Okay, so not everyone is dumb enough to get picture evidence of their crime permanently inked on their skin, but there are plenty of would-be criminals out there who could have conquered the world were it not for one simple fact: they’re incredibly stupid. Here is just a handful.
Playing dead: On 2008, a burglar broke into a funeral home in Burjassot, a small town just outside Valencia. When police arrived he tried to fool them by playing dead, but two things gave him away. First, he breathed. Second, he wore grungy clothes rather than the Sunday best of those settling in for eternal rest.
Doing his homework: In 2008, police charged Daniel Glen, 40, with robbing a convenience store in Windsor, Ontario, after he called ahead to ask the clerk how much money was in the cash register before going to “collect” it. Glen was already a suspect in two similar incidents where the thief called ahead to make sure the clerk had the money bagged and ready for him.
Signing the deed: Peter Addison made it easy for police to track him down – by scrawling his name on a wall at the crime scene. The 18-year old wrote “Peter Addison was here” with black marker pen as he and friends raided a campsite for underprivileged children and went on a drunken wrecking spree. And when police tracked him down he did them another favour, by wearing a T-shirt he had stolen from the site, proving they had the right man.
A real blinder: Germany’s dumbest criminal was jailed for four years after he attempted to rob a bank wearing a mask that he couldn’t see out of. He had to lift up his mask so he could demand money from the cashier, allowing cops to identify him from CCTV footage.
Going in circles: An armed robber held up a petrol station in Vancouver and then returned to ask the cashier for directions. The 22-year-old man was chased by cops at 100mph after holding up staff at knife point, but got lost and so pulled into a petrol station for help, unaware it was the one he had just robbed.
Say cheese! A man successfully broke into a bank after hours and stole the bank’s CCTV camera. While it was recording. Remotely.
Drop everything and run! Two men tried to pull the front off a cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the machine, though, they pulled the bumper off their truck. Scared, they left the scene and drove home. With the chain still attached to the machine. With their bumper still attached to the chain. With their vehicle’s license plate still attached to the bumper.
Let's do a little math: A man walked into a Circle-K (similar to a 7-11), put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and demanded all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled – leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer? Fifteen dollars.
You mean me? A pair of Michigan robbers entered a record shop nervously waving revolvers. The first one shouted, “Nobody move!” When his partner moved, the startled first bandit shot him.