Reality and Sanity

June 29, 2007

Stupid Girl(s)

Filed under: Stupid Criminal Tricks — Paul @ 5:37 pm

The lede is the only line you need to read from this story:

Two German teenagers robbed a girl but accidentally left their own pictures behind for police on a discarded mobile phone.

Cue Garbage: “Stu-uuu-pid Girl(s)!”

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June 27, 2007

Not an Easy Mark

Filed under: Stupid Criminal Tricks — Paul @ 4:10 pm

Just because a man is over 70 doesn’t mean they can’t handle themselves, as one dude found out: Ex-Marine Teaches Pickpocket a Lesson.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – Bill Barnes says he was scratching off a losing $2 lottery ticket inside a gas station when he felt a hand slip into his front-left pants pocket, where he had $300 in cash.

He immediately grabbed the person’s wrist with his left hand and started throwing punches with his right, landing six or seven blows before a store manager intervened.

“I guess he thought I was an easy mark,” Barnes, 72, told The Grand Rapids Press for a story Tuesday.

First off, there is no such thing as an ex-Marine, as any retired Marine will tell you. They are former Marines. Some still consider themselves Marines, simply no longer in the Armed Forces.

Second, the former Marine was also a Golden Gloves boxer before his military service.

Third (if the first two wasn’t enough) the former Marine and Golden Gloves boxer is a retired 20-year ironworker.

Jesse Daniel Rae, the 27-year-old Newaygo County man accused of trying to pick Barnes’ pocket, was arraigned Monday in Rockford District Court on one count of unarmed robbery, a 15-year felony.

Barnes said he had just withdrawn the money from a bank machine and put it in the pocket of his shorts before driving to the Marathon service station and Next Door Food Store in Comstock Park, a Grand Rapids suburb.

He remembers noticing a patron acting suspiciously, asking the price of different brands of cigarettes and other items. While turned away, Barnes felt the hand in his pocket, so he took action.

“I guess I acted on instinct,” he said.

Kent County sheriff’s deputies said the store manager quickly came around the counter. The three of them struggled through the front door, where two witnesses said the manager slammed Rae to the ground and held him there.

“There was blood everywhere,” said another manager on duty, Abby Ostrom, 25.

I’ll bet there was.

June 11, 2007

The Toilet Was Invented By A Guy Named Crapper

Filed under: Stupid Criminal Tricks — Paul @ 5:43 pm

From the “You Can’t Make This Up” Department: Butts Charged With Stealing Toilet Paper.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) – Police blame a woman named Butts for stealing toilet paper from a central Iowa courthouse, and while they’re chuckling, the theft charge could put her in prison.

“She’s facing potentially three years of incarceration for three rolls of toilet paper,” Chief Lon Walker said, stifling a laugh as he talked to KCCI-TV about Suzanne Marie Butts. “See, I can’t say it with a straight face.”

Workers had noticed the rolls disappearing from the Marshall County Courthouse much faster than usual, Walker said.

Butts, 38, was caught last week after an employee saw her taking three rolls of two-ply tissue from a storage closet, Walker said.

June 9, 2007

Brickbat Roundup

A few selected stories from Reason’s Brickbats, with my commentary and analysis:

Police in West Midlands, England, say they received numerous complaints about anti-social behavior in one neighborhood. The behavior in question: children playing hopscotch on the sidewalk.

Oh, come on.

Legislation expected to pass in Scotland would require shops selling swords, machetes, and other nondomestic knives to have a special license and to record all sales. The sale of swords—except to museums, historical re-enactors, fencers, and the like—will be banned.

Are they going to ban fabrication also? Swords and machetes, utilizing modern techniques, are not hard to make.

Police in Preston, England, are asking local officials to ban “vertical drinking” in bars. Drinking while standing, they say, contributes to violence and other anti-social behavior.

So sitting down makes all the difference. Apparently these people have never seen any of numerous movies where overturned bar chairs are a prelude to violence and other anti-social behavior.

The Board of Commissioners in Gwinnett County, Georgia, has banned mobile taco stands. Commissioners say the move is aimed at boosting business in shopping centers. “I’m all for capitalism,” Commissioner Bert Nasuti explained. “But there’s a right way and a wrong way.”

And the right way is lining the pockets of your biggest taxpayers. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that some board members have a vested interest in the shopping malls as member business owners or as mall owners.

If you can’t beat ’em, outlaw them.

