(and Stupid Criminal Tricks)
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punishment turns the state into a murderer. But
AJACCIO, France -
Prison officials quickly complied when they received a fax from the magistrate
instructing them to free three French prisoners. The prisoners were investigated
for illegal possession of firearms and attempted extortion, and the fax
demanding their release turned out to be fake. The prison officials, however,
did not doubt the document because it was written on official stationery,
so they neglected to check the originating fax number or follow-up with
the judge for confirmation. The prisoners' supposed "release"
is now a successful escape.
AHMAN, Jordan - A
jittery robber became a little too relaxed after taking sleeping tablets
to calm his nerves during a raid on a hospital pharmacy. The thief managed
to slip into the pharmacy through the cooling system, which was undergoing
maintenance work. He proceeded to take three tablets from the haul of
medication he had stolen and promptly fell asleep while still on the premises.
He was found by hospital employees who alerted police.
- Police officers became suspicious when they saw three men with immensely
thick legs having difficulty walking out of a retail store. The officers
stopped the suspects and discovered full suits wrapped around their legs.
Officers indicated the trousers and jackets were folded just so in order
to wrap nicely around the limbs. Police also reported a hoard of fashionable
men's suits in the boot of their rental car.
- A church burglar in Brazil received no redemption after he got drunk
on two bottles of Holy Communion wine. Francimar Pereira Lira allegedly,
22, allegedly stole money, a hoover and a camera from the church of Sorocaba,
Brazil, before "looking for some refreshment" from the wine.
The local priest, Camilo Joao Munaro, found Lira asleep in one of the
pews and turned him over to the authorities.
Cocaine Crazy Thieves Snort Up Dog's Ashes
The burglars thought they had hit the jackpot when they saw the powder marked 'Charlie' -- slang for cocaine -- in a dainty ceramic pot on pet-lover Dee Blyth's mantlepiece, the report in the Sun said. But the pot was an urn and the 'drugs' the remains of her Newfoundland Charlie, who died in 1997.
A police constable called to investigate the break-in at Chadwell Heath, England, fell about laughing when he saw the burglars had arranged the ashes in cocaine-style lines.
'I'd love to see their
faces when these thieves realise.' Ms Blyth, 50, said. 'It was horrible
knowing they were in my house, but the idea of them trying to get high
on a dead dog certainly made me feel a bit better.'
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico
- A convicted killer who escaped from a New Mexico prison more than 20
years ago has finally been caught. Clarence McCoy pleaded guilty in 1978
to strangling his wife. He was serving a 10-year sentence when he escaped
from a state prison south of Albuquerque. He was 27 at the time. Retribution
finally caught up with the killer when he compounded his crime by driving
alone in a car pool lane in Washington state. During the traffic stop,
McCoy's name was put through a computer background check which produced
his criminal background. He is fighting extradition to New Mexico.
- A masked man on a bicycle shot at two men during a robbery last August
in Philadelphia. The robber fled after being shot by one of the victims.
When 18-year-old Nathan Pailin went to the hospital the same night for
a gunshot wound, police began investigating him. Though his wound was
treated, doctors were unable to remove all the fragments. Now there is
a court order to have the remains removed from Pailin's chest to see if
the bullet matches the one from the crime scene. Pailin's attorney, however,
claims the court order is a violation of her client's constitutional rights
against unlawful search and seizure. Since the suspect refuses to have
surgery, and with no other evidence available, Judge Pamela Pryor Dembe
acquitted Pailin of robbery, aggravated assault and a weapons charge.
Police were searching
for a Los Angeles County jail inmate who escaped with the help of a forged
ID card bearing the picture of actor Eddie Murphy. A swarm of police conducted
a yard-by-yard search of the area when the escape was discovered but the
suspect was long gone. Informants have told investigators that Kevin J.
Pullum, 31 -- who was jailed on attempted murder charges -- forged an
ID card that looked like the cards used by civilian employees of the jail.
The card featured a photo that was clipped from a magazine ad for "Dr.
Doolittle 2." Much of the escape was recorded on the jail's video
system that showed Pullum nonchalantly strolling out of custody.
LOS ANGELES - A chance
encounter with police on Los Angeles' skid row landed the elusive fugitive
back in jail 16 days after his escape. LA police patrolling the downtown
area spotted the escapee, Kevin Pullum, seated on a milk crate peddling
alcoholic cold drinks to transients just a couple of miles from the "Twin
Towers" jail he escaped from. He was carrying yet another false identification.
- A financial advisor in Connecticut faked his own death to claim $7 million
from an insurance policy. To simulate his body, Madison Rutherford, 39,
robbed a grave of human bones and teeth. He put the bones, teeth, and
his wristwatch in a burnt out car and has been declared dead since a 1998
accident on a freeway in Mexico. When his widow immediately tried to collect
the $7 million, the insurance company decided to investigate Rutherford's
death. An anthropologist found that the bones actually belong to an American
Indian at least 20 years older than him. Rutherford has plead guilty for
fraud and is in jail. His wife will be sentenced next month for her involvement.
NEW YORK - A picture
may be worth a thousand words, or 5 to 20 in the state pen. Police are
searching for a taxi cab passenger after he allegedly attacked the driver
and fled, but not before leaving more than a dozen photographs of himself
on the back seat. The driver, Scott Lifshine, said that the man refused
to pay his fare and tried to grab him in a headlock before running off.
