. He had good intentions as he stood in front of the teller. He held the empty bag in one hand (so far so good) and the gun in the other. Simple enough. And, then he screamed, "This is a stickup!" and pushed the gun to the surprised teller and not the empty bag. The teller blinked for a quick second and then quickly turned the gun on the shocked bandit who was still trying to process what he did wrong. He then ran out of the bank and tried to get away... on the teller's bike parked outside.
Hate to "Crash" Your Party...
One crazy criminal wasn't ready for this kind of home break-in. A burglar found a home that looked like no one was inside. So, he broke in and found that indeed the homeowner was there and so was a room full of cops!
Turns out, the home had been broken into earlier that night and police were still on the scene at the home in Northampton taking a report. The burglar tried to make a run for it, but he didn't get far (shocking!). And, come to find out, the thief was also charged with breaking at another home earlier in the day. How did cops know it was him? He broke a window at the home to get in and cut both his arms. So, he'd left his DNA behind at the crime scene. Gee. You'd of thought the least he could have done was use a Swiffer or handy wipes to clean up after himself.
"Stick" To the Books...
A dimwitted 17-year-old tried to carjack a mom and her son in Nebraska. Maybe he missed the bus to school? As soon as he got behind the wheel, he found out the car was a stick-shift. Neighbours called the cops as the thief began fumbling with the gears. First, he turned on the wipers. Then he turned on the lights. Finally, as the car rolled across another neighbour's lawn and hit a fence, cops showed up to chase the young perp on foot. Turns out he had a fake gun. Afternoon detention for this one and no recess.
A fingerprint. A strand of your hair. Any crook should know that evidence is easy to find at a crime scene. But, one perp in Boston obviously wasn't aware of that. In a struggle to steal a victim's wallet with $40 inside, the robber (apparently still in training), dropped two bags before he took off. One contained his birth certificate. And, the other bag? It contained a letter from his mom. When cops reached out to him at his home address, he tried to pretend he hadn't stolen the wallet but the victim knew right away it was him. Wonder if there was a "Mom" tattoo on his arm that gave it away?
Safeguard Yourself from Robberies and Thefts
To reduce your chances of being robbed, here are a few helpful suggestions:
- Never leave your drapes open in the evening with your valuables in full view. Thieves driving by or looking in might check to see if anyone's home.
- Always leave a light on at night and ask a neighbour to check on your property while you're away.
- Purchase home or tenant insurance as it will cover you for break-ins and thefts.
- Set up a home security system like an alarm and surveillance cameras. These can record all activity on your property's exterior and interior. And, let your home insurance company know as you might be eligible for a discount.
With Your Vehicle
- Always park in brightly lit parking spaces close to the entrance of the business you are visiting. Don't leave valuables or bags visible. Store these in a trunk or under a dark blanket.
- Never leave your keys in your vehicle with the car running. Even if it's only for a short time, thieves prey on people at gas stations and in front of stores and businesses.
- Ensure you have comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy. This can protect you if there's a break-in or robbery of your personal property.
- Don't leave your registration in the glove compartment. Keep it on you if you ever get pulled over and need to show it to cops. Thieves might look for it (like when you go through a car wash) so they can use your VIN and registration number for stolen vehicles they export out of the country.
- Only bank in a well-lit area and preferably with a larger bank where you're on surveillance. If you're approached, stay calm. Hand over your wallet or cash and don't fight a thief that might have a gun or knife. As soon as they flee the scene, call cops who might be nearby.
- Never count your cash when you're leaving an ATM or when walking to your vehicle. Wait until you're safely in your car.
- If you think you're being followed, pull into a well-lit area like a gas station where there are other people and where you'll be on surveillance.
If You're Approached
- If you're ever approached by a thief or robber, stay calm. Look for distinguishing characteristics like a lisp, limp or accent. Did the thief hold a weapon in their left or right hand? Did they wear jewellery?
- Try to remember the visual description of the robber. Note their appearance, height and if they have a scar. What was their facial hair like (colour, curly, straight, receding, bald) and were there any piercings or tattoos?
- While you should include a baseball cap, hood or jacket, a thief can take these off.
Safeguard Your Belongings By Finding the Best Insurance Rates
Some criminals and thieves don't think before they attempt to rob someone. But, you can plan ahead and safeguard your home and vehicle with insurance. Never leave valuables exposed or flash money. And, if you find yourself the victim of a robbery or theft, stay calm, get a description and alert the police. Your insurance can cover the value of the property that was stolen but your life is irreplaceable. If you want to purchase auto or home insurance, compare quotes online at Kanetix.ca.