Category:
Stupid Criminals

Bugs Bunny and the Pirate

Could you make an effective cartoon with sound only? See what you think.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jun 29, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Stupid Criminals, Cartoons, 1950s

The Lemon-Juice Bandits

In January 1995, Macarthur Wheeler and Clifton Johnson robbed a bank in Swissvale, Pennsylvania. However, they had a plan to avoid detection: they rubbed lemon juice on their faces. Their reasoning was that lemon juice can be used to make invisible ink, so surely it would conceal their faces from surveillance cameras as well. They even tested this hypothesis by taking polaroid pictures of each other smeared with lemon juice, and it seemed to work.

Unfortunately, they showed up just fine on the bank's cameras, and they were identified and arrested several months later when the footage of the robbery was broadcast on a local news show.

This odd crime has an interesting postscript. The psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University read about it, and it inspired them to start thinking about the problem of stupidity: this being that stupid people often don’t realize they’re stupid. In fact, they think they’re quite smart, which leads them to do incredibly dumb things. This phenomenon (of dumb people not being able to recognize the limits of their competence) is now known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect. In the journal article in which they introduced the concept, Dunning and Kruger cited the lemon-juice bandits as their inspiration.

Tyrone Daily Herald - Jan 8, 1996



Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Mar 21, 1996

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 26, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Stupid Criminals, Psychology, 1990s

Slow-Speed Chase

The Billings Gazette - Mar 29, 1998

Posted By: Alex - Mon Dec 24, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Stupid Criminals, 1990s

Trapped in grease vent

Weird news aficionados will be familiar with the phenomenon of would-be burglars trying to gain access to buildings by climbing down chimneys or vents, only to get stuck.

The latest example of this comes from Alameda County, California, where a man got trapped for two days in the grease vent of a vacant Chinese food restaurant. Rescuers arrived in response to reports of a faint voice calling for help.

On its Facebook page, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office has provided pics of the rescue.





Posted By: Alex - Fri Dec 14, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Stupid Criminals

Looking for a pigeon

Unconvincing excuse!

Camden Courier-Post - Mar 29, 1979

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 11, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Stupid Criminals, 1970s

Shed Thieves

Police in Maine caught some criminal masterminds red-handed as they were trying to steal a large shed by dragging it down the street with their pick-up truck. Apparently, they only got 25 feet.

More info: Bangor Daily News Portland Press Herald

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 21, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: Stupid Criminals

Robber calls cops on himself

Some people just aren't cut out for crime.

The Montana Standard - July 9, 1978

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 21, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Stupid Criminals

Stolen Lampposts

Police in Lelystad (the Netherlands) arrested a man who was driving with two stolen lampposts strapped to the top of his car. They posted the following picture to their Facebook page.



Google Translate provides the following translation of the picture's caption (and I think Google translate has been getting better lately, because this translation is fairly comprehensible):

This morning around 10:00 the police reported a passenger car riding from Almere to Lelystad with two huge lampposts on the roof. At the Oostvaardersdijk in Lelystad the combination was held and the driver checked.

We start with the traffic violations. That the cargo can not be transported in this way may be clear. In addition, the car was not insured and the APK had been running for more than three months. The driver's license B was declared invalid by the end of 2016. The colleagues smoke with the driver an alcoholic air. However, he refused to cooperate with a blow test on which he was arrested. Expectation is that the court will demand the highest possible penalty for driving under the influence of alcohol because the suspect did not cooperate with the investigation.

The investigation investigated the origin of the lampposts. These are most likely stolen in Almere. In addition, there appeared to be other criminal investigations to the suspect, such as refueling without paying.

The suspect is embedded in the cell complex and has now been insured. The car has been seized.

In summary, seems that the guy was drunk, uninsured, had an expired driver's license, and was driving around with two stolen lampposts on top of his car.

My question is, what was he planning to do with the lampposts?

Posted By: Alex - Sat Aug 05, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Crime, Stupid Criminals, Cars

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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