"I hit the accelerator and then slammed on the brakes, throwing him
off balance. I got a bloody lip and he wrenched my neck. Then he opened
the back door and ran off," exclaimed Lifshine. "He obviously
didn't intend to leave [the photos] behind, but that's what he did."
LONDON, England -
A 13-year-old boy has been convicted of operating a prostitution ring
at his local school. He recruited seven girls from the school and explained
what he wanted them to do. After recruiting his "ladies", this
enterprising little pimp recruited the little "Johns," also
from his school. He charged them 10 pounds ($25) each for an hour.
By The Associated Press
HOMINY, Okla. — A prison inmate trying to escape in the outgoing trash was crushed to death inside a garbage truck Wednesday. State correctional officers discovered Mariano Absum, 27, was missing just before noon, and an investigation led them to suspect he had escaped in the garbage truck that made its routine stop at the prison. They quickly located the truck, which had broken down about two miles away.
opened the truck, we found the inmate,'' who had been crushed in the truck's
compactor, Corrections Department spokesman Jerry Massie said.
may have hidden in a garbage bin that was emptied into the truck,"
Massie said. Absum arrived at the medium-security Conner Correctional
Center in May to begin a three-year sentence for assault and battery.
One criminal broke
into the basement of a bank through a street-level window. In the process,
however, he suffered from several lacerations. When he realized that he
could neither get the money nor climb back through the window, he panicked
and called 911.
1992, robbers in Las Vegas held up a van thought to contain gambling chips,
only to find that it was carrying potato chips instead.
In order not to be identified by his clothing, a North Carolina bank robber stripped to his underwear and shoved a large wad of cash inside them. He was later "debriefed" when someone reported a man with strangely bulging underwear running down the street.
A man with dreams of being a pizza delivery boy was arrested after going knocking on the doors of an apartment complex wearing nothing but a baseball hat. The man was caught while trying to jump over a fence and was booked in thirty minutes or less.
Louis Abright had the bright idea of robbing a branch of a local bank in Lafayette, Louisiana with his head covered in whipped cream. By the time he demanded the money from the teller, his mask had melted and the police arrived lickity spilt.
officer stopped a truck filled with illegal aliens and asked if anyone
spoke English. When they all said no, he told them he was going to shoot
them all, starting with the ones with brown shoes. As he drew his pistol,
three men stepped forward and took the role of translator for the group.
Police in Long Beach,
Miss., say a would-be robber was apprehended by a police detective because
of a distinctive tattoo. The man rushed in to a convenience store demanding
$200 he had allegedly left on the counter earlier. When the cashier told
him all the money was already locked in the safe he pulled a gun, but
ran when more customers entered the store. The clerk gave police a description,
noting his large tattoo bearing the words: "NOT GUILTY." The
next morning the man went to the same store, still demanding his money.
A detective was there doing some shopping and recognized the tattoo from
an "all points bulletin." The man was arrested on a charge of
attempted armed robbery. "His tattoo stuck out like a sore thumb,"
the officer told the Sun Herald newspaper. "He might as well have
had "STUPID" printed on his forehead."
Massachusetts - A robber in Rhode Island was bound and determined not
to be fingered for a crime by chewing off his fingertips. According to
R.I. police officers, Francisco Sanchez, 21, and a man who identified
himself as Ivan Cruz, 28, of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, was arrested
at about 6 p.m. after a drug deal. As Sanchez awaited to be fingerprinted
in a jail cell, he began to gnaw on his fingertips until they were completely
bloody and mangled. But not bloody enough that the officers could not
get prints useable for identification purposes.
Woman Chisels Into Neighbor's Apartment
- A 48-year-old woman received 30 million yen after submitting accident
reports indicating her husband's death. When she applied for a second
payout, an insurance company uncovered the woman's fraudulent activity.
Investigators discovered the accident reports were false when the woman's
"dead" husband won a local election in his home country of Pakistan.
Tokyo District Court has ordered the woman to repay the money she had
received thus far. However, police have been unable to locate her.
- Police were looking for a spousal assault suspect recently when they
thought to call the man's beeper. Just a few moments later, "The
deputies that responded heard the beeper going off over their heads,"
said a Lancaster deputy. The man had been hiding in an apartment attic
when an officer called the pager and heard it sound. The police backed
out of the situation and the Special Enforcement Bureau were called.
Wrong Place to Break Into
- While filling out a job application for police officer, 21-year-old
Edwin V. Gaynor checked "Yes" to having committed previous crimes.
After turning in his self-incriminating application Gaynor gave police
detailed descriptions of the crimes, including the fact that he wore a
green-and-white bandanna and used a chrome-plated handgun. Police in Killeen,
Texas, confirmed that the woman who was carjacked reported the car-jacker
had the two items, which were found during a search of Gaynor's house,
his mother's house and a storage facility. He was reportedly charged with
carjacking, but has not been charged with robbery pending further investigation.
II, the eighteenth-century king of Prussia, fancied himself an enlightened
monarch, and in some respects he was. On one occasion he is supposed to
have interested himself in conditions in the Berlin prison and was escorted
through it so that he might speak to the prisoners. One after the other,
the prisoners fell to their knees before him, bewailing their lot and,
predictably, protesting their utter innocence of all charges that had
been brought against them.
