Some criminals just don't think. Most people come up with elaborate plans to get away with their misdeeds, but the people in the following stories definitely did not think things through, proving that not everybody is suited for a life of crime.
Cops, witnesses, and detectives are all familiar with cases of self-incriminating criminals. After reading these real-life accounts of criminal stupidity, you'll want to go thank a police officer and wonder just how many of these people are still out wandering the streets.
Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 Why Would You Come Back?
I was a police officer at the time.
In the middle of the night, my partner and I found a car in a cemetery. Stolen cars were dumped there regularly. The car had its windows down and it was obvious it had only recently been left there because it was still warm to the touch.
It didn’t register in my head as a stolen car at first, but through the window, I could see a pipe in plain view. That gave us the ability to search the car. Inside, we found a bunch of pipes, three and a half grams of illicit substances, and a handgun.
There was also a tablet that was unlocked and while we were searching the car, it kept receiving messages from people trying to score the illicit substances.
I had a quick look through the tablet and was able to figure out that the owner of the car had come out from the city to make a score from one of the local gangs. The gang didn’t want her turning up, so they arranged to meet her at the cemetery and conduct business somewhere else.
I left a business card under the wipers; not my card but the station's, and on the back, I wrote that she, the owner of the car, should come down to the station if she wanted her stuff back.
Sure enough, she did—the next morning, she was strung out, looking for her illicit substances and gun.
#2 Just Hanging Out
So my personal favorite was when a guy on a motorbike swerved in front of our squad car and crashed.
We hopped out, picked the bike up off of him (it was pinning his leg), and asked, "You alright mate?"
To which he replied, "Of course I'm alright, what do you mean?"
"Well, you just fell off your bike, mate."
"No, I didn't."
He just kept insisting that there was no way he could have crashed, and it must have been someone else.
#3 That's Not A Law
I called the cops on my roommate in college because she tried to attack me. When they came, she wouldn't cooperate with them. She got cuffed and was screaming about how she was gonna beat me up. They were like, "Yeah? You were gonna beat her up?" and she was agreeing.
In court later, the judge asked her, "So you think it's okay to 'beat someone up' if they turn your TV off when you're not there?" And she nodded and said, "Yes, I do," and the judge just deep sighed.
#4 How Many Cars Can One Family Steal?
A friend of mine who is an officer told me this one a little while ago.
He was driving in an area where a known car thief lived, so he decided to stop by. There was an SUV in the driveway with no tags. He walked up to it, ran the VIN number, and confirmed that it was stolen.
The property had a house on it, and then out back, there was a small "mother-in-law suite" where the car thief lived.
My friend moved out back, knocked, and then heard a car door slam. He started running while the engine started, and the thief began to drive away in the stolen SUV. The officer knew where the culprit usually ditched stolen cars, so he had an officer stake out that area. Sure enough, two hours later, the SUV rolled up with a Jeep following it.
The SUV driver wiped down the dash and the outside door handle and got in the Jeep. The officer pulled the Jeep over and arrested both the culprit and his associate. Why both? The Jeep was also stolen. The officer ran the other woman's license, and guess what? She had a stolen car at her place too.
Three stolen cars recovered and two people in jail, all because one officer decided to stop by a thief's last address.
#5 Have You Heard Of The Fifth Amendment?
I was waiting to report an incident at a local police station when a clearly distraught man came in wheezing and sweating. I wasn’t in a rush, so I let him go ahead of me. “I’ve been robbed, they took everything!” He exclaimed when he reached the counter.
The officer working the desk asked him the usual questions. The gentleman proceeded to explain that he was a local dealer of illicit substances and that he just got robbed of his entire stash while selling to some teens at the train station. The officer said that there wasn't anything they could do about that. He advised the man to simply leave before more he incriminated himself further.
He was fuming and stormed out of the place, slamming the door behind him. I reached the counter and made an offhand comment towards the officer, “That must be a first for you!” Apparently not. Dealers often come in to report the theft of their illicit substances.
#6 You'd Think He'd Catch On
He arrested someone for selling illicit substances. He was in full uniform, whilst someone else had already been in there undercover.
The dealer looked at the undercover police officer and said out loud, "You're undercover!"
Yes. Well done.
He looked at my other friend in uniform and said, "You're undercover, too!"
He was not.
Then, he looked at someone else (not a police officer) and said, "And you!"
The guy responded, "How am I an undercover police officer? I just bought off of you."
And that's how they made an unexpected arrest at that raid.
#7 What Is The Difference?
