Hey, little skeletons! I’m Gina – And I’m Amber! – and this is Weird True Crime!
Amber: My tiny little crotch goblin gave me her germs and now I sound like I’m channeling my inner Phoebe Buffay, so apologies for that, and bear with me. This is why we’re bringing you another dose of dumb criminals today! I have threatened to run away so many times this week for so many reasons – I definitely need some laughs today.
Gina: Yeah… school is officially out for summer, my kids are fighting all day long and it’s already hot as balls outside, so humor is oh so very needed and welcomed. I do admit it was hard to drag myself away from the case we’re working on right now and focus on something a little light-hearted, but I think my emotional stability is thanking me.
Amber: Same here. We’ll probably need to start a tally of how many times we say it, but seriously, comedy is cheaper than therapy.
Gina: Before we jump into today’s humorous tales, here is this week’s riddle: “Poor people have it, rich people need it, if you eat it you die, what is it?” Stay tuned to the end to find out the answer.
(1)Amber: Romantic relationships are challenging. Emotions run high and more often than not, at least one person has some past trauma or baggage. A 29-year-old man in Argentina recently learned this the hard way six months into his relationship. His girlfriend, who has a bit of a jealous streak, got upset when she saw him on WhatsApp and reacted by uninstalling the app and smashing his phone. She then locked him in a room so he couldn’t leave and cheat on her.
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Amber: This wasn’t just a short stint in room jail, either. His girlfriend kept him locked up for three days until he somehow managed to steal her phone and text a friend. When police arrived on the scene, they could hear the man’s desperate yells for help and arrested the 30-year-old woman. Once he was finally free, the man, who wanted to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, told the officers she had been jealous since the beginning of their relationship. She even went so far as to give him a curfew when he went out with friends and threatened to come find him if he didn’t return home on time. We don’t have any background information to help clarify the situation. I’d be curious to know if he gave her reasons to be jealous or concerned about him cheating, or if she had unresolved trust issues. Either way – the woman was arrested and charged with “illegal deprivation of liberty.” Let’s hope they went their separate ways after that incident.
(2)Gina: Not that I have any personal experience with this, but my assumption is that if you’re involved in a burglary of any kind, you’d probably want to keep your identity hidden, right?
Amber: I mean, unless you’re Robin Hood, yeah, I’d go with that assumption as the norm for sure.
Gina: Back in November of 2017, a man named Eric Rivers was out and about in Lawrenceville, Georgia, minding his own business, when he was approached by a local news station and asked if he wanted to be interviewed about public transit. He took off his hoodie and hat and gave his full name to the reporter. Seems pretty normal at this point. Unfortunately for Rivers, police saw the news report and recognized him as a suspect in surveillance footage from a string of robberies. It turns out that he was in the process of casing out a Chase bank to rob when he was approached for the interview. A bank manager told investigators that they saw Rivers walk up to the news van after leaving the building. Rivers had attempted five robberies in total but was only successful in making off with cash in two of the incidents. After his arrest, the Gwinnett County Police Department offered advice to would-be criminals in a Facebook post that reads, “When after having robbed several banks and you are at another bank casing the place for an additional robbery and are approached by a news crew in the parking lot … DO NOT stop and agree to an interview with said news crew.”
(3)Amber: There is a running trend with petty criminals posting their escapades on social media or giving their personal information to the people they’re stealing from. I’m not sure why they think it’s a good idea to brag about their illegal activity on a global scale or give away their identity, but I’m glad they do because then we can make fun of them for it. 40-year-old Matthew Crowder, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, did both when he stole from a consignment shop back in 2016. Before stealing from the shop, he stopped at the checkout counter to flirt with the clerk and give her a business card with all his personal information.
Amber: That’s not all this smooth criminal did, though. Only hours after he stole from the shop, he posted on Facebook bragging about the raid and his stolen necklace. Apparently, he had a habit of posting about his sticky-fingered escapades and had outstanding warrants for shoplifting and theft in three different jurisdictions in New Mexico. After finally being arrested and charged a fourth time, Officer Simon Drobik told a local news station, “We didn’t have to call Columbo on this one because the guy left his name with his business card after he shoplifted, trying to pick up on the girl he shoplifted from. This guy’s a goofball, I can’t believe it. Well, I guess I can believe it. These guys are dumb.” Couldn’t have said it better, myself.
