25 Stupid Criminals Who Got Caught For Ridiculous Reasons

Posted by , Updated on March 24, 2024

Criminals can indeed pose significant threats, but have you ever considered the case of stupid criminals? While there exists a multitude of smart criminals who show high levels of intelligence that assist in performing faultless crimes, there are also those criminals whose sheer ineptitude leaves one scratching their head, questioning “How on earth have they managed to not harm themselves by now”? Despite their lack of intellect potentially increasing the danger they pose to themselves or others, their foolishness often leads to their apprehension by law enforcement and subsequent imprisonment. Let’s explore 25 such stupid criminals who were apprehended due to laughable circumstances.



Betrayed By His Methamphetamines


Christopher Wilson thought that he had organized “the perfect crime” when he entered a home-improvement store in Washington to steal the goods he desired but he wasn’t all that careful. Apparently, Wilson accidentally dropped his bottle of methamphetamines during his lame attempt at committing a crime, and with it his name and phone number for the clerks and police officers to discover.


A Teen Robber Who “Donated” Both His Wallet and ID

broken wine bottle

An eighteen-year-old teen named Steven Diaz from Pasadena, California, wanted to have drinks with friends and passed by Vons supermarket to shoplift a bottle of wine. As the teen tried to get away from the shop, he punched a security guard and dropped his wallet, ID, and the wine. Of course, he was easily tracked down by the police and arrested shortly after his stupid action.


The Intruder Who Loved His Cleanliness a Little Too Much

warm bath

A really weird dude once raided a house in Texas at four in the morning and naturally scared the hell out of the owner who fled, immediately calling the police. When the officers arrived on the scene, they couldn’t believe their eyes. They were surprised to find that the intruder hadn’t stolen or broken a thing (other than the door) and that all he wanted was apparently a warm bath.


Forgotten Counterfeit Bills

Counterfeit money

A con artist specializing in producing counterfeit money and false documents was really unhappy with the new printer he bought from a Target in Augusta, GA, so he decided to take it back and ask for a different one. His demand was satisfied but unfortunately the clerk noticed some “work” the customer forgot to remove from the old printer—a few counterfeit bills that, of course, cost him his freedom.


The Thieves Who Left Their Bumper Behind with the License Plate Attached

British license plate

Three would-be British thieves tried way too hard to wrap chains around an ATM machine that held $31,000 (£20,000), and with the help of a car they tried to carry the whole thing away. Unfortunately for them, the chains didn’t hold and were left behind with the car’s rear bumper and license plate, leaving the thieves to drive off empty-handed and easily traced by the officers who arrested them shortly after.


A Man Got Caught Simply Because He Couldn’t Control His Bowels


The residents of the Woodland Heights area of Houston were terrorized by a man who had been repeatedly going to the bathroom in their yards, leaving quite the mess behind. For that reason one of them placed a camera in a nearby tree to catch the suspect in action. An older, bald-headed man with a funny mustache and tight shorts was busted on camera entering one “bathroom” after another in the neighborhood, leaving a huge mess that he didn’t bother to clean up.


Housebreaker Gets Away but His Pants Stay Behind

jeans on floor

When the police arrested eighteen-year-old Benjamin C. Hoppe he only had on a sweatshirt, red boxers, and a white sock on his left foot. Why? A few hours earlier he had broken into the home of an old, fat bartender who wrestled the kid to the ground and made him cry before he squirmed out of his shoes and pants and ran from the house. Hopefully, he learned his lesson and will do the right thing from now on.


Graffiti Suspect Tagged Courtroom to Prove His “Innocence”


A teen accused of multiple counts of doing graffiti in San Diego was arrested for vandalism after he allegedly tagged the inside of the the San Diego Superior Court. The tag led investigators right to his location. The teen, who pled not guilty, had even left his mark in the same courtroom he was prosecuted in. What can you say? The boy’s an artist and the world is his canvas.


The Burglar Who Forgot His Dentures at the Scene of the Crime


One day Justin Stansfield, a British heroin addict and thief, broke into a garage to steal valuable items so he could sell it and buy his next fix. While in the garage, he found a freezer full of cold beers and Popsicles. He decided to have some fun, instead. He took out his fake teeth to enjoy a couple of Popsicles after he downed a few beers. But before he left, he forgot to put his teeth back in. This dumb act cost him sixteen months behind bars.