In Great Britain, government officials say hospitals are too efficient. At least six of the nation’s health trusts have forced hospitals to create minimum waiting times for patients to receive treatment. Officials say the hospitals have “gotten ahead” of what the National Health Service can afford.

And that, my friends, is why we don’t need HillaryCare.

“My husband’s appendix is about to explode!”

“Sorry. We have a mandatory three-day waiting period for new patients. Come back on Monday.”

Three NYPD officers have pleaded not guilty to breaking into a Brooklyn massage parlor, ripping out a surveillance camera, and stealing a videotape. They apparently were trying to destroy evidence that a previous prostitution bust at the massage parlor was based on lies by one of the officers. But a backup security system caught their break-in, and part of the massage parlor’s security system was reportedly found in the desk of Lt. Stephen Wong. Wong is the vice integrity control officer for the unit, responsible for keeping officers honest.

I smell a new Law and Order episode.

Security guards at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Air Academy High School handcuffed and detained three cheerleaders before a football game. Guards had allegedly spotted the three putting paper over the first five letters of a sign reading “Douglassville Valley Elementary School.” The girls were released to their parents; no charges were filed.

Heh-heh-heh. To be 17 again…

Four eighth-grade girls in Marion, Indiana, were suspended from school for five days. They say it’s because they all wore matching outfits one day, and school officials thought that if they were dressed alike they must be in a gang. Principal Michael Shaffer told local media the girls were suspended for violating school rules, but he refused to say what rules they broke.

No profiling gong on here.

Margaret Lieder meant to dial 411 for information. She accidentally dialed 911, but she promptly hung up when she realized she’d made a mistake. A dispatcher called her back to say that police were on the way. When the North Vancouver, Canada, officers got there, Lieder tried to explain the mistake. Despite not having a warrant, they insisted on searching the house. Lieder refused, but the officers refused to take no for an answer; five officers broke down the door and arrested Lieder and her partner, Larry Pierce, for obstruction of justice. Pierce says that officers threw him to the floor, twisting his arm behind his back, and that one jumped on him and put a knee into his ribs, breaking two of them.

All this would probably have been avoided if Lieder had simply explained to the dispatcher her mistake before hanging up the first time. Cops have no idea who’s who or what’s what, so if someone dials and hangs up, that could be someone trying to dial for help that an assailant to working to prevent.

That said, the cops did overreact a tad. No warrant? Obstruction of justice arrests?

Early one morning in Newport, England, a speed camera snapped a photo of Tom Matthews’ 12-year-old cab. He later received a notice informing him he’d exceeded the 30-mile-per-hour speed limit—by about 390 miles per hour. “I drive an old Cavalier—not a jumbo jet,” Matthews told the London Sun. “According to this, I’ve broken the land speed record.”

I didn’t realize the Salt Flats were located in Newport, England.

The coaches of many women’s basketball teams believe that practicing against men makes women better competitors. But the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics says such practices violate the spirit of Title IX, the federal law that mandates equality for school athletics. The committee recommends that the NCAA ban all male practice players from women’s sports.

Title IX is was an idea that is good on paper, but proven disastrous in reality. Throw in the gaggle of fools that is the NCAA, and you get idiot rulings like this one.

One more story, submitted without comment because the jokes write themselves:

British police have almost 3 million DNA profiles on file, covering about 6 percent of the U.K.’s population. But that’s not enough for Dave Johnston, head of the Metropolitan Police’s Homicide and Serious Crimes unit. He wants samples taken from all babies. “We have 300,000 unsolved cases where we have taken a profile at a crime scene but have not yet matched it,” he said. Johnston did not say how many babies he suspects may have committed those crimes.

June 8, 2007

Reality Imitates Art

Filed under: Stupid Criminal Tricks — Paul @ 5:20 pm

What immediately came to mind when I saw this story was The Blues Brothers: Teen in Mall Drive-Through Faces Charges.

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) – A teenager who smashed his car through the front of a Long Island mall, careening 500 yards past screaming shoppers before blasting through an exit, was apparently angry with an ex-girlfriend who worked there, police said Friday.

Check out where the guy is from…double feature, comedy and horror!

Dwight Thomas, 19, of Amityville, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead on felony charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and third-degree arson. He was ordered held on $750,000 bond or $350,000 cash bail.

June 7, 2007

Chain Saw-Wielding Man Arrested in Maine

Filed under: Projected Narratives, Stupid Criminal Tricks — Paul @ 3:50 pm

This story reminded me of the man in 1970s running up and down the aisles of a movie theater showing “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” with a roaring chainsaw.

