8 Brilliant Ways Dumb Criminals Displayed Their Stupidity
Burglement: The act or process of burgling. One who burgles is a burglar. One who burgles hamburgers? Still a burglar. "Hamburglar" is not a word. But burglars are also generally the nefarious types creeping around back alleys and shrubs, looking for windows to pry open so they can slither into your domicile and purloin your most succulent and precious goods. Your television? Burgled! Your computer? Burgled! Your scotch eggs? Burgled and reburgled! Oh, nothing is safe from these messengers of ill repute. Unless, of course, they're complete shitheads.
It turns out that your average burglar probably isn't all up-to-date on their Mensa membership. In fact, a number of burglars are such stunning asshats that they made national news with how badly up they fucked up their crimes.
The Tater Tot-Napper
I'm not going to lie: I have a real affinity for tater tots. If you were about to be in an accident, but across the street was a guy giving away free tater tots who was on his last serving, and I only had time to either get the free tots or save you, and the accident you were about to get in would be painful but probably not life-threatening, then I'd leave your ass for those delicious, crunchy potato treats. That's precisely how much I like them: kind of. I kind of like them.
Some people seem to like tater tots even more than me. For instance, James Adams, who broke into a house in California and was apparently so blown away that they had tater tots on hand that he had to cook some up for himself. And of course, when you cook up a batch of tater tots, you need to eat them while they're hot, because cold potato is kind of shitty. And of course, if you just bogged yourself down with crunchy potato goodness, you're going to need to sleep off that fatty load of fat and carbs, so you take a nap. And that's just what James did. All in the house he broke into.
And if he took a massive carb shit beforehand, I'll bet he didn't even flush.
Fast-forward a little bit to when whomever actually lived in the house arrived on the scene and found James' greasy ass passed out on the couch. Rather than congratulate James on his superb snack choice, the homeowner just called the cops and had him busted for felonious stupidity and third-degree jackassery.
The Day Burglar
James Blankenship thought that he'd planned the perfect crime. In an effort to shame the dazzling feats of thievery seen in films like Ocean's 11 or The Sting, Blankenship plotted to rob the last place anyone would ever suspect: his own mother's home. And he would do it during broad daylight, ensuring that he could never be prosecuted -- for as Blankenship was well aware, a burglary is only a burglary if it happens at night. If it happens during the day, well, then it's not a burglary. And therefore not illegal. It was almost too easy.
You'll be surprised to hear that when he tried to break in, Blankenship's mother chased him away, since he was not allowed on the premises. A neighbor called the police, and Blankenship was found hiding nearby. He was even arrested, despite his letting the authorities know that he was pretty sure burglaries could only be committed at night, so since it was day, he hadn't done anything wrong.
Unfortunately for him, the cops ran a time zone test and determined that it was nighttime somewhere.
As it happens in the town of Willoughby -- and also in every place ever for as long as the idea of crime has existed -- burglaries are not dependent on the time of day. If you commit the crime at any point during the day, it still happened, and is still illegal. Blankenship pleaded guilty to a reduced charge, and was given a $100 fine plus 180 days in jail, with most of them suspended. Which is not really different from having committed no crime at all when you think about it.
The Pie Burglar
You need to watch this trailer for the movie Tammy, because it's oddly relevant:
There, you've officially watched all the Tammy you ever need to watch.
What kind of person attempts to rob a fast food restaurant of pie? The answer is the 62-year-old man in Baltimore who busted into a Popeye's and, according to security camera footage, ate 16 slices of pie, some applesauce, and drank some water before passing the fuck out on the floor. And to be fair, could any of us hope to eat 16 slices of pie without passing out? Not likely.
As opposed to where most people end up publicly passing out: the bathroom.
We may never know why this mystery man was so in need of pie, or why he didn't think to take the pie to go so that he could pass out at home and maybe avoid jail, even for a little while. These are questions we could ask, but maybe we shouldn't. Maybe we need to see this story the way we see the face of someone we love. Does it have flaws? According to some, but to us, those lines and marks are part of what makes them beautiful. Just like this robbery was beautiful and perfect in every way.
The Sun Burglar
A solid 30 percent of the reason anyone liked the original Point Break was entirely thanks to the fact that the thieves in the movie disguised themselves as presidents. Getting robbed by Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon feels somehow right and just. Ever since then -- and maybe before, I'm no historian -- serious thieves have opted for disguises to help them pull of heists. After all, who can identify you if you look like Dick Cheney?
The perfect getup for stealing money and making children never want to sleep again.
Brett Eric Drachenburg is no Bodhi, sadly, so his plan fell a little flat. Flatter than Lori Petty's acting in that movie, am I right? Guys? Did you see it? Anyway, Drachenburg unlawfully deprived a homeowner of their towel one day back in 2013, maybe because he was feeling damp. Ours is not to question why someone steals a towel; ours is just to know that after he purloined the towel and police showed up, Drachenburg attempted to disguise himself as ... the Sun!
