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Criminals aren't the smartest members of society as a general rule, but that doesn't mean they don't occasionally demonstrate some impressive dedication to their craft. Whether your particular modus operandi is robbing convenience stores with sticks or hot-wiring LoJack company vans, it's the sheer gumption you put into your work that friends, family, and fellow parolees can't help but admire.

6
The Brisket Bandit's Meat Spree

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The owners and employees of Augie's Barbed Wire Smokehouse in San Antonio are likely well aware of the lengths some men will go to to get their hands on delicious Texas barbecue. But they weren't expecting the kind of determination that 34-year-old Alan Meneley brought to bear. After staging a daylight raid on the restaurant's refrigerators (while employees were distracted during a shift change), Meneley was able to stuff 13 briskets and 10 cases of beer into a trashcan and load it all into the back of his van. He then sped off to a secure location that may or may not have been furnished with nothing but a tarp and an entire vat of Stubb's original sauce.

Augie's Barbed Wire Smokehouse
The fact that he didn't take even one roll of paper towels
displays true criminal insanity.

Meneley didn't just have some sudden, uncontainable craving that only hickory-smoked meat could satisfy -- police suspected that this was his fourth barbecue heist in two months. But this latest caper would turn out to be his last, at least for the time being, as the cops soon followed his tangy trail and initiated a high-speed pursuit. Meneley managed to temporarily throw law enforcement off his delicious scent by burning down a trailer home and stealing a cherry-red Corvette. But, unfortunately, perhaps woozy from a large and sudden intake of so much protein, he totaled his new ride at an intersection.

via gearheads.org
There really is a barbecue joint on every corner in Texas.

Meneley was uninjured enough to attempt to flee on foot, but he was soon found in a nearby ditch and taken into custody. Jail wasn't his next destination, however, as the next words out of his mouth to officers was the admission that he had just swallowed an 8-ball of heroin. So it was off to the hospital, where he bolted yet again while getting an X-ray. But, as usual, he didn't make it very far before the police nabbed him yet again and "charged him by proxy," which we assume means they sighed and walked briskly while Meneley waddled in a stupor toward the nearest window. A San Antonio Police Department spokesman declared that they would be treating all of the previous robberies as separate incidents until a link is determined, as if we all didn't already know what that link surely was. It was quite clearly and simply just one man's obsession with savory, mouth-wateringly delicious fire meat.

5
A Man Invents An Evil Twin To Get Out Of Paying Tickets

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People come up with all kinds of half-baked excuses when trying to get out of paying for a ticket. While your best bet usually is to just show up in court on the assigned date and plead for small mercies, there are still some who insist on the deceptive route, even though trying to convince a judge that you were only speeding because your wife was in labor and also on fire and only the baby has the codes to prevent the nuclear device from exploding somewhere on the Eastern seaboard rarely if ever works. But only in the most exceptional of circumstances do you see a citizen take the convoluted, straight-out-of-a-soap-opera option of blaming it all on a nonexistent evil twin. Like this guy did.

Rob Kim/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Blaming amnesia or Susan Lucci would probably have been even more complicated.

When Hackensack, New Jersey, resident Olawale Agoro wound up accruing a sizable amount of traffic violations last year, a man claiming to be his concerned, legally blind twin, "Tony," was kind enough to show up at municipal court to have his brother's court date postponed. The request was granted, but something seemed amiss to Officer Matthew Parodi, who was in court that day and just so happened to be the same officer who originally issued the tickets.

First of all, "Tony" seemed to be walking around and handling paperwork amazingly well for a blind guy. And Officer Parodi became especially suspicious when he discovered "Tony" asking random strangers in the parking lot to drive his car around the corner from the courthouse (and presumably away from the prying eyes of meddlers who are constantly oppressing the blind from operating motor vehicles).

Natalia Bratslavsky/iStock/Getty Images
Although blindness would confirm what we've always suspected about most people
driving on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Officer Parodi was pretty damn sure that "Tony" Agoro was actually Olawale Agoro (plus, he was probably as sick of using sarcasm quotes as we are at this point) and became even more sure when he pulled him over again, issued several more tickets, and impounded the car.

