Returning to the Scene of the Crime

13 Oct

If I was a police detective searching for a criminal, my method of tracking down the felon would be to take a seat, maybe crack open a beer, and wait for him to come to me.  This might be considered an unorthodox approach to law enforcement, but it is apparently an effective one, if the stupidity of these Dumb Crims who couldn’t help but return to the scene of the crime is anything to go by.

The first such Dumb Crim is Johnny Lindner, a 48-year-old man from South Carolina, US.  Lindner robbed a convenience store in Bishopville, threatening the store clerk with a knife before fleeing with cash and cigarettes in a stolen pickup truck.  So far so good (for Lindner, not the store clerk).

Then the wheels started to fall off.  Firstly, the truck Lindner was fleeing in broke down.  Not much he could do about that.   So he walked to a nearby Burger King and called a taxi, directing the driver to take him to the nearby town of Lydia.  But the taxi driver didn’t know how to get there, nor did Lindner, so they pulled over to ask directions.  This is where Lindner made a minor error.

He pulled over to the same store that he had just robbed.

It doesn’t get dumber than that.  Except that it does.  Not only did Lindner stop off to get directions at the very store he robbed, the person he asked  directions from was THE POLICEMAN INVESTIGATING THE CRIMESCENE!  I’m surprised he didn’t volunteer to pose for a mug shot as they spoke.

I assume this is what Linder was wearing.

I assume this is what Lindner was wearing when he asked the policeman for directions.

Lindner, obviously, fit the description of the thief, and thanks to video footage, was charged with armed robbery (he was also wanted for crimes in Tennessee).  As David Capps, the officer who was asked for directions by the Dumb Crim, said, “I was there and I still don’t believe it.”

Capps might as well get used to it, because Lindner isn’t alone in his stupidity.  John T. West and Ashley Sorensen, both 20-year-olds, stole tyres and rims from a parked car in California, US.  A short time after stealing the items, the pair couldn’t help but return to the scene of the crime.  Why?  Well, as they reportedly later told authorities, they returned to “see if the lady had called the cops.”

She had.

Yes, police were at the scene as they drove by.  The Dumb Crims might not have been noticed, though, except they made another crucial error: they had put the stolen tyres and rims on the car they drove to the crime scene!  And they weren’t hard to spot, as the expensive car accessories were attached to a beat up Geo Metro, shining like a gold tooth in Lil Wayne’s mouth.  That’s like a homeless man walking by London Tower wearing the Crown Jewels. Needless to say they didn’t enjoy the rims for very long.

There's something suspicious about that car...

There’s something suspicious about that car…

Victor Marin stole over $200 from an apartment in Brooklyn, New York, US.  He returned to the building soon after committing his felony because of an unexpected hiccup: he had left his wallet in the victim’s home.  Smooth.  His wallet contained cash, credit cards, photos, and sunglasses, meaning that his theft had resulted in a net loss, an outcome generally avoided by most thieves.

As Marin attempted to re-enter the crime scene, the victim, retired rabbi Yaakov Kanelsky, returned home.  Seeing the stranger at his window, Kanelsky asked him what he was doing.  Marin replied that he had left his wallet in his house, to which the rabbi asked why he was inside his house in the first place.  “He told me he needed to use the bathroom,” Kanelsky told the NY Post.

Unsurprisingly, Kanelsky didn’t buy that, and called the police.  Marin, now at the front door, then told the rabbi that he would give him his stolen money back in exchange for his wallet, holding up a wad of bills to the peephole.

Kanelsky hadn’t even realised any money was missing, however he told the Dumb Crim to slide the cash under the door.  Marin slid $125 of large bills underneath without problem, but the other wad of bills were made up of 93 one dollar notes.  This meant that Marin had to slide the cash under the door a couple of notes at a time, allowing the police ample time to arrive at the scene and arrest him.

Perhaps the dumbest – and most irrationally optimistic – return to the scene of the crime caper happened in Columbus, Ohio, US.

Diana Martinez was parked out the front of her apartment when three men pointed a gun at her and stole her purse and cousin’s wallet.  Martinez screamed and hit one of the men with her car door, and the men fled when threatened by a nearby neighbour.  Less than an hour later, however, one of the men returned.

To ask her out on a date.

Yes, Stephfon Bennett, the Dumb Crim with the dumb spelling, had taken such a fancy to Martinez that he thought he would have a crack.  I’ve never been to finishing school, but as far as I’m aware threatening someone with a gun and stealing their property is not a traditional courting technique.


I reckon this guy would have had a better shot at a date.

Martinez, who was single, couldn’t believe her mixed luck; whilst no doubt thinking, “Why can’t I attract a nice guy for once?” she also was able to chat with Bennett long enough for her cousin to call 911 and for the police to arrive to make the arrest.  Bennett was charged with aggravated robbery and might be heading to a place where you do not want to be asking people for a date.

I suppose Martinez could have done worse than be asked out for a date by Bennett; at least Bennett wouldn’t have had to get her to pay for dinner on account of leaving his wallet in a rabbi’s apartment.

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