A Way Too Grateful Employee

thank you note

Graham Price of south Wales was a hard-working and honest employee who couldn’t hide how grateful he was to his bosses, even when he decided to rip off the bank where he worked. So, before he stole the money he needed, he made sure to leave a note with his signature, explaining: “Borrowed, seven million pounds. Thank you.”


The Anger-Management Homework that Betrayed its Owner

Anger Management

At a bus stop in St. Paul, Minnesota, Justin John Boudin, a hot-tempered man, was involved in an argument with a woman whom he cowardly punched in the face. He also attacked another person who was standing there, which caused him to drop his folder on the ground. He didn’t retrieve the folder before he fled. The cops, who arrived at the scene a few minutes later, easily tracked Boudin thanks to what was inside his folder—his anger-management homework.


The Case of the Bungling Burglar

thief in the night

What if we told you a thief got caught because he forgot to take the money he was supposed to steal? A gunman once broke into a convenience store in Indiana, tied up the cashier, and fled. But he left behind the money. When he realized his mistake, he went back. Unfortunately for him, by that time the door had automatically locked with the loot just sitting there “staring” at him as the police arrested him.


The Crook with the “Long” Trail of White Cash Register Tape


One of the most unusual and comical criminal cases we have ever heard about occurred in Hickory, North Carolina. A totally amateur thief invaded Captain’s Galley restaurant and picked up the cash register but didn’t notice a little detail—a trail of white cash register tape hanging from the machine. The police followed it fifty yards to his apartment, finding him cracking open the register.


A Bad Criminal and an Even Worse Father

Best dad ever

This is one of those cases where you aren’t sure how to properly respond to what you read—whether you should laugh about the criminal’s stupidity or feel sad for his young son. Apparently, this idiotic thief decided to take his son along when he robbed a pet shop, but he was so busy counting the money that he totally forgot about his son whom he left behind. All police officers had to do after that was ask the child for the name of his idiotic father.


The Thief Who Wanted to Flirt

couple flirting

Scottish shoplifter Aaron Morrison might be one of the silliest thieves in history. After Morrison stole a bottle of vodka from a liquor store, he had the nerve to flirt with the shop clerk and gave her his name and number. Well, let’s just say it didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to trace his whereabouts after that.


Burglar Leaves DNA Behind Just Because He Was Too Thirsty


A thief in Portland, Oregon, broke into a house, went through every inch of the property, opened all the drawers, and stole everything of value he could find without leaving any fingerprints. However, what appeared to be almost the perfect robbery was ruined when the thief grabbed a container of orange juice from the refrigerator and took a gulp directly from it, leaving it in the sink. The container was sent straight to the DNA testing unit at the Oregon State Crime Lab in Clackamas where forensic scientists found a match. Christopher Lathrop quickly confessed after he was arrested and will probably never drink orange juice again.


Thief Sells a Stolen Bike Back to His Victim and Gets Caught


Marque Moore, a fifty-seven-year-old man from Richmond, California, is a serial bike thief. After investigating Moore’s home, they found he had been systematically stealing bikes, bike equipment, and a few other things. The list included ten bicycles, fifty-seven bicycle tires, twenty-four bicycle wheels, twenty-one bike seats, four bicycle frames, a gun, and ammunition. How did he get caught? He tried to sell a bike online—through Craigslist—to the person he had stolen it from without even knowing it.


The “Genius” Who Stole Gas from a Police Car and Posted it on Facebook

Siphon gas

In 2012, a young boy from Jenkins, Kentucky, named Michael Baker decided to get his small town in the national headlines. What did he do, you ask? After he siphoned gas from a local police car, he posed next to it with a smile (while also proudly giving the finger) for the camera and then posted the photo on Facebook. The photo went viral with thousands of views but a couple of days later the police knocked on his door and arrested him.


Writing a Book Based on the Crime He Committed

Writer on laptop

Polish author Krystian Bala became a victim of his own arrogance and delusion when he thought he was above the law. After brutally murdering Dariusz Janiszewski in 2000 and getting away with it, he decided to write a novel named Amok that included a ridiculously similar murder to the one he was involved in three years before. The case was reopened and after a detailed investigation, he surrendered and confessed.


