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Meet the 38 Dumbest Criminals of All Time

You think they would have known to plan things out a little better.

01_Caught_The_38_Dumbest_istock/zudin

Caught-Caught

Police in Ossining, New York were called to a mini-mart, where they found Blake Leak, 23, trying to break in. They chased Leak through the streets until both cops took a tumble. Seizing the opportunity, Leak sought refuge on the grounds of a large building. The building was the Sing Sing Maximum Security Prison, where he was promptly nabbed by a guard.

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The Case of the Liquor Store Lothario

Scottish shoplifter Aron Morrison was picked up after pinching a bottle of vodka from a liquor store. It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to find Morrison, though. His name and phone number were left with the clerk—after asking her out on a date. These 19 serious court cases with hilarious names (think: South Dakota v. Fifteen Impounded Cats) are guaranteed to make you laugh.

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The Lowest High There Is

For a trio of drug thieves, it was their lucky day. They broke into a home in Silver Springs, Florida, and discovered three jars of cocaine. They took it home and snorted the contents. That’s when they discovered that the jars were in fact urns and that they were snorting the cremains of the victim’s husband and two dogs.

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The Case of the Not-So Devoted Dad

Bring Your Child to Work Day is a long-honored tradition that allows children to see what goes on in the business world while also getting the chance to watch their parents ply their trade. One crook brought his young son along with him on a job, which happened to be robbing a pet shop. He was caught soon after, minus something important. His son.

05_Coffee_The_38_Dumbestistock/Eva-Katalin

Watch Where You’re Going!

As two men waited in line at the coffee shop to pay their bill, a third cut in front of them. He threw a drink at the clerk and demanded all the money from the till. Temporarily surprised, the men quickly recovered and handcuffed the crook. Apparently, in his rush the criminal didn’t notice they were police officers—in full uniform.

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The Couple That Drinks Together …

Recently, a woman in Fresno, California, was stopped at a DUI checkpoint for being soused. Ever helpful, she offered up this info: “My husband’s right behind me, and he’s even drunker than I am.”

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The Telltale Trousers

When an attempted robbery at a Lowes Home Improvement store went awry, Milton J. Hodges fled across the street and jumped a fence … right into the Cypress Cove Nudist Resort & Spa. As the Orlando Sentinel pointed out, “As one of the only folks wearing clothing,” Hodges was easily spotted by police. Check out these other 21 things a (smarter) burglar won’t tell you.

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P.S.—Nobody move

It’s the worst possible time to faint—in the middle of robbing a bank. But that’s what happened to a Beavercreek, Ohio, thief. The teller called 911 and asked for medics. But you have to applaud the man’s stick-to-it-iveness. While the ambulance was en route, the suspect handed a note to the teller demanding all her cash.

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No Vacancy

Mitchell Deslatte walked into a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, hotel and asked the clerk for a room. The clerk wasn’t a clerk—he was a state trooper. And the hotel was actually a state trooper station. That’s when Deslatte was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. You might be breaking the law in this U.S. state where it’s illegal to swear in public.

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IOU

Graham Price of South Wales ripped off the bank where he worked, but he wasn’t completely duplicitous. He left a note in the safe: “Borrowed, seven million pounds”—signed “Graham Price.”

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No One Likes a Tattler

A Good Samaritan noticed an elderly man being robbed, so he jumped in and punched the thief. The thief was so upset, he called the police to complain.

012_Candy_The_38_Dumbest_-istock/_Lizzie_Lamont

Next Time, Steal a Milky Way

When Stephan Crane broke into the Ravelli Republic (Montana) newsroom, he used the computers to watch porn and check Facebook. Then Crane doused the office with a fire extinguisher, took some candy, and left. It wasn’t difficult to find him, however; the police just followed the trail of stolen M&Ms that led to his sister’s place across the way.

013_Canada_The_38_Dumbest_istock/_Lizzie_tirc83

Can You Read Me Now?

When police in Vancouver, Canada, asked to search Jason Pauchay’s apartment for drugs, he was not a suspect—in fact, they were looking for someone else. That all changed when they got a look at how his name was listed on his cell phone: “Jason Pauchay Drug Dealer.”