My father was a 9-1-1 dispatch operator.
My dad was working one night when he got a call from a man who was obviously tipsy.
Dad: "9-1-1, what is your emergency?"
Drunk: "Yeah, uh... I think I just heard a... red car crash."
Dad: "Uh, you heard a red car crash?"
Dad: "Okay, uh, police are on their way."
My dad found out later that the dude was driving under the influence and crashed his car not far from his house. He decided to get out of his car, stumble home, and dial 9-1-1 to report the fact that he heard a car crash.
In his intoxicated mind, he figured if he reported the crash as a bystander, he’d somehow get away with it.
But he had to specify the color because apparently, a red car crashing sounds different than a blue car crashing.
#8 They Caught Him Red-Handed
My dad’s a detective. He had a case where a dog-walker found someone unresponsive in a park.
A deep foot trail led all the way back to a nearby house. Upstairs, they found a guy asleep in the bed.
Turns out, the guy had gotten tipsy with a friend, had an argument, hit him on the head, and moved him while unconscious to the park before passing out back at the house.
The police caught him red-handed, literally. Apparently, he was really confused about how they got him so quickly.
#9 Not Around The Baby
Student paramedic here. I once visited a family that had a two-year-old who was experiencing difficulty breathing. I walked into the house to find four people and the parents doing illicit substances with the baby in the room. The baby was crying and coughing. I couldn't believe my eyes. My mentor swiftly rang for police backup and we filled out some safeguarding paperwork concerns. Pretty sure they arrested them on the scene for neglect.
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#10 How Many People Can You Be?
I stopped someone who was in the area of a load of theft from motor vehicles. After a bit of questioning, I carried out a search and found numerous wallets, phones, etc. He claimed that all of the cards were his, all 13 different identities.
To be fair, he stuck to his story. He carried it all the way to court, claiming he was not guilty.
#11 No Dinner For You
A suspect was caught for possession (on the streets) and we were talking to the prosecutor to get a warrant for his house. Somehow, he managed to call his wife without us noticing. Luckily, we caught the last bit of their conversation and heard him say: "Honey, go take the fish out of the fridge."
After we got the warrant and searched his house, we found all the illicit substances taken out of the fridge and thrown in the trash—the fish was in there, too.
#12 It Doesn't Matter Where You Live
I stopped a lady for speeding 15 miles over the limit. I asked why she was going so fast. She said, “I live here. You can’t give me a speeding ticket. I live just down the street. I live here... This is unbelievable, I live here...”
#13 Do You Know What "Incriminate" Means?
I read a theft suspect her Miranda rights to which she stated in a recorded interview, "I'm invoking my right to silence and a lawyer because I stole a lot of stuff and I don't want to incriminate myself."
#14 That's Not How Real Life Works
I'm a cop.
"You can't arrest me! I'm in a Church; I have sanctuary."
#15 Well, We Know That
I used to work in arraignments. A guy was entering his not-guilty plea and confirmed that he was true-billed (which means they had the right name on his charging instrument).
After that, the court asked him if he could afford an attorney. They did some standard questioning before giving him the paperwork to request a court-appointed attorney.
This guy was booked on Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle Class (basically stealing car stereos). The judge asked him if he was employed. He said no. Then, he was asked what he did for money. He said, "Oh, I steal car stereos at rest stops and sell them!"
#16 Maybe He Just Really Likes Chinese
I was at a motor vehicle stop. "License and registration, please," I said.
The driver proceeded to lean over to the passenger seat, scoop up a handful of lo mein, and try to put it in my hands. He ended up being arrested for an OUI (his fourth offense).
To this day, I still wonder if he thought he was passing his correct paperwork or if the Chinese food was some sort of peace offering.
#17 What Won't A Mother Do?
I was a witness to a crime and had to give evidence in court. Basically, I witnessed a girl crashing her car and barrel-rolling it into a tree. She was clearly tipsy.
The firemen arrived after 10 minutes (her car had leaked petrol everywhere), then her husband showed up on foot and tried to calm her down. Her mother followed soon after in a car, and then the police came. She tried to claim that she wasn't the one driving even though no one else had been in the car.
In court a year later, she said her mother had been driving (the one who showed up in her own car 10 minutes after the crash). She also punched an officer in the face and was pepper sprayed but that's a whole other story!
Needless to say, she was found guilty.
#18 Everybody's Gotta Eat
I'm a dispatcher. I had a guy call in and tell us that he was violating a protective order by being with his ex who was pregnant with his child. He wanted us to call the judge and get it dismissed so they could go inside the restaurant and eat. The officer was standing next to my partner who answered the call and asked the guy where he was so we could send the judge to him.