- Robert Cascota tried to make off with a cow and some corn belonging
to Nicolae Leanca. When he was spotted, Cascota tried to hide in an open-air
toilet booth, but lost his footing and fell in. The would-be victim, Leanca,
had to save the thief from drowning in human waste. When police arrived
they had to keep him at a safe breathing distance with a stick.
For the Camera, Now Say... Stupid
Case Hinges on Missing Wiener
BEACH, Fla. - A man who escaped from prison and was captured after 10
years on the lam is asking to be released immediately. His rationale?
His original sentence would have been up by now. "This petition may
take the prize for chutzpah," a judge wrote in an opinion. Timothy
Marshall's request was denied. Marshall, 39, was convicted in 1985 of
trafficking cocaine and was sentenced to 15 years. On a legal note, the
court said Marshall showed no requirement to give an escapee "credit"
for time spent outside prison walls.
Georgia - Three teenagers trying to rob a food shop in Georgia were scared
off when owner Morris McClure threw a ham at them. McClure, 61, told police,
"I went in the back, and when I came back out two of them jumped
me. They hit me in the head with something. It hurt like the dickens,
but I didn't go down." Instead, the ornery shop owner punched one
attacker in the stomach and flung a 8lb ham at the other before all three
fled the shop. "I've worked too hard to give up my money to three
punks like that," proclaimed McClure. Two 17- year-olds have reportedly
been charged with attempted robbery and a 16-year-old is being held at
a youth detention center.
MIAMI - According
to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Carlos M. Rodriguez Avila allegedly tried
to smuggle 44 melodious finches in his pants on a charter flight from
Havana, Cuba. Avila was charged with unlawful importation and possession
of the birds, valued at more than $350. Suspicious airport inspectors
asked Avila to raise his pant legs and saw something strapped to his legs
when he arrived in Miami. Avila was released on $50,000 bond, and if convicted,
he could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison and forced
to pay restitution and a $250,000 fine.
in Vancouver have docked a police officer's pay for having sex with a
prostitute in one of the force's cars. A tribunal found Paul MacGregor
broke the force's code of conduct. It docked him 10 days pay and
told him to get counseling.
drug squad officer was off duty and had been drinking before picking up
a female prostitute. They were having sex when a woman started throwing
rocks at the vehicle and screaming. MacGregor drove off but fellow
officers followed him when they noticed him driving erratically.
They pepper-sprayed him as he tried to pull up his trousers after they
told him to put his hands on the steering wheel.
Malaysia - A teenaged burglar recently made a security guard's job easier.
A teenaged factory worker robbed approximately $530 worth of audio-visual
equipment from a medical college in central Malaysia, but didn't make
it out of the building. Apparently robberies can be quite tiring, and
the teenager decided to take a nap in an armchair right in the middle
of the college. A security guard found the tired burglar before dawn nestled
in the chair with his stolen equipment by his side. The guard reported
the burglary to the police.
Fla. - 21-year-old Carl Lee Reese's luck went from bad to worse when he
carjacked a Lexus belonging to Paul Brite, 53. Brite was confronted by
the gunman at a carwash and forced to climb into his own trunk. Reese
drove off, but pulled to the side of the road a short while later fearing
Brite had a cellular phone with him. When he opened the trunk the victim
came out brandishing two handguns that he had stored there earlier. The
kidnapper refused to comply with several commands to lie on the ground,
even after a warning shot. Brite was finally forced to shoot his attacker
in the abdomen when Reese reached for his pocket. Police said they do
not plan to charge Brite.
FALLS, Wisconsin - This Minnesota man obviously wanted a few items from
Wal-mart in the worst way. Why else would he have burglarized the St.
Croix police station and retrieved the items that officers had just confiscated
from him. Prosecutors have charged 36-year-old James Casarez of Willernie,
Minn., with felony burglary, retail theft and resisting an officer. Minnesota
authorities discovered Casarez was wanted in Wisconsin while he was jailed
in that state on charges of burglarizing a sporting cards store. Extradition
proceedings are currently under way to bring Casarez back to Wisconsin.
California - William Arnold Muniz, 40, needed some extra money for the
holidays, so he poured over newspapers from across the country. He found
a part-time job alright. He purposely looked for notices from pet owners
seeking their lost felines and pooches. He then contacted the pet owners
and said he located their pets but needed cash for the animals' medical
treatment and airline costs to return them. He swindled $900 out of a
pet owner in Portland, Oregon, for his yellow Labrador retriever, and
a Denver woman forked over $172 to retrieve her lost cat. Of course Muniz
never had the animals and has since plead guilty to fraud. He can be fined
up to $500,000 and may be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison.
- Apparently the miracle of child birth wasn't enough to hold this Louisiana
man's attention. Mickey Hewitt, 21, was arrested after he allegedly stole
a car radio from a hospital car park while his wife was giving birth inside.
According to police, security cameras showed the expectant father dropping
off his pregnant wife of the emergency room and later returning to smash
a car's window at River Parishes Hospital, near New Orleans. "Normally,
the new dads are outside smoking together. That didn't happen in this
case," remarked Captain Mike Tregre of the LaPlace Sheriff's Office.
Penn. - Defying his parole guidelines, George Bussinger, 25, traveled
out of the state into Pennsylvania. Trying to avoid arrest for the violation,
Bussinger decided to steal a car. This somehow must have made sense in
his own mind. Joe Borowski, a car salesman, took Bussinger on a test drive
for a 2002 Durango near Philadelphia. As Borowski exited the car to change
seats, Bussinger jumped into the driver's seat and locked the doors. He
apologized to the salesman through the door window, and even offered Borowski
$100 for the inconvenience. For his little joyride, there is a warrant
out for his arrest on car theft charges.
