Ridiculous But True Crime Stories

5 min read
Ridiculous But True Crime Stories

If you Google “dumb crooks” or some variation thereof, you will be given a set of stories that will leave you flabbergasted and wondering out loud, “can people really be this stupid?”

The answer is yes. We’ve watched so many cartoons that our first and only solution to a plumbing problem is to stick our finger in it. That’s the same solution we have when somebody points a gun at us, incidentally. About to fall from a great height? Don’t look down, idiot. What’s so hard about that? Yes, cartoon logic completely invaded our brains and basically ruined us as functional human beings. That sucks. But at least we’re not these people.

A Robber Uses a Huge Gang of Decoys to Escape

A Robber Uses A Huge Gang Of Decoys To Escape

A Monroe, Washington robber, whom we’ll call Craig Listerman, placed a Craigslist ad. He was looking for 15-20 men willing to show up outside a Bank of America at precisely 11:15 A.M. on a Tuesday for a construction job, each wearing a dark blue shirt and a surgical mask. If that sounds ridiculously suspicious, we should note that he promised to pay $28 per hour, which is apparently, “I’ll ask questions later,” money.

On the designated day, Listerman, wearing a dark blue shirt and surgical mask, approached the armored truck parked outside the bank, blasted the driver with pepper spray, and made off with one largish sack emblazoned with dollar signs. He made his escape through the gathered crowd of identically dressed decoys, stripped off his disguise, then hopped onto an inner tube and floated down a nearby creek. Because if you’re gonna go cartoon, you go all the way.

Bank Robbers Wrap Themselves in Aluminum Foil to Avoid Tripping Alarms

Bank Robbers Wrap Themselves In Aluminum Foil To Avoid Tripping Alarms

In early 2016, a pair of Brazilian bank robbers faced a conundrum. They needed to hide the waves of heat radiating from their impeccably tanned bodies long enough to fool the security systems and abscond with valuables. The solution they came up with? The very same one Elmer Fudd would use: They covered themselves head-to-toe in aluminum foil.

Here’s the most amazing part: It worked! The foil successfully shielded the thieves’ presence from the bank’s heat sensors. But there was one tiny problem with the unorthodox scheme: No secure installation outside of a Mission: Impossible film uses only heat sensors. The bank had camera footage of the robbery.

Somehow the security guards watching this unfold live managed to stop laughing long enough to phone the police, and the robbery was thwarted.

Smugglers Use Giant Cannons to Blast Drugs Across the Mexico-U.S. Border

Smugglers Use Giant Cannons To Blast Drugs Across The Mexico U.s. Border

The biggest problem with getting drugs from Mexico over the border and into the U.S. is … well, getting drugs from Mexico over the border and into the U.S. Literally. There’s stuff in the way.

But if classic cartoons have taught us anything, it’s that every problem can be solved with a comically large cannon. Thus, opportunistic drug smugglers used T-shirt cannons – yes, the very same kind your favorite sports mascot uses to fire sweatshop rounds into the crowd at the big game – to launch 2 1/2 pound cans of pot over the border into an Arizona field. Luckily they removed the confetti beforehand.

Although the perpetrators technically managed to get $43,000 worth of marijuana into the country, it was all promptly gathered up by authorities. Obviously, the solution to this was a bigger cannon. That’s the solution to everything.

Capable of firing 30-pound cylinders filled with drugs (making it powerful enough to blow minds in more ways than one), this makeshift device was confiscated by police after seeing it used on the border between Mexico and Southern California.

And so now we’re at the philosophical point of the story: Can the U.S. build a wall so high that no cannon could fire over it?

A Woman Involved in a Love Triangle Gives Her Rival a Broken Parachute

A Woman Involved In A Love Triangle Gives Her Rival A Broken Parachute

A married mother of two, Els Van Doren, was caught up in a love triangle with two other members of her skydiving club: Marcel “Mars” Somers (male), and Els “Babs” Clottemans (female). Mars clearly had a thing for any woman named Els, but he favored Van Doren. We know this because when the three of them stayed at his house one night, Mars relegated Babs to a mattress in the living room while he and Van Doren banged loudly and lengthily upstairs.

Perhaps it was wise of Mars to choose two lovers with the same first name – he’d never say the wrong one on accident! But it was less wise to abandon one for the other in the same house. Even less to leave the jilted lover alone with the skydiving gear. In what in retrospect was an obvious move, Babs got a pair of scissors, cut Van Doren’s parachute cords, and headed off to bed. Yep, from Looney Tunes to Roger Rabbit, the ol’ “wrong parachute” trick is classic cartoon shenanigans.

One week later, the trio leaped from a Cessna at 13,000 ft. They joined hands in a star formation, then broke away for their individual descents. Van Doren’s descent, obviously, did not go super well. In keeping with cartoon logic, we’ll assume she landed in a puff of dust, then said something glib about “falling for” the wrong man. Please, never tell us otherwise.

Thieves Use a Vacuum Cleaner to Suck Money Out of a Safe

Thieves Use A Vacuum Cleaner To Suck Money Out Of A Safe

The vacuum gang (called gang a l’aspirateur in their native France) figured out the most cartoonish way to crack a safe this side of dropping a piano on it. Thieves noticed that French supermarket chain Monoprix (which is French for “one prix”) had a novel way of delivering cash to their safes. At the end of a shift, employees would count up the cash, stuff it into a pneumatic suction tube (like the ones at a drive-through bank), and whisk it away to safety using the very power of the air itself! Truly, we are living in the future … as envisioned by Victorian-era writers.

The thieves figured that if the store was going to use cartoon methods to protect their money, they must employ the same to steal it. They drilled a hole in the cash-tube, hooked up an industrial-strength vacuum cleaner, and sucked it all right back out through the in-door. Robert Plant would be so proud. The stupid scheme not only worked, but they even kept it up for over five years and amassed nearly 600,000 Euros. Something to keep in mind the next time your mother says that no one has ever succeeded by watching cartoons.