25 World’s Dumbest Criminals Who Got Caught on Camera

Posted by , Updated on March 26, 2024

Are you one of those people who laugh or do you squirm away when you notice someone doing something incredibly idiotic? 

Well, they say life is hard, but we’re here to confirm that it’s much harder if you’re stupid. And that’s a fact. There’s nothing quite like the sweet, sweet justice of the law, especially when the people breaking the law are total morons.

A couple of months ago, we published a list of stupid criminals who got caught for ridiculous reasons. Today, we’re bringing you something similar, and we know you’re going to love it, since, thanks to the prevalence of video surveillance, these beacons of society were filmed in the act.

Here are 25 World’s Dumbest Criminals Who Got Caught on Camera.


The Stacker

the stackerhttps://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/bakery-robber-may-be-melbournes-dumbest-criminal-20110201-1absf.html

This list is going to be full of bungling thieves, but we have to tell you, we almost felt sorry for this guy. The young wannabe thief broke into a Melbourne bakery and somehow ended up locked in the storeroom. The hilarious CCTV footage shows him stacking anything and everything he could find, including containers, chairs, and bins, in his desperate attempt to get out of the storeroom and onto the roof.

The cameras rolled for over 30 minutes as the stacker tried his best to scale his make-shift mountain, miserably failing and ending up on the floor at least 5 times. The criminal mastermind eventually freed himself but turned himself in when footage of his bleeding face started popping up everywhere.


Christopher Badman

Christopher Badmanhttps://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-34777437

If that isn’t a Marvel supervillain name, I don’t know what is. Unfortunately, the only thing bad-a** about Christopher is his surname. 

I mean, putting a plastic bag over your head is so dumb that even children are taught not to do it. When Mr. Badman tried to steal from hotel rooms in Porthcawl, Wales, in 2015, he accepted he needed a way to hide his face from the security cameras in the corridors. In the video, he can be seen wandering around with a bag over his head, going in and out of rooms. However, he later returns to the corridor with the bag removed after one of the hotel guests interrupts him. Great surname. Not too bright, though.


Sweet Treats

sweet treatshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TdsVlnplL8

We’re so happy you’re watching this video today because if you haven’t seen this clip yet, we have the honor of introducing you to the Robin Hood of Texas. Well, the watered-down version of him anyway.

The Shipley Do-Nuts shop in Houston was robbed in 2017 by three men armed with guns and black masks. As they screamed and asked customers to hand over their phones (regular robbery stuff), one of the men grabbed donuts and began handing them out to customers sitting inside the store. Now, we’re all for sweet treats, especially when people in shock receive them, but stealing from small businesses will never be cool.


A Courteous Thief

A Courteous Thiefhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNc-qD-XOhc

Some thieves are determined to inconvenience your life as much as possible. Others are willing to lend a friendly hand in the form of manual labor before running off with your belongings. In 2022, a man called Marcus Hubbard realized he needed a lawnmower urgently and went looking for one. 

We’re curious if he wanted to test the sharpness of its blades or just its general capabilities before taking it home. Nevertheless, Marcus, or “Marcus The Mower,” proceeded to mow the legal owners’ front and backyard before making a run for it, dragging the lawnmower behind him. That just makes the funniest image in my mind’s eye! He finally had to abandon the mower and managed to evade being arrested.


The “Foiled” Robbery

foiled robberyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KGqKb1Bn34

We did say that life is harder when you’re stupid at the beginning of this video. And we love it when we’re right.

Two would-be Brazilian bank robbers were captured in 2016 after attempting to deceive the alarms at a Santa Catarina bank using head-to-toe foil disguises. Even if that worked, the criminals should have concentrated their escape plans on the security cameras, which captured the robbers as they crawled through the bank and attempted to get into the safe. Police were contacted right away, and the two individuals were arrested.


James Allan

james allanhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IBKmkOZW5k

In the movie Snatch, two thieves commit an armed robbery and get stuck in the building because they can’t decide whether to push or pull to open the door. It’s a hilarious scene that couldn’t possibly ever happen in real life. After all, who could be that stupid?

The answer appears to be “James Allan,” a 28-year-old man who tried to steal from a convenience store only to be prevented by, yes, pushing rather than pulling on the door. Not only that, but he was holding a toy gun and removed his mask in front of the surveillance camera. The strikes just kept coming for Allan, a business regular who had also happened to rob the store only 10 days before. I believe it’s safe to say that James Allan will never be convicted of being a master thief.


Taken Down By The Car You Stole

taken down by own carhttps://youtu.be/Hic2o6W6MJ4

We searched far and wide but found it for you. The video of the worst car thief in America. And trust me, it was no small feat.

