Dumb Criminals

Double-barreled bank vault

Jim Nulf, retired from the Jacksonville, Florida Police Department,remembers a couple of midnight bandits who tried to steal money from whatthey thought was a local bank’s night depository. They lit a stick of dynamite,dropped it into the deposit slot and stepped back a few feet. Unfortunatelyfor them, they had confused the bank’s night depository with the drop vaultof a nearby car wash. The dynamite exploded, blowing the front off thevault. The paper money was blown to shreds and the coins were propelledout like shot out of a shotgun, severely wounding the would-be bank robbers.

Dimwit breaks into police surveillance van

I am a police constable with the Niagara Regional Police. Back in April,1995, I was asked to help out with a surveillance project at a local birdwatchingconservation park. We had a problem with purses, cameras and other valuesbeing stolen from parked vehicles at the park, and we wanted to put anend to it.

Here was the setup: We had an old Ford Tempo parked in the lot witha purse on the floor as “bait”. We then parked a nondescriptsurveillance van nearby from which we observed the Tempo. The van had afairly heavy tint on the windows, and we had a great view of the wholelot.My partner and I sat in the back of the van that Sunday morning and beganthe surveillance around 9:30 AM. We were well-supplied with food and drinksfor what we figured would be a long day.

Shortly after 10:00 AM, an old Pontiac Parisienne pulled into the lotand parked beside the surveillance van. Two males got out. The passengerwalked towards the birdwatching area and stopped. The driver got out andput on a pair of gloves. He completely ignored the “bait” vehicle,and tried to look into the back of the surveillance van. He was only inchesfrom me, but apparently couldn’t see me looking back at him. He then triedthe side door, which opened for him. He already had a foot into the vanwhen he noticed the two guys with guns in the back.

He said: “Hi Guys, What’s Up?”

When I got over my surprise, I told him: “You’re busted, that’swhat’s up.”

I then arrested the male with the help of my partner. After turningthe loser over to a uniform car, and sending his passenger on his way,my partner and I had a good laugh about this poor guy who broke into thesurveillance van.

Mommy and Clyde

A young man asked his mother to drive him to the bank without tellingher he planned to rob it. He told her to wait while he went inside to conducthis business. A few minutes later junior came running out with the cash,only to find that mom had parked the car and gone inside a nearby grocerystore to do some shopping.

Smile, you’re on Candid Camera!

A Cleveland drug dealer decided to impress his friends by hiring a limousinefor a big night on the town. His first stop was at a posh suburban residenceto sell some cocaine to a rather influential individual. Hoping to earna little extra profit by blackmailing his wealthy customer, the crook handeda camcorder to the limo driver and asked him to record the event for posterity.The driver, a moonlighting member of the Cleveland Police Department, washappy to comply.

I must be drunk. I can do that when I’m sober

I am a retired sergeant from the Sturbridge Police in Sturbridge, MA.One night one of my officers arrested a subject for driving under the influenceof alcohol. As the officer brought him into the booking room the subjectasked to use the bathroom. He was escorted to the bathroom.

When they returned to the booking area, which is video taped, the subjectran ahead of the officer and attempted to do a back flip and landed onhis face. He picked himself, looked into the camera, and said, “Imust be drunk because I can do that when I’m sober.”

Needless to say, he was convicted for driving under the influence ofalcohol.

Indecent exposure suspect calls cops

A call from an emergency call-box along U.S. 101 turned up a man whoallegedly had exposed himself to two women and eluded police by swimminginto the Bay, said South San Francisco police.

Peter Allen Steele, 29, of Union City, called police to report an assaultand car theft at approximately 2:45 a.m. Saturday, said police. Policearrived to find Steele naked on the side of the road, bruised and shivering.

Two women later identified Steele as the man who Friday night exposedhimself while driving a black Ford Taurus on Gateway Boulevard, said police.

Police received a call about the incident at 11:15 p.m. Friday and beganpursuit. After a chase at speeds over 100 mph, Steele, who stands 6 feet8 inches tall and weighs about 250 pounds, pulled off the highway northof the Sierra Point overpass, fled his car and jumped into the bay, saidpolice.

Police said Steele was not wearing pants when he fled the vehicle.

After searching the area between Candlestick Point and Oyster Pointwith a helicopter and boat, the Coast Guard called off the search at 2:25a.m.

About a half hour later, police received a call from the highway call-boxreporting an assault and car theft.

Steele told police he had been changing a flat tire when a group ofmen assaulted him and stole his black Ford Taurus. Police, however, recognizedSteele as the man they had chased the night before.

Steele was taken to Mills Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame to be treatedfor mild hypothermia and minor injuries. He was issued a citation for indecentexposure, evading pursuit and resisting arrest.

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