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The Back-to-Jail Special

Two men decided a back-to-school event at an office supply store would be the perfect time to do some shoplifting. After all, store clerks would be busy helping an influx of shoppers. The sale happened to coincide with the annual “Shop with a Cop” day when about 60 police officers show up to help children pick out school supplies.

015_chipotle_The_38_Dumbestistock/Lizzie_SchulteProductions

Burrito Patrol

Adan Juarez Ramirez had it all figured out—he could be a cop without having to take the boring test. But he was arrested in Grapevine, Texas, after pulling over a driver in his pickup truck, outfitted with flashing lights. He even had an ID badge, which he’d made by blacking out a restaurant gift card and etching in the word “POLICE.” However, he’d kept the restaurant’s logo, a jalapeño pepper surrounded by the words “Chipotle Mexican Grill.” See if you’ve broken any of the funniest and dumbest laws in all 50 states.

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The Case of the Returned Merchandise

A Target store in Augusta, Georgia, agreed to take back a printer from a dissatisfied customer. Then the clerk noticed some work the customer forgot to remove from the machine: Counterfeit bills.

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You Mean It’s Not Scout Night?

Two machete-wielding men barged into a Sydney, Australia, bar demanding money. They didn’t know the club was hosting a bikers’ meeting at the time. One of the robbers ended up in the hospital, the other hog-tied with electrical wire. Don’t miss these 11 emergency room stories almost too crazy to be true.

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Hampered by Stupidity

In Mesa, Arizona, a home break-in was foiled when the burglar jumped through the bedroom window—and got trapped in a clothes hamper. Cops took it from there. (That definitely wasn’t the kind of clean getaway he had planned.) These tricks will help you outsmart criminals who are smarter than him.

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Worst Customer Service Ever!

Joseph Goetz’s alleged attempt to rob a York, Pennsylvania, bank met with some snags. Cops say the first teller he tried to rob fainted and the next two had no more cash in their drawers. Fed up, Goetz stormed out, threatening to write an angry letter to the bank.

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To: [email protected]

A German bank robber sent mocking emails to local police, ridiculing their efforts to arrest him. First, he let them know they had his age, build, and accent wrong. Then he corrected their announcement that he’d escaped on foot; no, he had a getaway car! The cops got the last word in, though, when they arrested the guy a few hours later. They used his email to trace him.

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The Case of the Clean Intruder

After a man kicked in the front door of a Texas home at 3:30 a.m., the resident fled and called police. When cops arrived, they were surprised to find that the intruder hadn’t stolen a thing. Police found the man in the bathroom, enjoying a warm bath. Learn the first hiding places burglars check for valuables (besides your body wash bottle).

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Fish Tales

Robby Rose lost his first-place medal and was charged with a felony after it was discovered that he’d cheated in a Texas fishing tournament by stuffing a one-pound weight down the throat of a bass he’d caught. Officials became suspicious when they placed Rose’s fish in a tank and it sank to the bottom.

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Banana attack

According to the bus driver, it was a brutal, unprovoked attack. A woman got on his bus and assaulted him with a half-eaten banana. “I had banana all over me,” he insisted. “On my tie, my shirt, and my eye.” The woman explained that the driver had almost hit her car and that when she entered the bus to rationally discuss the matter, the banana slipped … right into his tie, his shirt, his eye … The court may not have believed that, but it did believe her when she argued that it was “unreasonable that a banana could cause this much damage.” They slapped her with a fine of only about $100. Don’t miss these 15 ridiculous (and hilarious) ways people have tried to cheat the carpool line.

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You are gonna regret that tattoo

Police in Pico Rivera, California, had an easy time pinning a four-year-old murder on Anthony Garcia. That’s because he pinned it on himself—with an elaborate tattoo on his chest, depicting the killing. Cops noticed the incriminating ink when taking Garcia’s mug shot for a petty crime. The tattoo revealed all the details of the night, from the Christmas lights and bent streetlamp near the liquor store where the body was found to the image of an angry helicopter—Garcia’s nickname was Chopper—machine-gunning the victim.

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Lincoln on the money

James Rhyne of Memphis was charged with forgery after he handed a waitress a $100 bill. The waitress knew something was funny with the money: Instead of the portly visage of Ben Franklin, it was the star of the $5 bill, Abe Lincoln, who was staring back at her. Learn the less obvious ways to spot counterfeit money.

