Criminals Foiled by Their Own Stupidity

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In big-budget Hollywood films, you nearly always see intelligent supervillains who have concocted a brilliant master plan. As the audience, we’re all blown away by these evil geniuses, and some people may even think that the bad guys are equally as smart in real life. In reality, though, most of your garden-variety bad guys are actually too stupid to function in normal society, which is why they’ve turned to a life of crime. Sometimes, their idiocy is enough to get them caught straight away.

10. Burglar Can’t Escape a Room

In the United States, Escape Rooms have become a popular pastime on the weekends. Friends are locked into a room for an hour, and they must solve clues given with a fictional storyline in order to find their way out. Back in 2018, they became so popular that business owners were buying up retail space to convert them into Escape Rooms across the country. On July 9, 2018, a 40-year-old man broke into the NW Escape Room, which opened in a strip mall. He was looking to steal whatever he could find, but once he was inside, the man was scared, and very confused. 

Just to give you an idea of what sort of Escape Rooms they offered at this location, there is one called “The Kill Room,” which looks like a nightmarish scene out of Saw. The room was complete with a fake jail cell, blood, and skeletons. The burglar was terrified that he may have stumbled upon something truly sinister, and he could not find his way out. He called 9-1-1 four times, begging for them to help. By the time the police arrived, they found that he had punched a hole in the wall and broken the door handle in order to get out. The man was taken into custody.

9. Nebraska Woman is a New Level of Cat Lady

There is no denying that tigers are majestic creatures, and if you watched Disney’s Aladdin as a kid, you may have grown up wishing you could have one as a pet. Of course, most adults realize that would be incredibly stupid and dangerous to own such a wild animal, unless you’re Mike Tyson.

33-year-old Jacqueline Eide has a long history of crimes ranging from shoplifting to drunk driving. In November 2015, she decided that she was going to make her tiger-petting dreams come true. Eide was already intoxicated at 7 a.m., and she really wanted to pet a tiger. So she broke into the Henry Dooley Zoo in Omaha by jumping a fence and sneaking past security guards in order to reach the tiger’s den. She reached through fence to pet the tiger, but unfortunately, the cat did not have its breakfast yet. It mistook on her hand for food, and chomped down on her fingers. Security had to rush to her aid, and Eide lost a few fingers in the process. 

8. Woman Tries to Tattle On Her Hitman 

If you were going to pay to have someone killed, you’d at least try to keep it a secret, right? Apparently, some people truly cannot keep their mouth shut. In 2019, a woman in Spain was furious at her estranged boyfriend. He tricked her into lending him €60,000. (That’s $66,215.) He took the money and immediately ghosted her. She was understandably furious. But instead of going to the police to report the theft, she decided to take him out of the picture completely.

A family friend claimed to have mob connections, and offered to help her kill the ex-boyfriend for €7,000. He then claimed that he could have his organs harvested, and get the €60,000 back to her once it was done. Apparently, this woman was incredibly gullible, because this second man also took her money without ever fulfilling his promise. The woman had enough, and she finally decided to call the police. She explained that her hitman did not finish his job, and she wanted them to catch him to bring her money back. Big surprise — the police showed up and arrested her, instead.

7. Arsonist Unintentionally Turns Herself In

If you have the misfortune of living anywhere near a condemned home, you already know how annoying that can be. It becomes a magnet for drug and criminal activity, and brings down the property value of the entire neighborhood. One Oklahoma woman had enough with the condemned house next door. She lit an object on fire and threw it into the window of her neighbor’s house.

Firefighters found the broken window and the object that caused the fire, and they suspected that this could have been arson. They noticed that there were security cameras around this woman’s house pointing toward her neighbors. So, they asked if they could see the footage. The video camera was password-protected, and she should have had plenty of time to review it. Instead of taking the time to wipe the footage, she willingly handed over the video showing herself burning the neighbor’s house down. Not surprisingly, she was arrested soon after.

6. Woman Attempts to Prank the CIA

Fans of The Simpsons are already aware of Bart’s running joke where he calls the bar asking for names like Seymour Butz. Kids everywhere decide to copy this idea, but most people tend to leave this childish pranks behind once they become adults. One 58-year-old woman decided she was going to go far beyond pranking a bar with a phone call.