(4)Gina: This one really cracked me up. There’s a dad joke in that sentence that you’ll catch on to in a minute. See, back in 2016, an officer pulled over a woman named Elizabeth Johnson during a routine traffic stop in Ohio. That’s the only routine thing that happened during this stop, though. Seconds after she pulled over, the officer saw Ms. Johnson quickly reach her hands up under her shirt. When the officer approached the vehicle and ordered her to come out, she locked her doors, began yelling, and refused to cooperate. He eventually convinced her to leave the car, but she continued to yell and throw a fit, telling the officer she wasn’t carrying anything illegal. At this point, she yells, “Fine, you want to see what I have?”
Amber: Methinks the lady doth protest too much!
Gina: I’m sure the fine officer did indeed want to see what Ms. Johnson was hiding, but I doubt he expected her to lift up her shirt and bra, giving him the whole show. Her girly bits weren’t the only thing on display though, because a crack pipe fell out of her bra and onto the pavement. Get it, crack pipe… it cracked me up. (Amber: Ba dum tiss) I know I’m not cool or funny, thank you. Anyway, once his initial shock wore off, the officer asked Ms. Johnson to cover up, seized the pipe, and put it in his patrol car. She was arrested for possession of cocaine, obstructing official business, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Why go through all the trouble of hiding it in your bra if you’re just going to show off all the goods, anyway? Haven’t we told you before that drugs are bad?
(5)Amber: I think that we’ve established by now that neither one of us has any experience with criminal activity beyond what we talk/write about here. That being said, I can confidently tell you that if I ever got so desperate to pay rent one month, that I decided I would try to rob a house – something like this would definitely happen to me.
Amber: Just last year, a 24-year-old man decided that he was going to pillage a house in Silver Spring, Maryland on January 8. Normal points of entry to a house are typically the front or back door, or maybe a window, right? Well, this particular pilferer decided he would take a page out of Santa’s book and try to gain entry to the home via the chimney. Look, we all know that the fat man is able to get through those chimneys due to his holly-jolly attitude and magical abilities cause there’s no way he’d fit otherwise. Even if you’re not the size of Saint Nick himself, chances are you’re not going to fit down any chimney. Anyway, the unsuspecting homeowners were awoken around 3:00 am by a pounding or “knocking” sound coming from inside their house and called the authorities. The police arrived and conducted a search of the home, but didn’t locate anyone. Two and a half hours later, the police received a second phone call from the same family reporting the same noises. The Montgomery County Police Department said, that call was originally dispatched as a residential burglary call in progress and when they arrived on the scene they “heard a human voice coming from inside the fireplace, in the chimney.”
Amber: It took 12 firefighters over an hour and a half to remove the man from the chimney because they literally had to remove the wall and bricks around the chimney to get to him. The picture that stuck out to me the most from this story is one that shows the destruction that had to be done and if you look closely, you can still see the man’s feet in the small hole in the wall they had created. He almost made it, but still had about 5-6 feet to go. When he was finally freed from his soot-filled solitary confinement, he was transported to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries, and authorities applied for fourth-degree burglary charges. Looking at the photos of the destruction, if I had been the homeowner, I think I would have rathered the man complete the burglary and make off with my TV rather than dealing with the aftermath and clean up and repair bill from his dumbassery. Check out the pictures and let me know if you agree!
(6)Gina: We all know what it’s like to be so hungry you’d do just about anything to get your hands on something edible. I’ve scarfed down half-eaten kid snacks more times than I want to admit, and I know you have too. But I don’t think we’d ever be hangry enough to do a B&E for ham legs. Maybe a pastry, though.
Amber: Well, once a month I might be inclined to violence if someone comes between me and some chocolate but, yeah, probably not breaking and entering still.
Gina: In Spain in February 2016, Domingo Infante arrived at his tapas bar to open for the day, the last thing he expected to see was a busted-down door, a missing TV and cash till, along with seven legs of cured Iberico Ham that had been hanging above the bar. Now, these aren’t just any ham legs. Iberico ham legs weigh between 10 – 11 pounds and were worth about $130 dollars each in 2016. Today, they’d be worth closer to $260 each. Domingo was calling a locksmith and talking to police, when his wife and mother-in-law noticed a trail of fat on the road outside. The two citizen detectives followed the fat trail to a house located behind the restaurant.