- "Peep Shoe" voyeur Daniel Searfross has struck again. Searfross
was originally arrested on New Year's Eve for wiring a camera hidden in
his shoe so he could video tape under women's skirts. The case was called
"sneakercam", and the voyeur was sentenced to a year probation.
Searfross couldn't control his voyeuristic habits, though, and was arrested
again for using the device at a flea market. Once again on probation,
Searfross took his fun and games to a new level. This time, he hooked
up the video camera on his sneaker to look up women's skirts at church
and even at his parole office. He is currently in jail on a $75,000 bond.
Circuit Judge Walker R. Heinrich said, "I tell you, there's something
that just rubs me wrong when you're on probation and you're doing this
Thief Captured Stealing Bull Semen
Sweden - A would-be thief was greeted by police after being trapped in
an elevator for 11 hours earlier this week. In an attempt to rob a basement
studio, the thief pried open the elevator doors with a screwdriver. Unfortunately
for him, the elevators are programmed to automatically lock if they are
opened by force. Thus, he was trapped. Immediately panicking, he tried
everything to break out of the area. The thief ripped out electric cabling,
smashed windows in the doors, and attempted to set the apartment on fire.
Alas, a fire did not catch and he was stuck waiting to be freed in the
morning. The police aided in his rescue and promptly arrested him.
Israel - A car thief thought he hit the jackpot when he noticed the window
of a parked Toyota had been left partly open. He hurriedly leaned over
the glass to disconnect the stereo system. In the meantime, however, the
thief pushed the electronic button that rolls up the windows, and it began
to close on him. He started to panic and began yelling for help. According
to Chief Inspector Gili Amar, "His neck got caught. He screamed,
'Help!'" His pleas for help woke up the neighbors and the car's owner.
Police aided in his rescue and then promptly arrested him.
Smuggler Has Loot Surgically Removed
Clad Burglar Busted in Virginia
Busted Exchanging Stolen Pants
Leave Trail of Doughnuts in Their Escape
Videotape Their Own Confessions
Videotape Their Own Confessions II
Semen-Smuggling Scheme Fails
Busted By Church Bells
- Now here is what you call a panty raid! According to police in Nebraska,
a burglary suspect whose victim shot at him returned to steal her underwear
as she reported the crime. The 32-year-old man allegedly disturbed the
49-year-old woman when he broke into her mobile home through a window.
She was said to have grabbed a pistol and fired it in his direction, but
he wasn't injured. The suspect fled from the back door while the woman
ran out of the front to a friend's house to call police. Officers say
they caught the suspect a short time later that same night leaving the
trailer with his pockets full of women's underwear. He's been charged
with burglary and possession of cocaine.
- A 20-year-old man in Oregon broke into a flat and immediately stripped
off his clothes. Before stealing anything, he allegedly went into a bedroom
where a woman and her boyfriend were sleeping. The burglar's nude body
scared the woman, and she screamed. The boyfriend then chased the naked
prankster out of the house. All the while, the burglar's pants were left
on the floor with his wallet inside. Police used the ID info to locate
the man and charged him with burglary.
A 65-year-old grandmother was sentenced to four years in jail for running
a pickpocket ring targeted toward the elderly. Ernestine Williams ran
a group of 80 recruits and taught them to direct their attacks on elderly
shoppers and even joined them on an occasional outing. Some of her recruits
were arrested, but Williams herself was overlooked because she uses a
wheelchair. She was eventually arrested, however, when detectives investigated
a succession of pickpocket attempts throughout the state. Williams tried
to beg the court's mercy, claiming she was too weak to go to jail. Judge
Kenneth Marra disagreed, and it's off to prison for the grandmother.
(SC) Last Wednesday night police stopped a young man who had fled on foot
from a late-model red Camaro parked running in the middle of the intersection
of Fishburne and Hagood streets. When police took him to retrieve the
car, the young man said the car belonged to his uncle. When asked for
his uncle's name, he replied, 'I don't know, whatever name he gave you.'
- It was 20 minutes after closing time and all was quiet at the Thai Farmers
Bank in Ku Kot. Bank tellers were preparing to cash up when the manager
heard police officers knocking at the door. He authorized a cleaning person
to let the cops in when all of a sudden the fraudulent officers drew their
guns and proceeded to rob the bank. They threatened the staff, demanded
money from the vault, and insisted on receiving the security video tapes.
The "cops" put tape over the eyes and mouths of other employees
and made off with quite a sum of money. They rode into the sunset on motorcycles
and have not been caught.
Inmates Escaping Right Before Release Date
- Maybe it's the prison food they like so much. Or the showers. No, maybe
it's the educational opportunities. Whatever it is, inmates are trying
to escape jail right before their term is up in the hope of being re-arrested.
According to Swaziland prison officials, there have been 10 escapes this
year. Noma Dlamini, a spokesperson for the correctional services, insists
that a good majority of those fugitives simply enjoy prison so much that
they don't want to leave. She cites being treated well and the prison
lifestyle as reasons for them wanting to stay. Explaining the high number
of escapes thus far, Dlamini said, "Security is tight in all of the
prisons as we are having enough wardens. The mere fact is that most of
the prisoners are always on guard to escape and they do so when the slightest
chances avails itself to them."
