I know, I know – yet another post about dumb criminals. But hey, whose fault is it that there are so many?
So here’s today’s guest, Jon Reiter, with more of them.
Considering the popularity of television shows like truTV’s World’s Dumbest Criminals, plenty of Americans have a secret obsession with learning more about idiots with criminal intentions who botch the case, leave major evidence behind, or incriminate themselves in a variety of ridiculous ways.
Here are five stupid criminals that any attorney would be embarrassed to defend in court:
1. Note to self: Sharpies do not make good disguises.
Masks and bandanas seem to be the face-hiders of choice among most “successful” criminals, but the media is still laughing over two wannabe robbers from Tennessee who attempted to disguise themselves by drawing on their own faces with a black marker. Yeah, like that makes sense…
2. But it rang up $2!
William Keltner from Texas created headlines as well as uncontrollable laughter when he intended to get a bargain on a television set at Wal-Mart. The retail giant’s loss-prevention team noticed that the savvy shopper removed the barcode from a $228 TV and replaced it with a barcode from a product costing just $1.17 before heading to a self-checkout lane. No wonder the register started flashing and warned him that associate assistance was necessary before the sale could be completed.
3. Hey, he’s gotta learn how to drive anyway!
When 43-year-old Tennessean Randy Lewis got so drunk and high that he decided not to drive—perhaps his only wise decision of the day—he handed the keys of his 1995 Ford Windstar van to his elementary-school-aged son. The van flipped onto its roof after the 10-year-old hit speeds of over 90 mph. Three other children were in the vehicle along with the driver and his “responsible” father. The entire crew was treated for injuries at a local hospital, but the best part of this incident would have to be the attire that Lewis was wearing in his mug shot—a wrinkled T-shirt suggesting that one should ‘Buy This Dad a Beer.’
4. Sorry, wrong number … wanna buy some drugs?
A 14-year-old Florida teen accidentally dialed a wrong number while making a call, something we’re all guilty of from time to time. Rather than apologize and hang up like any sane person would do, he asked the person who answered if he’d like to buy some drugs. Bad idea … turns out the call’s recipient was none other than a Gulfport Police detective, who was more than happy to make a purchase. When the duo arranged a time and place to meet, the teen and a companion who drove him to the site were both arrested.
5. Here’s one status update you probably shouldn’t make on Facebook.
When 26-year-old Cameroon-born Maxi Sopo falsely obtained over $200,000 in credit from banks, he maxed out the lines and headed down to Cancun. After committing bank fraud and escaping to paradise, he had the nerve to update his Facebook account with details of his new fun and frivolous life in paradise. The problem? One of his new Facebook friends was a former justice department official who quickly put two and two together and turned in the wannabe playboy.
There you have it—five of the dumbest criminals in recent history. While dirty deeds shouldn’t be laughing matters, it’s tough to keep a straight face when reading about folks like those mentioned above.
Jon Reiter is a marketing agent for http://swiftlaw.net, an expert Denver bankruptcy lawyer.