In 2016 we reported on several cases of criminal masterminds pulling off complex, highly thought-out plots.
And you can read all about those – somewhere else.
Because 2016 also provided us with another bevy of less-than-brilliant criminal mischief caught on camera.
Whether it’s the man who tries to get out of an impaired driving charge by bribing a cop with beer, the shoplifter who helpfully gave clerks his business card, or the would-be robber who decided to leave their gun on the counter while counting their money – 2016 saw no shortage of head-shaking criminal misbehaviour.
These are some of the dumbest criminals of 2016 caught on camera.
Man charged with bribery after offering cop a beer during drunk driving arrest
Police body camera footage out of Marietta, Georgia captured a man appearing to try to bribe a police officer during an impaired driving traffic stop by offering him a beer, as captured in the body camera footage above.
Lazaro Hernandez, 24, is also seen trying to appease the officer by offering him all the money in his wallet – some US$400 according to him – and attempting to talk the charge down to a charge of “super speeding.”
According to a police report from the Marietta Police Department, Hernandez was pulled over around 2:40 a.m. on June 3 after he allegedly tried to pass an officer who was directing traffic near the site of an accident.
Needless to say, the officer declined Hernandez’s offer of $400 and a beer, and pressed multiple charges including driving under the influence, bribery, open container, reckless driving and failure to obey authorized persons directing traffic.
‘Dumb’ criminal leaves behind business card while shoplifting at New Mexico store
Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico arrested 40-year-old Matthew Crowder on Nov. 1, in connection with a theft at a local consignment store.
Of course, Crowder was “discovered” because just prior to the theft, he handed the clerk at the store his business card with all his personal information on it.
According to police, Crowder handed over his card in an attempt to solicit a date from the female store clerk, before stealing several items including a pearl necklace.
“This guy’s a goofball; I can’t believe it, “Albuquerque Police Department public information officer Simon Drobik told KOB News. “Well, I guess I can believe it. These guys are dumb.”
Driver charged after attempting to U-turn across multi-lane highway in 18-metre truck
For anyone who drives in a major city or faces congestion or delays on their way to work, this video may give you ulcers.
A truck driver was arrested in Italy after attempting what police called a “dangerous” U-turn across a major highway on July 17.
The driver manoeuvers his truck – all 18 metres of it – into an emergency parking area before attempting to make a U-turn across multiple lanes.
Several drivers swerve out of the way as the truck attempts the tricky manoeuver, even driving in reverse at one point.
He eventually manages to complete his ill-advised U-turn, but by that point concerned motorists had already called police.
The driver was fined 8000 euros for the stunt.
Driver playing Pokemon Go smashes into parked Baltimore cop car
The Pokemon Go fad was seemingly inescapable this past summer – literally so, in the case of one police officer.
A Baltimore police officer’s bodycam captured the moment a Pokemon Go-playing distracted driver sideswiped a parked police cruiser on July 18.
Footage of the incident shows three police officers standing on a sidewalk next to a parked police vehicle when a Toyota RAV 4 clipped the side of the unoccupied patrol car.
As the officer rounds the front of the vehicle, the driver steps out of the car holding a mobile phone, showing the officer the Pokemon Go app opened on his phone.
Maybe next time keep your eyes on the road, OK? We hear it’s super effective.
Florida man calls 911 to report he’s out of vodka
A Collier County, Florida, man was given a misdemeanor criminal charge after he called 911 to report a rather questionable “emergency.”
Two Collier County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the home of Jack Means on June 6. But when they arrived, police said there was no sign of any disturbance.
Instead, police say Means, who they believe was intoxicated, had called 911 after his girlfriend refused to buy him more vodka.
According to a police report, the two deputies spent more than an hour dealing with this non-emergency call.
Means was charged with a misdemeanor for misuse of 911.
Australian pub shares security camera video of ‘idiot’ trying to break in
A pub in Queensland, Australia released footage of what they called an “idiot” trying to break into their establishment on July 28.
Done up to appear as a mock news report, the video shows a man attempting to break through the back door of the bar by smashing through the glass with a beer keg.
After three attempts, he is able to smash a hole big enough to crawl through, which he does, lit cigarette still in his mouth, in painstaking and not entirely graceful fashion – only to discover he had broken the door frame with a previous toss of the beer keg and could have opened the door at any time.
Even stranger, the man leaves after a short while without taking anything, apparently only interested in getting a late night libation.
According to the Queensland Police Service, the man seen in the video turned himself in the next morning when he awoke, covered in cuts and broken glass, and saw his face on the news.
Hotel employee grabs gun from would-be robber; fight ensues
We’ve all struggled from time to time with having too much to carry, and just not enough hands. Eventually, you have to decide what’s worth carrying, and what can be put down.
One would-be robber was faced with a similar dilemma on Oct. 13 – and decided the best move would be to put down her pistol in the middle of an armed robbery.
The suspect entered a hotel in Warren, Mich., early that morning and demanded money from the employee behind the counter. When the clerk complied, the robber found it a little tricky to corral the bills – and decided to put her gun down on the counter.
The clerk quickly grabbed the weapon and turned it onto the suspect, prompting a fight before the woman fled the scene. Police were later able to identify her by (what else?) the gun she had left at the scene.
Underwear-clad man uses blowtorch to set fire to his neighbour’s Donald Trump campaign sign
The recent U.S. presidential election stirred up some strong feelings and ripping debates in Canada – to say nothing of our neighbours south of the border.
But this may be taking things a touch too far.
Home security camera footage captured a man, wearing only his boxer briefs, using a blowtorch to set fire to a Donald Trump campaign sign on his neighbour’s front lawn in the town of Platteville, Wisconsin on Oct. 21.
Homeowner Kevin Leighty says he noticed something was amiss when he went to get the paper Friday morning and saw the Trump/Pence “Make America Great Again” sign on his lawn had been destroyed.
So Leighty and his wife checked their home security camera, which captured the boxer-clad man’s act of fiery political expression as well as something even more puzzling – the man appeared to be their neighbour.
After identifying the man, the Leightys say they called the police and then confronted their neighbour about his act of mischief.