10 Of the stupidest things criminals have ever done

10 Of the stupidest things criminals have ever done

Throughout history, there have been very few successful criminals. Sure, there are probably one or two examples of people who got away with murder, or managed to head up an illegal organization without ever being detected; but for every one criminal mastermind, there are probably a thousand or so idiots who made clumsy mistakes while trying to make a quick buck.

Think that's an exagerration? Well, here are just 10 of the dumbest things that criminals have ever done...

1. Fell for a "free beer" giveaway

In 2011, UK police caught 19 fugitive criminals by sending out a message to let them know they'd won a crate of beer. When the bad guys turned up, however, they weren't greeted with booze at all - but instead by a group of officers waiting to arrest them.

2. Gave a victim his contact details

In 2008, a teenager tried to rob a store in Chicago. To his misfortune, though, most of the money from the store was kept in a safe, and only a manager could open it. So, being the genius he was, the robber gave the cashier his mobile number so that they could call him when the manager returned. Needless to say, the only people he ended up getting in touch with were the police.

3. Literally left behind his birth certificate

Zachary Tentoni, a 26-year-old man, once tried to commit a robbery in Boston. He was successful in getting away with $40 - but not for long. You see, as well as taking something, Tentoni also left behind two of his own bags... one of which contained his birth certificate, as well as a letter from his mom.

4. Posted about the crime on Facebook

In 2015, a man wrote on Facebook: "Doing. Tesco. Over." 15 minutes later, he was apprehended after stealing more than £410 from a Tesco store. Unsurprisingly, he struggled to come up with an alibi.

5. Played Santa Claus

When attempting to break into and enter a stranger's home, many criminals have come up with some creative ways of going about it. But when Keith Schultz tried to slip into a property via the chimney in 2017, he was doomed right from the start. He got stuck while trying to climb down, leading his accomplice to break into the house in a panicked attempt to set him free. This, of course, triggered the alarm, and Schultz found himself getting rescued and arrested all at once.

6. Fell asleep on the job

Last year, a 46-year-old man was arrested in Scotland after being found asleep and covered in food in a house he'd attempted to burgle. Local police tweeted: “Sleeping on the Job! We all feel tired when we start a shift & a thief who started his shift at 2345 yesterday was no different. He broke into a house on Corsewall St, decided on a pit stop, ate half a pie and fell asleep covered in Doritos. He woke up in cuffs #fingerlickinggood."

7. Stole a penguin

In 2012, two Welsh tourists in Australia had a bit too much to drink, and thought it'd be a great idea to nick a penguin from the zoo. They also took a dip with the dolphins and set off a fire extinguisher in the shark tank. Fortunately, the penguin was found and returned the next day, and the two men landed a hefty fine.

8. Asked the police to check her drugs

A few years ago, Chastity Eugina Hopson fell for a fake Facebook post which said: "If you have recently purchased meth or heroin in Central Texas, please take it to the local police or sheriff department so it can be screened with a special device. DO NOT use it until it has been properly checked for possible Ebola contamination!" So, she went on down with her meth to get it checked, and came away with a criminal charge. 

9. Gave the victim his gun

In 2012, a man in England demanded £700,000 from a bank teller. Instead of handing over his bag so it could be filled up with money, however, the man accidentally gave his gun to the confused member of staff. Not missing a beat, the bank worker turned the gun on the criminal, who then fled the scene.

10. Disguised themselves with marker pens

In 2009, two men were arrested after attempting to break into a house. They weren't successful in their endeavour, and fled the scene before they were caught. Unfortunately for them, the pair had "disguised" their faces by drawing on themselves with permanent marker... which, of course, made them very easy to identify for witnesses who had spotted them at the scene.

I can't imagine what was going through these people's heads when they came up with these schemes. But, hey, it just goes to show: crime doesn't pay.