Amber: This case reminds me of the dumb criminal we talked about who stole the cash registers and left a trail of paper tape all the way to his apartment. Except messier.
Gina: And smellier. Anyway, the duo made a second call to the cops, who rushed to get a search warrant to enter the property after the owners refused to open the door. Once inside, officers found two of the ham legs along with the empty cash till and the TV. The culprits (who still lived with their parents), didn’t even try to hide their trail, apparently, there was fat all over the pavement, stairs, and even the front door of the property where the meat was found. The article stated that the other five legs were missing from the scene and probably with the other ham-burgling accomplices. Domingo, the owner of the tapas bar, had a great sense of humor about the situation, telling reporters “We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It’s like something out of a silly film.”
(7)Amber: Sometimes, we need something from the store, but that store might be closed. Though an inconvenience, most people would wait until the store was open to go buy their needed items. 21-year-old Lantz Kurtz is not most people. He decided to break into a closed gas station in Florida in February 2023 because his needs were too great to be imposed upon by things like locked doors. His intentions weren’t all bad, though. He left his debit card on the counter because he wanted to come back and pay later when they were open.
Gina: I have so many questions about what happened to this man’s brain cells.
Amber: He gets points for at least wanting to pay for the items, but breaking and entering is still a crime, last time I checked. Police were alerted when the alarm went off, and security cameras show him taking things before walking out the front door. Honestly, the breaking and entering, stolen goods, and leaving his card on the counter isn’t even the best part of this story.
Gina: How does this get any better?
Amber: Well, when police went looking for our boi, they found him walking along the side of the road because his car had caught on fire. Seriously, you can’t make this shit up. Truth be told, it doesn’t sound like the guy had bad intentions. Maybe he’s not the brightest crayon in the box and didn’t realize he’d still get arrested for breaking and entering even IF he came back to pay for the items he stole. And on top of everything else, his car catches on fire. It almost makes me feel bad for the guy, almost.
(8) Gina: Keeping with antics in Florida, we’re heading to Clearwater next. Oddly enough, another gas station is involved in this one as well! I’ll admit, I am a fan of the cheapie scratch-off tickets. There’s minimal risk involved, but I still get the thrill of the possibility of winning more money than I had 10 minutes before.
Amber: Same here! There’s a cheap bingo-style one we love to do on occasion in my house. Think we won $10 once!
Gina: According to the Clearwater police, 27-year-old Herbert McClellan waltzed into a Speedway convenience store around 2:00 am back in August 2020 and seized his moment to snag some scratch-offs while the clerk was distracted doing something else. 13 scratch-off tickets to be exact worth just over $100.00. That is a lot of scratch-off goodness fun time to be had! Herbert managed to slip out of the store and apparently couldn’t wait to see if any of the tickets were going to be winners. Lo and behold, one of them was! Herbert won a whopping $30 off one of the swiped scratch-offs.
Amber: Well, $30 is $30, especially in this day and age… although they were stolen soooo I don’t see that being the end of this…
Gina: Nope. A few hours later, Herbert decided to go cash in his winning lottery ticket – at the same damn store that he stole it from. When he showed back up to claim his winnings, the store workers contacted the police and they were able to arrive and arrest him. He was charged with petit theft, dealing with stolen property, and driving with a suspended license for the second time. The police department said in their Facebook post detailing the whole thing “it’s safe to say it was not his lucky day.”
(9)Amber: Last WTF Wednesday we went down the rabbit hole of Walmart wackiness and even mentioned good ole Target in the process. A Florida man got dubbed “dumb criminal of the week” for his antics in Target back in April. Well, not necessarily IN Target… more like, in front of.
Gina: You really don’t anticipate Target ending up on lists like these – I can only imagine what’s coming. Meth? Pringles can? Nudity?
Amber: Our dumbass in question, Patrick Vandermeyden-Miller, was spotted by employees walking past the cash registers and out the front door of the store holding a Razor scooter in the box. I had to look it up myself because I’m not well-versed in the world of scooters, but Razor scooters range in price from anywhere from $30 to over $800 according to Target’s website. The scooter our man in question strutted out of the store with was worth about $540, so definitely was not your low-tier, man-powered scooter.
Gina: Well, he managed to make it outside of the store, but I’ll assume that he didn’t make it off scot-free since he ended up on our list. Was he caught waiting for his getaway car?
