It sucks getting caught redhanded. In the movies, criminal masterminds team up to pull off a heist, and everything runs so smoothly. The plan is meticulous, the timing impeccable, and they have access to amazing technological gadgets. Sure, something might go wrong, but they're so skilled at improvising they still pull off the caper. Meanwhile, in real life, they'd screw up and get busted within minutes.
In merry old England, a young man appeared to get caught stealing a Class B drug on live TV. KMTV reporter Cameron Tucker was filming a story in the quiet, countryside village of Hoath, Kent. In one of the thatched cottages, a couple - Neil Hartley, 45, and Yvette Hartley, 48 - had been arrested for growing marijuana. Police discovered 88 cannabis plants in their home, a value of £500,000 ($675,000).
As Tucker describes the case, a young man walks out from behind a neighboring house, holding a suspicious green plant. When he sees the camera, he immediately makes a break for it, running down the sidewalk. At the same time, Tucker turns to look at the Hartley's cottage. He makes the gesture at the perfect moment, spotting the alleged cannabis thief just like we do. The young man is caught red-handed - or should we say green-handed?
While the reporter looks a bit confused, but doesn't break, continuing with his copy. (What a pro!) Unfortunately, the video cuts off too quickly for us to see if he had a bigger reaction. I expected to him to crack up laughing, and say "Did that really happen?"
Metro reports that Kent Police "are aware of the clip but are not aware of any crimes being committed." And of course we are unable to confirm that the plant the young man carried was marijuana. It's possible the he was swiping a cannabis plant from the Hartleys' house, and it's also possible he was playing a prank, running by the reporter holding a plant that looked like weed. But whether the stunt was staged or not, it's still pretty hilarious.
If the young man really did steal a marijuana plant, he's lucky to get away, after a serious case of "wrong place, wrong time." In America, weed is legal in multiple states, but in England, it is still very much illegal. Neil and Yvette Hartley pleaded guilty to producing the drug in Canterbury Court. They narrowly avoided prison time by being given a 22-month sentence, suspended for two years. They were also ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work, and remain at home under a 12-week nighttime curfew.
Well, this young man probably won't get called up to help with a Mission Impossible or Ocean's Eleven-type heist. Checking to make sure the coast is clear is beginning thief stuff. But he might get called up if Snoop Dogg does a concert in Hoath, Kent, because clearly, he's got the plug.