#3. The Used Grease Thieves
It starts out like a Hollywood heist caper. A pickup truck pulls into a secluded alley, and a group of career criminals exit the vehicle. They smash apart the lock that stands between them and their bounty and unreel a giant hose, siphoning their loot into tanks loaded in the back of their truck. As quick as they can, they drive away with ...
... a truck full of grease from a Dumpster at the back of a restaurant. Yes, just regular grease. Uh, good work, team?
"We launder it through an Arby's."
Yes, proving once and for all that life imitates The Simpsons, a gag plot line that had Homer and Bart ripping off restaurants for their used cooking grease has spawned a real-life crime epidemic in which people are doing exactly that (presumably while running a scam with an auto-dialer in order to fund a plot to saw the head off the town statue and ultimately create a giant shield to block out the sun).
Regular kitchen grease can be filtered and purified into something commonly called "yellow grease," a key ingredient in biofuel. With fuel prices shooting up and the boogeyman of peak oil looming, the demand for alternative fuels, and thus the value of grease, has skyrocketed. The street value of grease has gone up about 500 percent in the past decade, making a gallon of grease rival the cost of a gallon of gasoline, and turning black market grease into a hot commodity.
Grease theft has become so widespread and out of control that restaurants are being forced to invest in security measures to protect the disgusting crap you usually blot off your pizza with a napkin. Some are even proposing its theft become a felony crime.
#2. The Newspaper Thieves
In Denton County, Texas, a crime epidemic is underway that is taxing police officers and small businessmen to the limit. There's no need to put extra locks on your doors and buy a gun, although if you live in Texas you probably already have three anyway. The criminals are just cleaning out newspaper vending machines.
The machines only shoot back, like, a third of the time.
Those machines have always sort of operated on the honor system -- you pay your 50 cents and the door opens up to the whole stack of newspapers, and they trust you to just take one. It makes sense, because there's no real reason anyone would want more than one, right? The news doesn't get any better if you grab three instead of the one you're entitled to.
But according to news vendor James Johnson, his boxes are being cleaned out up to 25 times a week, and it's gotten so bad that he's had to hire extra staff to do nothing but sit in their cars and stand guard with binoculars. Since then, he's caught 11 newspaper thieves.
"I'd rather die before being reduced to sleeping on the New York Post."
Apparently the thieves aren't just really excited about the news; they're looking for coupons. Johnson points the blame directly at reality shows like TLC's Extreme Couponing, which follows a bunch of people who manage to save hundreds of dollars a week by obsessively snipping thousands of coupons out of newspapers in exchange for having some kind of life. And the coupon thefts spike dramatically whenever the show is on the air.
Also spiking dramatically -- therapist bills; TVs thrown out of windows; the downfall of society.
Johnson even once nabbed a guy who made such a living off stolen coupons that he was driving a Cadillac Escalade from stand to stand, ripping off coupons like they were stacks of free cash. Another alleged coupon bandit, Sybil Hudson, faces a $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail. But it's worth it, because according to Hudson, couponing "saves millions of bucks." But can't you take some of the cash you saved and just buy the damned newspapers?
No, of course not, because then you wouldn't look as fucking crazy as these people.
#1. The Serial Pooper
In September and October of 2011, students at Ft. King Middle School were treated to a series of anonymous donations that appeared on their doorsteps like tiny Christmas miracles. Unfortunately, the gifts were fresh human turds.
When the constipation fairy comes around, you'd be glad for such a gift.
After four separate incidents of human shit being dropped unsolicited outside a classroom entrance, police set up a security camera to catch the generous philanthropist in the act of sharing.
Now, clearly this is going to turn out to be a student, right? Some angry kid mad at a teacher and playing a juvenile prank? Who else would take the time to poop in a paper bag and transport it all the way to the school, day after day?
But, no, the security footage they obtained led them to the arrest of 23-year-old Kenneth Martin Sorsony:
Otherwise known as the dreaded Poofinger.
... who looks like he was doing a big poop while they were taking his mugshot.
We would like to believe that it was all some kind of elaborate, albeit obscure, political satire. Something so brilliant in its style and execution that we mere peons can only speculate wildly about its layers of meaning. But after seeing the mugshot, we have to conclude that this is just a guy who really, really loves to poop.
And who are we to call him a crazy disturbing bastard?
For more crimes that left our mouths agape, check out The 5 Creepiest Unsolved Crimes Nobody Can Explain and The 5 Most Baffling Attempts to Smuggle Live Animals.