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The Top Ten Stupid Criminals of 2007

A policeman’s job is never easy, but dumb criminals make it somewhat easier. This list was whittled down from a much longer list of stories of the stupid things lawbreakers did this past year. These are in chronological order instead of rank. The dates are from the news stories; in some cases the crime itself happened earlier. Most of the links have accompanying video.

1. Lottery Thief Sets Himself on Fire

ROME, GA June 2
A convenience-store thief got away, but the video from the security camera told a strange, strange tale. A man broke into the store overnight, and tried to cover his tracks by burning the place down. He threw charcoal lighter fluid around, but by the time he ignited it, the fumes had permeated the store, and he set himself on fire. While in flames, he grabbed a roll of lottery tickets and fled. At the time of the story, police were looking for a man with facial, neck, and possibly wrist burns.

2. Ten Hours Stuck in Restaurant Vent

An employee of the Lucky Buffet noticed a strange sight on arriving at the restaurant. There were legs hanging out of a vent over the grill! 45-year-old Billy Jordan had tried to enter the restaurant the night before by climbing through the ductwork, but became stuck and stayed there for ten hours. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue workers used a rope to pull Jordan back out through the roof, after which he was arrested for burglary.

3. Immovable ATM

Three men backed a stolen vehicle through the glass front of a gas station. Their intent was to steal an ATM. But they didn’t realize that ATMs are bolted to the floor. After some thought, they tied a rope around the machine and attched it to the vehicle, but still could not dislodge it. They left empty-handed. The ATM was still in working order the next day.

4. The Famous Duct Tape Bandit

ASHLAND, KY August 13
Police say Kasey Kazee entered Shamrock Liquors and attempted to rob the store. Employees were astonished that he had disguised his face by wrapping it in duct tape! The store manager chased him out with a baseball bat and an employee held him in the parking lot until police arrived. Police removed the duct tape after taking pictures, and arrested Kazee, who denied any memory of the incident.
See a video report here.

5. The Sign of the Crime

Peter Addison and his friend Mark Ridgeway vandalized the Toc H centre, a children’s campsite building. They smashed crockery, set off fire extinguishers, and drew grafitti on the walls. Part of the grafitti said “Peter Addison was here.” Police found Addison through a computer database. Both teenagers pled guilty and were ordered to pay for the damage.
Inspector Gareth Woods, of Cheshire Police, said: "This crime is up there with the dumbest of all in the criminal league table.

"There are some pretty stupid criminals around, but to leave your own name at the scene of the crime takes the biscuit.”

6. He Didn’t See the Cop

LITTLE ROCK, AR September 7
21-year-old Langston Robins walked right past a uniformed police officer at the Metropolitan Bank and handed a robbery note to the teller. The unarmed would-be robber was arrested after a foot pursuit. Little Rock police spokesman Lt. Terry Hastings said:
"I just don't know why he didn't see a uniformed police officer standing basically right in front of him," Hastings tells the Associated Press. "My guess is he's just not the brightest of people."

7. He Stole a Car to Turn Himself In

GENEVA, NY September 13
29-year-old Vincent Estrada Junior was pulled over because the car he was driving had been stolen from a parking lot. Estrada explained that he had stolen the car in order to drive to the Geneva City Police Department and turn himself in on a family court warrant! He didn’t make his destination, as police took him to the Ontario County Jail instead, where he was held on car theft charges.

(image credit: Ontario County Sheriff's Office)

8. Burglar Falls Asleep Under Victim’s Bed

WHITLEY BAY, England September 17
Usually, the burglar robs the house while the victim is asleep, but in this story, the roles were reversed. 24-year-old Mark Smith sneaked into Heather Stephenson’s home, crept past her while she was ironing, and rifled through her belongings in the bedroom. Then he fell asleep under her bed. Mrs. Stephenson couldn’t wake him, and police officers had to drag him out from under the bed. Smith’s vodka and valium consumption were to blame. He received an 18-month sentence for burglary.

9. Cash My Million-Dollar Bill!

A man flew into a rage at the Giant Eagle supermarket when employees refused to cash a million-dollar bill. 66-year-old Samuel Porter slammed an electronic machine on the counter and refused to give his name to authorities. He was then taken to the Allegheny County Jail. The largest bill currently in circulation is the $100 dollar bill.

Bonus: It happened again soon afterwards in Georgia!

(image credit: AP)

10. Carjacking at a Crime Scene

RALEIGH, NC December 11
There had been a stabbing, and police were on the scene talking to a woman who had been a witness to the crime. 38-year-old Anthony William jumped into the woman’s car and drove away! He was arrested the next day, easily identified by the cops who saw him steal the car.

uur, I considered that, but I couldn't find an update to cite. I seem to remember that the guy was found, but denied having anything to do with the theft. However, I can't find that article now so I don't know for sure what happened, or how the case has progressed.
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I don't mean to be "that guy," but spelling mistakes just pop out for me and I hate to see such a good site look bad.

Under Lottery Theif, you have written: "the funes had permeated the store."

