I enjoy a good crime comedy and have written a few in the Action Men series. Sometimes, dopey criminals like Harry and Marv from Home Alone can be very entertaining, and sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction. You don’t have to look too far to find real-life inspiration for stupid thieves. Here are some real cases from the U.S., UK and Australia.
Two Thieves Thought an Escape Room was a Real Bank
On November 29, 2018, in Manchester, England, two thieves broke into the Lucardo Escape Rooms. According to the director, Ian Powell, the thieves seemed to think they had broken into a real bank. They used drills to remove panels and look in every drawer for cash. The drawers had only puzzles inside.
Fifty different CCTV cameras caught the two on tape. One of them partially removed his Guy Fawkes mask on camera. They also left behind a half-drunk can of Coke from which police hoped to get DNA evidence.
Thieves Couldn’t Figure Out How to Get a Stolen Ferrari into Drive
Two stupid thieves broke into a home in Streetly, West Midlands, UK, on February 19, 2019. They entered the home by smashing through glass in the front door, then stole luxury watches, designer bags and jewelry. In one of the bags, they found a key to a £200,000 Ferrari 488, a supercar with an automatic gearbox. Security cameras caught that they managed to put the car into reverse and back out of the driveway but then couldn’t figure out how to get the vehicle into drive. They abandoned the Ferrari and left with stolen goods in the stolen Audi that took them there.
Stupid Thieves in Australia Tried to Siphon Gas but Got a Mouth Full of Sewage Instead
This happened in Laverton, West Australia in January of 2016. Thieves had tried to siphon gas from a bus’s gas tank but got the sewage tank by mistake. Police discovered the tank cap on the ground next to the bus, with no stolen gas. According to the Daily Mail, Laverton Police Sen. Sgt. Heath Soutar stated, “We can infer they beat a very hasty retreat, with a somewhat bitter taste in their mouth.”
Gross, right? After scoping out a crime opportunity (unsuccessfully,) I bet these thieves couldn’t get enough Scope mouthwash.
Atlanta Car Thieves Were Caught on Camera, and One Left His Wallet Behind
In December of 2017, security cameras captured five car thieves stealing cars from Atlanta United Motors in Buford, Georgia. The thieves came at 6:00 a.m, during daylight hours, breaking a window to enter. One of the thieves left a wallet behind, containing $30 and several IDs from different people. Hall County Police identified the thief who left his wallet behind, who actually was caught on tape a second time coming back for his license. The dealership owner used information from the wallet to track down some of the stolen cars himself and found the first car.
Car Thieves Thought it Was a Good Idea To Drag Race Stolen Cars at the El Paso Motorplex In Front of a Crowd with Camera Phones
In August of 2017, four thieves stole a total of five cars from two car dealerships in El Paso using fraudulent wire transfer paperwork. The stolen vehicles included a 2017 Acura NSX, 2012 Chevy Camaro, a 2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcat, a 2014 Nissan Armada and a 2015 Ford F-150. Not only did the thieves drag race some of the stolen cars publicly at the El Paso Motorplex, a car dealership caught them by scamming them back. They tried to steal a sixth vehicle, a GMC Acadia. The dealership offered them free detail work on the Acadia, and the thieves brought it back for this job, only to have the stolen vehicle locked up.
Stupid Thieves Paint “You Been Robed” on a Boat They Ransack
Thieves who can’t spell ransacked a yacht, belonging to a Hertfordshire resident, while it was docked at Poole Harbour, in the Wych Channel near Brownsea Island. The thieves stole £2,000 of sailing gear and damaged both the hatch and the yacht’s ceiling where they spray painted the ungrammatical and misspelled graffiti, “You been robed.”
As of the July 2017 report in The Daily Echo, the thieves had not been caught, but let’s hope spelling was not their only dumb mistake.
Stupid Thieves Carjacked a Pizza Delivery Guy and Got Nothing But a Stolen Pizza
Three thieves in St. Louis carjacked a delivery guy from Imo’s Pizza at gunpoint. They came across delivery guy, Jon Miller, on Nebraska Avenue and demanded car keys and the food he was delivering. The thieves didn’t think to demand any money of the driver who had his pockets full of money he’d earned on his deliveries. They also couldn’t drive a stick shift. When asked, Miller told them how to start it and to put it in gear. The trio didn’t get very far. According to Riverfront Times, Miller said, “It ended up six blocks away, all blown up.”
Fiction can get a lot of inspiration from the factual when it comes to these dumb criminals.
The following list of cake writing disasters may inspire you to support literacy programs near you.
The mistake of writing down the specific instructions in addition to the actual message is bad enough. The word “underneath” has been murdered, split in two with the end chopped off.
Was this really hard to understand? Does anyone walk into a party and say, “Happy 50th Birthday! Oh, and, by the way, comedy/tragedy masks.”
So, there are, apparently, at least two people in the world who agree on an alternate spelling of “underneath” and also think it is a good idea to write “under neat that” on a cake. Notice the sprinkles are also spelled out in writing rather than being, you know, actual sprinkles.