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She Went Thatta Way, Then Thatta Way, Then Thatta Way, Then …

A woman in Somerset, Massachusetts, was arrested for breaking and entering. But she was quickly caught thanks to her ankle bracelet … the one fitted with a GPS system … that she had gotten from the police … for being on probation from an earlier breaking-and-entering case.

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Parlez-vous idiot?

The victim’s jewelry was missing, the electronics were gone, and a window was smashed. No wonder she was hysterical when officer Charanjit Meharu of the Calgary police arrived. Then her French-speaking father called. Speaking in French, she explained that it was all a scam in order to get the insurance money. What she didn’t suspect was that Officer Meharu speaks six languages, including French. Check out these 26 secrets an identity thief doesn’t want you to know.

027_The_38_Dumbest_istock/IPGGutenbergUKLtd

Drug dealer’s office in the police station

Christopher Oxley of Everett, Washington, was arrested for conducting a drug deal over the phone—in the bathroom of the Everett Police Department.

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Incarceration? There’s an app for that!

A 12-year-old boy adamantly denied having stolen an iPhone when questioned by police at his home. And then the iPhone rang in his closet. Okay, yes, he stole that. But as for the Blackberry he was also accused of stealing, he double-adamantly denied… *RING!!*

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A crime that’s too heavy

Clive Halford thinks big! The British career criminal stole a truck and loaded it with 18 pallets of stolen nickel and copper worth around £150,000 (about $250,000). Yes, the haul was huge—too huge. Cops arrested Halford after the truck’s suspension collapsed under the weight. Earlier, Halford had stolen a car, overloaded it, and broken its suspension too.

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“…just kidding?”

Don’t you hate it when you suffer a heart attack and think you’re going to die, so you confess to a 17-year-old murder, only to find out you’re not going to die and then get sentenced to life in prison as a result? Yeah, so does James Washington, of Nashville, because it happened to him.

031_The_38_Dumbest_istock/RyanJLane

You should read the book you stole

Callie Rough of Middletown, Ohio, was picked up for shoplifting from a Dollar General store with her two young children in tow. Among the booty was a book, 101 Ways to Be a Great Mom. Hopefully, you can relate better to these 18 hilarious true stories about parenting.

A molotov cock-and-bull story

Following a dispute, Craig Aylesworth, of Bithlo, Florida, allegedly tossed a Molotov Cocktail at his neighbor’s trailer home … just as the winds shifted, sending embers on to his own trailer. Luckily, he was arrested, since he no longer had a home of his own to return to.

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The new Apple iDiot

A San Francisco thief pedaled his bike up to a woman on the sidewalk, snatched the iPhone out of her hands, and rode away. Unknown to him, the woman was in the middle of demonstrating the iPhone’s new GPS tracking device, which worked—the thief was captured minutes later.

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“License and registration and an attorney, please.”

Anthony Kenneth Mastrogiovanni was impersonating a police officer when he pulled over another car for speeding. The driver quickly sussed out that Mastrogiovanni was fibbing since he, too, was a cop, but in his case, the kind of cop who doesn’t have to pretend he’s a cop because he really is a cop. Mastrogiovanni was arrested for impersonating a police officer. Learn the magic words that can help you beat a speeding ticket.

035_The_38_Dumbestistock/RichLegg

“Who’re you gonna trust, yourself, or yourself?”

How convenient! Only a few months earlier, a man from  Iowa City, Iowa had his driver’s license stolen. Then who should show up at the bar where he worked as a bouncer, but the thief brandishing the bouncer’s very own license as his form of ID.

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Should’ve activated your karma alarm

Is there no honor among thieves? While two suspects were being questioned by Ogden, Utah, police about shoplifting from a store, someone broke into their car and stole a stereo and several other items.

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This looks like a safe place…

An El Paso, Texas, man busted into a church and absconded with the safe. Safes are heavy, so he only got a few yards before dropping it on a neighbor’s lawn, where he tried to crack it open. That’s when he was confronted by the home’s occupant—a police officer. You’ll laugh out loud at these jokes about dumb criminals.