Keep up the good work on a great site!
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I don't mean to be "that guy," but I'm a visual guy and spelling errors just pop out for me.

Under 'Lottery Theif...'
"he funes had permeated the store"

Under 'He Stole a Car...'
"the car he was driving hasd been stolen"

Don't hate me! ;) Keep up the good work on a great site!
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What about gang of stupid criminal with high power weapons that try to rob Los Angeles high rise during Christmas party and all get killed by bald man with bare feet?
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I wish I could find a source. We had a local thief stealing copper wire (Langley, BC Canada)and in the process of cutting the wires, accidentally lopped off a couple of his own fingers with the wire cutters and then fled the scene. The police were able to print the severed fingers and the repeat criminal was identified.
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the best is the darwin award winner...gun jams/doesn't fire during robbery...robber looks down the barrel of the gun to check the jam and pulls the trigger...this time it worked....
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Nate, David, and others: I know. There are several stories I thought of and couldn't find the original source. A lot of news sites purge old stories to save bandwidth or memory or whatever. And some of the ones I recall may have happened in 2006 or earlier, but I couldn't find a source to check. There are many many places that list such stories without sources or dates. So I limited this to those I could link to.
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How about the guy who was breaking into cars at a casino near the Everglades. Security started chasing him so he ran into a near-by swamp only to meet the grumpy and large gator who lives there. His body was found the next day. Darwin award nominee for sure!
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You're doing great, Miss Cellania. Keep up the good work.

yunno, not only am i baffled that people commit these stupid crimes, but i'm more baffled at how easily some of them are carried out. ever since one guy gave a teller a note saying he was robbing the place, every other thief has been doing the exact same thing! if someone handed me a note like that, i would probably make a big fuss to scare him away. if he doesn't have the guts to say something to me while carrying out his crime, i won't give him the satisfaction of handing him any money. people are so f*ckin stupid.
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Some people are REALLY stupid. I like this article, good work!

If that guy "denied any memory of the incident", then it's not surprising his face was covered in tape... :D
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YES! My hometown made the top of the list! Not sure that's something I should be proud of. I didn't know that's how the convenience store burned, but then again, I don't watch the news. You'd be surprised at what comes out of a town of 100,000!
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Why is everyone making fun of Dr. Jones? Leave the guy alone haha. You're making fun of him for spotting grammar errors and then at the same time.. finding HIS grammar errors. Which makes you just as guilty of being, "that guy," as he is!
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No! Don't teach your sons any more spelling skills than is absolutely necessary! A literate person on the internet has only two choices: correct other people's mistakes and be branded a Grammar Nazi, thereby attracting more vitriolic responses than actual Nazis, or let it go and quietly wonder why you learned to spell in the first place. Ignorance is bliss.

By the way, when I type "theif", a little red dotted line appears under it. Am I the only one who gets this?
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I came on here looking for a story I heard on the news yesterday. Maybe someone can confirm it.

A guy went into a convenience store, walked around for awhile, evidently casing the place. (all on the surveillance tape).

He had what looked like a wig sticking out of his pocket as he walked around.

He left the store, and after a few minutes, the same guy walks in, this time wearing the wig, an robs the place.

It's all on tape.
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wow. its realy nice conversation. guys.. but tell me can we do somthing to ctop this stupidity in our worl... after this financial crisis infact crimnalism will be increas....
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I was more amused with the comments than the news. So I decided to correct something myself.

I've found that most of my spelling errors while typing are not caused by my lack of knowledge, they are actually caused by my typing skills which are not as good as my spelling. Case in point there is a letter in circulation that reveals the mayor reason why most people do not see their own errors after writting or typing a letter. The words in the document miss ceraint letter on purpose yet you as the reader can not only read the letter but can clearly understand what you are reading. Developed to prove a point (successfully). So next time you decide to correct someones spelling on a comment consider the typing skills, time alloted, and reading comprehension when proof reading his/her own material. :-)
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Fandango, I have a mac and they do that when you spell something wrong. It is a sort of computer-wide spell correction. That way, you can find out anywhere if you are spelling something wrong.
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Hey, i'm a Belgian reader of this site.

In Belgium, the cops where called for a burglary in a paper-shop.
The surveilance cameras of that shop filmed everything, also the two cops who came first at the scene.
They where filmed stuffing there pockets with porn magz, sigarettes and candy...
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But for me the most stupid people in the whole world is the americans. Because they cannot speak other language and cannot understand simple instructions, and they are also lazy, dumb. Stupid fucking Americans.
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Why isn't that guy who robbed someone and left his Facebook page up on the computer there on this list? It should be number 1. Or what about that guy who robbed a bank and stoll a giant bag of just pennies?
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What about the guys who walked into a police station and tryed to rob it? Or the one about the guy who got mad at his mom, so he kidnaped her cat and held it for ransome?
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And hey RAMON if you don't have something nice to say then dont say it... i speek 6 languages and run track... and you know what i'm american... so you go Fuck your self
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