- Nothing gets by them. The latest in a series of embarrassing jail breaks,
a convicted American murderer walked right out of the Korydallos jail
two days ago with help from the prison psychologist. Wearing a wig, suit,
and glasses, the 31-year-old inmate strolled by the guards. The psychologist
was bold enough to introduce the convict to the guards as one of her colleagues.
The man had confessed to a murder in Greece because he didn't want to
be extradited to the United States where he is charged with double murder.
He was currently serving a life sentence in Greece for a killing a girl.
Officials did not realize he had escaped until later that night during
the headcount. Just last month a group of inmates dug their way out of
a police cell with a spoon. The warden has been suspended.
Forger Invents His Own Bank
- 33-year-old Curtis Boyd invented his own bank in order to pass counterfeit
checks. Boyd purchased a check-making program from OfficeMax and began
making his own checks. When the bank wouldn't cash his first $22 million
check (that's right, $22,000,000) Boyd tried again with a $20,000 check,
this time drawn from the "Reality Perspective Bank" which Boyd
made up himself, using his own apartment as the bank's address. It didn't
take police long to track him down.
ever wondered why more ATMs aren't stolen, there's a simple reason: They
weigh a ton. That's why when three men attempted to drive off with an
entire ATM the other day in Kansas City, they took two tow trucks with
them. The Kansas City Star says that police starting getting 9-1-1 calls
in the wee hours of Tuesday morning from people who were curious why tow
trucks were parked in front of an ATM on Belleview Avenue. When police
arrived, three men drove off in a Jeep Cherokee, abandoning the two tow
trucks. The publication says that the ATM was slightly damaged but all
of its money was secure. The investigation continues.
Ohio - In addition to having to worry about car accidents, distractions,
and children fighting, drivers also need to be aware of carjackers. In
Cincinnati, two carjackers jumped into a woman's car and demanded all
of her cash. Which amounted to about $8. So the woman cleverly offered
to stop at the supermarket and cash a check for them. Only, instead of
filling out the check, she wrote "call police" on the document,
and the cashier immediately notified authorities. According to police,
the men were caught in the shop's parking lot and have been charged with
kidnapping and robbery.
In 1872, veteran prospectors Philip Arnold and John Slack bought $35,000 worth of diamonds in Europe and scattered them on land in Wyoming. They managed to convince the Bank of San Francisco they had discovered a diamond field and made $700,000.
Starting in 1921, Oscar Merril Hartzell began a scam selling fake shares in the estate of Sir Francis Drake. He contacted as many families as he could find with the surname Drake and was eventually accused of defrauding 270,000 people. The hoax netted him over $2,000,000.
When J. Bam Morrison arrived at Wetumka, Oklahoma in 1950, he claimed to be the advance publicity man for Bohn's United Circus, which, he maintained, was due to hit town in three weeks. He allegedly sold advertising space to local traders... for a circus that didn't exist.
By forging signatures, James Addison Reavis was able to claim he was the legal owner of 17,000 square miles of Arizona. The enterprise raked in $300,000 a year until he was arrested in 1895 and he was sentenced to six years in prison.
who inspired the movie "The Sting," rented abandoned banks and
convinced businessmen that he had set up a genuine bank. He waited for
them to deposit large sums of money before shutting down and moving on
to the next town. This, plus some of his other scams, earned him over
Florida - A 51-year-old man has been charged with burglary and theft after
locking himself in the car he was attempting to steal. After the would-be
thief managed his way into the 1994 Infiniti, an alarm was triggered,
and a security device automatically locked all the doors. It turns out
that there is another button on the driver's door that would have simply
released the locks, but the suspect didn't figure that out. Police found
him crouched in the back seat, trying to hide from any onlookers. He had
coins in his pockets that he had stolen from inside the car. Sergeant
Keith Faulk said, "Maybe he needs a new line of work. He's not very
good at what he's doing now."
- A man identified as Cho as been arrested on blackmailing charges in
Korea recently. The 35-year-old extortionist sent letters to hundreds
of random corporate executives threatening them that if they didn't pay
up, he would expose their supposed acts of adultery. Though Cho didn't
know any of these people or have any proof of such acts, a surprising
number mailed the required hush fee. The letter stated, "I am working
with a pornography business, and I have secured evidence that you committed
adultery. Unless you send 1 million won to me, I will publicize it."
The suspect received over $7,500 from nine executives and promptly spent
the sum on entertainment and drinking. Cho got the bright idea after reading
a similar con in Japan.
England - An armed gang of clowns is on the loose in England. A group
of three clowns pulled off the perfect heist at a local wine bar and handcuffed
a manager, threatening him with a sawed-off shotgun and a knife. They
escaped with "a small amount of money" according to authorities.
Then came a wild goose chase. Inspector Darren Shenton said the clowns
took off in a van and managed to escape police pursuit even though they
were involved in three car accidents along the way. In a statement, Shenton
said, "There is no doubt that anyone walking along the road at the
time the robbers were heading into or out of the building would have spotted
them, especially as they were dressed as clowns." Police are now
appealing to the public for information on the wild bunch.
