If you aren’t smart enough to not leave a half eaten sandwich at the scene of the crime, brag about running over a homeless man, or try to outrun police cruisers in a horse and buggy, you probably should avoid a life of crime.
That said, it’s too late for these people:
10. The $100 Million Diamond Heist – 2.5 Years in the Making
It all started when Leonardo Notarbartolo began renting a space for $700 a mont, at an incredibly large and incredibly famous diamond center in Antwerp, Belgium. For the next two and a half years, Leonardo posed as a humble diamond merchant, so that he could gain access to a part of the shopping centre where only tenants could access.
On the night of the heist, Leonardo and his team, which is believed to have four additional members, pulled off the largest diamond heist in history. They snuck through two floors of security underneath the Diamond Center. The building was protected by multiple security mechanisms, some of which include: a lock with 100 million possible combinations, infrared heat detectors, a seismic sensor, Doppler radar, and a magnetic field.
The team stole gold, diamonds, and other jewelry estimated at more than $100,000,000. They raided 123 out of the 160 safety deposit boxes within the building, as well as the security footage to steal their identities. The crime was perfect, except for one crucial mistake made by Leonardo.
Investigators found a half eaten sandwich near the scene of the crime. Police were able to link the sandwich to Leonardo’s DNA and arrested him. I hope it was a sandwich worth going to jail over. But, if it was that kind of sandwich, he would have eaten the whole thing like a real man.
Leonardo was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and has since been released on parole. The diamonds were never recovered.
9. The Levee Party
The Beastie Boys said it best: You’ve gotta fight for your right to party. Whether that’s ignoring your parents’ wishes, clashing with police, or you know, flooding 14,000 acres so your wife gets home late, allowing you to keep the party going. James Scott did the latter.
James’ wife was working on the opposite side of the Missouri river as a waitress at a truck stop. James, wanting to engage in a full on bender, removed some sandbags from a strong point in the levee so that his wife would be stranded on the other side, leaving him to party, fish, and have an affair.
But James’ genius idea blew up in his face when the flood became much worse than he had anticipated. The levee burst, flooding 14,000 acres on the Missouri side of the river. Many small businesses were absolutely destroyed, bridges were out of service for up to 71 days, and people had to drive 80 miles in either direction to get around the flooded area, fly, or take a ferry to get across the river.
Suspicions arose when James was interviewed by a news crew asking him what he was doing so close to the levee, so soon after the catastrophe. James came up with a bullshit excuse about how he was trying to save the town, but police saw through his lie. Oh, and because he told people at a party he was at that he flooded the area to keep his wife away. He wasn’t the best at keeping his mouth shut.
8. Premature Confessions
Peter Reyn-Bardt was under suspicion of murdering his wife, Malika de Fernandez in 1960. And, unfortunately, he almost got away with it. In fact, there wasn’t a strong enough case against him for the police to press charges, so he continued living his life.
It wasn’t until 20 years later in 1983 that the partial remains of a body were found. An incomplete preserved human head with remnants of soft tissue, brain, eye, optic nerve, and hair still attached. Police turned back to Peter Reyn-Bardt about the disappearance of his wife.
This time, Peter confessed to the crime. But a few months after his confession, forensic testing revealed the skull fragment to date back to 1740, meaning it couldn’t have possibly been his wife’s remains. Peter tried to retract his confession, but it was too late. He was convicted, however no trace of his wife’s body has been found.
7. Homeless Hit & Run
Chante Mallard committed two horrendous crimes. Crime one: she drove while intoxicated on a mix of weed, ecstasy, and alcohol. Crime two: she hit a homeless man, Gregory Glen Biggs, with her car, lodging him in the windshield, then continued to drive home and left him alone in her garage to die of his injuries. After Gregory died, Chante asked two friends to take care of her car, and the body, by burning them nearby.
Obviously, the second crime is the worse of the two. And, she would have gotten away with it, if she wasn’t incredibly stupid.
Just four months after killing Gregory Biggs, Chante went to a party and was telling everyone while laughing that she had hit, and killed, a white homeless man. Thankfully, someone at the party thought to themselves “Yo, this is fucked up,” and reported her to the police.
But that’s not even the worst part of the story. The local fire department unanimously agreed that had Chante brought Gregory to the hospital, the man would have, without a doubt survived. His injuries weren’t severe enough to be considered life threatening at the time, but because they went untreated, he died of them.
Chante is serving a 50 year sentence for murder, and is eligible for parole in 2027.
6. Free Beer
The Derbyshire Constabulary came up with a clever operation to arrest a group of suspects that were continuously able to evade police custody. It was actually genius.
The police department sent out a series of fake letters to dozens of suspects posing as a marketing company. In the letter, the “marketing company” told the recipients that they had won a free case of beer, and to call a phone number to set up the delivery. The phone number, of course, led to the police station.
The deliveries were organized, and when the suspected criminals arrived at the scene expecting a case of delicious free beer – they were met with a different kind of case. A criminal case. You don’t need to tell me, I know that pun was amazing.