The guy hung up.
#19 Oh, Of Course
I went to an apartment complex because a kid was stuck on a roof eating a corn dog. The FD arrived and got the kid off the roof.
All of the kids in his neighborhood asked him why he was eating a corn dog on the roof. His answer: "Because I threw it up there!"
#20 Didn't Have To Think Long About That One
When I was an officer, I remember going to a DUI trial. The defendant chose to represent herself.
She tried to introduce evidence during the trial but she was quickly blocked by the prosecution. The judge, maybe taking pity on the flaming train wreck that was this woman’s defense, asked to see the “evidence.”
It was a receipt from the bar that showed that she purchased two large margaritas.
Her whole defense was: “I couldn’t have been tipsy after only two margaritas.”
She was found guilty.
My initial reason for stopping her was that she drove down an embankment on the side of the road to get to a McDonald’s drive-thru.
#21 It's All Semantics
"Sir, can I see your drivers license?"
"I don't have one."
"Then why were you driving?"
"I wasn't. I was traveling..."
#22 How Does That Work?
"These are my pants, but those are not my pockets."
#23 Looking For Less Time?
I was the victim of a burglary. I saw the guy breaking into my place on a security camera and called the police. They managed to arrest the guy while he was still inside packing up my stuff.
He was pretty cocky to the police. He thought that since he hadn't actually left with his bag of my stuff, he hadn't committed a crime yet. All he did was break a window... And almost trespass.
#24 How Many People Does It Take...
My brother is a Detroit cop. He told me this one:
The cops got a call from someone reporting their car was stolen. They showed up and it turns out someone had already stolen the tires off of the car, while a different group of people stole the actual car. They pushed it two blocks without tires and left perfect grooves in the street all the way to their garage.
Their defense was, "But we didn't steal the tires."
#25 He Was In Uniform!
My grandpa was a cop. He told me a story about how when he was still in uniform filling up his squad car, someone tried to rob him with a knife. Needless to say, that didn’t work out for him. My grandpa just pulled his weapon and arrested the man.
#26 It Could Have Been Better
I'm a corrections officer. Two inmates got into a fight in a hallway. I was the closest to them and only saw the start of the fight out of the corner of my eye. In my report, I wrote, "I saw the two inmates fall to the ground."
Later, the Hearing Sergeant was reading the report to one of the inmates, so they could dispute any facts in the report they felt were untrue or biased. He asked the inmate if they wanted to dispute any facts in my report. The inmate said, "Yeah, we didn't fall to the ground. I grabbed the other inmate and slammed him on the floor." Because of that correction, what would've been a simple fighting charge turned into an assault charge.
#27 The Trial Hadn't Even Started
A woman is waiting for her DUI trial in the courtroom. The lawyers and judge are milling around and getting their paperwork in order. Trial starts in 10 to 15 minutes. The prosecuting attorney asks her if she wants to take the plea deal one last time. She refuses and goes on about how this is unconstitutional and the police and courts are corrupt.
She is starting to cause a bit of a scene, yelling and acting like a child. Someone in the room gets a whiff of an adult beverage as she passes. She is out on bond, so she can basically be given a breathalyzer test at any time for any reason. The judge orders one on her. She registers a 0.226 in court. This woman who is on trial for DUI had the audacity to drive to court tipsy and then moan and groan about how she wasn’t being treated fairly.
Not only that, but it explicitly states in the bond conditions that she could not consume adult beverages. So I cuffed her and brought her to the jail.
#28 Return To Sender
In a city near me, a guy tried to hide his illicit substances in a large garment bag and it in a vacant lot. Unfortunately for him, he forgot to take the tags with his name and address off the bag after a recent flight.
#29 Where Are We?
In court, the defendant called the judge "your majesty" instead of "your honor."
#30 You Thought They Were Just Escorting You?
My boyfriend is a police officer. Last week, he pulled over a tipsy guy who ended up speeding off. They chased him back to his house and the tipsy guy told him, “I got home, it’s okay, you can go now.”
The tipsy guy continued arguing well into 3 a.m., so his family woke up. His son stepped out to the front porch and yelled, “Dad, you idiot, we told you to stop doing this!”
#31 Doesn't Make It Better
My friend's daughter and her boyfriend get busted with a kilogram of illicit substances
My friend's daughter said, "Oh, we weren't going to use it. We were going to sell it."