HOWLAND, Maine (AP) – A man who waved a chain saw over his head, threatened motorists and did some impromptu pruning of local shrubbery was arrested at gunpoint.

Lionel Dube Jr., 47, of Argyle, was charged with disorderly conduct, criminal threatening and violation of bail conditions after police responded to reports that he was waving the chain saw at passing motorists late Tuesday.

“You know how in the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ the guy raised his chain saw up and revved it? That’s what he was doing,” Deputy Sheriff Michael Knights said. “Alcohol was involved.”

Knights and Maine State Police Trooper Thomas Fiske said they disarmed Dube at gunpoint near the Howland-Enfield Federal Credit Union. By that time, Dube’s chain saw didn’t pose much of a threat because the chain had fallen off, they said.

Headline of the Day

Filed under: Stupid Criminal Tricks — Paul @ 3:31 pm

Calif. Man Charged With Killing Wee Wee.

No, its not what you think.

MARYSVILLE, Calif. (AP) – A man accused of fatally shooting a beloved pet goose named Wee Wee faces three misdemeanor charges. The Yuba County District Attorney’s office charged David Gregory Davis, 48, of Marysville, with hunting without a license, waste of game and overlimit of geese for shooting the Canada goose out of season.

June 5, 2007

Living Room Warrior

Filed under: Stupid Criminal Tricks — Paul @ 5:26 pm

If you are going to celebrate your birthday by shooting arrows at a target, make sure the range you are using isn’t in a New York City apartment: NYC Man Charged in Bow-And-Arrow Mishap.

NEW YORK (AP) – A man celebrating his birthday with a bow and arrow in his apartment was charged with reckless endangerment after an errant shot shattered a window across the street, the district attorney’s office said.

Think about this. He is shooting arrows in his apartment, which is stupid enough. But he shatters a window across the street. Is he really that bad a shot?

No, but look where he was aiming:

Two other arrows hit scaffolding on another building in the affluent East Side neighborhood when Noel Luria, 39, was shooting from his apartment into a target block mounted on his windowsill, police said. No one was injured.”My intention was not to pick off somebody,” he said. “My intentions were to have a good time. I’m turning 40. It’s an elegant instrument.”

Dude, you had three bad shots. If the fact you are shooting arrows in your apartment doesn’t alert you to maybe this isn’t a good idea, the first bad shot should have. Are you really turning 40? Because this has college age stunt written all over it.

Oh, and look what else the police found:

Luria was also charged with criminal mischief and criminal possession of a weapon. A crossbow, a compound bow and 49 arrows were confiscated from Luria’s apartment, according to the police complaint.

I would have loved to see this show up on COPS with a archery version of the standard accused plea: “I didn’t shoot the arrows! I swear to god, sir! That bow’s not mine! I swear to God, sir!

June 3, 2007

A Beatlesque Judgement

Filed under: Stupid Criminal Tricks — Paul @ 2:23 pm

A judge writes a sentencing memorandum loaded with Beatle Song Title References in response to a convicted felon’s answer to a form question: I Am The Jurist, Goo Goo G’Joob.

JUNE 1–Before his sentencing earlier this year on a felony burglary conviction, Andrew McCormack filled out a form which asked for a “recommendation as to what you think the Court should do in this case.” The Montana man, 20, wrote, “Like the Beetles say, ‘Let It Be.'” Well, that response did not sit well with Gregory Todd, a 56-year-old District Court judge (and Fab Four fan). In a sentencing memorandum…Todd first corrected McCormack’s misspelling and then schooled the young defendant on the band’s discography. But in the end, Todd sentenced McCormack to just three years probation, and ordered him to perform community service and pay a fine.

You should read the memo; the judge spent some time putting it together.

May 30, 2007

A Man Pleades Not Guilty…

Filed under: Stupid Criminal Tricks — Paul @ 6:55 pm

…to a DWI charge.

Problem is, it’s his 28th charge.

No, that is not a typo.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – An Albuquerque man arrested for the 28th time on a drunken driving charge has pleaded not guilty. Joseph Brill, 53, entered his plea Tuesday to charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated, driving on a suspended license and having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputies arrested Brill in an Albuquerque neighborhood on March 14. Deputies said they saw him park, then fall out of his pickup truck.

The deputies said they tried to give him a field sobriety test, but he could not complete it. They said he then refused a breath test.