Apparently, he or she was told to write nothing on the cake. Maybe, they thought “Nothing” was the occasion of celebration? Sometimes, you just want cake for no reason in particular. Happy Nothing to you.
There are so many things wrong with this cake that it’s hard to know where to begin. Congrats has a strange consonant ending and is now a possessive. Underneath once again has a strange spelling. Would I find this spelling on Urban Dictionary? The “and” has a very confusing placement, and I’m not sure why Don or Dan’s name is in quotes. Also, there are naked babies with mohawks riding carrots.
Would there be any reason to write that second line? Is it a command as in, “Be as small as possible” or a statement “(You are) as small as possible”?
How can someone who can write words so neatly not understand them?
“Bon Anniversaire!” Instructions probably should have spelled this one out for the bakery, but, on the other hand, there is Google Translate.
Is it possible that some of these cake writers just have a sense of humor and are playing pranks, hoping for viral photos?
Is that request for the birthday recipient or for all of the guests at the party? Where’s the giant birthday card?
These seniors are graduating and don’t want to think about English homework instructions.
Now, the birthday recipient will wonder what sort of special picture he or she received as an unusual gift … not a framed picture, mind you, just a picture on a flashdrive.
Well, that’s one way of putting it on there.
Did the person think “White Big” was a nickname? The person ordering the cake just wanted “Happy Birthday” written in big letters.
Ah well. The moral of this story is, be very careful when ordering your cake.
Some child heard “Joshua fit the battle of cherry Coke” instead of “Joshua fit the battle of Jericho.” The battle at Jericho was pretty unusual, but this kind of battle sounds more like a cafeteria food fight. I don’t know where this is found in the Bible. Hhhmmm….
2. “Caribou Quick!”
At a party, a friend of mine shared how he always heard the lyrics, “Caribou quick” in the song “Caribbean Queen” by Billy Ocean. That changes the meaning, just slightly. Caribou are often the subject of ’80s R&B songs, right? We could probably fill an album on contemporary songs of the caribou … or maybe Wayne Brady could. It probably helped the storytelling that my friend had to make antlers with his hands while he sang the lyrics.
3. “Ooh! Boppa Retta!”
When I was a child, I sometimes heard Sade’s “Smooth Operator” when out in public places. For years, I thought the repeated line, “Smooth Operator” was “Ooh! Boppa Retta!” I guess I thought it was like jazz scat singing or some nonsense syllables like “Rama Lama Ding Dong.” I don’t remember how I was finally enlightened.
4. “This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus!”
These lyrics were heard in place of “Age of Aquarius” in the Fifth Dimension song by that title. That is an age that a lot of veggie-fearing children would dread.
4. “Got along with Starbucks lovers”
This one is heard instead of “got a long list of ex-lovers” in the song “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift. Who wouldn’t get along with a Starbucks lover? Maybe someone who prefers Dunkin’ Donuts coffee instead.
5. “I wanna try like a beagle.”
This was heard in place of “I Wanna Fly Like an Eagle” in the Steve Miller Band song by that name. Everyone knows that beagles try hard. Most of them are probably trying hard to catch squirrels, although one famous beagle, Snoopy, does dance and fly a plane and other impressive accomplishments.
6. “A pink pair of dice”
This was heard instead of “They paved paradise” and then followed by “and put in a parking lot” in “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell. Well, a pair of fuzzy dice might be seen in a parking lot, but that’s the only connection I see.
7. “I just died in your barn tonight, mustard no mayonnaise instead.”
This was heard in place of “I just died in your arms tonight. It must have been something you said,” in the song “I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight” by Cutting Crew. I’m a little confused by this one. It sounds like the ghost of some guy who died in the barn is still able to enjoy mortal pleasures and is pretty persnickety about his condiment choices.
8. “Sweet dreams are made of cheese.”
The actual lyrics are “Sweet dreams are made of these” in the song “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics. Still, I agree with this statement. I have a lot of sweet dreams about cheese.
9. “It’s too late to order fries.”
This was heard instead of “It’s too late to apologize” in “Apologize” by OneRepublic. Isn’t it heartbreaking when you roll up to the drivethrough window only to realize the place is closed?Maybe the guy tried to order at Chik Fil A on a Sunday? (I think we could put together some sort of sandwich, side and beverage from the misheard lyrics in this list.)
10. “‘Til I hit the dumpster, hit the dumpster.”
This was heard in Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” instead of “‘Til I hit the dance floor, hit the dance floor.” Well, she does sing about not needing a lot of cash in order to have a good time. Hitting a dumpster doesn’t cost much, but I’m not sure there’s a whole lot of thrill factor there either.
11. “Hold me closer, Tony Danza.”
This was heard in place of “Hold me closer, tiny dancer,” in Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.” Maybe this was misheard by someone with a celebrity crush?
12. “There’s a bathroom on the right.”
This was heard in Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” instead of “There’s a bad moon on the rise.” Sometimes, it’s really handy to know there’s a bathroom nearby.
13. “And the toilet’s last cleaning.”
This was heard in the U.S. national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” in place of “at the twilight’s last gleaming.” I sure hope the toilet is gleaming after its last cleaning.