Less-than-brilliant criminal mischief abounds!

Published 4:47 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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Well, we’re nearly halfway into 2023 and by now one would think that stories of less-than-brilliant criminal mischief would be hard to find.


One of my hobbies – other than sitting in my recliner with a big bowl of buttered popcorn and an ice-cold Diet Mountain Dew while watching sports on TV – is surfing the Internet in search of wild, wacky crime news. One of those searches took place this past Saturday and, as usual, I stumbled across a treasure trove of “dumb crook news.”

Let’s start in Gladstone, Oregon where the Global News Network published a story about a guy stealing a bicycle. Yes, it’s a petty crime, but it’s the location of where the thief opted to pull off his caper that makes this story laughable.

Security footage from the police station in Gladstone shows a male suspect attempting to take the only bike in the bicycle rack outside the building. However, as it turns out, the bike wasn’t his.

In the video, the masked and hooded suspect can be seen attempting to free the bike from a rack outside the police station using a pair of large bolt cutters. The rack is directly beside a window stamped with the words “Gladstone Police,” around the corner from the entrance to the station, and in full view of the outdoor security camera.

A uniformed police officer walks out of the station and approaches the suspect less than 30 seconds into the video, startling the “would-be thief.” The officer points a Taser at the suspect’s chest, prompting him to sit down with hands on his head.

“It’s dumb,” Sgt. Carl Bell, of the Gladstone Police Department, told ABC News. “I have not actually seen something that blatant because the officers were inside watching on video camera.”

The man was charged with theft, criminal mischief, and as a felon in possession of weapons.

Up in Suitland, Maryland, police there are searching for a man they’ve dubbed the “Bad Luck Bandit” who was hit in the head by a brick he threw at a store window.

In a story by the Associated Press, the Prince George’s County Police Department said a man was caught on surveillance footage breaking into a restaurant with a brick. Police say the man shattered the store’s front window, walked in and then tried to use the same brick to break what turned out to be bulletproof glass.

Police say the man repeatedly tried to break the window protecting the front counter, and the brick bounced back on the third try. They say brick apparently hit the man in the head. He fell down and lay there for a few minutes before leaving the scene.

Let’s stay in Maryland for the next hilarious story. This one comes out of Woodland, MD where two men decided rob a pub. There was just one problem: the bar was hosting a retirement party for a police officer and so it was filled to the brim with off-duty cops.

The Global News Network, citing information from WBAL-TV, said the two men entered the take-out area of Monaghan’s Pub and held up an employee at gunpoint, demanding cash.

Baltimore County Police Officer Jennifer Peach told WBAL-TV that the person who had been behind the counter knew that there was a retirement party for a police officer happening, so they went into the other portion of the pub and alerted the officers to the fact that they had just been involved in an armed robbery.

The two men fled on foot, but didn’t make it far before they were apprehended by police who charged them with armed robbery and possession of a handgun.

The next story proves that some criminals are three bricks shy of a wheelbarrow load by not completely thinking things through.

Police in Lakeland, Fla. say a man attempted to shoplift 15 quart-sized bottles of motor oil and 30 DVDs from a 7-Eleven by stuffing the items down his pants.

NBC News 8 reported that Polk County Det. Phil Ryan was parked outside the store, looked through the store window, and saw the man stuffing bottles of motor oil down his pants.

“Then he waddles like a duck out of the store,” Sheriff Grady Judd with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office told the TV station reporter.

The shoplifter was charged with felony theft.

Here’s a bit of advice I’d like to share….it’s not wise to attempt to bribe a police officer with beer. Apparently, a man down in Marietta, Georgia failed to heed that advice.

Police body camera footage captured a man appearing to try to bribe a police officer during an impaired driving traffic stop by offering him a beer. He also offered the officer $400 in cash.

The Global News Network said that according to a police report from the Marietta Police Department, the man was pulled over around 2:40 a.m. after he allegedly tried to pass an officer who was directing traffic near the site of an accident.

Needless to say, the officer declined the man’s offer of $400 and a beer, and pressed multiple charges including driving under the influence, bribery, open container, reckless driving and failure to obey authorized persons directing traffic.

And, finally, because the human mind is such a terrible thing to waste, it appears that message was lost on a man in Colquitt County, Georgia. Apparently desperate for cash, he tried to pawn an old video game console. But he apparently forgot that was where he kept some of his crystal meth stashed away.

According to WALB News, the man took the console, an old Sega Genesis, to a pawn shop. He handed it over to employees, who appraised the console. While checking to make sure nothing was amiss, one employee discovered the meth stuffed inside the game cartridge slot and called the police.

The man was arrested and charged with possession of crystal meth.

I’ll check back with ya’ll later this year to report any latest dumb crook news.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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