So, what did this guy do to win the title? Well, he somehow managed to hit himself with the Honda Accord he tried to steal while fleeing from the police. Meet 31-year-old Isaiah John Gellatly, the man with a broken leg. His journey to a pinned body against a wall began when a police officer in Happy Valley, Oregon, responded to a 911 call about a theft in progress. The police quickly spotted Gellatly in a parked 1998 Honda Accord. For some reason, he was lying down in the fully reclined driver’s seat.

Was this his fruitless attempt to hide? Probably. But it gets better. When the officer reached the vehicle and shined his light inside, Gellatly sat up in the driver’s seat, shifted into gear, and a high-speed chase ensued. Gellatly finally decided it was time to bail, so he opened the driver’s door and leaped out of the still-moving Honda. It was then that our idiot thief friend ended up getting pinned under the car’s wheel and breaking his leg. Officers also discovered a ping-pong paddle, tennis racket, designer sunglasses, and a Schwinn scooter inside the Honda.


The Caned Robber

caned robberhttps://youtu.be/Xhwbl4uRUDQ

2015 Was a WILD year in Toronto. It was the year of the caned robber. A man who, not only once but twice, tried to rob variety stores using nothing but a cane.

As terrifying as it was, what really made us giggle was the police report on his misdeeds. On both occasions, the cane-wielding madman walked into the locations with his four-pronged cane, waving it around and demanding money from the clerk. After each unsuccessful attempt, he fled the scene on – get this – his red four-wheeled scooter! At the time the articles were published, police requested assistance in finding the man who not only attempted to rob the stores but did so by making “ aggressive use of a cane.”


Dennis Hawkins

dennis hawkinshttp://www.cbsnews.com/news/man-dressed-in-wig-clown-pants-and-fake-breasts-robs-bank-with-bb-gun-say-cops

When you’re coming up with ideas for disguises, your first prerogative is to conceal your true identity. A decent disguise should also be discreet to blend in with the masses. The disguise used by Dennis Hawkins, a 48-year-old Pittsburgh resident who decided to rob a bank, failed miserably on both counts.

His disguise included a woman’s blonde wig, false breasts, and, we kid you not, clown pants. The first issue was that his face, complete with a mustache and goatee, was visible on CCTV cameras. The second issue was that his disguise was not exactly subtle. A gas station worker called to report someone with that distinct appearance attempting to steal a car shortly after police issued a description to the public. As if Hawkins wasn’t already noticeable, when police came, they discovered him splattered in red paint from the dye pack that had exploded in his face.


A Robbery Gone South

robbery gone southhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZ43YcnLyEI

This robbery gone wrong would have been straight-up hilarious if it wasn’t for the cringe factor.

As you’ll see for yourself, there’s probably never been a thief more embarrassed than the man who mustered up all his bravado and entered a beauty salon with what may or may not be a concealed weapon in his pocket.

I guess nobody ever told him that women in beauty salons shouldn’t be trifled with. Men take note: women doing their nails have enough trouble in their lives – not to mention the numbers in the salon – don’t mess with them. The idiotic brave soul had to tuck his tail between his legs and bail after not a single woman handed over any of her belongings.


The Pickpocket


While we’re on the subject of nail salons, we should change our advice to include both men and women. Why would you mess with a woman or her belongings while she’s getting pampered in a beauty salon?

What makes this clip even worse is the betrayal! (cue the “Shame” bell of Game of Thrones!) We have a female perpetrator in this clip.

The pickpocket was caught on camera as she stole a woman’s jewelry in a salon in Los Angeles after she entered the salon under the guise of getting a mani-pedi. While she did get the treatments, she left the salon with brand new nails as well as another woman’s wedding ring. The traitor was apprehended in less than two days, and the ring was returned to its rightful owner.


The Johannesburg 3

Johannesburg 3https://youtu.be/qyDFxhabADw

In 2017, a video of three men attempting to break into a property in Johannesburg went viral. The robbery was prevented and filmed by an Orange Grove resident. While it is not a laughing matter, it certainly made people laugh in other parts of the world.

Initially appearing on a neighborhood WhatsApp group, the footage shows three guys attempting to enter the property by breaking open the palisade gates. The homeowner is notified of the break-in and goes outside armed with a camera to videotape what is happening. The would-be robbers don’t notice the man as they attempt to pry the gate open with a crowbar until he clears his throat to let them know he’s there. The three perplexed men glance up at the homeowner before looking at each other and choosing to escape.


