April 14, 2011
Stupidest Criminals Can be Clumsy – Dropping Phones, Wallets, T-shirts as Clues for Police to Track Them
My “Stupidest Burglar” posts get pretty good circulation, largely (I think) because readers can’t believe how criminals can be so challenged. Of course, if burglars were really that smart, they would not be robbing homes in the first place. Here are a few more reports that you’ll enjoy – all about intruders who left a trail that anyone could follow. Two dropped wallets, a dropped cell phone, and even a customized t-shirt led police to the perps. You decide which one is the best story!
Dropped Wallet Story #1
This report from Ocala, FL describes a daring duo ripping off a restaurant.
When officers responded to the scene, they found a 42-inch TV sitting against a wall in the restaurant but no suspects. In the parking lot they found a 2003 Dodge pickup the hood still warm. When the officers went to inspect the truck, they found Varnum's wallet on the ground. The truck was also registered to Varnum. A half hour later, cops caught up to Varnum and Stouffer at a nearby Burger King. Stouffer had screws and pieces of hardware from a TV mounting bracket in his pocket.
Dropped Wallet Story #2
Want another? Okay - this one is from Coweta County, GA, and involves a daytime home burglary: that’s when most of them occur, but the burglar usually takes his wallet with him!
Coweta County Sheriff's Office authorities apprehended a Grantville man Thursday who allegedly burglarized a home in Moreland recently -- and dropped his wallet in the process. The burglary happened during the day while the homeowner was at work. When he returned, he realized that someone had broken into his home through a window. The burglar had taken a DVD player, as well as rummaged through the rest of the home. Authorities found a wallet left behind at the scene, and were able to identify the suspect and locate him in Grantville a short time later.
Dropped Cell Phone
Another daytime burglar is the subject of this report from York, PA – seems he remembered his wallet, but dropped something else that led to his arrest.
Police said an alleged burglar took assorted electronics from a Jackson Township home, but left one behind - his own cell phone. Using records from that cell phone, police were able to track down and arrest Keenan Michael Pleasant. "The investigation was aided greatly by Mr. Pleasant leaving his cell phone at the scene. It made it that much easier for us to locate him," Lt. David Lash said. "We'd hate for (alleged) burglars to start zipping their coat pockets." Armed with a search warrant, officers raided Pleasant's home, where they found items stolen during the burglary at a home on Sunnyside Road, police said. They also found Pleasant asleep in the basement of his home, with several crack-cocaine pipes nearby, Lash said.
Dropped T-shirt in Charlotte, NC – (This One is my Favorite)
Police say they were able to find a man involved in an east Charlotte home invasion after he accidentally dropped a t-shirt at the crime scene which contained a mug shot from a previous arrest. Johnathan Huntely had just been released from a North Carolina prison. He was in jail for seven years for armed robbery, and breaking and entering. Huntley apparently used a mug shot from a prior arrest as the image in which he had screen-printed on a black t-shirt which also said "Making Money Is My Thang." Police collected the garment and asked the public if they recognized the man pictured on the t-shirt on a hunch that it just might be one of the suspects involved in the home invasion. On Thursday, March 31, Huntley turned himself into police.
It's unfortunate that in all three cases involving residential burglaries, there was no monitored alarm system. If there has been, then it would not have required such extreme stupidity for these intruders to be apprehended. Of course, FrontPoint is at the forefront of home security with wireless, interactive alarm systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. That’s why we’re the #1 ranked home alarm company in the US. But after reading this last report on the dropped t-shirt, perhaps our new motto should be, “Your Peace of Mind is Our Thang!”