Chief Inspector Graham Mclaughlin praised the operation, saying that it was cost-effective and successfully led to the arrest of 19 suspected criminals.
5. Amish Police Chase
Levi Detweiler, 17, was bad to the bone. Besides popping uzi’s in the Amish commune that he’s from, he loves a high speed pursuit. That’s why, after he ran a stop sign in his horse and buggy, he just kept going.
The police then chased Levi on a mile-long, slow speed chase. The chase only ended because Levi was burning too much rubber (or wood) and rolled his carriage, tipping it on its side after taking a corner too sharply. He then proceeded on foot, because he loves to live life on the edge.
After a week-long investigation, he was eventually apprehended and charged with underage possession of alcohol, overdriving an animal, reckless endangerment, failure to stop at a stop sign and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. Police could have arrested him on the scene immediately after the carriage crashed, but they were probably way too scared at the sight of an Amish teenage thug trying to evade police. You don’t mess with a guy like that.
Been spending most his life, livin’ in an Amish and also a gangster’s paradise.
4. Marker Masks
In what is arguably the worst disguise of all time, Matthew McNelly, 23, and Joey Miller, 20, tried to break into an apartment with beards, masks, and moustaches that were painted on their face with a permanent marker. They didn’t even look a little different. According to police, they were trying to break into the apartment of a man that one of the suspects believed was dating his girlfriend.
The men were arrested when the vehicle they were driving matched the description of a vehicle used by two men who tried to break into an apartment, but failed.
Police Chief Cayler, obviously sympathizing with the idiocy of the two men, said “For what it’s worth, it appeared they had both been drinking quite a bit and maybe weren’t thinking quite rationally.”
Yeah, no shit.
The men were charged with attempted second-degree burglary, a charge that will give them the least amount of street cred possible while in prison.
3. Cell Phone Burglar
Wayne Wade is, in my opinion, the dumbest criminal on the entire list. And that’s saying a lot, because I was just telling you about two guys that thought it was a good idea draw half assed masks on themselves.
Wayne allegedly burglarized an apartment in Hollywood. His criminal antics ended abruptly as he left the apartment, because the tenant was entering as he was leaving. Hey, it happens. Timing is everything, and karma’s a bitch. That said, it gets worse.
Wayne rushed home, only to realize that he had left his phone in the apartment that he just robbed. Why he bothered to take it out of his pocket/jacket/whatever while he was in the middle of a heist is beyond me, but accidents happen. Thinking ahead, he realized that the police were going to find his fingerprints, and other incriminating data on his phone (dick pics?) so he made a bold decision. He called his own cellphone.
When he called, I imagine he was hoping that the person he just robbed would be nice enough to return his belongings to him. Wayne told the person who picked up the phone, who happened to be a police officer investigating the burglary, his name, and other contact details and that he desperately needed his phone back.
Fast forward to a few days later after his request was denied, and police used the fingerprints on the phone to match Wayne to five other unsolved burglaries. In court, Wayne came up with the embarrassingly bad excuse that his phone had been stolen.
Sure it was, Wayne. Sure it was.
2. “Can’t Catch Me”
John Stevens, 25, almost got away with a petty crime. He had broken into Rumwood Cricket Club and stolen a handbag as well as three cricket balls. What a gangsta.
To rub in the fact that he had just stolen from a small cricket club, who says that a $400 set back could cause them to go out of business, Stevens wrote on the wall “Can’t Catch Me.” In addition, he helped himself to a glass of squash.
Ironically, it was this message that actually pointed investigators in his direction. They found the pen next to the glass that Stevens had used to celebrate his successful theft. Police then tested the pen and glass for any traces of DNA evidence, and were able to link the DNA found on the items to the DNA of Stevens
Stevens admitted to the burglary after police found the stolen items in his home, and after they had presented the DNA evidence to him. He was handed £120 fine, a £180 criminal courts charge and a £20 victim surcharge last week. In addition, he was ordered to complete a six-month community order.
1 Paystub Robbery
“Be Quick Be Quit. Give your cash or I’ll shoot,” read the note that a Chicago man handed a teller at a Fifth Third Bank. The note not only contained a spelling error (He meant to say be quiet, not be quit), but also put quite the twist in the robber’s plan.
Although the note was effective and the teller handed him $400, an embarrassingly low score for a bank robbery, the note also pointed investigators into the direction of the culprit.
The genius bank robber, in his moment of excitement, left the note at the bank, allowing investigators to investigate it further. It took the investigators all of about three seconds to realize that the man had written the note on the back of his pay stub. His pay stub, that has his name and address on it.
When will criminals learn that you need to spend money to make money. You need to buy a stack of blank white pieces of paper (with cash) if you’re going to live your life writing threatening notes to bank tellers. Step up or step out, bud.
If found guilty, which he probably will be, the robber faces up to 20 years in prison for robbing a bank.