They Should Have Stolen a Watch First
Long before he was an outlaw country crooner, Merle Haggard was a real outlaw - albeit a bad one. At the rebellious age of 20, Haggard and a few friends planned to rob a restaurant.
They got drunk and waited until 3 o'clock in the morning, when they knew it would be empty. But when they broke in, they were surprised to find the restaurant full of people. Turns out, in their drunken haze, they accidentally wandered in at 10:30 pm. The attempted burglary landed Haggard in notorious San Quentin State Prison, where he saw Johnny Cash perform three times, inspiring him to pick guitars instead of locks.
Always Case the Joint
In the olden days, crooks used to "case" joints, staking out a place and detailing all the intricacies before attempting to rob the business. But on March 12, 2008, two young criminals in Port St. Lucie, Florida, proved that tradition is dead. The would-be robbers confidently entered the lobby of a business, hid their hands in their jackets like guns, and demanded money from the woman at the front desk. Unfortunately, there was one flaw in the plan - the "business" was actually a police station.
When God Closes a Window ...
Never come between a defensive lineman and his chalupa. Employees at a Lawrence, Kansas, Taco Bell learned this lesson the hard way in 1999 when they forgot to include one of the deluxe tacos in the order of Dion Rayford, a former member of the Kansas Jayhawks.
Enraged, Rayford lunged through the store's drive-thru window, going after the employees like they were chalupas themselves. But drive-thru windows aren't meant to accommodate a 6'3", 270-lb. lineman, and Rayford got stuck. There he remained, half inside and half outside the Taco Bell, until the police arrived to dislodge him, and then arrest him.
Despite being a former child star, late actor Brad Renfro (The Client, Sleepers) could never afford a $175,000 yacht. So, in 2000, the 18-year-old actor decided to steal one from a Ft. Lauderdale marina.
Unfortunately for him, the 45-ft. vessel was still tied to the dock. When Renfro fired up the engine for a joy ride, the yacht inched forward and was quickly yanked back into the dock, damaging the stern and alerting everyone that something fishy was afoot. Nearby boaters held the beardless pirate until police arrived. (Photo: Brad Renfro's mugshot at The Smoking Gun)
Go Directly to Jail: 4 Brilliantly Bungled Crimes is written by Adam K. Raymond. It is reprinted with permission from the Scatterbrained section of the May/June 2009 issue of mental_floss magazine.
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