The Thief Who Couldn’t Climb

house burglar

John Pearce, a thirty-two-year-old British wannabe thief, realized too late that a daylight burglary requires natural athleticism and more specifically, climbing skills. Are you wondering how he came to this conclusion? Poor John tried to break into a house by climbing through the window but his foot got caught, leaving his backside dangling in view of passersby on the busy sidewalk. Eventually the police arrived and he was arrested, but not before being ruthlessly humiliated and mocked by the pedestrians who couldn’t resist laughing at and joking about his situation.


The Drunk Woman Who Always Keeps Her (One) Eye on the Road

Young woman with beer

A fifty-six-year-old Swedish woman made one of the most ludicrous claims you will ever hear in your lifetime. What did she say? During her trial for drunk driving, she claimed that the alcohol could not affect her driving because she kept one eye open to avoid seeing double. The judges laughed and sentenced her to two months in prison.


The Dude Who Went to Apply For Welfare With “His” H2 Hummer

Hummer H2

What would you think if you saw a man who drives a Hummer applying for welfare? Wouldn’t you think it a little fishy and suspicious? This is exactly what was going through the local sheriff’s mind in Jonesville, Virginia, when he saw William Anderson driving his H2 Hummer to social services to apply for welfare. After the sheriff checked the car’s plates, he found out what he suspected—the vehicle was stolen and the clueless thief was arrested.


Murderer Gets Caught for Tattooing the Crime Scene to His Chest

Tattoo dude

Anthony Garcia, a Los Angeles gang member, killed an innocent person during a robbery that took place in a liquor shop, but he got away with it simply because there was not enough evidence against him. However, only four years later Garcia was arrested for driving with a suspended license and the policemen noticed an unusual tattoo on his chest while taking his mug shot. After examining it and paying attention to its details and symbols the police realized that Garcia had tattooed the crime scene on himself with every little detail. Needless to say, justice was finally served.


Thief Falls Asleep Under Victim’s Bed While at “Work”

sleeping under covers

Mark Smith thought he was Britain’s baddest thief when he broke into Heather Stephenson’s home (while she was there ironing) to steal all he could from her jewelry box, but unfortunately for this “genius,” the vodka and Valium he had taken earlier took its toll. As a result, Smith took a nap as a free man under Heather’s bed and woke up several hours later behind bars.


Simply Put: The Worst American Burglar in History

Cat burglar

Fort Myers Beach, Florida, can be proud of producing the worst, and possibly funniest, amateur American criminal who ever lived. Christopher Kron created his own personal “legend” when he tried to rob a closed restaurant. First, he tripped the alarm when he broke in. He didn’t listen to or just didn’t care about the NON-SILENT alarm. When ADT called the restaurant after receiving the alarm signal, Kron answered the phone and, pay attention here, gave the ADT employee his real name. When he finally decided to leave, all he took was a bottle of Grand Marnier and a beer.

So, you probably think that was the end of it, right? Well there’s more. Believe it or not, Kron managed to get away with his illegal act but made sure to return to the restaurant the next day where an employee who had seen the surveillance video recognized him. Kron was arrested. If there were an award for the dumbest criminal in history, he would be a very serious contender.

Photo: Featured Image - Shutterstock, 1. Incase, Cat Burglar, CC BY 2.0, 2. (Public Domain), 3. (Public Domain), 4. Ermell, Hummer H2 1040746, CC BY-SA 4.0, 5. (Public Domain), 6. (Public Domain), 7. (Public Domain), 8. bradleyolin, Siphoning, CC BY 2.0, 9. Prateek Karandikar, Common bicycles in Infosys Mysore (3), CC BY-SA 4.0, 10. MollyWicks, Orange Juice Pulp, CC BY-SA 4.0, 11. (Public Domain), 12. (Public Domain), 13. (Public Domain), 14. (Public Domain), 15. Jessica Flavin from London area, England, Anger Controlls Him, CC BY 2.0, 16. (Public Domain), 17. Kathy McGraw, Upper Denture, CC BY 2.0, 18. Zarateman, Bilbao - Ribera Deusto, graffiti 20, CC BY-SA 4.0, 19. Charles Dyer, I Left Them Where They Fell, CC BY 2.0, 20. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 21. Kaihsu Tai, British diplomatic car plate for Libya, CC BY-SA 3.0, 22. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 23. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 24. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 25. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain)