Monday, October 11, 2010

Stupid Criminals

The front desk of my apartment building was robbed last week. The thief made off with two laptops and a drawer full of rent checks. This alone indicated some doubt about his criminal ability, since it would be difficult to cash a lot of checks made out to a building. However, this was only the start of the young man's mistakes.

He then entered the basement garage area, where he was in the process of stealing an expensive bike when the owner, a young woman, showed up. The alleged thief hid in a storage closet, dragging the bike in with him. She looked around, did not see her bike, and did see the closet door ajar. She opened it and threw a fit, demanding not only that the bike be returned, but that the guy present his I.D., presumably in case there was damage to the bike. He did. She photographed it with her cell phone. He then fled. Police arrested him, still in possession of the rent checks, at his home.

The mind boggles.


TheOFloinn said...

Heh. Some burglars broke into my parents' house years ago and stole (inter alia) my brother's HS class ring which a guy with a metal detector had recently found in a park where he had lost it years before. The Mut was preparing to mail it out to him but hadn't gotten around to it.

When she realized it too was missing, she called my cousin Mariellen to tell her husband the cop to add it to the list. Now, she called him right away. He was working at a second job at a pawn shop. While he is on the phone, a guy comes in wants to pawn a class ring. Jim says, let me look at it in a better light, and walks between the guy and the door. Yup, those are Pat's initials on the ring. Dude, you are so busted. He sang like a canary.

OK, that's not stupid criminal, but an amazing act of fate.

I had dinner some years back with Maureen McHugh and her writers group in Cleveland, and the one guy an ADA had some hilarious stories about stupid crooks. Like the guy Zero who figures since accountants deal with money he should burglarize an accounting office. Frustrated by no cash, he vandalizes and then leaves by the window, leaving two beautiful matched palm prints on the glass. He gets put away, but overhears the cops say, "if he had worn gloves we'd never have caught him." He ponders this in jail.

He gets out. The local mini-mart calls the cops. Zero is robbing us, hurry. How do you know it's Zero? We know him from around the neighborhood. Weird thing is, he's wearing gloves.

Now Zero can ponder "burglary = gloves; armed robbery = ski mask"

Sean Craven said...

I love a good stupid criminal story, but given the context, my thought was this.

What was the last year in which this story could have been written as-is and called science fiction? This is almost a Bruce Sterling story, except for the part where we're used to cell phones.

There's a fine, fine tradition of stupid criminals. I have three or four books collecting news clippings of that kind of thing.

Heh. Someone needs to write a caper story from that perspective.

Okie said...

lol...that's hilariously awful. I love it.

Dave Creek said...

A person I work with says a police officer once told him, "I've never arrested a smart one."

S.M.D. said...

That's shockingly stupid...must have been his first time...

bluesman miike Lindner said...

Why boggle, Nancy? Criminals are, in general, stoopid.

It is =much= easier to make your way in the world being honest.

You'll find no luck being a crook. The few friends you'll find are ones you cannot trust, as they can't trust you.

I guess, though, Satan will always be your friend.