#32 You're Still Wrong
The confession is my own:
Cop: "You were going 95 miles an hour. Do you know what the speed limit is?"
Cop: "It’s 55 miles per hour."
Me: "Sorry sir, I thought it was a 65."
#33 Smart Lady
It was an armed robbery. The shop clerk told the robbers, "If you come back at 7:30 p.m., I will have more money in the register." The robbers leave.
The police were standing by at 7:30 p.m. The armed robbers returned to the store and got arrested.
#34 He Thought He Was So Sneaky
The criminal BTK used to send taunting letters to the media and the police about his crimes. He seemingly stopped all activity for around 10 years when, out of nowhere, he started to communicate again. He asked the police if he could be traced if he sent them a floppy disc and they told him no. He sent them a floppy disc and they recovered data that included his name and his church. He was quickly arrested.
#35 It Sounds Worse Than It Is
My friend was sober driving and there were not enough seats, so two people offered to go in the trunk. On the way, we got pulled over and the officer came up to the window. He asked her if she knew why he pulled her over. She said, “because of the two people in my trunk?” The cop said, “No, because you failed to indicate at the last intersection, but tell me more about the people in your trunk...”
#36 But Why Was He There?
Officers visited a house at about 5 a.m. looking for a wanted man. Let's call him Mr. A. A woman answered the door, and officers explained their reasoning to come in for a search. She allowed it.
Whilst searching the bedroom, an officer opened the wardrobe and found a male in there.
Officer: "What's your name?"
Man: "I'm Mr. B"
Officer: "Why are you hiding in the wardrobe?"
Mr. B: "I'm not allowed to be here. There's a restraining order between me and her."
We still don't know why he admitted everything he had done. Officers knew he wasn't Mr. A, as they'd seen a photo of him. It turned out, Mr. B had only just come out of a prison sentence, which he served because he broke the previous restraining order. Upon his release, went straight to her.
#37 Trust Is A Tricky Thing
My brother-in-law is a cop in a small town. He pulled a car over one night and recognized the kid behind the wheel. He smelled illegal herbs inside the car and said, “Give me the illicit substances and I won’t search your car. I won’t even give you a ticket. You can just be on your way.”
The kid fought him, saying he didn’t know what the smell was. My brother-in-law promised again that if he handed him the illicit substances, he would let him go, no questions asked.
The kid kept being a moron, so my brother-in-law searched the car and found many, many, many more illicit substances hidden all over. He finally said, “Alright, let’s go to the station.” The kid got upset and says, “You said you weren’t going to do this! See, I couldn’t trust you!”
#38 So What Was The Worst Response?
I arrested a guy for using illicit substances in a shopping center. He walked in while he had the needle in his arm. We stared at each other for a bit, and then he said, "I'm, uh, diabetic?"
I cuffed him, left my partner to do the search while I read the culprit his rights. The guy was not diabetic and we knew this because he had 87 prior convictions for use, possession, and trafficking of illicit substances.
I went through the usual do-you-not-have-to-say-or-do-anything spiel, then say, "Do you understand these rights?"
He was totally cooked at this point and he just looked at me and said, "You want to get dinner tonight?"
It's not the worst response I've had to caution and rights, though.
#39 Do You Want Fries With That?
My brother was a cop. He told me that one time he took lunch at Popeye's while in full uniform, with the exception of the hat. Once inside, the cashier started taking his order then stopped halfway and turned to a coworker that just walked up. I don’t remember exactly what was said, but basically, the guy who was taking my brother's order asked the other guy if he took his stash. The other guy said yes, but he didn't use it all and proceeded to hand him over the rest. The guy then said, "Cool, don't worry," and says he’s got another stash in his car for emergencies like this.
My brother then said that he just wanted to eat some lunch. The guys then realized he was a cop. One guy said, "Not again." As my brother started arresting the cashier, he said that he thought my brother was the security guard. So, my brother, just trying to make a joke out of it, says, "Oh, you use illicit substances with your security guard?" To which the guy replied, "No, just my manager and his buddy."
The really funny part was when he asked another employee there if the security guard was around and the employee said they didn’t have one and didn’t know what that cashier was talking about.
#40 And The Point Of The Gloves Was...
Many moons ago when in questioning, my cousin told the police, “You don’t have my fingerprints. I wore gloves!”
#41 Why Would You Bring It With You?
He came in to be voluntarily arrested so he could be interviewed. He decided to bring his pipe and illicit substances with him. He didn't get charged for what he came in for, but he did get charged with possessing illicit substances and paraphernalia.