Ashdon Gibbs

Ashdon Gibbshttps://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/04/02/naked-man-in-cowboy-hat/7202537/

In 2014, a city in Georgia had an unusual robbery spree. A man, who was always completely butt naked save for his cowboy hat, was captured on multiple home surveillance cameras while breaking into people’s homes. 

In some houses, he would have a few beers, get a few snacks out of the fridge, and enjoy the homeowners’ music, while others were merely burgled. Ashdon Gibbs was captured not long after his rampage, leaving us to wonder how he decided which homes would be looted and which had the better music…


When Everything Is Smarter Than You

ATM robberhttps://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/townsville-wouldbe-atm-thief-caught-on-cctv-20150515-gh25ss.html

The most challenging part of this video is describing all of the ways this wanna-be ATM thief in Townsville, Australia, did not get away with his crime.

It’s so sad; we almost feel sorry for him. First of all, the surveillance footage shows the guy hurling an object against the mechanical doors of a corner store, only to have it ricochet back at him. But he’s a man on a mission and doesn’t back down. He pummels the door until he manages to punch a hole in it. Once inside, he ties a chain to the ATM machine. Unfortunately, he doesn’t appear to notice the chain snapping outside the gas station store. He blasts off, expecting an ATM to fly out behind his car – but nothing happens. The idiot finally has to throw in the towel – get back into his car, and drive away… without the ATM.


Michael Baker

Michael Bakerhttps://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/man-steals-gas-cop-car-posts-photo-crime-facebook-flna724276

While we all enjoy celebrating our accomplishments and posting them online for our friends and family to see, we should consider what we share with the rest of the world. And the reality that more people may see our social media posts than we realize.

Michael Baker believed that siphoning gas from a police cruiser was not only a brilliant idea but one he intended to share with the rest of the world. His girlfriend snapped a photo of him posing by the car while he was siphoning the gas. Bragging rights are cool, but he went too far when he uploaded the picture on Facebook. His friends, relatives, and local law enforcement were all able to see what he had been up to. If you do anything stupid, think about who you want to share it with; otherwise, as this list proves, everyone in the world could find out.


Using Your Toddler As Cover

Using your toddler to steal a laptophttps://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3286137/Shoplifter-uses-TODDLER-cover-fact-hidden-laptop-sweater-steals-Russian-store.html

If you’re gonna have kids, they should provide cover for your criminal misdeeds. Preferably in the form of little human bodyshields, right? While that’s a bold statement we definitely DO NOT agree with, one thief in Russia did exactly that.

He took his toddler into an electronics store and stole a laptop. While the poor toddler looked around, looking confused, the father of the year put the device underneath his sweater before picking up his son to use his body as cover against prying eyes. He managed to steal the device and left the store without being stopped, but forgot about CCTV’s all-seeing eye and was later apprehended.


The Criminal Who Took Out His Buddy

robbers brickhttps://youtu.be/eiHaQRB3r4U

A brick can be a valuable tool for smashing a door or a window. But it doesn’t work as effectively if the thief throws the brick at his accomplice instead of the window. 

Two would-be burglars hilariously caused their own undoing as one man launched a brick at the head of his partner in crime. The men tried to break into a building in China with bricks but had a significant lapse in their combined efforts and coordination. One thief can be seen throwing his projectile before perilously ending up in his co-conspirator’s line of fire. In short, while he may not have seen the brick coming at his face, we’re sure he enjoyed the alternate universe he was bound to see for the next few seconds before returning to reality with a massive headache and a few ruptured blood vessels.


When You Take Yourself Down

When You Take Yourself Downhttps://www.newsflare.com/video/246344/crime-accidents/worlds-dumbest-criminal-knocks-himself-out-with-his-own-weapon?source=post_page-----47fbf8322141--------------------------------

Speaking of brick mishaps, this thief attempted to break into a building by smashing a glass, but the brick bounced back at him and smacked him in the head, knocking him down. He probably never heard about Newton’s third law, but karma definitely ensured that he received a reaction to his action.

Police in Prince George’s County released the video of the botched robbery where the man tried to get into a restaurant by smashing its front window with a brick. Sadly for him, the window was bulletproof, and the brick repaid his actions with a solid rebound to the face.


Amy Adams

Amy Adamshttps://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/lucky-shoppers-big-shock/A5MKPD7RSFV3GNJR5BZJ3R732Y/

Some crimes have a way of showing us where evolution went horribly wrong. Like that of Amy Adams. No, the other Amy Adams.

In 2006, she robbed a shop in New Zealand. The intelligent owner decided to use the surveillance footage to entice her back to the store by putting her picture on a local TV News Station – informing her that she had the prize for “This Week’s Lucky Shopper” and had to appear in person to claim her prize.