Undeterred, Agoro showed up for court two more times as his alter-ego, requesting adjournments for his brother/himself, who he claimed had gone off to Nigeria to attend a family funeral. Amazingly, the court clerks again acquiesced and gave him the adjournments, but when he missed yet another court date a few days later, a warrant was issued for his arrest. So, naturally, the next day "Tony" showed up to see if there were any more super-nice court clerks around, at which point he was arrested. A birthmark under his lip and a fingerprint scan pretty much blew any further chances of his continuing the ruse, and we're assuming he's watching The Bold And The Beautiful from a cell and cooking up another plan as we speak.

Dick Luria/Photodisc/Getty Images
He's likely hoping for the death penalty, since according to the laws of soaps, it would just
mean he'll be back next season and more powerful than ever.

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4
Guy Cons His Ways Out Of Prison, Decides Prison Isn't So Bad

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We could fill an entire bookshelf (or at least one of the more voluminous models of Trapper Keeper) with the stories of daring prison escapes we've shown you over the years, but the following may just take the file-imbedded-cake for cleverness. By making good use of available technology, having a gift for impersonation, and exploiting the average person's susceptibility to typos, inmate Neil Moore was able to stroll right out of an imposing London prison. And then, just to add that extra twist that all supervillains include in their grandiose schemes, a few days later he decided that prison wasn't so bad after all and came right back.

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images News/Getty Images
To be fair, London is one of the few places where the prison food is
usually preferable to what's available outside.

Moore, who was stewing in the maximum-security Wandsworth facility on several charges of fraud (he and his transgender partner, Kristen, would impersonate female voices to trick banks into handing them money), initiated the first stage of his plan by somehow getting his hands on a smuggled cellphone. The next step was to call an Internet domain registration service to create a bogus web address that closely resembled the one belonging to Britain's Royal Courts Of Justice. This sort of thing is called "typosquatting," and as an example you probably shouldn't visit Cracke.com unless you feel like being redirected to anything from random surveys to possibly images of different angles from the goatse.cx photo shoot.

Then, posing as a court clerk, Moore sent an email from the fake web address to prison authorities, stating that he'd just been granted bail.

Erik Snyder/Digital Vision/Getty Images
"Wait a min- Eh, fuck it. I'm supposed to be on lunch anyway."

It was apparently convincing enough to compel the guards at Wandsworth to swing the doors wide open and allow Moore to leave, while they presumably gave him a polite tip of the hat and a wag of the finger to imply that he'd better be good from now on or he might have to come back. But after only three days of freedom, Moore incredibly did come back, after a "change of heart" that led him to turn himself in to police. The court wasn't exactly overjoyed about this new development, but they were just as mad at themselves it seemed, as a judge overseeing the case explained:

"The way you contrived your escape was potentially more of a threat to the integrity of the prison system, and therefore to the public, than the mere use of brute force."

... which is just a polite way of saying, "We're extremely PO'd you made us look like a gaggle of drooling jackasses."

3
Ex-Con Surgically Alters His Appearance To Begin A New Life (Of Crime)

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It sounds like an episode of one of those acronym-based crime dramas, or maybe the plot to one of John Woo's shittier movies, but a man in South Korea appears to have undergone plastic surgery for the express purpose of committing crimes.

Authorities so far have not released a name, but they reported that after being recently released from a 10-year stint in the big house, a career criminal immediately attempted to disguise his identity by paying a doctor to not just alter his face but to change his entire jaw structure and stretch out his limbs to add some height.

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Dude, ski mask and gloves: $15. For $20 you can even get ones with cool flame designs.

With his new feloniously Frankenstein-ish identity in place, the man went on a nine-month rampage that didn't end until after he'd committed 87 robberies, bagged nearly $500,000, and was eventually brought back into custody by police. Thankfully, fingerprint alteration surgeries so far aren't a thing yet (not reliably successful ones, at least), and we're guessing it's that (and maybe the random body parts left at the crimes scenes here and there) which could have tipped off authorities as to his true identity.

Using South Korea's national obsession with "enhancement procedures" as an excuse, the man claimed that he merely did it because he was unhappy with his old appearance. Police didn't buy it, but either way he was sent right back to jail, where "going under the knife" is a euphemism for something much more terrible than lingering rhinoplasty pain.

