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by Pauli Poisuo
You’ve probably noticed that we here at The Modern Rogue have a bit of a soft spot for stories about criminals who hatch ridiculous plans, deal with them in absurd ways, then ultimately get caught in an embarrassing manner. They’re just so darn cute.
It’s like the exact opposite of being a supervillain -- through laziness, horrid planning and plain old dumbassery, they manage to create crimes that are so far away from the dartboard of impressiveness that they actually boomerang around the target and hit the bullseye from the other side. It’s quite a feat, honestly.
The Bank Robbers Who Called The Bank In Advance
There are many ways to rob a bank, but most of them can all be broken down into two general stages. First, you make a surprising threat of force to the bank staff to give you money. Then, you take said money and escape -- “surprise” being the operative concept here. Giving banks even a minute to prepare for your antics is guaranteed to result in counter-measures, ranging from security guards and secret alarm buttons to full lockdowns and the inevitable parade of cops.
Case in point: These two would-be robbers from Fairfield, Connecticut tried to adapt a novel approach to the (ig)noble art of bank heisting. Albert Bailey and his juvenile accomplice didn’t much feel like going the traditional “This is a robbery!” route, with guns and masks and all that jazz. Rather, they adopted a more gentlemanly approach: They called ahead to alert the bank of the upcoming shenanigans.
Bailey began by calling the bank to let them know that this robbery business was totally going down. After presumably being put on hold for an uncomfortable amount of time, he told the person on the other end that if the bank wouldn’t give $100,000 in large bills to his accomplice, who would soon be popping by to pick it up, there would be a bloodbath.
“Just being polite and making sure my bloodbath schedule lines up with yours.”
The employee, understandably surprised that the robber would kindly give them a heads-up, immediately called the cops and started initiating a lockdown while waiting for the police to arrive. At this exact moment, Bailey’s accomplice strolled over to a teller and gave them a note that said he was the guy picking up the money.
To the shock of no one, except maybe the robbers, the police showed up and apprehended both would-be thieves, because Bailey was sitting outside in the getaway vehicle. Pretty much nothing went their way, because while they had specifically requested a non-dye-pack bag of cash, that exact thing exploded when it was thrown on the ground after the suspects were confronted by law enforcement.
So maybe the lesson here is that planning ahead isn’t always the most effective way to get a job done. Or, you know, don’t be a criminal.
A Wanted Suspect Who Sent The Cops A Better Arrest Warrant Photo
We’re not the kind of people to rain snark on the intellect of individuals we don’t know. But still, we can’t shake the feeling that Donald “Chip” Pugh might not be the smartest person in any given room. For starters, he was wanted by the police for failing to appear in court for his DUI case. Oh, and he was also a person of interest in unrelated arson and vandalism cases, and those were just the ones that were currently being looked into.
So the Lima Ohio Police Department dug up an old mugshot of the guy and posted it on Facebook, just to see if they could get any tips.
“Oh, come on, I look like everyone’s uncle.”
What they didn’t expect was that Pugh himself would contact them. Our wanted man may have been aware that his rapidly expanding rap sheet didn’t exactly paint him as a criminal mastermind, and frankly, neither did that picture, at least in his opinion. So he did the most logical thing a wanted fugitive would do and sent a more current one to the cops.
“There we go. Now I look like everyone’s uncle except with sunglasses.”
In the extremely theoretical scenario that we’d find ourselves wanted by the police, we’d be overjoyed if the photo they tried to hunt us down with was awful. It could look like Barney the Dinosaur or Steve Buscemi for all we care, as long as it wouldn’t make us instantly recognizable on the street.
Pugh, on the other hand, had a reputation to uphold, or something. Not only did he personally provide law enforcement with an up-to-date picture of himself, he even gave an interview to a radio station so everyone could also hear what he sounded like. “Man, they just did me wrong,” he explained in the interview. “They put a picture out that made me look like I was a Thundercat ... or James Brown on the run. I can’t do that.” Now, we’re not sure why this was necessary. But yes, we are, in fact, at a loss for what exactly he thinks Thundercats look like.
As would be expected, he was arrested in Florida soon after sending the cops the update on his current appearance. Perhaps fittingly, his arrest photo ended up being infinitely creepier than the mug shot that had insulted him so much.
“Crap, now I look like a bad Sinbad impersonator.”