4,400 pounds of Cocaine Traded for Art
was doomed from the beginning but really fell apart when the suspects
didn't have enough cash for the drugs. So they tried to swap two famous,
highly identifiable paintings by Spanish Master Francisco de Goya and
impressionist Tsuguhanu Foujita for 4,400 pounds of cocaine. The paintings
were believed to be worth $1 million each. DEA agent Anthony Angell says
one suspect offered to transport drugs for Colombian drug traffickers
-- who actually were DEA informants. The cocaine was shipped to Paris
where police seized 1,768 pounds in a Paris suburb. The cocaine lost in
the seizures meant there wasn't enough money left to pay the believed-to-be
Colombian traffickers for the drugs so the suspects tried to use the paintings
23, of Trent Boulevard, West Bridgford, came up with the perfect plan
to rob his neighbors. James removed bricks from the adjoining loft wall
of the flat, climbed through, gathered the goods, went back through the
hole and replaced the bricks. The mess up came when he forgot to unlatch
the Yale lock on the neighbors front door before climbing back through
the wall, forcing the couple to climb up a ladder to get into their home
when they returned. When police could find no evidence of forced entry,
they did see that bricks and mortar and been removed and replaced on the
wall. They went to James' home and arrested him. James' defense noted
he suffers from agoraphobia - the fear of open spaces- and psychiatric
problems. And he was high on crack and prescription medication.
Mom Rents Infant to Drug Smugglers
Marisa Hardy of Chicago made a practice of renting her child out to drug
smugglers. In exchange for only a few hundred dollars and some pot, Hardy
and her husband provided their daughter to smugglers who posed as mothers
while they attempted to sneak cocaine hidden in baby formula cans past
customs. Reports show that baby Hardy made her first drug run at 3 weeks
-- A man wearing a shoulder-length black or brown wig and a rumpled black
cotton dress robbed a Spokane Valley credit union at gunpoint. The robber
stuffed the stolen cash into "his tasteful black leather purse,"
and walked away. No one was injured, but the robber did escape with an
undisclosed amount of cash."
a 20-year-old former high school basketball star, told a judge he smoked
pot because it made him a better basketball player after being brought
in on marijuana possession. The judge then challenged Alvarez to a game.
Alvarez accepted the offer and thought he had the game in the bag. Little
did he know that 42-year-old Judge Marc Kelly was a former Notre Dame
basketball player. Kelly beat Alvarez 10-3 in a first-player-to-10-points
game. He then told Alvarez to lay off the pot.
UTAH - A
24-year-old man was arrested after his girlfriend accidentally tipped
him off to police. She was merely trying to reach him on his cell phone
to find out where he was. The problem was that the criminal left his cell
phone at the crime scene. Police noticed the phone ringing during the
middle of their investigation and answered. The girlfriend asked, "Are
you with [the suspect]?" Police replied, "No, but we will be
shortly." Lt. Doug Edwards told reporters about the difficulty of
being a criminal. "A life of crime is pretty tough. It's even tougher
when you're stupid."
Tennessee - Dennis Ross is waiting for his love to be released from prison
so he can marry her. Aretha Oneal was imprisoned after she used her fingernails
to rip off one of Ross's testicles while he was asleep. Doctors were able
to reattach the testicle and Ross was able to repair his relationship
with his girlfriend as well. "I love that girl," said Ross,
"That's my heart, my soul, and that's my better half."
Wisc. - In an effort to save police time, a drunk driver drove directly
to jail. The 22-year-old man led police on a chase that dropped down to
speeds of 20 mph and ended in the Brown County Jail's parking lot. Knowing
he was busted, the man parked his car, lit a cigarette, got out of the
truck and lay face-down on the ground to be arrested. He told police he
knew he was drunk and was going to be sent to jail, so he just drove there.
He was also arrested for cocaine possession and an outstanding warrant
for a hit-and-run accident.
A man convicted
of robbery asked the Texas Court of Appeals to overrule his guilty verdict
on the basis of a self-incriminating answer given at his trial. During
a break in the trail there was concern that the suspect had fraternized
with some witnesses, who were to take the stand against him. The judge
asked the suspect to tell him exactly which witnesses he had contacted
and the man answered, "The ones that I robbed."
and William King were arrested on possession of marijuana charges after
they decided to dry their pot in a convenience store microwave. Apparently
they weren't alarmed or threatened by the presence of officer David Ashley,
who Raines actually spoke with upon entering the store. He then went about
drying his weed in the microwave, filling the store with the distinct
aroma of burning pot. When Ashley approached Raines he saw he had a large
bag of marijuana and Raines admitted he was trying to dry it out. Ashley
then went to the car and found King passed out with another sack of marijuana
laying out in plain view. Rains told Ashley he and King were on their
way to a drug rehabilitation clinic. It's not clear whether they are patients,
or were meeting with other people to sell or share the pot.
policewoman caught a wanted criminal, whose crimes could add up to three
years behind bars, by going on a date with him. She found the 29-year-old
man's cellular phone number, called and began flirting with him. The conversation
ended in a scheduled date at a local bar. The criminal not only fell for
the act, but showed up dressed to impress. At the end of the date the
policewoman arrested the man. She was surrounded by other officers who
had been posing as civilians. A police spokesman could not confirm whether
there had been mutual attraction. He said: "In any case, it was all
Calif. - A criminal in California was caught stealing $11 worth of wine,
lip balm and breath freshener. His penalty? 25 years to life in prison.