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2
Drivers Keep Pulling Silly Shit Just To Use The Carpool Lane

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The relatively new phenomenon of high-occupancy-vehicle lanes on our nation's freeways has proven to be a boon for cutting down on emissions as well as allowing antsy motorists to shave a few minutes off their commute. There's only one catch: You have to have at least one other human in the car with you to show that you possess at least the slightest grasp of the concept. But, of course, like with anything else, there are some people out there who are going to try to game the system.

Suffolk County Sheriff
You don't want to see what he did to the bottom half.

Usually the trickery comes in the form of a mannequin, like the one above, but other half-assed measures include stuff like sticking a shirt/hat combo over the passenger seat or buckling in a hooded coat stuffed with random detritus, then slapping on some hastily rendered version of a face. The running theme is that nobody really seems to be putting much effort into their projects, so it's nice to see someone take a little pride in their contraption. Like the fellow from Long Island, New York, who carpentered up his own dummy out of wooden boards and blocks.

via independent.co.uk
"You just pulled us over because he's black cherry!"

OK, maybe it's not the most lifelike replica, but the driver, 56-year-old James Campbell, might have gotten away with it if he hadn't gotten greedy and been caught speeding. The officer conducting the stop wasn't overly impressed with Campbell's attempt at subterfuge: "I was trying not to laugh at the guy because I thought it was quite silly." Utterly unrepentant, Campbell admitted to reporters that he had been deploying the dummy gambit for months and felt justified in his actions because he didn't want to be late for his new job. And, maybe just for laughs, but nonetheless worthy of further investigation, he also made the disconcerting admission about his barely anthropomorphic creation: "He's got a sister down in the basement, and on special occasions I bring her out and she wears a tutu."

1
Police Impersonators Exert Their Authority In The Worst Ways Possible

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Police impersonators usually fall into one of only a few categories, all of which tend to include the words "socially inept" in their psychological profile. We'll let you be the judge of whether the subjects of this entry fit that description, or if they're just creative mavericks who found an ingenious (albeit obscenely illegal) way to cut through all the red tape and conduct important business -- such as cutting to the front of the Whataburger drive-thru line to get a triple-triple combo meal before the fries get all soggy.

In March of this year, when an off-duty corporal from the Odessa, Texas, police department observed a vehicle with "law-enforcement trappings" deploying flashing lights and a siren to blow past everyone in line at a fast food restaurant, his gut told him that something about the situation was amiss. Presumably after making sure it wasn't just the chief going off on another one of his cholesterol benders, the corporal decided to investigate. Initially thinking that the man must be a volunteer fireman or something, the corporal followed the vehicle to a nearby apartment complex, where it was discovered that the driver, one Michael Chico, was actually of the "or something" variety. Though Chico was wearing a haphazardly assembled uniform, he in fact was not a law enforcement officer of any kind, but rather one of West Texas' most impatient citizens who not only went "code one" to make fast food even faster, but also used the lights and siren to avoid having to stop at traffic lights.

Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
"They stop serving breakfast at 11."
"Release this man!"

In another instance, this time in Ohio, a man tooling around pretending to be five-0 aimed a spotlight into another driver's car. Then, in the finest Starsky & Hutch tradition, he proceeded to swerve in front of and cut the other vehicle off, with the apparent intent of exacting some DIY justice. It was revealed to be a poor decision of the highest order when the subject of his vigilante car stop turned out to be a profoundly unamused, real-life cop. Our faux crime fighter, later determined to be a 50-year-old man named David Scofield, was taken into custody for mental evaluation.

Along with a fake badge and a shirt with SWAT emblazoned on the back, the following was recovered from Scofield's car: two loaded pistols, a rifle, a shotgun, silencers, ammunition, and a bulletproof vest. This just goes to show that, as laughable as these kinds of antics are, they should never be taken lightly. Nonetheless, Scofield got off pretty easy, with a judge merely handing down a $1,000 fine and 18 months probation for the charges of "impersonating a police officer, mishandling a firearm, and obstructing official business." It's unclear whether he shaved his stereotypical cop mustache off himself, or if the judge demanded its removal as part of the penalty phase.

Maksym Bondarchuk/iStock/Getty Images
"It's a disgrace to the real mustaches that protect and serve the upper lips of this city."

E. Reid Ross also occasionally slanders dogs over at Man Cave Daily. Feel free to follow him on Twitter here.

Also check out The 9 Most Hilarious Ways Criminals Were Caught and The 6 Most Hilariously Stupid Criminal Excuses Of All Time.

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