DUMB CRIMINALS Real Crimes Committed By Dumb Criminals
Chicago: A man was wanted for throwing bricks through jewelry store windows and making off with the loot. He was arrested last night after throwing a brick into a Plexiglas window...the brick bounced back, hit him in the head and knocked him cold until the police got there.
Portsmouth, RI: Police charged Gregory Rosa, 25, with a string of vending machine robberies in January when he: 1. fled from police inexplicably when they spotted him loitering around a vending machine and 2. later tried to post his $400 bail in coins.
When Stan Caddell wanted to wash his Chevrolet, he backed the car into a foot of water in the Mississippi River at Hannibal, Missouri. When he got out to clean the car, it floated away. Police were able to retrieve the vehicle some distance downstream. According to an officer on the scene, no action would be taken against the driver because "you can't ticket a guy for being stupid..."
Kentucky: Two men tried to pull the front off a cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the machine, though, they pulled the bumper off their truck. Scared, they left the scene and drove home. With the chain still attached to the machine. With their bumper still attached to the chain. With their vehicle's license plate still attached to the bumper.
A bank robber in Bumpus, Tenn., handed a teller the following note: "Watch out. This is a rubbery. I hav an oozy traned on your but. Dump the in a sack, this one. No die packkets or other triks or I will tare you a new naval. No kwarter with red stuff on them, too." Dr. Creon V.B. Smyk of the Ohio Valley Educational Council says such notes are, lamentably, the rule. "Right across the board, we see poor pre-writing skills, problems with omissions, tense, agreement, spelling and clarity," he moaned. Smyk believes that the quality of robbery notes could be improved if criminals could be taught to plan before writing. "We have to stress organization: Make an outline of your robbery note before you write it," he said. "Some of the notes get totally sidetracked on issues like the make, model and caliber of the gun, number of bullets, etc., until one loses sight of the main idea -- the robbery."
A lawyer defending a man accused of burglary tried this creative defense: "My client merely inserted his arm into the window and removed a few trifling articles. His arm is not himself, and I fail to see how you can punish the whole individual for an offense committed by his limb." "Well put," the judge replied. "Using your logic, I sentence the defendant's arm to one year's imprisonment. He can accompany it or not, as he chooses." The defendant smiled. With his lawyer's assistance he detached his artificial limb, laid it on the bench, and walked out.
A man in Orange County Municipal Court had been ticketed for driving alone in the carpool lane. He claimed that the four frozen cadavers in the mortuary van he was driving should be counted. The judged ruled that passengers must be alive to qualify.
A man was arrested for stealing a car. When he was taken to court for his arraignment the judge asked, how do you plead? Instead of saying guilty or not guilty the man said: "Before we go any further, judge, let me explain why I stole the car." The judge ruled in record time.
A pair of Michigan robbers entered a record shop nervously waving revolvers. The first one shouted, "Nobody move!" When his partner moved, the startled first bandit shot him.
After drinking a little too much, Stewart Butcher went to sleep on a West Virginia railroad track. A while later, something woke him-- a 15 car coal train. "I raised up," said Stewart, "and it knocked me out..."
An Australian man accused of murdering his wife can't seem to get his story straight. June Mathew, John Rushton's second wife, testified that Rushton told her his first wife died of a heart attack, ran off with a Baptist minister after committing 55 acts of adultery, and drowned after being washed overboard. Rushton also claimed he was a nuclear physicist, a naval commander, and had been knighted for saving the Queen's life. Mathew, who was married to Rushton for five years, believed him because he was a "good talker..." but those pesky microtremors finally gave him away...
An off-duty police officer in Newark, NJ, had a pistol-shaped cigarette lighter, which he had been using all night while drinking at a local tavern. After many hours and drinks, he apparently mistook his 32 revolver for the lighter. When he went to light his cigarette, he shot and killed John Fazzola, who was seated 5 stools away at the bar...
An unidentified man in Buenos Aires pushed his wife out of an eighth-floor window but his plan to kill her failed when she became entangled in some power cables below. Seeing she was still alive, the man jumped and tried to land on top of her. He missed...
Ann Arbor: The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 7:50am, 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.
Arizona: A company called "Guns For Hire" stages gunfights for Western movies, etc. One day, they received a call from a 47-year-old woman, who wanted to have her husband killed. She got 4-1/2 years in jail.
Arkansas: Seems this guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. Seems the liquor store window was made of Plexi-Glass. The whole event was caught on videotape.
Baggy clothes may save your life: a 13-year-old boy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia fell 130 feet from his hi-rise apartment and survived with only minor injuries. Witnesses said Daniel Gurgus' baggy sweater caught tree branches on the way down... remember, kids, just say no to Spandex...
Burglars in Larch Barrens, Md., tried to cut through a safe using a Laser Tag gun.
Carlos Diaz of New York got 18 years to life for committing a series of robberies by pretending a zucchini hidden under his jacket was a gun...
England: A German "tourist," supposedly on a golf holiday, shows up at customs with his golf bag. While making idle chatter about golf, the customs official realizes that the tourist does not know what a "handicap" is. The customs official asks the tourist to demonstrate his swing, which he does--backward! A substantial amount of narcotics was found in the golf bag.
Germany: Oil of Olay no longer turning the trick for her, a woman decided that she would bathe in the milk of a camel (a modern-day Cleopatra). So she stole a camel from the local zoo (where *else* can you find a camel when you need one?) and transported it back to her house--where she realized that the camel's name was "Otto." (Editor's Note 2: She might not have gotten much milk from Otto, but she probably made a friend for life while trying to ...)
In Bent Forks, Ill., kidnapers of ice-cube magnate Worth Bohnke sent a photograph of their captive to Bohnke's family. Bohnke was seen holding up a newspaper. It was not that day's edition and, in fact, bore a prominent headline relating to Nixon's trip to China. This was pointed out to the kidnapers in a subsequent phone call. They responded by sending a new photograph showing an up-to-date newspaper. Bohnke, however, did not appear in the picture. When this, too, was refused, the kidnapers became peevish and insisted that a photograph be sent to them showing all the people over at Bohnke's house holding different issues of _Success_ magazine. They provided a mailing address and were immediately apprehended. They later admitted to FBI agents they did not understand the principle involved in the photograph/newspaper concept. "We thought it was just some kind of tradition," said one. Educators agree that such mix-ups point to poor reasoning and comprehension skills, ignorance of current events, and failure to complete work in the time allotted.
Indiana: A man walked up to a cashier at a grocery store and demanded all the money in the register. When the cashier handed him the loot, he fled--leaving his wallet on the counter.
Industrial thieves broke into the Bilgetek plant in Canasta, Wash., by crossing a metal catwalk and then blew it up, having forgotten it was their only means of escape.
Joseph Owens of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, didn't think police were listening to his complaints that someone was harassing him, so he came up with a brilliant plan. Owens convinced his friend to shoot him in the shoulder with a shotgun so police would take him seriously. After a trip to the emergency room, Owens faces up to four years in prison for filing a false police report...next time, a little higher and to the left...
Lake City, Florida: Karen Lee Joachimi, 20, was arrested for robbery of a Howard Johnson's motel. She was armed with only an electric chainsaw, which was not plugged in.
New York: As a female shopper exited a convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police had apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the cruiser and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes Officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."
Newark: 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 that he had read the ad in the newspaper and wanted to buy the car. They arranged to meet, and the thief was arrested.
Rustlers in Spavin, N.D., made off with three Saint Bernard dogs, a stationary bicycle and the visiting in-laws of a farmer, after having failed to correctly identify the valuable cattle on the premises.
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