Another Top 10 Dumbest Criminals
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
WRITTEN BY: Nick Roffey
Criminal masterminds, these crooks ain't. For this list, we're looking at even more wanna-be crooks who made police work easy. WatchMojo counts down Another Top 10 Dumbest Criminals.
Special thanks to our user Jackie Gibson for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Another+Top+10+Dumbest+Criminals+of+All+Time.
Script written by Nick Roffey
Another Top 10 Dumbest Criminals
Criminal masterminds, these crooks ain’t. Welcome to Watchmojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for another top 10 dumbest criminals.
For this list, we're looking at even more wanna-be crooks who made police work easy. If you think we missed any numbskull ne’er-do-wells, be sure to check out our original list of the top dumbest criminals.
#10: Tony Van
Breaking the law requires a certain audacity. But Tony Van, a 37-year old San Francisco hair stylist, took this to a new level when he drove a stolen car to his own trial. Van was facing charges for possessing a stolen $125,000 Porsche Carrera . . . so maybe he thought no one would notice when he arrived at court in a stolen Lexus instead. When Yorkshire puppies he’d left inside escaped through a window, sheriff's deputies noticed and ran the license plate. He was charged with possession of a stolen car and computer, as well as animal cruelty.
#9: Trevor Jones
Ever just want to check your Facebook one more time? 34-year old Trevor Jones couldn’t resist when he broke into a house in Gwinnett County, Georgia, in November 2011. Unfortunately for him, he used the home computer to log in. To be fair, it’s no wonder he wanted some social media downtime. A woman whose house he’d tried to rob earlier had seen his car, taken his keys and wallet, and called the police. Jones had to swim a pond to escape, before breaking into another nearby house. Still, he probably should have logged out of Facebook before leaving. Instead, he gave police everything they needed to identify him and issue arrest warrants.
#8: R.C Gaitlin
Curiosity killed the cat, and it also caught the criminal. In 1988, R.C Gaitlin came across some friendly Detroit police officers who were showing off their squad car’s computer to a few local kids. His interest piqued, Gaitlin approached the officers and asked them to give him a demonstration, voluntarily giving them his driver’s license so they could run a background check. The cops complied, and discovered Gaitlin had an outstanding arrest warrant for armed robbery. It wasn’t outstanding for much longer; the police arrested Gaitlin on the spot. Still, he must have been impressed at how well the technology worked.
#7: The Living Dead Burglar
There are times when playing dead might be a smart idea. In the animal world, the Virginia opossum plays dead to avoid predators, and some fish feign death to attract prey. But when a 23-year old man broke into a Spanish funeral home in March 2008, he learned it isn’t the most successful strategy in the human world. When police arrived to investigate the reported break-in, this man tried to fool them by lying on a table in a glass chamber used for wakes. Police were tipped off when they noticed that, for a corpse he was awfully alive - breathing and everything.
#6: Christopher Kron
It’s only polite to answer the phone. It could be someone important - like the company that monitors the alarm you just tripped. On the night of his birthday, 47-year old Christopher Kron broke into the Junkanoo Bar on Fort Myers Beach to steal a bottle of Grand Marnier. When the alarm company called, he not only answered the phone, but also gave his full name. Because he hadn’t hidden his face either, police were able to identify and arrest him the next day based on video surveillance of the break-in.
#5: Shaquille McKinney
When it comes to the business world, it’s good to be proactive. So when entrepreneurial 14-year old Shaquille McKinney decided to start up his own business in Gulfport, Florida, he began cold calling people in his area. In McKinny’s defense, his telemarketing wasn’t a scam. He had a real product. The problem is that the product was drugs. McKinney’s future marijuana empire came crumbling down around him after he called police officer Matt Parks, who agreed to meet - then arrested both him and his driver, 22-year-old Michael Araba.
#4: Christopher Koch
In any criminal endeavor, there’s plenty that can go wrong. But step one is actually getting inside the building you hope to rob. 28-year old Christopher Koch should have looked at the opening hours before attempting to rob a Citizens & Northern Bank in Liberty, Pennsylvania. Wearing a ski mask and gloves, he rushed the door . . . only to find the bank had just closed. To be completely fair, what kind of bank closes at noon? As Koch sheepishly retreated, employees inside wrote down his license plate number, and he was later arrested.
#3: Michael Anthony Fuller
If you’re already committing a crime . . . why not go big? In 2011, a 53-year old North Carolina man tried to use a one million-dollar bill to buy a microwave, a vacuum cleaner and other merchandise at Walmart. The total price of the goods was $476 - so he was apparently fairly optimistic about how much change Walmart keeps in their registers. Unfortunately, the cashier didn’t have $999,524 on him . . . and knew there’s no such thing as a one million-dollar bill, leading to Fuller’s arrest. As it turns out, sometimes, when it comes to going big or going home . . . you should probably just go home.
#2: An Uncanny Resemblance
A fake ID is a teenage rite of passage. But when you show a fake ID, you should make sure you’re not handing it to the actual owner. You know, the one whose face is on the ID you’re holding in your hand. That’s what happened to one 26-year old woman at Applebee's in 2013, when she showed waitress Brianna Priddy her own driver’s license as proof of age. It had been stolen with a bunch of her other possessions a month earlier. Instead of bringing her customer a margarita, Brianna brought the cops - and the thief was caught red-handed.
Before we reveal the identity of our top pick, here are some honorable mentions:
#1: McArthur Wheeler
When he was arrested for robbing two banks in Pittsburgh in 1995, McArthur Wheeler was genuinely incredulous. His logic had been impeccable: lemon juice is used in invisible ink . . . therefore if he rubbed his face with lemon juice, no one would be able to see his face. Right? Psychologists who studied the case named it the Dunning-Kruger effect: a cognitive bias in which unskilled people are least able to perceive their own incompetence, and so become overconfident. In other words, when people are really dumb, they can’t see how dumb they really are.