Everyone loves a smooth criminal, well except the people being robbed, and if Law and Order, Blue Bloods and Criminal Minds have taught us anything, it’s that detectives often have a difficult time figuring out who the perpetrator is. While some cases are very hard to solve, others are not. Throughout history, there are some thieves who made it so easy for law enforcement to find them, that they might as well have willingly walked into their jail cells after committing their crimes. Here’s a list of some of the funniest ways that thieves got caught.
1. Colored Faces
One of the most important parts of being a thief is having a good disguise but Iowan robbers Matthew Allan McNelly and Joey Lee Miller must have missed that memo. In 2000, the two men decided not to invest in masks while robbing an apartment. Instead, they chose to use black markers to draw masks on their faces. After being seen and reported to the police, the men fled and would have gotten away with it had they not used permanent markers as their disguise, which gave them away. It was later discovered that the two were drinking before their failed burglary.
2. Picked Out by a Parrot
In 2017, a couple in Kent woke up to find that not only had their home been robbed while they were asleep, but their dear African grey parrot, Rocky, was also missing. The thief, later discovered to be Vitalij Kiseliov, had taken a number of things, including two oxygen tanks. When he tried to take Rocky, the bird bit him. Surprised by the attack, he threw the bird out the window and ran away with his stash. Rocky’s bite left enough DNA evidence for police to match it to Kiseliov, a known criminal. He was convicted and Rocky was eventually found and returned to his owners.
3. Bagged by a Disguise
We’ve all been told that it’s a bad idea to put a plastic bag over your head, but in 2015, Christopher Badman, rightfully named, chose to ignore the sound advice. While robbing hotel rooms in Wales, he covered his head with a plastic bag to hide his face from the CCTV cameras in the hotel room corridors. While robbing one room, he was surprised to find the occupants inside, and decided to run out, without his plastic bag. Not only was he caught on camera, but the bag had enough evidence to convict him of the crime.
4. Used Undies
Over the last 50 years, advancements in technology have made it extremely easy to identify criminals with DNA evidence, as was the case with Jordan Edge… on multiple occasions. Earlier crimes include stealing a car and leaving cigarette butts in the stolen vehicle. Shortly after, during an attempted robbery, Edge, for some unknown reason, decided to leave his underwear for the homeowners. The DNA on both the cigarette butts and the underwear were used to identify him. He was convicted and sent to prison where he hopefully gets fresh pairs of underwear.
5. Photo ID
It is extremely difficult to avoid leaving evidence behind when a crime is committed, but in 2008, Cory L. Brown made the ultimate mistake by leaving behind photo ID, among other things, at the scene of the crime. During a bank robbery, he told bank workers that devices would be set off unless money was given to him. In a second bank robbery, he held up a bank worker and managed to get $3,600. To avoid being detected, he changed his clothes, and in doing so, accidentally left behind all of his information when his wallet fell out. It included his ID card, social security number and birth certificate.
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