A Thief Tries To Pay A Waitress With A Credit Card That He Stole From Said Waitress
Credit card thieves are an unfortunate reality of modern life. And even if your credit card company eventually agrees to reimburse some of the losses you suffered when that assbag drunkenly bought 50 pounds of candy corn in your name, the hassle it creates is extremely stressful. Maybe that’s why it’s so awesome to see a schmuck like that getting caught red-handed in the stupidest, most hilarious way you can imagine.
Earlier this year, an Arizona woman stopped at a gas station before work. Unfortunately, some other idiots were there at the same time, and a man who was filling his tank took a moment to break into her car while she was away, stealing her credit card and other belongings. Then, he drove away without paying for the gas, only stopping to pick up a friend who had been shoplifting inside the store. Apparently, some people just can’t resist putting that extra cherry on the douchebag sundae.
Wait, do they not know about cameras? Do they think it’s 1870?
Little did anyone involved realize that karmic retribution would come just two days later. The freshly credit card-less woman was working as a waitress for a local restaurant near the crime scene, when a man named Shamon West entered the premises and ordered a meal. After he finished, he handed his credit card to the lady to pay for his food. Only it wasn’t his -- it was hers. He literally tried to settle his bill with the card he had stolen from the woman serving his food.
Obviously, she never rang up his order. Instead, she called the police, who promptly arrested him. A quick search discovered that the guy still had the woman’s driver’s license, Social Security card, and various other credit cards. It was a situation so colossally stupid, even the Pine Bluff Police couldn’t resist mocking him. They went so far as to say, “As a side note, the driver's license, as all do, had her picture on it. Therefore, you would think he should have known what she looked like. Yet, he still handed her own credit card to her.”
The moral: Some people are exactly that stupid.
A Bank Robber Hands The Cashier His Gun
There are a lot of ways to botch a bank robbery. Maybe you forget your gun and try to do the finger-in-your-pocket trick. Perhaps you neglect to wear your platform shoes, telling employees exactly how tall you are as you sprint past the height strip en route to your exit. Or maybe you actually remember those things, but at some point you accidentally hand your firearm to the teller.
Yes, that actually happened.
It was 2012 in the Cheapside area of London. A man entered the Halifax bank, threatened the cashier with a gun, and demanded the equivalent of $920,000 in cash money. Then, he pulled out a loot bag and gave it to the cashier to fill. Or that was almost certainly his intention, anyway. We’re pretty sure he didn’t mean to give the cashier his gun, but he totally did.
That photo is in perfect focus. He's just naturally blurry.
If you’ve ever been in a situation where the balance of power between two people unexpectedly and radically shifts, you can imagine the mental gymnastics that followed as the robber and the cashier tried to wrap their heads around the new situation. To his credit, the criminal unfroze first. He sprung into action attempting to get the gun back, but it was too late. The bank’s automatic security measures were initiating, and the alarm was triggered. Instead of a hefty bag of cold, hard cash, all he stole that day was a bank employee’s bike as an improvised escape vehicle.
A Burglar Tries To Rob A House Full Of Cops
There are burglars who carefully scout their surroundings, specialize in specific targets and patiently wait for the best moment to enter the building. And then there’s the other kind, who just shrug, charge butt-first at the window of the nearest house and hope like hell that it’s open and nobody’s home. Darren Kimpton is the god-king of the latter sort of thief, thanks to his colossal ineptitude that not only ignored the whole “scouting the location” thing, but also failed to recognize the existence of police while they were literally standing in front of him.
In 2013, a homeowner in Abington, UK had his house burgled. So he called the police, who arrived on the scene, examined the entry point (a broken window by a door), and started interviewing the victim. We imagine it came as a bit of a surprise when they were standing there and a second burglar rocked up to the door and started letting himself in, completely oblivious to the person who lived there, plus police. This was Darren Kimpton: criminal mastermind, perceptive genius, future inmate.
We couldn't find a picture of him, but we think this stock photo is close enough.
Some bemused looks and an extremely short chase scene later, the cops arrested Mr. Kimpton. It was then they noticed his hand was injured, and after some quick sleuthing found his blood had been on the door lock of another house that he had failed to burgle earlier that same night. And that, friends, is how you truly become the clumsiest of all criminals -- not only do you attempt to illegally enter a house full of cops, but you actually let them bust you for two crimes at the same time.
Like this article? Check out “Criminals So Hilariously Inept, They Made The News” and “5 Of The Ballsiest Scams People Tried To Pull Off”.