The Stupidest Crimes of 2011
Perhaps you're familiar with the arrest of 53-year-old Michael Fuller in December 2011. Fuller proffered a million-dollar bill for $476 worth of goods at a Walmart store in Lexington, N.C. Did he really think that a cashier could make change for a million-dollar bill? Or that the manager wouldn't check the bill's authenticity? Did he know that the largest bill in circulation is $100? The largest bill ever circulated was the $100,000 Gold Certificate, notes the U.S. Treasury website.
You would think that the population of stupid criminals would slowly die out, thanks to Darwin's theory of evolution. But that's not the case. Like lowly bugs, they live on. We discuss some of the year's thicker-headed criminals below.
You Lost this Lottery
In Jackson, Miss., 61-year-old Judy Weible was arrested in October after repeatedly calling a Hinds County sheriff's deputy with an offer to sell prescription pain medication. The deputy ignored the calls, figuring them for a joke, but answered after receiving multiple calls and text messages. The deputy arranged a meeting and the suspect was arrested when she showed up with 30 hydrocodone pills.
“I would think you'd have a better chance of winning the lottery than accidentally calling a police officer to sell some drugs,” said Jeff Scott, spokesman for the Hinds County Sheriff's Department, quoted in the Daily Mail.
Also in October, Michael S. Kaufman and Kelsey Grobmeier allegedly stole a cellphone and makeup from a Louisville, Ky., Walmart and fled when confronted, leaving their two small children behind. Police said that Grobmeier returned about an hour later to pick up the kids, says The Huffington Post.
Assault with a Deadly Towel
In August, an Iowa City woman, Anna Katherine Bacon-Silveira, was caught while running from Zender's Salon and Spa after snapping a towel at an employee. The perp, who was apparently drunk, had been refused a bikini wax. Bacon-Silveira was apprehended as she ran past the Iowa City police station, according to the Iowa City Patch. She was charged with assault and intoxication.
I have to tell you, looking at this woman's photo, I believe that giving her a bikini wax would have been the greater crime.
Shop with a Cop
In Gretna, Neb., 49-year-old David Sherman allegedly tried to steal a DVD player at the local Walmart just a few days before Christmas, according to WOWT News. He probably should have attempted this at a store that wasn't hosting Shop with a Cop Night. Several of the 25 deputies in attendance set out after the suspect and nabbed him as he hid in a car. The cops were at the store shopping for 75 underprivileged children.
Sherman said he was stealing the DVD player to support his drug addiction. At the rate DVDs are selling, I don't know if anyone would buy it. Perhaps someone desiring to move up from VHS.
Perhaps Sherman got his idea from Timothy Randall Clark, who was arrested on Dec. 3 for attempting to steal over $600 worth of gaming products at a Walmart in Charles County, Md., which was also hosting the cops at the time—some 50 police officers, according to The Huffington Post. Store security personnel saw Clark stuffing the items in his shirt. They alerted the cops, who arrested him in the store.
Your Pizza or Your Life
Back in January, 20-year-old Isaiah Pickens was arrested for robbing a Domino's Pizza delivery man at gunpoint in Colorado Springs, Colo. He took the man's pizza and wings, but not his money.
The pizza and wings had been ordered from a pay phone in an apartment complex, with instructions to deliver to a vacant apartment. Police officers scouted the complex for activity and found a loud party at another apartment, where the suspect was found, identified by the driver and booked for aggravated robbery.
I wonder if he used a coupon.
A Beef about Burritos
Crimes in Texas seem frequently to involve meat. Such an incident occurred in San Antonio in March when 37-year-old Ricardo Jones got involved in an armed standoff with police over an incident involving seven burritos.
The suspect had ordered seven Beefy Crunch Burritos at a Taco Bell drive-through. He shot an air gun at the manager upon learning that the price had increased from 99 cents to $1.49 each. Jones displayed an assault rifle and pistol in the parking lot before fleeing the scene. He pointed a weapon at three officers who apprehended him, fled when they fired at him and barricaded himself in a hotel room.
After a three-hour standoff, SWAT officers used tear gas to get Jones out of the room. He was placed in the Bexar County Jail with $50,000 bail. That's more than $7,000 per burrito. I'm confident that bail wouldn't have exceeded $25,000 if he had just ordered regular tacos, and might have been $35,000, tops, if he'd gotten chalupas.
It turns out that the burritos had been on special the week before, when Jones visited the Taco Bell. The manager said that Jones had yelled at him that time as well.
Photos on the San Antonio Express-News website show the SWAT team working from the roof of a building at the scene. On its side is a large sign saying, “Home of the Original Jalapeno Fried Chicken”. I would have gone for the chicken in a heartbeat, even realizing that the Beefy Crunch Burrito, made with Flamin' Hot Fritos, seasoned beef, rice, sour cream and nacho cheese sauce, was offered for a limited time.
At least he didn't try to pay for the burritos with a million-dollar bill.
Drug Deals Gone Bad
In May, Dexter White, 41, called police in North Charleston, S.C., to complain that he had been shortchanged by a drug dealer who took his $60, gave him $20 worth of crack and refused to return the $40 difference. Apparently, the complainant volunteered that he'd smoked all the crack before calling the cops. He was arrested for loitering where drugs are sold, reported the Charleston Post and Courier.
The Hartford Courant reported in March that 35-year-old Antonio Recinos had called 911 because he felt cheated in a $40 drug deal. (Both beefs here are for $40. What's up with that?) He then spotted a police officer and reported the crime to him, showing him exhibit A: a bag of cocaine. Recinos was arrested for possession of narcotics.
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