You’ve seen the TV cop shows, the CSI’s and even the reruns of Columbo, and that is what you expect real life crime to be like. Sadly real life crime is not quite so glamorous as many not so clever criminals have discovered. Let’s take a look at some of the weirdest mistakes that have been made in the criminal world.
The Right Tool for the Job
You’re planning a robbery so you need a gun, right? So why go on a robbery armed with only a banana in your pocket like John Szwalla? Crazy… and he almost got away with it. What he lacked in brain power he made up for with confidence. But compared to J. Oldenburg he’s a genius! Oldenburg used an electric drill complete with personalised name tag, a dead giveaway, which led the cops straight to his door. Unlike a new breed of criminals using snakes to terrify and threaten cashiers.
Don’t Make it Personal
Get in, get out and no hanging about; those are the rules and something that Aaron Evans forgot. He had his name and date of birth tattooed on the back of his grimy neck, a shot of which was caught on CCTV cameras and used as evidence in court, leading to him being sentenced for car theft. Others have left their wallets at the scene of the crime, complete with ID. One home owner came home to find that a burglar had left her laptop logged into his personal Facebook profile, a quick call to the cops and he was soon picked up.
Make a Clean Getaway
So you have held up the convenience store, made sure not to let any details slip about your identity, grabbed your loot and are about to make your getaway. Make sure you do a better job of it than Amber McCarthy; she stole some money from the florist till and managed to tear open a cereal packet she was carrying, and as she made her swift exit from the store a trail of cornflakes guided police to her location. And remember when you make a getaway through newly fallen snow, you WILL leave a trail, something that Rashaun Preson soon learned after his crime; his footprints were clearly visible all the way back to his place of residence.
Don’t Waste Time
No hanging around at the crime scene, do what you need to do and leave. Don’t stop to switch the oven on and cook yourself some chicken like one burglar did; he was still cooking when the owners came home. Stay away from their laptops unless you are popping them into your swag bag and don’t start flicking through their cable TV channels; one guy got so caught up in a porn channel he was literally caught with his pants down when the home owner came back.
Research Your Target
The last thing you want to do is be is in the wrong place at the wrong time like the guy who tried to rob a Karate school, filled with eager students more than willing to kick him into touch. Or the guy in the States that chose the wrong day to steal a wallet… from a retired cop… at a law enforcement convention, and no he didn’t get away with it. And remember to be observant, unlike David Zabak, who tried to hold up a gun store, but failed to notice the armed cop at the counter; he left the store in a body bag.
A store clerk staring down the barrel of a gun has time to look at a criminal’s face, but staring into the eyes of a snake being thrust in their direction, it will be difficult for them to take their eyes off that creature to look at its owner. It would be awesome to see the episode of CSI where they solve a snake point robbery; can you take finger prints off a live snake?