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.
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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.
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.
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."
A conniving couple decided to fake a robbery of their home in order to collect insurance money. Everything was planned out perfectly: They hid valuables, smashed jewelry, and even went so far as to make fake footprints of the thieves. It wasn't exactly The Thomas Crown Affair, but compared to most insurance fraud, which amounts to "lie on some paperwork," it was a pretty elaborate setup.
Getty Images/Photodisc/Getty Images
"Bullshit. No one owns a Wii U."
When everything was perfect, the couple called the cops, who arrived to find a hysterical woman raving about how she'd just lost everything. If you think it's a little odd that she paused her hysterics to coolly take a call from her father, imagine the officer's confusion when she proceeded to explain to her dad, in detail and completely within earshot of the police, that she was faking the entire thing to get an insurance payout.
Ah, but here's the thing: She made sure to say it all in French.
"Oui, l'agent de police est debout juste ici ...hein, probablement un six, sept si j'ai bu quelques verres."
Ah, but here's the other thing: This crime took place in Canada, whose two official languages are English and French.
Constable Charanjit Meharu took 10 pages of notes while listening to the woman expound upon the details of her crime while still at the active crime scene, and then replied, "Merci beaucoup."
"En passant, j'ai un 25 cm graine."
Most people watch what they say on Facebook, because digital privacy is kind of a hot-button issue these days. But even if you don't understand the finer points of online security, you at least get that your boss might someday stumble upon your status updates, so it's probably not good form to explain the exact kind of diseased asshole you think he resembles. In general, the rules are easy to understand: It's a social network. So say you have a message you want only one person to see. A "network" would be the wrong place for this message. This concept eluded Michael Ruse, who was on trial for assaulting his friend's father with a baseball bat.
Solent via The Telegraph
Don't let his name fool you; this man is the antithesis of crafty.
The trial had been in progress for two weeks, and while it certainly wasn't over, things were looking good for Ruse. So he fired up his Facebook account and, when asked how things were going, publicly posted that it was "looking good." Worried that his friends might not fully appreciate that he meant he was going to get away with a crime he absolutely did commit, Ruse helpfully elaborated:
"Yeah I think I get away with it tbh (to be honest)."
"What's the emoji for 'guilty as hell'?"
Why phrase it that exact way? Literally any other phrasing and he would have been just fine: "I'll probably be found innocent," or "I don't think they'll convict me," or just leave it at the initial "looking good." There is basically only one combination of words you could use to inform a friend that your trial is going well while simultaneously sabotaging that trial for yourself. And Ruse found them. A friend asked a totally innocuous question: "Hey man, how's it going?" And Ruse, in a very public place that is easily searchable, replied with: "Pretty good, I think I will get away with the crime that I did totally commit and should go to jail for. How are you? How about those sports?"
"Yeah, I'm doing all right, too."
We suppose that, much like how you hilariously believe your private messages are at all secure, Ruse thought his Facebook feed was only for his friends. But even if that was the case, how many of us are friends with people on Facebook that we just barely know or only pretend to like? You know full well that at least one of your Facebook "friends" is somebody who only wants to see you burn. That's like half the point of Facebook: passive-aggressively rubbing your success in that sucker's face. Except Ruse handed that person a can of gas and matches.
They used it: Ruse's exchange was anonymously printed out and handed to the court. He had no option other than to change his plea to guilty of assault. Even his lawyer called him a dumbass, saying, "He needs help with regards to his thinking skills."
How could it possibly get worse? Hours before his sentencing, Ruse logged back on to Facebook to call the presiding judge about to decide his fate "stuck up."
"The DA's guys keep liking and sharing my posts. Maybe they're not so bad after all ..."
Related Reading: And if you thought THESE criminals were dumb, just read about the fool who stole a LoJack tracking anklet. And seriously, it's crazy how often criminals get caught butt dialing 911. Not all criminals are dumb, of course. Some turn mocking the police into a kind of art form.
And for more ways to broadcast your crimes, check out 22 Creative Ads for Illegal Activities.