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Jamie founded Listverse due to an insatiable desire to share fascinating, obscure, and bizarre facts. He has been a guest speaker on numerous national radio and television stations and is a five time published author.More About Us
10 Truly Ridiculous Criminal Acts
Back in our first year of existence, we published a list of the most stupid thieves. Nearly three years to the day later, we have a second similar list – the most ridiculous criminal acts. We are certain you will love it – most especially item 1. If you ever decide to venture into a life of crime, let these entries be lessons to you.
This one won a Darwin Award in 1989. Direct from Melbourne, Australia, a 24-year-old black belt in Chinese Kung Fu, on receiving his 1st degree, was pumped up by his instructor with the brilliant knowledge that he could now overpower and kill a wild animal with his bare hands.
He immediately put the Lord his God to the test, as it were, by driving to the Melbourne zoo, sneaking in after dark and jumping into the lion exhibit. Not that the lions couldn’t have taken him one-on-one, but they saw no need to fight fair. All the police and zookeepers found in the morning were his hands, clenched with red fur in them.
This qualifies as a crime, since it is illegal to trespass in a zoo after closing time, and besides this, the lions had to be retrained not to attack humans, as they now had a taste for human flesh.
On 29 July 2007, two burglars thought the prime target in North Richland Hills, Texas, would be a store that sells personal home-defense security systems and accessories. In their defense, they managed to stuff over $10,000 worth of surveillance equipment, mostly security cameras and house alarms, into a couple of trash cans in only 1 minute and 15 seconds. All while being recorded by 17 security cameras of the same make and model as the ones they were stealing. There were no less than 12 warning signs across the front of the store advising criminals that, among other things, “someone besides Jesus is watching you, and neither that someone nor Jesus is going to be happy if you break the law.”
There was at least one very good vantage point of their getaway car, including the license plate, which was not stolen, but registered in one of their names. The police tracked them down to one of their homes two days later, a Monday, because on Sunday, the day after their robbery, the police were hampered by too many car accidents to rush the investigation. They still pled “not guilty.”
On 17 August, 1981, Miss Terry Johnson of Chicago was woken at about 2:30 in the morning by two men wearing police uniforms, complete with badges, utility belts, handguns, cuffs and hats. Their nameplates read Tyrone Pickens and Stephen Webster, and Miss Johnson stated later that she was more bewildered than scared. She thought either that these men had stolen the uniforms, or were policemen who thought she was a thief, and were confiscating the stolen property before arresting her.
She waited for them to leave, then wrote down their badge numbers, names, and the number of their police car, and found out by the end of the day that the uniforms were real, and belonged to the two men. They had used police equipment to break into her home, robbed her with their uniforms on, while on duty, and not fled the city afterward. The men pictured above are NOT the criminals named in this entry.
In February 2006, a New Zealand shoplifter named Amy Adams returned within a day to the butcher shop she had robbed, because she saw her picture on a local TV news station stating that she had won a lottery and had to appear in person to claim her prize. So she rapidly drove back to the shop, announced her name, pointed herself out in a still photo from a surveillance video, and was promptly handcuffed by undercover policemen. She still denied having broken any law, all the way through court, until the judge explained that she was guilty and had no hope of convincing anyone to the contrary. She then pled guilty, and still claimed she was innocent.
In this lister’s hometown of Raleigh, NC, on 11 December 2007, someone was stabbed multiple times in an intersection, and 10 police officers responded to the scene. While they were there, in the middle of the day, Anthony William, not the stabber, decided that the traffic jam at the intersection made for some ripe vehicles to steal. He waited for a woman to get out of her car, then walked right up, jumped into it and tried to drive away. Every policeman in the world came down on top of him, one of them even banging on the car hood and shouting to get out. This officer was less than 15 feet away from him and watching him the whole time when he committed the theft.
When he insisted on driving away, they all memorized his license plate and let him go, to avoid a dangerous pursuit. He was picked up in Virginia, when he tried to sell it to a used car dealer.
In early 1994, an Islamic terrorist organization in Jordan ordered violent reprisals against all Jordanian stores that sold either videos or liquor. This meant bombing such stores. On 1 February, Eid Saleh al-Jahaleen, 31 years old, accepted $50 in U. S. currency to plant a bomb in a Turkish movie theater, in Zarqa. He entered and discovered that the theater was showing Turkish pornography. He had never seen anything of the sort, and was immediately fascinated.
He stowed his bomb under a seat in the center of the theater, as instructed, then sat down in the same seat and watched the show. 10 minutes later, the bomb blew off both his legs and his testicles. His penis was relatively unscathed, since it was safely inside his right hand. He mercifully bled to death in the aisle.
On 1 April, 2010, Somali pirates deliberately attacked the USS Nicholas (FFG-47). These Somali pirates are primarily armed with AKMs (AK-47 upgrades), RPGs, pistols and grenades. The USS Nicholas, a guided missile frigate, is armed with 40 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, one Otobreda, 3-inch artillery rifle that fires 120 rounds per minute, 2 triple-tube torpedo launchers, 4 .50 caliber machine guns, and one 20mm computer-automated Vulcan gatling cannon that fires 4,500 rounds per minute.
