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Darwin Awards
1999 At-Risk Survivor
Email a Friend Although the stupidity displayed in the following tales stops short of the ultimate sacrifice, we salute the spirit and innovation shown in these misadventures. Next
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Stupid Criminal Tricks 
1999 At-Risk Survivor
Unconfirmed by Darwin

These are random snippets collected from emails over the past decade. Their origins and veracity are unknown.

Seattle: When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find an ill man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.

Police in Wichita, Kansas, arrested a 22-year-old man at an airport hotel after he tried to pass two counterfeit $16 bills.

When two service station attendants in Ionia, Michigan, refused to hand over the cash to an intoxicated robber, the man threatened to call the police. They still wouldn't give him the money, so the robber called the police -- and was arrested.

A guy wearing pantyhose on his face tried to rob a store in a mall. When the security came, he quickly grabbed a shopping bag and pretended to be shopping, forgetting that he was still wearing the pantyhose. He was captured, and his loot was returned to the store.

RULES FOR BANK ROBBERS: According to the FBI, most modern-day bank robberies are "unsophisticated and unprofessional crimes," committed by young male repeat offenders who apparently don't know the first thing about their business. For instance it is reported that in spite of the widespread use of surveillance cameras, 76% of bank robbers use no disguise, 86% never study the bank before robbing it, and 95% make no long-range plans for concealing the loot. Thus, this advice is offered to would-be bank robbers: Consider another line of work.

Police in Radnor, Pennsylvania, interrogated a suspect by placing a metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to a photocopy machine. They placed the message "HE'S LYING" in the copier, and pressed the copy button each time they thought the suspect wasn't telling the truth. Believing the "lie detector" was working, the suspect confessed to the police.

A Los Angeles man who later said he was "tired of walking" stole a steamroller and led police on a 5mph chase, until an officer stepped aboard and brought the vehicle to a stop.

AVweb, a weekly aviation news letter, reported that a bungling burglar broke into a Mooney aircraft at the Knox County, Ohio airport and removed
its avionics system, including the Emergency Locating Transmitter or ELT. This device sends homing signals if the aircraft crashes. You can guess what happened next. The ham-handed crook jarred the ELT enough to activate it, and authorities had no trouble tracking the perpetrator to his lair.

Louisiana: A man walked into a Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer was $15. Question: if someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?

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