Instead of trying to think of something clever, she went all the way to the CIA Visitor Control Center in North Carolina asking for “Agent Penis.” After failing to get a reaction from the people at the front desk, she returned not just one, but four times, between May 1-3, 2019. Every day, she would get off the bus and ask for Agent Penis. It’s hard to tell if this was a joke, though, because she was very serious, asking to speak with him over a very serious matter. When she refused to leave, they were forced to arrest her for a class B misdemeanor. 


5. Criminal is Taken Down by One Finger

In nearly every movie that shows a scene with a crime, a witness yells, “Stop!” as the villains run away, as if they would actually listen. Apparently, this actually works, but only if the criminal is dumb enough to fall for it. 

In October 2019, a man named Mark Dino Russo was driving at night in St. Louis when he witnessed a black sedan driving with its lights off. The car hit a curb and rolled as it slammed into two pedestrians on the sidewalk. Instead of trying to help the people he hit, the driver crawled out of his wrecked vehicle, and started to run from the scene of the crime. Before the driver could get away, Mark Russo got out of his car and lifted his hand, pointing his finger as if it was a gun. He shouted, “Stop, or I’ll shoot!” Believe it or not, the driver actually believed him. Obviously, his finger wasn’t loaded, but this worked just long enough for the police to arrive and arrest the driver. 

4. Oklahoma Man Needed to Cool Off

In March 2017, an 18-year-old named Isaiah Pittman was caught and arrested for burglary in a residential area of Oklahoma City. Pittman managed to escape the officers before they could get him handcuffed in the back of the police car. After chasing him through the city, the police finally found him in an unexpected place.

Pittman had broken a window to another house, crawled inside, and hid inside of a refrigerator. He managed to evade police for a surprisingly long time with his technique, but apparently no one told him that the hiding places you see in Scooby Doo should not be copied in real life. The police noticed the broken window, and knocked on the front door. The owners had no idea that there was a man hiding in their fridge. Pittman was arrested, and this time, he didn’t slip away.

3. Colorado Man Needed a Plan B

Depending on how much of a true crime junkie you are, you may or may not already know that criminals often return to the scene of the crime in order to relive their experience. But they usually wait a bit longer than a couple of hours from the original crime. A 37-year-old man named Levi John Roberts robbed a Dairy Queen in Pueblo, Colorado twice in one day. 

The first robbery was April 29, 2019, at 9 p.m. He held up the cashier at gunpoint, and demanded all of the money in the till. Once he got the money, he tried to carjack the customer who was attempting to buy ice cream at the drive-thru. But they drove away before he could successfully rob them. So Roberts had to run away on foot. Just one hour and forty minutes later, Roberts returned to the same Dairy Queen and repeated the exact same process, and failed to steal a getaway car yet again. The police were called, and they searched a nearby prairie. Without a car, Roberts was forced to just hide in the field with his stack of stolen cash. Eventually, the police found him, and took him into custody.

2. Oklahoma Man Is Caught With His Crime Supplies

If you were planning to commit a crime, you may make a checklist of items to get the job done. However, some villains don’t think their plans all the way through, and their list of sinister objects makes no sense at all. In July 2019, police in Guthrie, Oklahoma pulled over a vehicle with expired tags. The driver was a man named Stephen Jennings. He was driving a vehicle that he had stolen, and had an open bottle of Kentucky Deluxe whiskey sitting next to him.

In the back seat, police found a venomous rattlesnake, a gun, and uranium powder. Jennings had a former felony conviction, so he was not allowed to carry a gun. Apparently, owning the uranium and the rattlesnake was totally fine, because there is no law against it. The police could not figure out why Jennings had this strange combination of items in his car, and neither can we. Did he have a master plan to unleash a radioactive, venomous snake upon the world? We may never know.

1. A Man’s Body Betrays Him

Police in Clay County, Missouri were in hot pursuit of a man who was in possession of drugs. He hid in the woods, and police were having a difficult time finding him. That was, until he let out a fart so loud it gave away his location. The police were able to find him soon after hearing his flatulence, and they were able to take him into custody.

As you can imagine, the Clay County Police department had a field day making fun of the man on social media. They wrote, ‘If you’ve got a felony warrant for your arrest, the cops are looking for you and you pass gas so loud it gives up your hiding spot, you’re definitely having a [poop emoji] day ‘ The true moral of the story here is that if you’re going to commit a crime, don’t eat anything that makes you gassy. Or, y’know… just don’t do drugs, kids.


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