A Superior Court judge sentenced 57-year-old Ronald Herrera to the penalty
because this was his third serious offense. According to the three-strikes-you're-out
law in California, a mandatory 25 years to life sentence is given for
a felony committed by someone with two prior serious crime convictions.
Herrara claims he has a brain injury that made him forget to pay for the
items. It sounds like he's always had a brain injury with his track record
of 17 serious felonies including robbery, rape and shooting a police officer.
But it was the breath freshener that did him in.
really don't know when to quit. A Dutchman was due for his court appointment
but didn't have a means of transportation to get him there. His quick
criminal instincts told him to steal a car to get him to his hearing.
Why was the man required to go to court in the first place? Three counts
of car theft. His fourth attempt was no better than the other three as
the 24-year-old was arrested at a roadblock. The crook responded, "I
don't have a car myself. I just steal and sell them." Self-incrimination
at its finest.
- Fugitive Scott A. Kline was finally taken into custody after his first
attempt to turn himself in was denied. Authorities refused to take Kline
into custody when he surrendered at a federal prison because they didn't
have court documentation that he was indeed a fugitive. Kline waited outside
the building for an hour before finally leaving. He tried again two days
later, and was granted his request. He was hauled off to jail for violating
his parole. Most criminals aren't too bright, but at least this one was
called the Champagne Bandit. Police in Port St. Lucie, Fla., say a guy,
around 6-foot and 300 pounds, is running through Publix grocery stores
throughout the area stealing champagne. And not just any champagne will
do for this bandit -- he's got to have Moet & Chandon White Star --
about $30 per bottle, reports the Port St. Lucie Tribune. Last Friday
at a Publix on U.S. 1, the bandit reportedly found room for four bottles
of White Star down the front of his pants before exiting the store, the
paper says. Publix security officials told a deputy the bandit "has
stolen the exact same items in the exact same manner from several Publix
stores" from Jensen Beach to Vero Beach.
California -- Customs officials opened his suitcase and a bird of paradise
flew out, but that was nothing compared to what they found in his pants
-- a pair of pygmy monkeys. Californian Robert Cusack has been sentenced
to 57 days in jail for trying to smuggle the monkeys, a total of four
exotic birds and 50 rare orchids into Los Angeles Airport after a trip
to Thailand. The two monkeys in this case, who were 3 and 4 months old
when confiscated at the airport, are now at the Los Angeles Zoo, while
all four birds have died.
Stephen Wilson's dog, Roxy, was hardly his best friend. In fact, Roxy
turned out to be his worst enemy. Wilson decided to break into a home
while walking Roxy, and when the owners arrived he fled the scene, leaving
the canine behind. Police arrived and found the dog still at the crime
scene. They put a leash on Roxy and she led them right to Wilson's home
200 yards down the road. He was arrested and sentenced to 21 months in
prison. Burglary victim Derek Lewis was quoted saying, "He should
have left the dog at home - it wasn't his best friend that night."
Virginia - Paul Powell, 24, was found guilty of attempted rape and murder
in the 1999 stabbing death of Stacie Reed. He was convicted in 2000, but
the verdict was overturned, ruling Powell could not be executed because
prosecutors lacked evidence that Powell tried to rape or rob the girl.
Then, while awaiting trial, he wrote a letter that began like this to
prosecutor Paul Ebert: "Since the Virginia Supreme Court said that
I can't be charged with capital murder again, I figured I would tell you
the rest of what happened on January 29 1999 to show you how stupid all
of y'all are." He went on to describe how he tried to rape Reed and
then killed her. Powell was recently convicted of capital murder, due
to the surfacing of some pretty incriminating evidence.
Finland - A beer guzzler's spate of robberies ended abruptly in southeast
Finland after he made a getaway jump into the back of a car.
Texas -- A man was arrested Saturday morning for breaking into a store
that was owned by the wife of the county district attorney. They found
him taking a nap in a store display. Store employee Janie Sidener emptied
the cash register when she closed the store Friday night. Upon returning
to the store she noticed the change that was left in the register was
scattered around the shop. Then she noticed someone had used the toilet
without flushing and left a black pistol on the bathroom counter. It was
then that she heard someone snoring in a bed that was part of a sales
display. Sidener called the police. They came and woke up the sleeping
burglar. His response was, "Hey, I was asleep!"
Texas - Here's a good idea for revenge on that jerk of a judge who just
sentenced you to eight years in prison: moon him. Oh wait, that's a completely
asinine idea... never mind. Ray Mason, perhaps thinking showing the judge
his bare ass is worth an extra half of a year in the can, was held in
contempt by Judge Jim Parsons for his idiotic stunt. About 70 other people
were in the courtroom at the time to witness Mason tack on a few more
months to his sentencing, originally for a count of aggravated assault
he pled guilty to. Said the now psychologically scarred judge, "I've
been practicing criminal law for well over 20 years... This is the first
time anything like that has happened." Unfortunately for Mason, six
seconds of rear exposure will cost him six months of the same to a less-friendly
Iowa - In case the cops try to raid their place, some drug dealers like
to have special places to hide their stash. In one case, a man even figured
out a place to hide himself if the police came calling. Unfortunately
for him, after only a short search, officers found Jerome Anthony Dobbey
hiding inside a refrigerator with the door shut. Thinking, it was a good
idea, Dobbey had stacked several items in front of the refrigerator to
make it seem inconspicuous. However, few people will believe that a fridge
is in use if it's not plugged in.
