12 Tips From The Stupidest Criminals of 2010

Most lawbreakers aren’t exactly geniuses, but these troublemakers cross the line between foolishness and downright ineptitude. To at least help prevent any more crimes of this level of stupidity, here are a few tips for aspiring criminals without any level of common sense.

Don’t Make Assumptions

There are a lot of situations where slang is a bad idea; and asking for “dough” at a pizza joint is certainly a good example. Funny enough though, the robbers who made off with a bagful of dough weren’t even victims of a bad pun, they were just stupid enough to point to a bag behind the counter without verifying that the bag held money instead of pizza ingredients. The moral of the story is that when holding someone up, you’re much better off asking them to hand over the cash than simply pointing to a random bag in the store. Image via Jeff Kubina [Flickr]

Don’t Make Stupid Excuses

“That’s not mine” just might be one of the oldest excuses in the book when it comes to illicit substances. While plenty of suspects have tried to say their drug stash belonged to their friends, most of them weren’t stupid enough to say it about crack in their butt crack. Even if it was his friend’s crack, it certainly was under his “control” at the time of the arrest, and that’s all that really matters. Image via HTB [Flickr]

Some Things Are Not A Police Matter






There’s a reason real drug dealers have such a vicious reputation to uphold. After all, if someone takes their supply, it’s not like they can just call the police. Amateur drug cultivators aren’t always hip to these rules, which is why it’s not entirely surprising that a small-time marijuana grower called the police when someone stole one of his prized plants. The police responded to the crime immediately –by confiscating his four remaining plants.

Don’t Complain

Robbing a store is a big gamble. Aside from the risk of getting caught, there’s also a risk that there won’t be much money in the register at the time. If you lose that gamble and end up only getting $586 in the hold up (which is actually pretty decent for a Wendy’s), you probably shouldn’t call the store to complain. One man learned this the hard way after police tracked him down when he called a second time to tell the workers they’d better have more money in the register the next time he robs them. Image via alanwhitaker [Flickr]


Don’t Call Dad

If you’re going to pay someone for sex, at least make sure they aren’t 13. Also, don’t call the girl’s dad if she doesn’t show up to your pre-arranged sex romp. Chances are that her father will call the police, who will arrest you for trying to pay a minor for sex. Image via lammersch [Flickr]

Don't Cut

If you decide to cut in line to rob a Starbucks, you might want to look at the line as you walk up. If you notice two uniformed police officers, it’s a good sign that you probably shouldn’t go ahead with the robbery. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t too long before the perpetrator was arrested. Image via SFview [Flickr]

Don’t Set The World Alight

Everyone loves to get off work early, but it’s one thing to want a half day and another to commit an act of arson just to get off work. Michelle Perrino caught the attention of coworkers when she later talked about how the fire started in a file cabinet before office workers had been informed of the origin of the blaze. Image via shlala [Flickr]

Do Your Own Ironing

It may not be illegal to be sexist, but it is definitely against the law to hold your mother hostage when she refuses to do your ironing for you. When Robert Edward Tyrrell Jr.’s mother said she wouldn’t do his ironing, he yelled, “ironing is woman’s work,” pulled out a gun and held her hostage for six hours. When he let her go, she drove straight to the police station to report him. Image via akeg [Flickr]

Don’t Drop the Gun

Carjacking is never a good idea, but if you do decide to do it, make sure you hold on to your gun tightly. Raymond Lewis Shepard made the mistake of letting his gun slip and it happened to fall right onto the victim’s lap. Naturally, she used the gun against her attackers, who were promptly arrested. Image via Maya The Bee [Flickr]

Don’t Get Locked Out of The Getaway Car

The whole point of a getaway car is to make a quick, nonchalant escape from the scene of the crime. While you don’t want the car to be stolen while you are out committing the crime, if you can’t keep track of your keys, it might be better to just leave your car open. That’s what Jane Murray found out when she returned to her getaway car after a bank robbery. She ended up having to breakout her car window to get back in. Image via Sara. Nel [Flickr]

Realize That Paperwork Is Not Your Friend

If you enter a bank claiming to have a bomb on you and demand $2000, don’t let the manager convince you to fill out a loan application. When the robber agreed, the manager went to the back “to get an application” and called 911. By the time the mock application was finished, the police had already arrived. Image via cityyear [Flickr]

Don’t Brag

If you’re making a living by shoplifting from stores and then reselling them online, don’t go on a national TV program like Doctor Phil to brag about the scheme. Believe it or not, police and prosecutors do watch these programs and they will arrest you for breaking the law. Image via apdk [Flickr]

Don’t Use Your Real Name

If you’re going to do some shoplifting, you probably shouldn’t apply to the same store, particularly on the same visit to the shop. If you are going to be so stupid, at least don’t use your real name and address on the application so the police can track you down. Image via jon.liu [Flickr] There are plenty of dumb criminals out there, so this is by no means the full extent of lessons to be learned by stupid rule breakers. Feel free to share your bad troublemaker stories in the comments.


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If you decide to rob a 7-11 cashier at knifepoint, make sure you ACTUALLY HAVE A GETAWAY CAR. Also check to make sure the manager on duty then is not a very large man who is willing to follow you outside when you attempt to get away on foot and distract you from said getaway by beating the snot out of you until the cops arrive.
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