#42 Funny Thing To Remember
My brother arrested this girl for a DUI. She was so drunk, he skipped the field sobriety test. As he walked her to his patrol car, the girl said, "Wait, you haven't read me my ABCs."
#43 Now You're In Trouble
In my country, it is illegal to drive a bike or moped whilst distracted. A friend of mine got pulled over on the short ride from the bar to his apartment, driving on a small moped, and a cop asked him why was he not wearing a helmet. He said, "Officer, I swear I never ride a bike unless I have had a couple of drinks..."
#44 The Cops Had A Lot Of Options
Two kids—I will call them Juan and Carl—were getting escorted out of a mall near me. Apparently, it was nothing too bad; they were just suspected of stealing some shoes from a store.
While they were being escorted, Juan tried to rip away from one of the security guards and started screaming, "IF YOU'RE GONNA HANDLE ME, YOU MIGHT AS WELL DETAIN ME."
The kids would have just been escorted off the property and asked to leave, without a ban from the mall or anything. But then, he tried to assault the security guard by pushing her. The third guard in the case, who I will properly call Goliath, proceeded to basically choke-slam the kid into the ground. The cops were then called, and the kids were arrested.
The second best part? They had proof they purchased the shoes and didn't show their receipt.
The best part? Both the idiots had a ton of illicit substances in their bags that the cops found.
#45 Also, You Admitted It
My ex is a cop, and he told me once that they got a call because a gas station got robbed by a guy in a ski mask with a gun. Witnesses say that he ran away but got into a car about a block down and drove off.
My ex was driving down the side street and saw a guy driving in the opposite direction... with a ski mask on. He flipped around and lit him up. The guy pulled over.
My ex got him out of the car and put handcuffs on him. They checked the car. Lo and behold, there were the cash, the gas station supplies, and a gun. The guy was honestly taken aback and kept asking how they knew it was him. My ex pulled the guy's ski mask off.
#46 Littering In Front Of A Cop
I'm the guy who did something stupid.
I was speeding while eating fast food. I got pulled over. Had no way to hide the food, so I just threw it out my window... Right in front of him. He actually let me pick it up.
Littering is a $1,000 fine. I'm not a smart man.
#47 Blame It On The Plushie
A guy was pulled over for driving erratically. He jumped into the passenger seat and pulled a large stuffed animal to the driver's seat. You could hear the cop laughing before he got out and approached the car. The guy rolled the window down and the cop asked him why he was driving like that.
He responded by pointing at the stuffed animal.
#48 Admitting To A Different Crime
My cousin is so dumb.
The police once came to our house one time to question him about a burglary.
He was under the influence and told them that he couldn't have burgled the house since he was being beaten up for stealing someone else's motorcycle at the time.
#49 Sometimes It's Better To Stay Silent
One of my family members was a criminal judge. During an armed robbery hearing, they were trying to determine how the defendant had obtained the weapon he used in the mugging. He pled not guilty, and when asked if he had bought the gun, he replied: "No ma'am, I stole it from my friend." He even corrected them on the clothes he was wearing during the robbery. Immediate conviction.
#50 A Smart Alec-oholic
We are partying at our friend's place, and cops stopped by to check what all the commotion was about. So, I was dealing with the cops, when my friend (who was on something) decided to join in. He started speaking in our native tongue, which the cops didn't understand.
Anyhow, one of the cops raised his right hand and waved three fingers in front of my friend's face, asking him, "How many fingers are these?" To which my friend replies, still in our native language, thankfully, "Why do you drink so much that you are even unable to count your own fingers, sir?"
#51 The Aussie Accent Gave It Away
A few years ago, a bank in Canada was robbed. The culprits were described as two men in ski masks with strong Australian accents. From memory, they were the only Australians in that town and they were also stupid enough to take photos of themselves with all the cash. Must have been the easiest case those cops ever solved.
#52 Stupid Dealer Mistake
A cop caught me with a half a pound of illicit substances in my trunk. I panicked and my only response was, "Oh, I'm just dropping that off at a friend's."
#53 Wearing The Evidence
My friend's mom was a public defender and a client she was defending was guilty. However, the only piece of evidence that identified him was a very distinct and unique necklace he refused to take off. She told him to at least cover it up, but the genius decided to ignore her and leave it exposed.
#54 Mysteriously Appearing Rifle
#55 Naked Tackle
I watched a naked man get tackled by the police outside the restaurant I worked at in high school. No idea what happened, cleaning windows and bam, naked man on the ground.