A would-be burglar proved to be a prime example of how alcohol can get
you in a lot of trouble. The crook was arrested after he was found asleep
in a pub he was raiding after trying some expensive liqueurs. The 42-year-old
made his way in through the roof and proceeded to grab all the cash in
sight. However, his curiosity and taste buds did him in, as he tried some
whiskey and other drinks. Unable to resist the temptation to get totally
smashed, the man passed out and was found by the bar owner the next morning.
Tenn. - When you're one of America's most wanted criminals, it's probably
a good idea to keep out of public places where people can identify you.
However, as everyone knows, when you're addicted to singing karaoke, that's
a tough thing to do. Murder suspect Joseph Leroy Crouch Jr., 60, was picked
up in Daytona Beach, Fla. last month after a tipster recognized him from
a segment of Fox's "America's Most Wanted." The show seemed
to know everything about the criminal at-large, as they noted his penchant
for performing at karaoke bars. Dozens of people from multiple states
made phone calls to Memphis police after recognizing Crouch from karaoke
VA. - Strangely enough, on April Fool's Day, a picture was being taken
for an alumni magazine that captured the image of an attempted robbery
in the background. Bank executive Spencer Hamrick, Jr., was in the lobby
of a Wachovia bank posing while, just behind him, his bank was being robbed.
The photographer thought the stickup guy was a customer and would provide
a nice background for the shoot. The thief apparently passed a note to
a teller demanding money and claimed he had a gun. Hamrick thought it
was an April Fool's prank. The robber is in three of the photographer's
pictures and was identified by police, while the bank's cameras failed
to capture any images of the suspect.
- Though drugs might not allow criminals to think clearly, it seems they
allow the crooks to have super-human capabilities. Believed to be high
on drugs of some sort, Carlos Cruz was chased by police after his ex-girlfriend
called police while he chased her present boyfriend into the street with
a steak knife. Police confronted Cruz and shot him once with a Taser.
Unfazed, Cruz ran back into the house, through a sliding glass door, into
the back yard and through a wooden fence. He was shot again with the Taser
but kept on going. After a third hit, police were able to slow him down
and slap on the handcuffs.
Ark. - It's one thing to have a bank robbery attempt not go as planned.
It's another to be unsuccessful and have the bank staff laugh in your
face. A man walked up to a bank teller and demanded money be put into
a garbage bag he had with him. After the first teller told him they were
out of money, he walked up to another teller who offered the man deposit
slips so he could throw in some money to steal. The employees proceeded
to laugh at the man as he stormed out of the bank empty-handed. Minutes
after tellers alerted authorities, Julius Kearney was picked up by police.
Perhaps the young man was just unlucky that the bank ran out of money
- Some people just don't know when to shut their mouths. For a man accused
of four counts of robbery, he should have quit while he wasn't ahead.
The U.S. Postal Service employee pleaded guilty to robbing four New Jersey
banks, but then decided he should fess up to the other 23 banks he burglarized
in four other states. Over a four-year spree, Cazzie Williams took from
banks in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and Virginia. Already facing a maximum
of 20 years on each of the four counts he was initially charged with,
it probably wasn't a good idea for him to rat himself out on the other
OSLO - A
Norwegian jail inmate was busted with cash weaved in his massive bush
of shoulder-length dreadlocks. The 20-year-old man was stashing $2,688
in his dreads. Guards found the money during a routine check, but it was
unclear how long the money had been there. The inmate, who is now serving
the third month of nearly a three-year sentence for smuggling 31 pounds
of marijuana and hashish in Norway, said he hid the money in his dreads
because he feared the police would not believe he had earned it legally.
Mary. - After hearing that he was sentenced to five years in prison for
beating his girlfriend, John A. Brock told the judge, "If you give
me five years, I might as well throw myself out that window." Which
he did. The 33-year-old suffered cuts and several broken bones and survived
the 20-foot plunge to the pavement below. The failed attempt at suicide
landed the broken man with another charge against him: Destruction of
- Firefighters rescued a naked man who was stuck in the air duct of a
clothing store for two days. The man told firefighters some people made
him take off his clothes and then threw him into the duct. The man said
the culprits wanted him to steal from the store. The man was discovered
when the store's owner heard a muffled voice coming from the duct. After
an elbow joint was removed from the joint, the man slid out. Some clothing
was found in the duct, but all "naked man" was wearing were
Foot Fetish Felon Foiled
- A Rhode Island man will appear in a Massachusetts court for charges
of assault and battery and lewd and lascivious behavior in a supermarket.
Raymond C. Dublin allegedly sneaked up behind a woman last year and licked
her feet and toes. The foot-fetish felon is finishing a one-year sentence
for simple assault charges in connection with other foot-licking complaints
in Rhode Island. Words of advice for women in the New England area: Wear
TOKYO - Yoshifumi
Moriwaki, 24, was arrested for allegedly robbing a woman of $160. Moriwaki
snatched the handbag of a 19-year-old girl from the basket on the front
of her bike as he rode up beside her - dressed in a schoolgirl uniform?
Yep, he was dressed as a schoolgirl, brown wig, mini skirt, navy blue
cardigan and all. Police were on the look out for such a culprit after
five reports of purse snatchings by robbers dressed as schoolgirls had
been made since late March. The authorities questioned Moriwaki after
they spotted him near a local train station and picked him up. He later
confessed to the four other incidents.