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Some shining examples of how stupid criminals can be

Once or twice a year, I take great delight in gathering stories that make me feel better about people who would take advantage of others by unlawful means.

It's the stories that prove that most of those criminals just aren't too bright.

We've all heard tales of people who used their own deposit slips or the back of some receipt or check to write notes telling bank tellers that they were being robbed.

Recently, I saw the story of a guy who used a stolen credit card to buy some cigars, but signed his own name on the receipt. Later he tried to buy some merchandise at a store, but the card came up as stolen. When asked for some identification, he presented his own driver's license.

Criminals like that don't get to enjoy their ill-gotten gains very long.

My all-time favorite is the story of the masked thief who when recognized by the store owner responded, "It's not me."

Well, I spent some time the other day hunting for recent tales of stupidity on the part of crooks and found some interesting ones.

The best one, however, leaves me a little confused. I'm not sure if it proves that the crook is dumb or just not as smart as the insurance company lawyers.

According to the Web site FunLOL, a Charlotte, N.C., man purchased a very expensive box of rare cigars and then had them insured.

The story -- if it is to be believed -- goes on to say that this guy smoked all of the cigars during the next few weeks and then filed a claim against the insurance company, saying the cigars were lost "in a series of small fires."

When the insurance company naturally refused to pay, the man sued.

Believe it or not, he won the suit. While the judge admitted that the suit was crazy, he said that since the company guaranteed that it would insure against fire without defining an "unacceptable fire," the firm had to pay.

To put an end to the legal hassle, the company paid the man $15,000.

He may have been smiling all the way to the bank, but not for long.

After he cashed the check, the company had him arrested on 24 counts of arson.

With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case, he was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.

As they say: The best laid plans of crooks and con artists, etc.

Speaking of that, did you hear the one about the guy in Texas who left his car running outside while he robbed a drug store? He ran outside to his get away car only to discover that he had locked the keys inside in the ignition.

Do you suppose he called police to help him get in the car?

Of course, crooks don't think that they are dumb.

There was this man on trial in Oklahoma City for robbing a convenience store. He didn't like the job his attorney was doing, so he fired him and represented himself. He was reportedly doing OK until the manager of the store got to the stand. When she identified him as the robber, he jumped up and yelled, "You're lying! I should have blown your head off!" He paused, then added, "If I had been the one that was there."

It took the jury only 20 minutes to find him guilty. He was sentenced to 30 years.

And, if crooks simply aren't dumb enough on their own, they turn to drugs to add to their problems.

Here's some proof that drugs apparently really do fry your brain:

As one man was attempting to deliver drugs to two women in his car, a third person came to the window of his vehicle and robbed him. Yes, that's right, he called the police. All four of them were arrested.

And then there was the guy who left his bag of methamphetamines near the cash register of a store, then came back looking for them. The man left his name and number with the store in case his "items" were found. Police returned them to the man, then arrested him.

Finally, there's this great item from our neighbors to the north: A pair of robbers entered a Detroit record shop nervously waving revolvers. The first one shouted, "Nobody move!" When his partner moved, the startled first bandit shot him.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Source: Port Clinton News Herald

Some shining examples of how stupid criminals can be