As difficult as it can sometimes be to catch a criminal, it's even harder to get a conviction. Experts pore over crime scenes, specialists analyze forensic evidence in minute detail, and prosecutors have to convince juries of guilt. Understandably, all of this can take months, if not years. Unless, of course, the criminal forgets that crimes are generally frowned upon and enthusiastically volunteers everything you need to catch him.
#5. Man Pocket Dials 911 While Stealing Cars ... Four Times
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We've all heard those miraculous stories of a stupidly unlucky criminal who pocket dials 911. Here's the thing about pocket dialing, though: When it happens once, the number is already in your phone. When it's already in your phone, it's much easier for it to happen again. Yes, things are about to get mythically stupid.
Alex E. Proimos
Seriously, like Koalemos-level shenanigans up in here.
Wesley Strom, a 40-year-old car thief, made an initial 911 call just a few seconds before he stole a car. He then stole the car and continued on with the next 44 minutes of his life with a 911 operator essentially sitting in his lap. Police, however, could not locate Strom. Apparently the movies have embellished a bit, and the cops need a full 45 minutes of quality phone time for a good trace.
Four days later, Strom made another 911 call from the same phone. This time Strom could clearly be heard telling his partner to stop freaking out and that nobody was even looking for them. Again, however, police could not locate the caller -- either because Strom was the world's most oblivious ninja or because the police in question just weren't really "into" being cops. Hey, sometimes you land hard in your fallback career.
"In my home country, I was chief of surgery."
Later that night, a third call was received as Strom and Co. were discussing stealing some rims. This time police recovered a stolen vehicle, but no arrests were made.
Finally life got tired of just messing around with Strom, and he again called 911 from his home. The police then bravely showed the world that they can in fact catch criminals if they call 911 from their own living rooms (assuming they have also called three times previously to carefully document their crimes).
And the criminals throw in a couple bucks for gas.
#4. Man Steals Video Camera, Records Detailed (Accidental) Confession on It
Houaka Yang from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, stole a video camera from the car of state Senate candidate Bill Feehan. The video camera was eventually returned to its owner, Chris Rochester, but there wasn't enough evidence for a conviction of Yang. Then, during another political event, Rochester whipped out his recovered camera. Going back to review his footage, Rochester made a startling discovery: Yang had used the camera to record himself. Steel yourselves, gentle readers, for this is the face of a criminal mastermind:
YouTube via Daily Mail
"Now remember: This crime is just between you and me, stolen video camera!"
Not only did Yang use the stolen camera to record his own videos, but in one long clip, he even gives the viewer a tour of his house, states that the camera he's using was stolen, specifically makes mention of how it's OK that he is recording this incriminating video because the cops will never find out, and then gives his name and a nice shot of his face. He stops just shy of hogtying himself and wriggling into a jail cell. How do we know all of this? Rochester, the camera's owner, is a giving man. He did everyone a solid and uploaded the world's most thorough accidental confession to YouTube.
#3. Tennessee Men May Be Criminals, but They're Not Dishonest
Two Tennessee men, Donald Martin West and Troy Davis, were visiting New York in March of 2010 when a New Jersey cop pulled them over for minor offenses -- a missing license plate and tinted windows. The officer asked 41-year-old West for his license and registration, as is the policeman's unfortunate catchphrase. West handed over the documents, along with his Tennessee gun permit, and said, "I got a gun on me." Now, the thing about Tennessee gun permits is that they are Tennessee gun permits. Tennessee, in this instance, is not being used an adjective to mean "bourbon soaked" -- it's region-specific. But hey, maybe West didn't realize that, or maybe he was trying to be a stand-up guy and own up to an accidental offense.
Or maybe he just wanted the cop to touch it.
Before the cop could get back to his citation pad, however, West had a full-blown seizure of conscience: He also told the cop he had drugs, marijuana pipes, hollow-tip bullets, and handcuffs on him. Keep in mind that West was pulled over for a warning about excessively tinted windows, and at no point was his car about to be searched. It's like he genuinely didn't know that cops aren't huge fans of crime.
The officer, then most likely checking for hidden prank show cameras, asked the passenger, 23-year-old Davis, if he had anything to add. Davis informed him that he also had two blunts in the ashtray. If you're going to fuck yourself over, you may as well be thorough about it.
"And here's the address of my meth lab, my pirated DVD collection, and Jimmy Hoffa's body."