Amber: I guess you could say that… in a way. Officials say instead of fleeing the scene with his loot, the man stopped on the sidewalk in front of the store to start putting the damn thing together. Granted the store probably had him on video and the chances of him being tracked down later were there, but he could have at least made it a little difficult. The dude literally waited in front of the store with the giant piece of equipment he stole to put it together. A responding deputy caught the man before he could finish and gave him a ride to jail. Sheriff Rick Staly said on Facebook, “This dumb criminal of the week must have thought he was in another state or city where it’s okay to walk in a store and steal what you want and not face any consequences. He didn’t get to ride ‘his’ Razor but he did get a free ride to the Green Roof Inn in the backseat of a patrol car!” Guess Patrick thought it would have made a better getaway vehicle instead of walking down the street carrying the giant box. He was later charged with petit theft and possession of drug paraphernalia – no surprise there to be honest.
(10) Gina: Speaking of stolen modes of transportation, that leads us to our final dumb criminal of the day. I think this one will make the top of the list of vehicles I WOULDN’T consider stealing for any reason.
Amber: That’s ominous – immediately the Weinermobile pops into my head again – that would be a bad choice to steal for obvious reasons.
Gina: No wieners this time! On January 21, 2023, 23-year-old Deon Howard decided to steal a gray 2012 Chrysler Town & Country van belonging to Collins & Stone Funeral Home in Rockford, IL. The vehicle had allegedly been sitting outside the funeral home running and unattended. Deon headed towards Chicago and the van was recovered the following day – but much to everyone’s surprise, it was empty.
Amber: Oh hell, was it not supposed to be empty?
Gina: The van had originally contained the body of 47-year-old Curtis Brown who had suddenly passed from a heart attack three days prior. Needless to say that his family had been very frustrated to learn that his body had been missing – especially since his mother wasn’t made aware of that information until a few days later when she read the news online that there was a body missing from the funeral home that she had left her son. Thankfully, Mr. Brown’s body was located in Chicago as well, about 2 miles away from where the van had been found. It wasn’t until March before Howard was finally arrested after a traffic stop. According to the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, Howard refused to identify himself to the police and was uncooperative. He was finally identified once he was brought to jail.
Amber: I mean, at least it wasn’t a hearse – but it was still idling outside of a funeral home. If you’re going to steal a car, that’s a big red flag in my book. Just don’t steal cars and you won’t have to worry about any of that, kids! You know, truth be told, I’d legit drive a hearse around. Imagine the cargo space! So much room for all the tiny human things necessary.
Gina: That concludes this week’s journey through the dumbass minds of criminals.
Amber: Ready for that riddle again? Here it is one more time. “Poor people have it, rich people need it, if you eat it you die, what is it?” The answer? Nothing. Poor people have nothing, rich people need nothing, and eating nothing definitely wouldn’t be conducive to living. Did you figure it out?
Gina: Not gonna lie, I was completely clueless. You know who wasn’t clueless though? The listener who left us this sweet review on Apple Podcasts! A listener by the name of jkmh-0572 wrote, “I’m subscribed to so many true crime podcasts. None like this, though. It’s very difficult to find a crime-y podcast with a good sense of humor. Congratulations on doing such a great job!” This review honestly gave me the warm fuzzies when I first read it, thank you so much for the kind words! If you want to be like our awesome listener friend, write us a review on your podcast app to get a shout-out on a future episode! Can’t leave a written review? Email it to us at email@example.com. You can also send over your listener stories. We’re starting a collection and can’t wait to share them!
Amber: We can also be found on Instragram and TikTok @weirdtruecrime, along with our website, weirdtruecrime.com, where you can listen to all the episodes and read scripts if that’s your thing. We are covering a massive case next week, so subscribe and rest assure that you won’t miss it when it drops. Trust us, it’s a doozy.
Until next time, stay safe – and make good choices – byeeeee!! Bye bye
10 More Funny & Dumb Criminals in the News | True Crime Stories
It’s clear that we all enjoy these dumb criminal stories, so we’re back to provide you with more of what you want! We’re pretty sure some of the dumbest criminals ever appear on the list this week. From hiding a crack pipe in a bra during a traffic stop, to assembling stolen goods in front of the store it was stolen from, these true crime tales are sure to illicit some major facepalm action.
As always, stay safe… AND MAKE GOOD CHOICES!
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