Criminals are generally seen as dangerous, manipulative and conniving. However, some may be much less cunning than we think. Sometimes they lack the ability to think logically, which renders them more entertaining than anything else. lists various hilarious cases of careless criminals. One of these happened while police were inspecting a building, when one officer noticed an open back door. He called out “marco”, to which the criminal replied “polo”. The criminal’s name was not Marco, but perhaps it was his favourite game and he just could not resist.

According to, in 2008 a man named Ruben Zarate wanted to rob a muffler shop in Chicago. However, the money that was kept in the safe could only be opened by the manager who was not in the shop at the time. Not to miss the chance at his very own Italian Job, Zarate left his phone number with the workers so that they could inform him when the manager returned.

Most criminals disguise themselves before committing a crime. In January 2009, 24-year-old Feliks Goldshtein stood in line at an Ohio bank wearing a ski mask. When it was his turn, the teller asked him to remove the mask, but Goldshtein replied by showing a toy gun and demanding money. It is only courteous to wait your turn after all.

Joey Miller and Allan McNelly scribbled a mask on their faces with a permanent marker before they broke into an apartment. Despite their creativity, they were recognised when pulled over by the police because, apparently, the permanent marker on their faces was too difficult to remove.

Having a useful weapon could also prove to be handy during a crime. John Szwalla attempted to rob an internet café in North Carolina claiming to have a hidden gun, which was actually a banana. The police were called and Szwalla ate the banana while waiting for them. The police joked about charging him with destruction of evidence.

The third essential part of any crime is the getaway, such as having a running car waiting with a good driver behind the wheel. In Juan de Acosta, a town in Columbia, three thieves stole rum, rice, tuna and sardines and loaded it onto Xavi, their ten-year-old donkey. When their getaway vehicle began to bray the police were alerted and they fled.

Lastly, if a criminal succeeds in getting away, laying low is highly advisable. On 13 December 2011 two thieves broke into a Wisconsin Target shop and stole video games. After their success they discussed how other criminals get caught and bragged about their own escape, without knowing that one of them had accidentally butt-dialled 911.

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