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Dumb Crime Du Jour

A Daily Look at Criminal Incompetence


Many criminals are simply not-so-bright people on what is likely to become the most embarrassing day of their life. Here's a daily look at some of the world's least competent crooks for July-August 2008. You'll find the most recent entries here.

July 1: Nothing to Brag About

Police say a 14-year-old boy pushed a 71-year-old man off a dock because he "thought it would be funny" and, once arrested, called a friend to "brag and laugh." The man suffered cuts and bruises, and lost his glasses.

July 2: On the Run in Lady's Underwear

A 30-year-old man allegedly undressed, broke into a woman's home, and fled in her underwear, which he was allegedly wearing when he was picked up, later that evening.

July 3: Dirty Money

An Iowan man was ordered to spend a week in jail after tying to pay $100 bond with a box of crumpled, soiled cash and several dollars in pennies. A judge found him guilty of contempt of court.

July 4: Thrice Arrested in 14 Hours

David Hillman of Annapolis allegedly stole a bike, skipped out on a restaurant bill, and got picked up for an open container of beer, all within 14 hours. "Most people have enough sense to avoid police after one incident," said an officer, "at least for a little while."

July 5: $40,000 Banana Bandit

"Someone got a whole lot of potassium," said a Delaware police captain, after a thief made off with two trailers carrying $40,000 worth of bananas.

July 6: Helpful, but Wanted

Two Cleveland officers say a good Samaritan stopped to assist them, as they were helping a woman who was locked out of her car. But under the light of a streetlamp, they say they recognized him as a suspect in a string of burglaries. The suspect fought officers and damaged the woman's car as he was taken into custody.

July 7: Dead Wrong

Grigory Grabovoy, who convinced some 300 Russians that he could bring their loved ones back from the dead, stood passively inside an iron cage as he was sen

July 8: Tea and Sympathy

When a 30-year-old Japanese woman had no money for a knife-wielding mugger, she offered him a cup of tea at her apartment to calm him down. She managed to give him 100 yen, and then rushed outside to a pay phone to contact police.

July 9: Grate Idea

A 39-year-old man allegedly attempted to rob the Hoosier Buddy Bar in Indiana with a cheese grater hidden under his shirt to look like a gun. His plan quickly melted, and he was soon grilled by police, as crime-weary Americas begged for the string of cheese (string cheese?) metaphors to end.

July 10: Build a Better Mouse Trap

A 43-year-old woman from Potter Valley, Calif., shot herself and a man while attempting to kill mice with a Magnum revolver. The Police did not say whether she succeeded in ridding her trailer of the pest.

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