So she drove back to the shop, told them her name, pointed herself out on the surveillance footage, and was promptly handcuffed by undercover cops. During the trial, she kept denying breaking any laws until the judge explained she was guilty and there was no way she could convince anyone otherwise. 


The Inchworm Bandits

inchworm banditshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzcnE5eyY6Q

Guys, too much TV is bad for you. Trust us. The Inchworm Bandits got their wacky name because of the way they crawled, rolled, and fumbled Mission Impossible style through a restaurant in an attempt to dupe the surveillance cameras. They made off with about $450 of the staff’s tips.

Of course, they’re almost certainly idiots, given that if they were geniuses, they wouldn’t be robbing pizza places for a few hundred dollars a pop. And, whatever else they are, they are obviously criminals. But I don’t want to rule out the idea that these guys knew precisely where the cameras were and just chose to do something like a ninja crawl across the floor because they thought it’d be hilarious if it hit the news.


A Legit Machete Fight

machete fighthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaMWyWskqSw

A couple of years ago, a Pittsburgh convenience store went from ordinary to a scene straight out of Game of Thrones for a few tense, strange seconds. That’s because a would-be thief tried to hold up the store with a machete, only to discover the cashier was equipped with a weapon of his own.

When the unknown suspect with the blade ran behind the counter in search of money, the store clerk reached for his own blade: a full-length scimitar. And just like that, a bladed battle took place in the aisles of a Pittsburgh convenience store – for a few seconds, anyway.


The Slip n Slide Thieves

Slip n slide thieveshttps://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/thieves-slip-and-slide-on-polished-jewellery-shop-floor-during-raid-10042138.html

Before you ask, yes, you may call this incident “jewelry theft on ice.” In fact, that’s what we’re going to call it. The footage is hilarious.

The surveillance footage shows four masked men bursting through Gem Jewellers using a stolen Mercedes and plundering the Coventry, England, jewelry store. However, the floor had recently been waxed, which caused some friction-related challenges. The suspects, carrying canvas bags and axes, resembled tiny penguins learning to walk on ice as they struggled to obtain traction on the slick flooring. Unfortunately, the thieves succeeded in stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds of gold jewelry despite their clumsy behavior.


Getting It On, With A Doorbell

doorbell lickerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_G9eZDyCDcQ

Okay, this one is definitely weird and terribly gross.

A man in Salinas, California, got the moniker “#doorbelllicker” after a home security system recorded him licking a homeowner’s doorbell for three hours. Yes, three. Hours.

The Dungan family, who live in the home, alerted authorities after spotting the man on their doorstep via their home monitoring system. When the incident occurred, the children were home alone and, thankfully, slept through the commotion. The parents, on the other hand, received notifications concerning the activity at their front door. The footage immediately went viral, and the man was soon identified as Roberto Daniel Arroyo. Arroyo was also recorded as he relieved his bladder in the front yard. According to “#doorbelllicker,” he just wanted to ring the bell and run. Sure, buddy, but we don’t believe you.


Lemar Reed

Lemar Reedhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TIvvvEjrH0

This one had us in stitches! Who said a legal career is boring? It’s not every day that a man walks up to enter his plea on his traffic violation in court and ends up dropping his gram of coke on the floor – in front of the judge. Luckily for us, the courtroom security cameras were rolling, and the moment Lemar Reed will regret for the rest of his life was captured on film, to live on in YouTube infamy forever.

We can’t help but wonder why anyone would take any illegal substances to court with them in the first place? Or is it a case of a forward-thinking entrepreneur who figured that would be the best place to take his illegal substances to? I mean, you never know just where you’re clientele might be waiting, right?


Taken Down By A Renaissance Fair Wench

Dumbest Criminalshttps://www.cbsnews.com/colorado/news/witness-woman-in-wench-costume-takes-down-sword-thief/

In a plot twist worthy of a Shakespearean comedy, a man found himself starring in his very own Renaissance misadventure at the Colorado Renaissance Festival. This modern-day ‘knight’ in not-so-shining armor decided to participate in a real-life game of ‘finders-keepers’ and tried to make off with a sword.

However, he didn’t factor in the unlikely heroes in the crowd. Two women chased the sword-stealer up a hill, and one of them, playing the role of a wench, decided to give him a crash course in headlock diplomacy. For five whole minutes! And it was all captured on video!

Who knew Renaissance Festivals could be so much fun?

Enjoyed this list? Check out 25 Stupid Criminals Who Got Caught For Ridiculous Reasons.

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