7 Criminals Who Made Getting Caught Look Easy

They say crime doesn't pay, but that's because they have a lot of stuff and they want to keep it. The bank bailout proved that crime pays more than every other profession put together, because we took money from all those other professions, put it together, and gave it to the criminals.

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"The police actually helped deliver it!"

But while crime can certainly pay, stupidity is always expensive. Learn from seven criminals whose only redeeming quality was being so ludicrously easy to catch that it counted as pre-emptive community service.

#7. Can You Take a Message? And Two Bomb Threats?

Reports indicate that Thomas Mines of Sheridan, Wyoming, was high on methamphetamine, a registered sex offender, and due in court for violating his probation for burglary charges. He quite correctly surmised that he was going to jail. Unfortunately, this depleted his entire stock of correct thoughts, and he told newspapers that he decided to avoid prison by calling in a bomb threat to the courthouse. Then two more bomb threats to two local schools. A man couldn't screw himself harder with a phone without lube and a hateful proctologist.

Allan Danahar/Digital Vision/Getty Images
"I knew I should have gotten the slimline model."

His excuses were being high on meth and wanting to spend one last day with his wife and child, which means he's either the world's worst father or its greatest multitasker.

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"DAAAAAAAD, I don't WANNA play 'stare to keep the invisible spiders away' anymore."

When someone calls in school bomb threats as decoys from his real objective, he's meant to lead an army of Europeans to rob the Federal Reserve Bank of New York while distracting John McClane. He's not meant to be crashing at his mother-in-law's house. Yes, he called in mass-child-murder-level terrorist threats from his mother-in-law's house. No, we don't think that's even in the top 10 reasons why she probably hates him.

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"Actually, this is the only way he's screwed my daughter, which means he hangs around less!"

You couldn't publicly ruin your life, criminal record, and karma harder if you kicked the pope off that balcony onto the visiting Dalai Lama. Mines told local papers that he only called the schools because the courthouse didn't take him seriously, which has to be the most optimistic amelioration in history. When you've already admitted to threatening to bomb the place in charge of sentencing your ass for shit like that, you don't haggle about the purity of your intentions in involving two schools. And when your best hope is convincing people that you used two buildings full of innocent schoolchildren as terrorist voice mail, just give up.

#6. The Worst Crime Scene Ever

Police told Jason Rodriguez that he had been released on his own recognizance, which he misinterpreted to mean that he was an invisible Zen master who could not be identified by anyone but his own true self. Or at least that's the least-dumb explanation for what happened next. They released him from the station's side door, perhaps precognitively ashamed to be seen with someone so stupid, and he walked to the front door of the open, fully lit, and security camera-ed police station and vandalized it.

The most visible crime outside of flashing the queen.

Stupidity could only have dumped him back in the police station faster if they'd made him leave through a revolving door. The front door of a police station is the most arrestable location in the world. At this point the security cameras weren't a 1984 nightmare but a genuine labor-saving device, as well as providing vital evidence, not for the prosecution, but for everyone, because otherwise no one would believe anyone could be so stupid.

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"Hell, we don't believe it, and we see the sort of thing office workers look up when everyone else has gone home."

It's a tragic misuse of municipal art. Graffiti can be a powerful force for reclaiming public spaces, a reaction against the insane idea that shampoo corporations are allowed to decorate where we live while we aren't. And "Copulate Tha Cops" is the number two theme of all graffiti (just below the artist proving that he can spell his own name), one you can write almost anywhere and meet with widespread agreement. But that "almost" means "not directly on the most visible surface of a police station." We're talking about a criminal so stupid that they didn't even need one-way glass to catch him in the act. Regular glass was more than confusing enough for him to incriminate himself in full public view.

#5. Phone Thief Gives Justice a Second Chance

When a Russian judge released self-confessed phone-thiever Alexander Kishko, Alex reportedly decided he should give justice a do-over by phone-thievorizing the judge's phone before leaving the building. This guy steals phones so often that we had to create a new verb for him, and a new tense: the present-imperfectly-phone-thievorizing. Because for everyone else it's just the present tense. And because he was immediately caught in the act again.

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"No, I'm not worried. For some reason no one ever steals my phone."

The original charge was for stealing a patient's cellphone from a clinic, so maybe this was his conscience hot-wiring his subconscious to remove him from the general population. When Plan A is "Find terribly sick people and steal from them" -- you don't have to leave your metal objects and electronics in a drawer in another room when you're just going to the doc for the flu -- then Plan B really should be ceasing to exist as quickly as possible. He admitted to that theft in court and was only released when the original owner dropped charges after he paid her. A tad optimistically, he then tried to turn a profit on his day in court.

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"Maybe if I stole things even MORE obviously? Next time I'll shoplift that entire pylon!"

Even if he'd gotten away with it, we don't see how he imagined getting far. Maybe he thought caller ID is legally binding, so that when the judge hauled back the admitted phone thief in the Case of the Thieved Phone, he could call the courtroom and order his own release.

#4. Stolen Credit Card for Fraud Fingerprints Fee

Newspapers report that a man charged with fraud in Mason, Michigan, attempted to pay for his fingerprinting with a stolen credit card. Unfortunately, becoming a living parody of America's cash-based legal system didn't protect him from further prosecution.

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"The jury is reminded that 'smirking' is not a valid legal term."

"Should I use a stolen credit card?" has to be a complicated decision for those in straits dire enough to consider it. You have to balance need against risk, and of course check if the entire building you're in -- including the person you're about to hand the card to -- works for the police department. At that point you might want to lean toward "no."

"Thanks, I could only have found your criminal record faster if you'd given me a semen sample. No, that won't be- NO I SAID NO."

The Mason sheriff's office released the world's worst fraudster pending further charges, safe in the knowledge that if he tried to flee the state, he'd probably do so by dressing as a bag of evidence and hiding in the back of a highway patrol car. Or by dressing in a suit composed entirely of question marks and going back to attacking Batman.

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Luke McKinney

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