More foolish folks committing numskull crimes

Published 4:42 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

They still roam the Earth, even after their counterparts served time behind bars or had to pay hefty fines for their numskull crimes.

Yes, it’s time for another version of Dumb Crook News. About three times a year I surf the web in search of the most boneheaded, dimwitted, mindless, foolish folks who get caught committing senseless crimes.

One would think that these witless criminals would have paid attention to their simpleminded predecessors. But thanks to their total ineptness, I have a column topic to research.

Here are my latest finds via the World Wide Web, compliments of

In early June of this year, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reported an American man apparently entered the wrong GPS coordinates and accidentally ended up in Canada, which probably wouldn’t have been a major issue if his car hadn’t been full of cannabis and cash.

In a press release, the Mounted Police said the driver took a wrong turn and ended up in the border lineup at the Rainbow Bridge crossing in Niagara Falls. “As the driver had no passport, he was referred for a secondary examination,” the RCMP said. Officials found around 400 pounds of cannabis in the vehicle, along with more than $602,000 in American dollars.

Also in early June, a masked man wearing a purple wig entered a convenience store in Sharon, South Carolina with the intent of committing an armed robbery. He was indeed armed, but not with a weapon capable of firing a projectile. Rather, he pointed a fake gun that is used to play a hunting game on a home gaming device. Much to his dismay, he was still charged with armed robbery.

On July 8, a man entered a nail salon in Atlanta, GA. It appeared he was holding something underneath a black bag. He then yells “Give me the money!”

Apparently, no one took him seriously as a male employee is seen answering the phone at the business while group of female customers totally ignored his demand for cash.

Frustrated and seemingly confused that no one is doing what he says, the man finally walks outside, appears to exchange a few brief words with the woman waiting there, and then strolls away, entering a silver car before speeding away.

Also in July, a North Carolina woman seeking revenge against her ex-boyfriend had her criminal caper to backfire (pardon the pun).

According to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, a woman from Richfield set fire to the porch of the home she thought belonged to her former boyfriend. She also set fire to an area adjacent to the home’s propane tank and even went as far as to use a sealant on the garden hose and cut a hole in the above-ground swimming pool.

The bad thing – other than causing an estimated $20,000 in damage – is that she was at the wrong house!!

Here’s a tip for someone planning their getaway in an electric vehicle…charge it first!

Police in Gwinnett County, Georgia responded in March of this year to a call involving two men who had stolen gaming systems from a store. The cops were advised that the duo had fled the scene in a Tesla. They weren’t that hard to find because they were located not too far away from the crime scene as they had to stop to charge up the vehicle.

Police were able to recover the gaming systems, along with several guns, and what they believe is two pounds of marijuana.

In February, a New Jersey man took a new 2023 pickup truck for a test drive, but failed to return it. Perhaps he could have avoided arrest had it not been for his apparent love of gambling as the truck was found in the parking garage of a casino in Atlantic City and he was arrested inside the casino.

And, finally, is this weird story from earlier this month in Muncie, Indiana. There, police received a call about the theft of a 2013 Kia Optima from a dealership. An employee claimed they were preparing to arrange for the woman to take a test drive but were distracted as the dealership kept getting phone calls, though no one seemed to be on the other end of the line. While the car salesperson was distracted, the woman took off in the car.

Cameras showed the vehicle — easily traced to the woman who had filled out a form on the dealership’s website—traveling south toward Indianapolis and later returning to Muncie, according to police.

When officers showed up at her home, the woman initially lied about who she was, but she later admitted to stealing the car and driving some 60 miles to Indianapolis to interview for a job as an exotic dancer but claimed it wasn’t a big deal because she “returned” the vehicle to the dealership afterward, according to court documents.

The documents indicate Shelton actually left the vehicle, with the keys inside, in a parking lot next door to the dealership. However, an employee at the dealership said the vehicle was ultimately recovered in Anderson, about 20 miles from Muncie. The woman reportedly told police she didn’t know what happened to the vehicle after she left it but that she’d seen it “on Snapchat.”

The woman was arrested on felony charges of auto theft and identity deception and faces up to 2.5 years in prison if convicted.

Perhaps she could have hailed a cab or summoned a ride-share to take her to the job interview….but that would have canceled her newfound membership into the Dumb Crook Club.

Stay tuned for the next installment.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at 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.

email author More by Cal