A criminal complaint said Brill had 27 prior DWI offenses, with at least 14 convictions, before the arrest.

the article doesn’t say if ever did any hard time for any of these convictions. It did say the judge came down hard on this guy:

State District Judge Ernesto Romero set bond at $100,000.”The probabilities are if you get behind the wheel, you’re going to hurt or kill somebody,” the judge said.

Pathetic.

May 29, 2007

Things That Make You Go Ewww…

Filed under: Stupid Criminal Tricks — Paul @ 8:17 pm

Taking a fetish too far:

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) – Police seized more than 1,500 pairs of girls’ shoes from the home and storage unit of a man arrested for breaking into a high school, police said Tuesday. “He liked to smell them,” said Lt. William H. Graham.Police said the recovered shoes may be related to the burglaries of three Waukesha public high schools and a middle school over the past two years.

So how did he accumulate 1500 pairs of girls’ shoes?

The 27-year-old Kenosha man, who was not identified because had yet to be formally charged, worked for a cable company and collected keys to the schools as he responded to calls, Graham said.

And this isn’t the first time:

The same man was convicted in 2005 for stealing shoes from Kenosha Tremper High School.

Yuck.

May 27, 2007

Aren’t You A Little Old For This?

Filed under: Stupid Criminal Tricks — Paul @ 5:11 pm

This is the kind of tomfoolery I expect from the local high schoolers acting alone, not with help from an adult:

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Police ticketed a 39-year-old woman this week after she allegedly drove seven kids to a teacher’s home to toilet paper it.A seventh-grade English teacher at Pound Middle School told police that over the weekend, the outside of her house, yard, trees and driveway were vandalized with toilet paper, syrup, adhesive tape, dishwashing soap and eggs. A message directed at her was written on her driveway.

Four 13-year-olds and three 12-year-olds who attend Pound were referred to the Lancaster County Attorney’s Office for possible charges.

And police ticketed the mother of one of the 12-year-olds on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of minors. Police said she drove the girls to the teacher’s house, knowing they intended to vandalize the home.

The 39-year-old mother’s job is to stop this from happening, not join in on it.

July 5, 2006

Switching Signs to Avoid Paying Fines

Filed under: Stupid Criminal Tricks — Paul @ 8:06 pm

This guy thought this idea would actually work: Speeding fine? Just switch the road sign.

LONDON (Reuters) – British motorist John Hopwood concocted a novel scheme to avoid payment when he was given a speeding fine — simply switch the road signs.Hopwood, 44, had been snapped by a speed camera breaking the 30 miles per hour limit.

So he went to a 40 mph area, removed a red “40” warning sign, drove back to the 30 mph area, attached it to a lamp post and took a photo as “proof” that his offence of driving at 48 mph had not been so bad.

However, suspicion soon arose when other drivers started querying the sign.

I agree with the judge:

“This was a stupid act, bound to fail,” Judge Anthony Ensor at Manchester Crown Court was quoted by media as telling Hopwood, who admitted trying to pervert justice.He was ordered Tuesday to serve an intermittent custodial sentence of 28 weeks which requires him to spend his weekends behind bars and told to pay 2,763 pounds in legal costs.

Next time, just pay the fine.

July 1, 2006

Next Time Use a Clean Sheet of Paper

Filed under: Stupid Criminal Tricks — Paul @ 1:16 pm

Charmaine Williams Stein gets a good mark for recycling, but that effort lands her in jail after robbing a bank: Police: Heist Note Had Suspect’s Address.

The note demanding money was on a bulk mail advertisement that had Stein’s address on the back, the detective said. Stein, who was believed to have been out of town for several weeks, was arrested Wednesday night.

Yet another example demonstrating the high intellect of common criminals.

Next time, don’t be so earth-friendly; use a clean sheet of paper.

June 30, 2006

The Bust

Filed under: Stupid Criminal Tricks — Paul @ 1:26 pm

Don’t smoke weed in public; you never know who might be sniffing: Drive-Thru Pot Smoke Gives Pair Away.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – A pair of pot smokers picked the wrong day to use the drive-thru window at a KFC restaurant in Buffalo. Two men in their 20s pulled up to the restaurant’s window and asked for the Wednesday special.

Meanwhile, a couple of narcotics detectives were inside ordering their food. That’s when a cloud of marijuana smoke wafted into the restaurant. The detectives then spotted the two men smoking what one of the cops called “the biggest marijuana cigar your ever saw.”

This nearly reads like a scene from a Cheech and Chong movie, except that the perps got caught.

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