4 Hilariously Bad Thieves, Caught On Video

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by Dwayne Hoover

Determination is one of the key traits in any Modern Rogue. However, it's occasionally a trait also shared by people who like to be asses and take things that aren't theirs. Fortunately, determination alone isn't enough to be a successful criminal, as it doesn't always make up for overwhelming incompetence. Luckily for us, technology has given us a window into the mind of the criminally inept, or at least video footage of their antics, and we get to actually watch these idiots failing spectacularly at crimes that were remarkably stupid from the very start.


Man Steals A Gumball Machine And Becomes A Human Cartoon

Stealing is one thing; stealing from a non-profit that's dedicated to the greater good elevates you from normal, everyday bad guy to absolute dickface. You are officially the king of jerkhead thieves, flaunting about in your jerkhead clothes and driving your jerkhead car and, man, you're just the worst.

I'm not sure what prompts a man to decide upon an animal shelter as the target of his douchery, and I really don't understand why a gumball machine would be the prize someone was willing to break into a building for. But I'm probably thinking about it too hard, because as is apparent from watching this nitwit try to get the thing out of the shelter, "mastermind" is definitely not a term I'd use to describe this criminal.


If Seinfeld had an episode where Kramer tried his hand at being a cat burglar, it would play out exactly like this. He begins his heist by breaking the very thing he's stealing, spilling gumballs everywhere and instantly decreasing its value if it was something he planned on pawning or something. Then, even with less of it to take now, he quickly discovers that it doesn't fit through the window he crawled in. And while trying his damnedest to get it out of there, he slips and falls on the spilled gumballs like a cartoon character whose pursuit was foiled by marbles.

While frustration sets in, he notices a handful of quarters on the floor, which he pockets. As he realizes he isn't getting this thing out of the window, he goes for the machine's change compartment, because he's definitely not leaving this place empty-handed. That's when he catches a glimpse of ... another door, not ten feet away from him. Success now within reach, he picks up his haul and walks it out, bypassing a donation box full of money on the way.

He likely damaged the gumball machine further, lifting it up and dropping it over the barbed wire fence, but I'm not sure at this point if it was the machine itself that he was after or the quarters inside. Or ... wait—maybe it was the gumballs? Did he go back for those?

Man Successfully Breaks Into A Wide Open Building

A garage can house all sorts of items worth stealing, from cars to expensive tools or even a badass beer sign collection. And it's a lot safer than entering a house, because houses sometimes contain things like protective dogs and people with guns.

Which is probably what one thief thought when he set his sights on a decent sized garage. He first tries entering through the door, which is locked, then figures he'll just go the window route instead. But the window seems to be boarded up fairly well, and it takes the guy a fair amount of effort to pry the thing open. Persistence finally pays off, though, and he climbs his way in to enjoy the sweet spoils of success.


Only it turns out that there's nothing inside, or at least not anything worth stealing. Which we know because we watch the man come out empty-handed, through the wide open, doorless side of the building. He walks out, visibly frustrated, and calmly strolls away. But not before trying the door he initially checked one last time because what the hell at this point.

I'm not sure if the book Burglary for Dummies exists, but if it does, I hope they dedicate a chapter to checking the entire building you're going to infiltrate for the most convenient access point.

Dumbasses Steal A Shark by Disguising It As A Baby

It's not always jewelry or electronics or other high value items that can be sold for cold hard cash. Sometimes the item is a bit more unconventional and requires a certain level of creativity to get your hands on. Like a shark, for example.

Now before your mind leaps to some dramatic nighttime operation where a team of expert thieves use advanced equipment to hoist a great white out of an enormous aquarium, you should know this story is pretty much the opposite of that. The shark is much smaller, the tactics more basic, and the people far dumber.

At an aquarium in Texas, three individuals set in motion their master plan of shark thievery. Said plan did not involve an after hours break in, but rather a much riskier daytime scheme. One where they somehow gained access to an exhibit that was closed to the public, passing themselves off as employees and using a cleverly disguised cart to wheel ... just kidding. One of the guys just waltzed up and grabbed the shark out of the tank with his bare hands while other visitors were mulling about.


To be fair, they did hang around the tank for about an hour, waiting for the most opportune moment when (hopefully) no one was looking. But then they just put it in a bucket, covered it with a blanket, placed it in a baby stroller and were on their way.

I don't know if they had a plan for what to do if some random passerby wanted to have a peek at the baby, but I'd like to think that while they were off camera they tied a bonnet to the shark to help sell the ruse to anyone who got too nosy.

Credit Card Thieves Try To Evade Law Enforcement, Fail Hilariously

Swiping and using somebody else's credit card might seem like a good idea to a would-be thief, because hey, free money. There are no complicated logistics to figure out, no need to find a black market to fence your stolen goods, and no getaway vehicle to procure. It's perfect.

Or it would be, if not for the fact that the card belongs to someone else whose name is on it, which can present certain problems. You can't exactly snatch a purse and use all the plastic to go on an Amazon shopping spree, either, at least not without law enforcement arriving at your house and asking where you acquired such a collection of PlayStations and Alexas. And if you're trying to use it in-person and it's already been reported lost or stolen, the cashier is going to know when they run it and then probably contact the authorities.

That last one happened this past June in Canada, where two unscrupulous individuals decided they wanted some chips or slushies or something, using a card that wasn't theirs. Law enforcement showed up to apprehend the two, who decided they didn't want to be apprehended and figured they could evade capture.

They were wrong. Hilariously wrong.


The shenanigans begin with a brute force attempt to push through the officer and out the door, but they're successfully held inside with the help of what appears to be a random, helpful citizen. After the male thief breaks free, he bolts toward the back of the store seeking another way out since the front door is being blocked. He quickly discovers there isn't another way out, so he heads back to the front of the store to see if the situation has changed.

It has, because the front door is still being blocked by the citizen, which has freed up the officer to round an aisle to apprehend the male suspect who has now ... grabbed some snacks and is threatening the officer with them? Is this ... does he think it's like one of those video games where you can throw food on the ground for the guards to distract them?

After a brief confrontation and a beautiful, half-spin fall due to a perfect tazing, the female takes advantage of the officer being distracted and goes for the back door escape route, too. And after also finding it doesn't exist and that hiding in an open closet probably won't work, she takes to the ceiling.

And out of it, when she comes crashing through onto the shelf below, losing her shoe and her dignity in the process.

Backup eventually arrives and the two are arrested, but not before providing us all with a perfect visual representation of why if you're a hungry criminal, maybe you should just go the old-fashioned route.

Like this article? Check out "5 Moronic Criminals Who Basically Caught Themselves" and "5 Criminals So Bad At Crime, It’s Basically Slapstick".

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