"If they try to look at me, they'll go blind! Brilliant!"
No details are given at this point, so we as readers and astronomers are left to speculate and, dare I say, fantasize about how this transpired. Was the towel yellow and he just tried to hide behind it? Did he climb a tree and huddle up in the rays of the great star? Did he set himself on fire? Did he simply yell "no burglar here, I'm just the Sun!" and stand very still? If only we knew.
Related: Cracked Round-Up: Sun-Eating Edition
The Getaway Dope
A really good heist needs a getaway driver. How the hell can you be expected to make off with all that ham and drive a car at the same time? Your hands all greasy, your pulse racing -- it's just not practical, right? Right. So you need a wheel man who can be cool and calm and take you and your precious pilfered ham to greener pastures, where the three of you can make sweet, salty love, or whatever it is you have planned for all that ham. But seriously, why are you stealing ham?
Olias Pettit was not in the mood for ham when he broke into a home. Or maybe he was, since he was trying to steal the refrigerator. When he heard his getaway driver pull into the driveway, he left the garage and got into the car, and was likely somewhat chagrined to discover that the car was being driven by a cop, and not his friend.
"Think I could get a reduced sentence as a reward for making your job so incredibly easy?"
Pettit explained that a friend had put him up to the job, and he'd taken some meth to work up the courage, and none of it was his idea at all. None of this impressed anyone, and he was still charged.
The Facebooked Burglar
What an age we live in, right? Apple watches and Tesla cars and breakfast at Taco Bell. Good times. But there's a downside to this boon of advancement and futuristic awesomeness, and it's not killer robots. It's much worse: Facebook. Seriously, what a stupid website. Anyway, it's still popular amongst the kids and old people, and also boneheaded criminals.
Johnathan Parker decided to break into a house and make off with a couple of diamond rings. He was well on his way to probably pawning them for enough money to buy some Xbox games and beers, but temptation got the best of him and he succumbed to that most forbidden of fruits: Facebook. Unable to not know whether or not someone was poking him or if his Farmville farm was producing at max capacity, he logged into his victim's computer and farted around for a while before making his getaway.
Freedom ain't freedom unless you can spend every waking moment of it sharing cat GIFs and Obama memes.
Later, when the homeowner went online, they found Parker still logged in, so it was pretty easy to deduce what criminal mastermind staged the break-in.
The Burglar Who Left Too Many Clues
There are no doubt as many ways to be a dumb criminal as there are crimes to commit, but if you want to reach some next-level shit, you have to shut your brain off altogether and not even think about thinking. That's how you get to the level of Andrew Bawden, a career criminal who, on his way home after being bailed out for a series of burglaries, got it into his head to commit even more burglaries. And while that seems dumb, if he got away with it, he would have at least been able to say he was a moderately successful criminal. But he didn't get away with it. Not even close.
At the scene of one burglary, Bawden dropped the sheet the police gave him that detailed his previous charges. A couple of hours later, he dropped a DVD of his interview with police, something so staggeringly insane as to be nearly unbelievable. The only thing stupider would have been taking photos with the stuff he was stealing, signing them with his name and address, and then waiting on his porch for the police to come get him.
"You'll be sorry when these things become collector's items!"
Unsurprisingly, Bawden was caught pretty quickly, and brought up on an additional 30 charges. Because he's an idiot.
The Burglar Who Was High On Cremains
They say that kids are stupid. But if I may play Devil's Advocate for a moment, "stupid" isn't a fair word at all. These kids were stunningly, soul-shatteringly inept. They're cosmically doltish. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's backtrack.
David Gesell, a 17-year-old criminal mastermind in the making, broke into a house with a 16-year-old and a 15-year-old accomplice. They stole an Xbox, some games, some prescription drugs, and, the biggest score of all, some sweet nose candy. Except it wasn't cocaine in the fancy box on the mantle; it was the homeowner's father. You know, in ash form. Because he'd died and was cremated.
The one and only way these kids will ever be as cool as Keith Richards.
The teens made off with their loot, and at some point on the road, they threw the cremains out the window when they realized it wasn't drugs. But wait, how did they realize it wasn't cocaine on the road if they thought it was cocaine when they picked it up? It didn't change the way it looked from one location to the other, did it? Nope. It just changed in taste.
Yes, give yourself a little "I got the willies" shake for that one. The kids needed a taste of the bag's contents to help them realize it was not actual cocaine, and they then proceeded to throw it from a moving vehicle. The idiots were caught later when one of them went online with the Xbox, but in a cosmic sense, they lost pretty big before then. You should never have occasion to taste another person's remains.
Robbery isn't always a bag full of laughs. Check out 5 Things No One Tells You About Being Robbed to learn all the consequences of robbery that you didn't expect. Then again, don't worry tooooo much. Criminals have a knack for getting themselves busted as seen in 6 Baffling Mistakes Criminals Apparently Make All The Time.
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