Assuming the pirates simply failed to notice the Nicholas’s massive armament, they might have considered the standard U. S. Navy steel-gray paint, and its 453-foot length, as somewhat different from the private yachts on which pirates prefer to prey. But, alas, it was not to be. The Somali pirates opened fire with their small arms. The sailors on board the Nicholas ran to general quarters, the Vulcan cannon shot down three of the four rocket-propelled grenades, and sailors manning one of the .50 caliber machine guns disabled the pirate skiff. The grenade that made it through the hail of cannonfire, struck a bulkhead of the frigate’s superstructure and dented it. The 3 pirates on board surrendered, and then the Nicholas sighted their mothership, an ex-shrimping schooner converted into an armed trawler of sorts. This ship simply turned and fled, but was overtaken and two more pirates were captured.
The bulkhead dent was hammered out and repainted.
Not all idiotic criminal acts are funny. The Abu Ghraib Prisoner Abuse scandal of 2004 resulted in a, nearly worldwide, condemnation of the United States (not that the United States was particularly popular before then) for “sinking to the terrorists’ level,” as it were. The primary guilty person was Specialist Charles Graner, the ringleader who incited numerous other guards to torture and humiliate prisoners, or at least look the other way.
What makes these criminals acts truly idiotic is that the perpetrators filmed themselves committing them, with cell phone videos and photos. They collected the evidence that would have convicted them in any court of law on the planet. Others responsible were PFC Lynndie England, Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick, Sergeant Javal Davis, and soldiers with ranks up to Lt. Colonel and Colonel. Iraq was, at the time, utterly anarchic, even more so than it is now, in 2010, and the guilty persons were under the impression, both that their crimes would not be noticed, and that no one would care.
On 22 August, 1911, Vincenzo Peruggia hid in a janitor’s closet in the Louvre, in Paris, France, waited until well after the museum had closed, and then walked out with the Mona Lisa hidden under his coat. His motive was multifold. He was Italian, and so is the painting and its painter, and he wanted it returned to an Italian museum. That might have been construed as selflessly patriotic, except that he didn’t just give it to an Italian museum. He tried to sell it to one: the Uffizi Art Gallery in Florence. He also intended to make some money through a friend who would sell replicas, because with the real one out there somewhere, replica buyers would play the lottery, as it were, trying to buy the real one for cheap. The problem with all of this is that you can’t exactly resell the real Mona Lisa.
The Uffizi curators somehow discovered that it must have come from the Louvre, since, after all, there’s ONLY ONE Mona Lisa and the Louvre is well known for housing it, in which case, the Louvre was not likely to have sold it to one of its part-time employees. Must be a thief in their midst. He was arrested on the spot. Nevertheless, Peruggia was hailed as a hero throughout Italy, as he had hoped, and only served 6 months in prison.
If someone were to ask you who the last person anyone should ever dare to mug is, what name would be your answer? This lister is betting on 80% or better of respondents answering, “Chuck Norris.”
Amazingly, astoundingly, two idiots managed to try just that. It happened in 1994. Norris mentions this whole thing in his autobiography, “Against All Odds.” And, by his testimony, this is what happened. Honest to God, it really happened.
In 1994, right at the beginning of his run as Walker, Texas Ranger, Norris was, and still is, living in Dallas, Texas, where the show was filmed. One day he was walking down the street by himself, no entourage, no fans following him, no bodyguards, not even his wife. He turned a commercial block in the downtown skyscraper area and saw two men a little bigger than he coming straight for him from the other end of the block.
They were staring right at him, and he figured they wanted autographs, which he enjoys signing. So he walked up to them and stopped with a smile, whereupon they stood in front of him, whipped out a couple of large pocketknives, and one of them demanded, “Give me your wallet, Chuck! Give it here!”
Norris actually opened his mouth wide and then asked, “Are you insane!?”
“No! We know who you are! And we know you got a lot of money! Now give it up, or you’re dead!”
Now before we go further, let us just go over a few of the particulars. All jokes aside, Chuck Norris truly does have the following black belts: 1st degree in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, 8th Degree Grandmaster in Tae Kwon Do, 9th degree in Jeet Kune Do under Bruce Lee and Lee’s best student, Dan Inosanto, 10th degree in Shito Ryu Karate, 10th degree in Tang Soo Do, 11th degree in Chun Kuk Do.
Granted, the last art is his own concoction, a hybrid of all the best moves he has learned over the years, all blended for both self-defense and competition, and you are only allowed a 10th degree or better in anything when you found your own dojo. But suffice to say, the muggers didn’t even use guns. From a hundred feet away. They used knives within arm’s reach. What happened next was rather anti-climactic.
The police arrived about 4 minutes later, 3 officers in two cars, and were greeted by the scene of two men with SEVERELY broken arms (the bones had gone through the skin) sitting on the curb, two bloody knives in the gutter, and Chuck Norris, the Almighty Himself, leaning against the wall, wearing his beard, jeans, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat….he shrugged at them. The police started laughing so hard that they bent over, holding their sides, unable to put the handcuffs on the muggers. One of them managed to ask, “Did you not know who he was?!”
One of them said, “Yeah, we knew who he was! We figured all that crap on TV was fake!”